A tour of the Known Worlds: Venus

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and Tweets and whatnot about writing lately. I had a few things I could say about all that, but I realized I had contributed more than enough to the stew of often contradictory and occasionally maddening advice that would-be writers seem to covet and trade like dog-eared baseball cards.
Enough, I say! Let’s have some fun. Starting today, and until I run out of worlds, I’m going to take this blog on a tour of the solar system — or the Known Worlds, as I call them in Spacebuckler. These aren’t the eight (formerly nine) planets you’re used to. These are the kind of worlds an 18th century Royal Navy frigate would visit…if said frigate could escape the surly bonds of Earth, of course.

For all the planets in my alternate solar system, I hearkened back to myth, alchemy and early science-fiction literature. After all, if I was going to place the setting in the 18th century, it seemed fitting to make those worlds as exotic and yet familiar as people then believed they were.

Take Venus, for example — named for the Roman goddess of life and fertility. Throughout early sci-fi, Venus was always depicted as a particularly lush, tropical world. The clouds were a dead giveaway; they were visible even through early telescopes, and they shrouded the planet in mystery. The thinking was, well, if there are clouds, then there’s water, and storms. And it’s closer to the sun, so…water plus warmth equals a tropical, stomy, humid planet.

Who am I to argue with that logic? And what epic adventure wouldn’t benefit from a jungle world?

Thus, in Spacebuckler, Venus is indeed a lush, verdant world, with oceans and swamps and oppressive heat and humidity. Now, it’s not the 860-degree oven that the real Venus is — that would end the story pretty quickly. But it IS uncomfortable. Nonetheless, Venus is attractive to the Great Powers of Earth. It’s close-by, for one — barely a month’s Void-sail from Earth. The soil is fertile and the hills and mountains have rich veins of gold and silver. Plus, the native flora and fauna have numerous alchemical properties, appropriate for a world so closely aligned with the mystic spheres of life and the alchemical school of Vitalis.

Of course, the native Venusian reptile-people don’t really like parting with their world’s treasures….but that’s another story, for another blog post.

Next up…well, where do you want to go? Drop me a line in the comment spot if you want to take a turn at the wheel.

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Known Worlds, Space, Writing

One response to “A tour of the Known Worlds: Venus

  1. I don’t know if you’ve heard of HitRecord.org before. It’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s collaborative art project. I have the CD for RECollection in my car and I’ve been listening to the audio version of Nebulullaby a lot lately. I thought I would share the video version since this post reminded me of it. I love creativity with other planets. It reminds me of some fun classic pulp.

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