courtesy Rebecca Watson‘s YouTube channel
courtesy Rebecca Watson‘s YouTube channel
Ikktighar furiit (greetings). Yesterday morning I posted my first fiction installment in my Hard SF setting Lyapunov’s Children, building the setting one story at a time.
Post-installment, I can now say more clearly both what it is not, and what it is.
1. It is a far cry from my earlier Gods of Terra setting, and there are no (blatantly objectionable to already overworked physicists) violations of known physical laws, no pseudo-scientific paranormal abilities, no “Ancients” like those of the Traveller RPG setting, or my own “Nine Who are One,” and no overt Lovecraftian elements, though horror-genre fiction is possible in the setting, just nothing supernatural. Oh, and there are no centralized interstellar empires, as due to the limits of physics and distance, that’s simply not practical.
2. It instead offers an optimistic look into the far future of our descendants, seamlessly continuous with the possibilities of future human evolution as we currently understand it. These post-humans, the “Lyapunov’s Children” of the setting, have spread to the stars, and despite the limits of physics, contact between these post-humans (of many, many lineal branches of archaic Homo sapiens) and alien civilizations are a real possibility. Our future offspring have yet to encounter an extant one, but have found ruins of failed civilizations at least twice, snuffed out by their own stupidity, their worlds originally located by radio-astronomy in our own near future.
So that’s it so far. I’d like to add details on the post-human species of the setting, but I want to focus more on stories themselves, as characters come first, not what they look like or what adaptations they have.
Tf. Tk. Tts.
This fortnight I thought I’d do something a long time in coming, my first piece of Lyapunov’s Children fiction. I think it would be best if I build the setting piece by piece, one story at a time. It’s a far cry from Gods of Terra, with almost none of the Lovecraftian in it, but better for it still.
Tf. Tk. Tts.
Laksima stood at her watch-station on the old vessel, a sublight colony ship sent out from the sacred mother planet thousands of cycles ago. She was not one of the old humans, but those were few and far between now. No, she was something different, something new. The conditions of deep space had altered the genome of the descendants of the original crew, creating another daughter species of now-archaic Homo sapiens.
Humans, that ancient species whose technological developments led to the full flowering of post-human descent, spreading from beyond sacred Earth to the stars.
Laksima was to keep watch at the monitor for any signs of cometary bodies, chunks of rock and dirty ice that could pulverize the rickety, ancient vessel on impact. The ship had just entered the Oort cloud of the target system, tail-first while decelerating since mid-journey.
There was something wrong with the virtual display, icons dancing across her vision as the ship slipped between distant icy fragments this far out from the system’s stellar primary. There was something wrong because ice fragments were not supposed to move this way. There were laws of orbital mechanics they had to obey, and yet they were not.
A quick scan revealed a dense core to one of the bodies, tens of thousands of kilometers out, and closing quickly. Whatever it was, it was not a chunk of comet, nor did it seem to approach at an attack vector, and it was slowing down. Laksima ran through the checklist of options available, chose to scan it for signs of alien tech.
Humanity’s descendants had encountered the remains of alien civilizations before, at least twice, both in ruins, with one of them reduced to savagery and the other mercifully extinct.
The object, whatever it was, was radiating strongly in terahertz frequencies, and in bursts of shortwave radio, an ancient but workable communications medium. It was some kind of artifact, and it was transmitting. Ship’s dedicated computer systems, optimized for linguistic analysis, were engaged. It was ancient, but human in origin. And this was its message:
We were the colonists of New Hibernia. Whoever you are, if you get this, welcome to what was once our home. May you make it a better one than we did, squandering its bounty in our greed and stupidity.
Recently I’ve updated my editorial policy page to clarify a few things, at least the sorts of posts I avoid on this blog since adopting it. As I type this, the thought goes through my head about why I didn’t adopt it from the beginning.
After all, that’s pretty irresponsible, isn’t it, for a publicly accessible website?
I agree, especially given that with this blog’s general readership, I’m not preaching to the choir and wasn’t even from the inception of the site.
As my writing has evolved, so has the blog, and some of that evolution may be seen in the content of posts dating from shortly after this blog’s founding to the present. Early on, I didn’t adopt the use of graphic headers for posts, organization was looser, and my tone really wasn’t what even I would have been particularly proud of.
Not that I ever received nasty-grams from the tone trolls, but I had doubts about the professionality of some of the material. Some of it seemed less than objective, less than professional, and more polemical than I care for.
Mind you, I’m not opposed to controversy, except when it’s mere click-bait, and I don’t care for inflammatory language, which I’m much better at noticing in myself, along with instances of fallacious reasoning (The false dilemma fallacy was common, and rightly pointed out by reader Aliman Sears in several instances.).
I’ve grown not so much prone to walking on eggshells to avoid offending, but just putting more care into my writing. Adopting an editorial policy, even this late since the blog’s founding, was and is mostly to keep the blog on topic and not simply political correctness (which I despise). I’ve noticed over time major instances of topic-wandering, often for stretches of time in my archives, like a tendency to post too many cat videos in 2010, which in all fairness, was a good year for cat videos, and too many critiques of religion, politics, and faith for a skeptical blog.
The following is the current editorial policy in a nutshell, taken from its page on this site:
…I rarely venture into political issues unless they pertain to critical thinking, science, or skepticism. For the same reason, I rarely touch directly on religion and do not attack religious institutions outright, though the occasional misunderstandings of reality by religious leaders, like similar factual misstatements by political figures, needs calling out and critique.
The focus of this blog’s skeptical side is on claims and process, not beliefs or conclusions. I will never tell anyone what they ought or ought not to believe, or what party or candidate to or to not support for office. That is in fact completely out of my hands in any case.
So that’s it. I’m still moving over my major posting to Blogger this November, but I’m transferring all pages on this site to there before that happens. I’ll continue to read, comment, and otherwise follow and interact with those on WordPress unable to use blogger, on their own sites, it’s just that this site will be closed for updates until such time as I need to use it for that again. The current content, even early material at odds with the current policy, will remain online and publicly accessible unless the content involves broken links to images or blocked, deleted, or otherwise unwatchable embedded videos, in which case the post will be deleted for not contributing to the value of the site.
So I’m not going away entirely. But I’ve been posting here for nearly eight years, and this venue needs a rest. And once I’ve shifted over, the lessons learned here shall be continued there.
Thank you, and…
Tf. Tk. Tts.
courtesy of Rebecca Watson‘s YouTube channel
Namaskar. I’ve been busy with study, working on notes, and creating new presets for MB3d now that I’ve finished resizing older ones to economize on file space, and this so far is my favorite of the bunch. It’s a truly alien-looking object that I’ve rendered as a 1600×900 wallpaper. This seems a good starting point for a larger print-sized image. I’m keeping this one’s basic preset with fewer edits than I thought might be needed during this first render shown here. Double-click to embiggen.
All JPEG, PNG & GIF images in this post are original works by the author, created via a variety of apps and unless otherwise stated are copyright 2016 by Troy Loy. I hereby permit the free, noncommercial use of these images, with proper attribution or a link back to the original source. Thank you!