Monthly Archives: January 2009

Worldbuilding Links for January, 2009

Here’s an assortment of links you might find useful.

How-To’s

* Map-making tutorial using The Gimp.

Inspiration, Locations

* Photos from Paris Exhibition, 1900. In color.
* Abandoned subway stations in New York City
* The Uros people of the Titicaca lake live on floating islands, which is a cool style of living for a conpeople.

Science Fiction Stuff

* Tests have shown that it is possible to protect long-duration missions from solar wind using a magnetic shield.
* Scientists figured out that Mars’ loss of atmosphere to the pressure from solar wind isn’t a slow, gentle process; instead it is quite violent: Solar Wind Rips Up Martian Atmosphere.

NaNoWriMo 2008 Research

* Wikipedia on radioactive fallout
* Wikipedia on fallout shelters and blast shelters
* Mount Weather government bunker
* Gas masks vs bad smells: Gas masks do not filter out odors, unless they are designed for the job, but vick vapor rub is a work-around used by law enforcement and emergency workers.
* Geiger counters
* Compound bowsbow hunting is done in the US

The City of Saint Brendan Sneak Peek

Here’s a little bit of a bonus and post scriptum for NaNoWriMo. I didn’t just design a fallout shelter, I also sketched out a city.

Saint Brendan, so named after St. Brendan the Navigator, is a large city located in the US State of Acadia. The city rose to prominence as a trade port after the discovery of the Northwest Passage and benefited greatly from the increase in trade with East Asia after the World War. It is New England’s largest city, with over six million people living in the metropolitan area. This makes Saint Brendan the fifth-largest urban conglomeration in the United States, before the Delaware Valley but less populated than the Dallas-Fort-Worth Metroplex.

Major industries are transportation, financial, and high tech. A large military presence secures the strategic location.

Destroyed Saint Brendan

Saint Brendan is an amalgamation of San Francisco, New York, and a few other cities. I decided to use a fictional city for several reasons:

  1. I don’t know New York personally, having never been there, and certainly do not know any other major US city intimately either. Potential readers would likely be more familiar with the setting than I and that is a problem. Using a fictional city frees me from the risk of making gross errors when describing the location.
  2. A fictional city gives me the freedom to arrange locations and other facts in a manner convenient to the story’s needs.
  3. It’s a great way to tell the reader “dude, this is not YOUR world“.
  4. I enjoy world-building. Duh!

I am a firm believer in recycling material, so expect Saint Brendan to pop up again in more detailed form.

CD Cover Game #7: Eryx Elegans

Here’s another attempt at the CD cover game:

Eryx Elegans, 'Run Away From Life'

I actually edited the photo in question this time; if you look at the original you will see a woman in the photo which really distracted from the composition:

Original Photo
Original Photo

Yes – it is quite easy to see the photo was edited, but after all this is not an exercise in forging photographic evidence đŸ™‚

To critique my own work, the speech bubble is probably a little too dominant and the “band name” logo colors might not mesh perfectly with the rest of the image.

Original photo: Feliz 2009, by murilocardoso. Licensed cc-by-nc-sa.

To blog or not to blog fiction…

First off, a happy 2009 to all of you. I hope that you all had fun celebrating the advent of the new year, and that it will be a successful year for you.

I have worked on outlining that serialized fiction set in ArnĂ¢ron I talked about last month, and I think I am fairly happy with the outline. It’s not gonna be the next bestseller, but for my purposes – advancing the world ArnĂ¢ron – it will suffice. However, there’s one thing I have been mulling over that you guys might be able to give me an opinion on:

If and when I write these episodes, and if I and my “guinea pig” (I think the more correct term is “beta reader”) then think they are not totally terrible, what do I do with them?

Intuitively, I thought that I should just put them on the blog, but this is not really a fiction blog. Besides that would give them a sort of finality and I couldn’t go back and fix broken things. On the other hand, I do not really want to bury them in my document repository. Critique, feedback, and open development are Good Things. So what should I do with them?

Decisions, decisions!