Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hard Sci-Fi and a Girly Plot

I've recommitted to writing practice by signing up with the first of  David Farland's writing courses.

So for the next week (at least), I'll be working on the first assignment: Setting.

Though I'm dropping "The Shepherdess" (and compulsively going back to it now and then) for now, this work will help me finish it. 

I've chosen a setting that requires a decent amount of hard science, so it looks as if I'm heading toward Hard Sci-Fi, which is defined on TV Tropes as, "...firmly grounded in reality, with only a few fantastic flights of fancy not justified by science, or with the technology being nonexistent in today's world but probably scientifically possible at some point,"

I LIKE hard science, so this will probably end up being my direction, and I'll stick to it.  My world building sessions are half spent on NASA and other science sites.  I want to get a plausible picture of Mars in 350 years.

I'm going to post my work, assignments and feedback here.  It's a good place for it.


In 350 years Mars has several human settlements, mostly nestled in craters, but the next stage of creating a viable atmosphere on the Martian surface is also in progress.  CAPS, or Centralized Atmospheric Processors, are the hub of every established human population.  As the processors were set up, weather was created by the changes in density, humidity and temperature, and wind currents began cycling between communities, creating an ever-changing and sometimes violent system of jet streams called the "exchange winds".  These winds are violent, laced with sand and ambient radiation and create a hostile territory between borders. 

The CAPS are central installations of ambient radiation harvesters, atmospheric processors, and shields.  They are constructed of stalks a mile or so long that are flexible enough to move slightly in the exchange winds without shattering, but are grounded centrally so they provide the community below with a constant supply of processed air.  While the ends of the stalks pour the processed air, on the rims of the stalks rotating and shifting ambient radiation harvesting cells greedily draw on the limitless supply of various forms of radiation from space and from the surface of Mars.  Other cells, also located on the rims of the stalks, emit a shield wavelength that reflects even greater amounts of radiation. Below ground batteries store the energy to run the energy grids of the communities.  Also below and above ground, all over Mars, a system of cisterns and aqueducts keeps and continually cleans the water supply. 

Above ground for over a century colonies of bacteria and lichens enjoyed an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide and populations of those organisms exploded; the next stage saw adapted Earth organisms of the high desert environment begin to establish.  Soon after, the trench steppes were constructed, developing adapted grasses as the first grazing crops for the first herds of Adapted sheep.  With them came the first nomadic surface settlers, an alliance of Navajo and Mongolian herders bent of creating a new, intercultural civilization combining the strengths and resiliencies of both.

More soon.

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