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The Start of Something

Posted by Dawn OOC, 30 May 2012 · 846 views

I have talked about doing this before and now I think I have the time and energy to handle it. I’d like to use the blog set up here to create a blog about creating a world. I’d like to this be an interactive effort by those willing to participate. There are a few ‘catches’:

1. I’ll be the final arbitrator of what makes the cut. Rather than go through a round of brainstorming, then a round of voting, we’ll do the round of brainstorming.

2. Everyone who provides an idea that is used for the setting cedes their intellectual property for that idea in this setting. I do this so that someone can’t submit an idea, then get mad and put out their idea and potentially gut the setting.

3. If this is finished and good enough, I’ll be preparing this for PoD. The proceeds, if there are any will go to the site. A PDF will be available for free, though a request for a donation will be added as well.

This is the plan as it standing. If no one helps, I’ll work on this myself.

So welcome to the first installment. By posting an idea, you are agreeing to the above statements. However, let me say that creative criticism of what is here remains your intellectual property (as it is your opinion). However, any ideas posted are grist for the mill.

So how it works is that I post the week’s topics for discussion, we’ll discuss, and then pound out what is kept. Then next week we work on the next topic. I have a long world-building document of questions to be answered. The first couple of weeks will be loose as I’ll drop or add days to try to get it revolving on Fridays.

The first thing to answer is this: what genre or genres do we want to do? There are options:

Science fiction

These are the broadest of strokes; feel free to elaborate as you desire. And feel free to speak up!

And… go!

This sounds like fun! :)

I'd be willing to help where possible.

Re: intellectual property rules: Okay.

Re: genres we want to do: my preferred genres, in order would be:

Science Fiction

In truth though I would actually prefer to use a mix of two or more of those genres. For instance science fiction mixed with horror, science fiction mixed with period elements (for instance I'd love to build a world setting mixing hard science fiction and the Chinese wuxia genre), contemporary mixed with fantasy, etc.
What is PoD?

That aside, I would like Contemporary Fantasy, Period Science Fiction (a la steampunk or dieselpunk, or even clockworkpunk), or Superhero Fantasy (swords, sandals, and freaking lazer beam eyes!)
PoD Is Print on Demand. Basically, you format and post the book to a site like Lulu, and then people order as many copies as they want from it. Again, that is a long way down the road.

The mixed genres seem to be really popular!

Cent: when you mention scifi with period elements, all I could think of was the Necros from the Riddick Chronicles. :P So you would like to see laser guns and supernatural martial arts?

Jim: Are the three punks the only period SciFi you like? Which of the three is better and why, IYO?

Jim: Are the three punks the only period SciFi you like? Which of the three is better and why, IYO?

They are not, but they do appeal to me, probably because I cut my teeth on Science Fiction reading HG Wells and other stuff from that period. Wells and Verne were writing contemporary but when we read them now their stuff has elements of steampunk, and the like.

As for which is better? *shrug* That's not really an easy question. They all have their merits, but ultimately it also depends heavily on the period you want to use. Dieselpunk fits more naturally into an early/min 20th century era whereas clockwork works better for a Renaissance era.

Pretty much the only thing from that list of yours that doesn't appeal -alone or in combination- is humor/satire because humor is so subjective. I could get behind a Superhero Fantasy game as easily as straight fantasy. I tend to shy away from Science Fiction-Fantasy hybrids because that quickly veers into people wanting Jedi and lightsabers and I am soooo over Star Wars.
I'm up for writing. My sense is Jim speaks it best on crossing off humor/satire. Anything with Fantasy, Sci-Fi and/or Superhero elements is welcome. I'm pretty flexible genre-wise.
Jeremy, I know your flexible but do you have a preference?
I dunno, Superhero Fantasy, things with Wuxia, the Period Sci-Fi.
So we're coming down pretty hard on some kind of Scifi mix. Interesting! We may have to work out entire planets and systems instead of countries and regions. Can't wait!

Cent: when you mention scifi with period elements, all I could think of was the Necros from the Riddick Chronicles. So you would like to see laser guns and supernatural martial arts?

Well, sort of. I was tired when I first responded to you. What I meant to say was jianghu, which is a very specific genre of Chinese fiction, the most famous example of which is The Water Margin, written in the 14th century. Jianghu fiction has very specific elements that make it what it is, sort of like the modern Western or Mob movie.

I won't belabor the point here, but anyone who wants to know more can read up on the basics of jianghu by reading the Wikipedia article of the same name.

Also, as far as the actual building of planets and systems goes, I have a software program called AstroSynthesis that allows you to create exactly that - worlds and solar systems - including details such as how far planets are from their suns (and what type of sun it is), how many moons they have, gravity, atmosphere, average temperatures, and so on. It's pretty sweet and I can even take screen shots and stuff. There's actually more than one science fiction author out there who uses this software when writing their own works.
Most excellent, Cent. Another question, what with sub-genre? Hard/Soft? Period elements? Just trying to get a little more nailed down from folks in that respect. And scale! Our solar system? Galaxies? Universes?
Myself, I'd like something Contemporary/Fantasy/Horror-ish, sort of the Dresdenverse meets Cthulu, if not necessarily with all the pop-culture references and Things from Beyond. More Supernatural Film Noir. The Fantasy part could easily be changed to Sci-Fi for a more Fringe-ish tone instead.
I'm certainly down with Science Fiction mixed however you want really.

If we do go beyond a single star system in scale though we'll pretty much need some form of fast (i.e High multiple C) interstellar travel (casual or otherwise) to get some real use out of that.

One interesting twist I ran into a couple of years back was having light-speed and beyond be impossible using just physics (i.e; reality) so magic was used to twist things enough that interstellar travel was feasible.

Beyond Sci-fi I'd say I work best with Historical and Fantasy really. Though whatever we end up working with I'll see about helping out.
Faster-than-light Travel: I would suggest using either the Alcubierre drive as a method or negative mass propulsion.

Alcubierre Drive: In reality we're a very long ways off from being able to even test the viability of this method of FTL travel and, what's more, there's a good chance that it either won't work, or won't be practically usable if it does. However, it's based on scientifically valid principles so it could work and would allow for travel at speeds significantly above C if it does, and without any relativistic effects on travelers to boot.

Negative Mass Propulsion: This one is also well outside of our current ability to test the viability of, so as with the Alcubierre drive it relies on certain assumptions that may turn out to not be true. If, however, we take it that those assumptions are true, then such a method of propulsion would allow for continuous thrust without violating the principles of conservation of momentum or energy. Basically, by combining negative and positive mass, you can achieve continual, reactionless acceleration that requires no input of energy and no reaction mass. Since acceleration is constant, reactionless, and needs no input of energy, this would allow for FTL travel.
I agree with the Sci-Fi. Straight is fine with me, but I would really prefer not to go with horror. Dark I'm ok with, to a point, but horror is going a bit far with what I'd prefer.

I also agree with the nixing of humor/satire and for the afore stated reasons.

Any other combo would be fine, though I do think that superhero tends to lend itself easily to the pairing.

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