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I'm currently in the process of creating a fictional universe (scifi) in which to set a variety of stories, the first couple of which I intend to sell to a mag, and one long epic to a publisher so I can capitalise on the sheer explosivity of ideas that fountain from my mind.
The basic premise is that humans have abandoned earth and have gone off elsewhere to start anew. (side question, should the universe be galaxy-sized, or only take up a spiral arm?)
However, having got so far, I need a little help as regards settings for settlements/cities. These are the ideas I've got so far:
Hollowed out asteroid, space station, derelict space station/craft, travelling city-craft (like craftworlds, if you like), dyson sphere (plausible?)
Hive city, planet city (eg, all encompassing,like Coruscant), city isolated from outside due to pollution/radiation/unbreathable atmosphere/intense heat/etc, underground city, underground city carved from the rock/ice/crystals, bog standard usual city in the middle of sodding nowhere on a continent, city built on ruins of old city, city built in layers/with underground networks of XYZ services.
Basically, is there anything Ive missed, or can you come up with one yourself? Please do tell, also any funky ideas in general about the series would be appreciated.
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"
Well you should set the mood and direction your universe will take before choosing the environement, this would help us in turn to help you out Phobos.
Mood and direction isnt really relevant, Im looking for ideas about physical places, not what they think.
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"
Well if it is a dark universe, humanity turned to barbarism, it would suit to have some sort of hive world or derelect worldship for instance.
Colonies are a good start, they are less common in Sci Fi that poluted worlds or worldships.
Nomadic caravans, like the Battlestar Galactica. Not quite derilect craft/stations, and not quite planetary residence, the ships are the homes and they are constantly on the move.
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Maybe most people live on "caravans" of ships travelling near constantly to trade minerals for food. A clan system. The people travel save for once every year where they concentrate on a certain planet for a trade/celebration.
This would allow for intercenine warfare, spying lots of ships and as they travel any world could be visited.
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Some of my favorite settings for sci-fi colonies involve low-tech old 'American Western' ranch style spreads where distances between settlements are great and not easily traveled. Accompanied with a heavy reliance on ground based and/or animal (ridden or driven) transports.
With vaste untamed (dangerous?) wilderness areas between them.
I like this style not just because I'm American and can relate, but because it actually more accurately depicts how small colonies would eventually grow. Not one huge Uber-city gobbling up the entire planet, that's more for worlds that have been settled for millenia.
Realistically they would grow slowly and spread out as each human group breaks off from the main and establishes it's own area and zones of control.
These types of settlements work well in any environment. Jungle, desert, mountainous, swampy, arctic, whatever.
I find stories that use settings you could normally find on Earth can become 'exotic' simply by telling the reader it's on another planet and maybe throwing in something special like.. 'native plants that make musical notes when the wind blows through them, eliciting <insert emotional or physical effect here> from humans depending the mood of the plant or strength of the wind'
Giving the reader something they can relate to, with a bit of something 'alien' can go a long way towards 'humanizing' your stories.
Just my 2 cents.
Last edited by Joker; July 1st, 2005 at 13:43.
Bio-domes!! Think of all the kooky antics you can come up with in there.
Seriously though, I'm down with the derelict ship idea, but beef it up a bit more with a space hulk twist of ships lashed and welded together along with asteroids and whatever they come across.
Oh, and start with an arm of a spiral, then when you produce a best-seller(and remember the little guys) you can come up with crappy sequels based in the other arms of the galaxy spiral.
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Two whacky things come to my mind:
1) Civilizations living near/in the centers of "large jupiters" (exactly what it sounds like) or "brown dwarfs" (sub-ignition sized would-be stars).
2) In a sparsely populated part of the galaxy (or rather galaxy arm, I too prefer that - gives you more room for expansion of your story!) colonies are easily forgotten and perhaps rediscovered only centuries or millennia later - creating all sorts of weird problems.