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.