This is the results of the second assignment in the World Building workshop at the Muse Online writers' conference. We were to set down the rules around which we built our settings.
In my writing universe, there are a set of rules to which the story happenings and setting must conform:
1. Humans exploded out from earth with the discovery of relatively inexpensive star flight sometime after the mid 21st century. Most of the history of this time was lost during "The Collapse," thought roughly to be in the hundred years after. A number of Earth-type worlds were settled by various national and ethnic groups searching for "living space" in which to build their ideal societies. As with most things involving humans, matters tended to go in directions unforeseen by the majority. Things fell apart.
Dawn came some decades/centuries/millennia later (academics have been killed in arguments about the timing). Eventually, power blocks arose once more. Imperial Erin is one of these.
2. Most of the action takes place within the Erin Empire. The capital planet is Tara. Among the member planets mentioned so far in the cycle are Bayern, High Brazos, Yamoto, Bantu, and Arkm.
3. The technology available to the empire includes star flight, interstellar communication, and that expected in the near term. I have refrained from explaining the inner workings of the technology because the knowledge isn't germane to the characters' lives (does one really think about where the electricity comes from when one flips a light switch in the middle of the night?--besides, most of the stories that try this tend to have high MEGO factors [see below]). All they care about normally is that the Navy gets them between star systems and the "signal floozies" aboard ship keep them in contact with their respective headquarters. How the Spacers do this is their problem.
In Part 3, I'll talk about the history of Arkm and its people (what there is known of it).
MEGO: My Eyes Glaze Over
Words of Wisdom from Gunny Fluellen
Boot: "Why the enemy is loud; you hear him all night."
Gunny: "If the enemy is an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb,--in your own conscience, now?"
King Henry V
Act IV, scene I
William Shakespeare (I'm not sure whether he went through Parris Island or San Diego.)
Catholic Writers Conference Online 2010
The Catholic Writers Guild will be hosting a free online writers conference from 26 February to 5 March 2010. Last year's was truly excellent. It is a combination of chats with authors and editors, workshops on various facets in writing, and the opportunity to pitch the project you've been beavering away on to representatives from a number of Catholic publishing houses. While the conference is Catholic, others of good will are welcome (last year Frank Creed--author of the Underground series and the role playing game Flashpoint and a Protestant gentleman--lit a fire under my writing with his workshop). As a certain gunnery sergeant I used to know said, "The only way you can beat free is if they pay you." (Sorry, we're too broke to do that.) Here's the link: http://www.catholicwritersconference.com/
Hope to see you there!
DVDs for Christmas (Note to FTC: I bought this dang DVD myself!)
A Christmas Carol (staring George C. Scott). Fox. 100 minutes.
If your DVD collection includes the Alastair Sim version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1951), you have good taste. If you also have George C. Scott's version (1984), you have good taste indeed. Though made twenty-five years ago, Scott's performance is still striking. His Ebenezer Scrooge is a deadly serious Type-A executive. He takes the "Christmas--bah, humbug!" line and delivers a chill with a contemptuous laugh and "Christmas...humbug." to his nephew, Fred. Scott is powerful but controlled and makes his conversion at the end believable and satisfying.
If you have neither, get this one first!
Report from the Front:
Tuesday night, I witnessed the broadcast of what around here will be a family Christmas classic. This was the ABC broadcast of Disney's "Prep & Landing."
It is the story of the covert force of elves landed ahead of Santa's visits to clear and prep the LZ. Obviously, these guys are some unknown detachment of Force Recon. Just as obviously, Santa is an aviator. His COD--I mean sleigh--even uses an arrestor system. You can almost smell the JP4 around the reindeer team. I know these guys.
It didn't hurt that ABC ran the animation right after "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
Major Note on "A Charlie Brown Christmas" broadcast:
An open letter from Leon to ABC on their broadcast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was put up over at Dork Tower this morning. I admit I came in on the tail-end of "Charlie Brown," so I can't say one way or the other, but I trust the guys at Dork Tower so here's the link: http://www.dorktower.com/2009/12/10/an-open-letter-to-abc-from-my-friend-leon/
11 December 2009: Feast of St. Barsabas of Persia, tomorrow is the first day of Chanukah, Byzatine Emperor Nikephoros II assasinated by wife and her lover - later Emperor John I Tzimiskes 969, Llywelyn, last Welsh prince killed 1282, King Edward VIII abdicates 1936, Germany and Italy declare war on U.S. 1941.