It turns out it's incredibly hard to turn this
into a comfortable-to-read webpage, so I have done the unthinkable: I have gone back on a color scheme. Further tweaking may follow, such as when I decide I hate this khaki-green color. I can feel it approaching. I still think the original is a better piece of art, but it's not suited for what I wanted to do with it (I hated the grey-cyan colors I was coming up with for the background of the text area even more than I'm eventually going to hate the current colors, orange would have been worse and a greyscale color would have been Just Wrong).
Also, I've gotten a paid account; you may see some strange things in the comments sections of my posts (and my friendspage, those of you who look at it) until I've finished adjusting the CSS.ibnfirnas
, Graydon: Thank you for the suggestions; I have much processing to do before I can say more on the subject. I have solved a couple of tangentially related problems in the WIP in the ... incredibly short week since my last post:
1. The action takes place not on Earth, or another planet per se, but on the moon of a gas giant with a ring system that pelts the moon with stuff, either constantly or seasonally. I knew there was a perpetual, stuff-throwing lightshow in the sky, so this ties things up neatly. Its inhabitants may call
the moon Earth; I know that they call the planet in the sky Heaven and that it is of substantial religious significance. (If it has other moons they will be of significance also, but I haven't worked out the details.) I will be employing a lot of English in this thing, in part because I finally realized what a chore making up words is -- which is a strange thing for a conlanger to say, but you don't come here for the sense. This probably means that I'm going to spend a lot of time finding out things like what the tides are like on the moon of a gas giant, which is never going to be relevant because I expect all the action to happen well inland.
2. Wakefield is not an adopted name. Members of population D have ethnically British surnames (and don't look particularly ethnically British). Bs have probably-French names and I am vacillating between Norse and Japanese names for population C. The latter suggests (but does not mandate, see above about population D not looking British) the nearly irresistable working title A World Without Blonds
. The roadsigns are printed in population D's language; they were a major power until population A changed the laws of physics, declared them heretics, crushed them, conquered what remained of their cities one by one, and repurposed their mages'-anthills.
There is another can of worms here, but, well, I'm opening it. Wakefield will be changing the laws of physics back. (Somehow.) Population D's mageocracy was founded on the denial of free will to things (the stuff that falls from the sky) that have the potential for it but, at the time that the decision to deny them free will is made, do not have it and are unlikely to develop it without someone deciding to give it to them. The official population A line is that this is slavery and evil and this is why D had to go: everything that can have free will must. I don't know whether they're right; I don't know whether it's possible for me to determine whether they're right; there's no analagous situation in the real world. If I had to point to a group of bad guys in the setting it would be population A, and they secretly violate their own rules all the time (in fact their numbers would be much smaller if they didn't, and the expansion of their empire would be much slower), but that doesn't necessarily make them wrong
. I've known from the start that I was going to have to deal with this issue, but this circular thing where the person who makes a D-style mageocracy possible again is a member of D who has been working for members of A most of his life I did not expect. Because I am kind of dim; now that it's come to me it seems like, if anything, an incredibly predictable route to take.
The commodity-as-person-as-commodity themes here were the final nail in the coffin of Life on Earth
, which also concerned itself with the subject in a less morally ambiguous way. I find this sad, and also worrisome.( Cut for length and very nominal spoilers for some of the work of Warren Ellis and Tim Powers. )