Monthly Archives: December 2014

Hathor Legacy Worldbuilding Part 3 – Origin of the Culture

1258271398_f3a0418345_oThis is the 3rd entry in worldbuilding posts for my Hathor Legacy series. (Check out part 1 and part 2.)

According to the legends, the original settlers, known as the “First Families,”came from the 7 continents of the Earth.

They’re revered by the members of the Guardian organization, and tracing their families back to those settlers is what elevates some descendants over others. (Something I mention in book 2 in the series, Hathor Legacy: Burn, with the introduction of the Deshtu.)

So let’s go back in time a bit (or forward in time, depending on your POV).

Hathor’s Discovery

After it’s identified in 2234, the planet is named after the Egyptian goddess, Hathor.

During this time, there’s a lot of space exploration and business interests are on the hunt for minerals, crystals and other resources. Though the Earth is still supporting life, efforts to reverse the effects of global warming have only been marginally successful.

Because of this, there’s a lot of incentive for people to leave the Earth and join settlements in various systems. In order to accomplish this goal, travel that takes months–not years,  or lifetimes—has become reality.

Quick note: I’m not going to get into the science behind faster-than-light travel—or whether it’s possible. You’ll just have to make the assumption that, in this universe, it is. 🙂

(Or, at the very least, there is a plausible way to get people from one system to another safely, quickly and efficiently.)

After some initial investigation, it’s determined that Hathor is very rich in crystals and other precious gems. The neighboring planet, Astarte (and its moon, Demeter) has even more potential.

Enter the TTM company, AKA Terran Terraforming & Mining. Ready to create big profits, they start operations and begin terraforming the planets to sustain human life.

Speaking of terraforming, for quite some time there’s been interest in doing the same thing to Mars. If it sounds interesting to you, check this out: http://quest.nasa.gov/mars/background/terra.html

Origin of the First Families

While the work is going on back on Hathor and Astarte, settlers are being selected and groomed. Ultimately families are chosen from every continent on Earth. The company requires them to give up everything and commit to taking a one-way trip to Hathor.

Based on the population of our planet, obviously the settlers are going to be a mix of cultures, languages, ethnicities and skin colors. So that mix is what reflects Hathor and ultimately, the Guardians.

That mix is also reflected in the “old language” Nadira uses in the Hathor Legacy books. While I was writing, I took words from Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili, English, etc. and created my own twists.

For instance, in Swahili, “ahali” can be translated to mean “family relations.” I added “non” to mean a person who had no relations and was considered an outcast–which led to the word, Nonhali.

In French, “moyenne” means “average.” The Guardians refer to people without abilities as moyen, meaning they’re average people with no PSI powers. (The word “fragile” is also used,  but is considered a slur.)

Another quick note: I got my translations by way of Google, so they’re probably not 100% perfect, But for my purposes they were close enough to give me a starting point.

Arrival

Once the settlers arrive on Hathor, they have homes and everything set up for their use. They will make their fortune by being part of the labor force doing the mining, farming and other work to help establish the world.

Hathor has one main continent, and that’s where most people live (there will be more about the planet itself in a future post). So the inhabitants are within towns where they can interact and create communities within the structure established by TTM.

But not long after their arrival, an illness begins to spread. Whether it’s caused by terraforming (as is mentioned in Hathor Legacy: Burn) or by something else, hasn’t been admitted to publicly. In any case, the sickness sweeps through the population and kills off young and old as it spreads through the towns.

The Outcome

It takes months for the outbreak to be contained. But while it’s going on, families end up reforming themselves as survivors are taken in and people band together for protection.

Because of this, there’s a “mash up” of languages and cultures as orphaned children are brought into new families, people connect with new partners and the community rebuilds itself.

Through all this, PSI powers begin to develop in the children born on Hathor (and in some of the adult survivors). At first the abilities are feared and often the people who have them are persecuted and isolated. But in time, they became a symbol of survival and, as far as some are concerned, a gift that sets them apart.

