Monthly Archives: May 2012

Request for Foreign Language Colony Names

My science fiction setting currently has 511 assigned colony names, out of a list of 575 names I came up with so far. On top of that I’ve a tentative list of another 75 or so colony names, and the naming scheme I am using – primarily deities from all sorts of cultures, plus some location, personal and descriptive names – is still good for a few hundred more. However, I have a serious problem in that I only speak English and German (and a smattering of French): This means I can not confidently name, for example, Chinese colonies, or Spanish colonies, or Japanese colonies, or Indian colonies, and so on.

Especially the Chinese colony worlds worry me, since the nation will be an economic powerhouse in the future (this is not 100%, of course, but extrapolating from current trends I think it’s a fairly safe bet). The People’s Republic also has an ambitious space program. So it only seems natural that they would be on the fore-front of interstellar exploration and colonization when that rolls around.

I’m therefore calling for HELP. Your help, dear Internet! I know there’s billions of people out there who speak those languages and more. Could someone please – pretty please – help me out by coming up with names for a number of colonies? I need many, many, over the long run, but even a few dozen names I can use for major colonies would be a great start!

A Planet (Image: Nils Jeppe)
A Planet (Image: Nils Jeppe)

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Science Fiction Setting – Historic Map circa 3300 AD, WIP#3

To follow up on last night’s work, here’s a quick outline of the Terran federation, circa 3300AD, as compared to the maximum extent of human colonization.

Star Map: Extent of Terran Federation, circa 3300 AD
Star Map: Extent of Terran Federation, circa 3300 AD

It’s still very small and cute, isn’t it? Still, at this point in time it’s by far the largest nation in human space. The people of Home, who will establish Empire later, invented airplanes in 3300AD.

Science Fiction Setting – Historic Map circa 3222 AD, WIP#2

At long last, an update to our historic maps… This one shows the territory of the Terran Federation, marked are the territories of the states it was created from. By 3222, the Baldur Protectorate is still independent. The Yellow-Orange spots are other, smaller, and as yet unnamed interstellar nations.

Star Map: Historic situation, circa 3222 AD
Star Map: Historic situation, circa 3222 AD

The Terran Federation was founded on Marduk in 3181, more than 300 years before the foundation of Empire.

 

I just realized what has been bothering me for months now. My current screen is at a bad angle. It’s a very nice screen, a Samsung, but the screen’s base can’t really be adjusted. Since I am fairly tall, I look down at the screen at an angle, even though it’s on a small raised pedestal. And This lowers the contrast of the image for me. That’s definitely something I need to fix. Luckily, good displays are cheap these days.

Music

I like music – like most people presumably do – but I am hardly a music geek. I wish I could create my own. But that’s a talent I was not blessed with. For my work, there are really one two modes: Either, I work by complete silence (most of the time) or I work listening to music that’s turned up way too loud on my headphones. The later happens when I am in creative burst mode.

Like right now.

It’s 1:30am and I should sleep. Really. I have to get up at 6am for some #souldraining. But how can I sleep, when I have to chronicle the rise and fall of the Terran Federation?

Anyway, as an aside, I thought I’d post some of the stuff I am listening to while world-building.

Right now that’s the album “Drink the Sea” by The Glitch Mob. Especially “Fortune Days”, “Animus Vox”, “Bad Wings”, and “We Swarm”. My playlist is also looping through some tracks from the “Tron Legacy: Reconfigured” album.

At other times, I enjoyed the music from the Battlestar Galactica series (heavy on percussion, I guess – reminds me a whole lot of Homeworld, but that’s probably just me imagining things). I also have the Homeworld tracks, ripped from my Homeworld game CD which I seem to have lost in one of my many moves over the years. Awesome music – I wish I had as cool a soundtrack for my science fiction universe. Maybe some day.

Of course you couldn’t do science fiction without classical music – Kubrick saw to that – and I once listened to the Blue Danube for an entire day. Holst’s The Planets are another must though I am not a huge fan of the tracks other than “Mars – the Bringer of War”.

I also collect game and movie soundtracks. The music of some of the Baldur’s Gate titles – and sequels and spinoffs – was pretty epic, as is the Guild Wars music. Michael Hoenig and Heremy soule are great! For movies, pick any adventure, action or science fiction movie. Pirates of the Caribbean, The Gladiator, The “Imperial March” from Star Wars, The Mummy, you name it.

The sound track of The Fifth Element has a special place in my heart, as does the movie. “Timecrash” makes me wish I had a decent music setup here that could produce decent base sound (but my neighbors probably appreciate that I don’t).

Some of my world-building can get quite weird. For example, I do have a playlist I call “Mythos Mecha”. That might give you a hint what it was for… it includes Cab Calloway, The Inkspots, the music from Bubblegum Crisis (Konya wa Harikeen is awesome!), “masked Ball” from Eyes Wide Shut, “Love Removal Machine” by The Cult, “Go!” by Tones to Tail, Tesla’s “Last Action Hero”, “Where Evil grows” by Poppy Family, and a whole lot of instrumental stuff from movie soundtracks. Eclectic, eh?

As a final, special tip – you can actually find awesome music on ccMixter, Jamendo, and remix.kwed.org – but you gotta dig through a lot of bad music to find it. Still, how can you not love, for example, Ditto Ditto, or Houdini Roadshow? Or, hell, Sad Robot by pornophonique? What can I say, I grew up on a diet of 6581.

On the subject of The Mythos – Another really good album to listen to – in my opinion, as always – is “Live on the Radio” by White Ghost Shivers. Really great 1920s Harlem Jazz style music.

I posted on this subject before – my playlist for the 2008 NaNoWriMo reads like my approach to music consumption during my ‘work’ really hasn’t changed. Getting old and set in my ways, I am.

 

Worldbuilding and Other Links for May 2012

Cartography

Artwork

Worldbuilding Sites

Science Fiction Setting – Historic Map 2650AD, WIP#1

By 2650, the already chaotic situation in human space had worsened considerably. Over 50 nations warred among each other – in fact the borders shifted so much during this time that it is nearly impossible to create an accurate map of human space. Due to the communications lag inherent in hyperdrive technology, nobody at the time had any idea what was really going on.

Star Map: Historic situation, 2650AD
Star Map: Historic situation, 2650AD

The industrial base of many worlds was severely eroded by 2650. Part of the reason to continue the war was the attempt to capture ships and factories from the enemy – in order to be able to continue the war!

The core space of the Solar League, which had been able to keep out of the war for decades, became a valuable prize. Its neighbors began to attack its border worlds in 2645. The League would eventually collapse in 2662. While the fighting would continue for decades more in some areas, the fall of the League is generally accepted as the beginning of the Interregnum – the galactic dark ages.

 

Science Fiction Setting – Historic Map 2620 AD, WIP#1

Several years after the break-up of the Old Federation, the nations who claimed parts of Federation territory began to settle their disputes with the use of force. By 2610, hostilities were in full swing – the great civil war had begun. It was really not one war, but a large number of wars fought at the same time all over human space. By 2620, these wars had radically altered the political situation.

Star Map: Historic situation, 2620AD
Star Map: Historic situation, 2620AD

Some of these nations were separated by “no man’s space” – areas of space where neither of the combatants was able to enforce his control; effectively wide-scale war zones. Planets all through human space began to suffer from damage to their infrastructure, either as shipments of spare parts never arrived; civilian infrastructure was neglected in favor of the war effort; or enemy bombardment caused damage.