In the midst of their fight for survival, the story of the First Families has extra added importance as an origin story for the new society, and will become the foundation for the Guardians generations later.

In the next part, I’ll go into more detail about other cultural aspects, including the takeover by Novacorp Gallactic, Inc., and the splintering of the native population into the Guardians, the Kasema and the Deshtu.

Photo Credit: mugley via Compfight cc

SFRB Showcase: “When Words Leave Off” Story Excerpt

SFRB-ShowcaseBanner

 

The monthly SFR Brigade Showcase is where authors post excerpts, snippets, covers and other updates from their published works and WIP.

Check out the other authors here and read more about their books!

This is an excerpt from the story, “When Words Leave Off” included in my short story collection, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales.  By the way, later this month it’ll be an audiobook too!

Check it out here: http://dld.bz/deC9h

In this excerpt, officers Tasha Grant and Benjamin Tragg have just presented a paper at an important conference. Both of them are officers on a deep space ship named, the Marlo. After working together on their presentation for a few months, they’ve grown closer, but have never acknowledged how they feel about each other. That’s about to change.

Tasha, would you stop by my quarters for a moment, please?”

“Sure, Benjamin.” Now that their work was over, she was going to miss spending time with him. It had been challenging working with him and fun too. In fact, now that it was almost over, she felt strangely empty.

She followed him into his quarters. A dark red glow emanated from the sleeping area, painting strange shadows throughout the rooms. Benjamin went over to his desk and opened his packet. He took out two sheaths of paper and set them on his desktop.

“Come take a look,” he said.

Tasha went over and examined the papers. On first glance she could see they were made of heavy parchment. Tellurian and Terran writing covered them with painstakingly neat lines.

“What is this?” she asked.

“A collection of Tellurian poems. Someone translated them many years ago. I think they should be set to music,” Benjamin replied. “I know you have an interest in languages. When you’ve read them, perhaps we can discuss the translations.”

“Oh, this is lovely, Benjamin.” She rubbed her fingers against the rough paper and read a line of the Terran words, then the graceful lettering of their Tellurian counterparts, side by side on the page.

“Ben, I didn’t know you liked poetry. Seems a bit non-scientific to me,” she teased.

“Not at all. Poetry is simply a composition written in verse. These words express thoughts that are not tied to either logic or emotion.”

“Words take on different meanings depending on how they’re interpreted.” She looked into his eyes. “Just like music.”

“Ah, but that would prove your theory that music is a language.” Benjamin pointed to a specific line. “The Tellurian words here refer to the sharing of minds. The Terran translation is not exact, and subtly alters the meaning of the text. Both passages stand on their own–“

“But they nonetheless compliment each other,” Tasha said, completing his thought.

This simple parchment had more value to her than any prize. She read over the lines of verse, the juxtaposition of the languages, the interplay of words and searched for a way to express her appreciation to a man who shunned emotional displays. Or rather, a man who had up until tonight.

“I’m honored by this gift, Benjamin, and by our friendship,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. “Thank you very much.”

He was staring at her, his lips half open. Was he really going to do it? Tasha felt her body shiver in anticipation. Fraternization wasn’t exactly encouraged on board, but still. She’d been waiting for his moment for a long time.

He leaned across the desk and planted a kiss on her lips. “You’re very welcome, Tasha,” he said. “I–I don’t know what just came over me. I’m sorry.”

“I’m not.” She touched the side of his face, and pulled him closer for another kiss. She felt herself melting as the kiss intensified.

 

About the book…

Electric Dream - High Resoluion

Seven short stories of the future…

-a robot is abandoned by his human buyer when she has second thoughts,

-a frustrated employee has a rude awakening when his computer starts managing his career,

-the caretaker of a lonely space station gets a shock when a couple of unexpected visitors show up, and more!

Available on Amazon.com.