About a year ago, I posted a roleplaying game based on my story, Lover of Jet & Gold about the Namedealers of the setting: those who speak the secret Language of Names to all the phenomena of the demon-haunted world in which they live. For the most part, they’re the “sorcerers” of the Sword & Sorcery setting.
Namedealers are like Mosheh, Thetis, and Merlin. But they’re also not all that far from Bugs Bunny and Cugel, all of whose power comes from their ability to perceive and tell truths, but whose weakness in overestimating their importance to rather more direct individuals at the wrong moment. In a recent game, the inestimable Quinn Murphy equated his namedealer to Wile E. Coyote, fleeing the consequence of each overreach by putting himself in a slightly more desperate debt.
It was, and I quote a player at PAX East 2015 here, “The most fun I’ve ever had being eaten by a crocodile.”*
The Soviet Almaz space station system is an adaptable set of orbit-assemblable parts that forms the basis of the Soviet Space Force of 1979. For the last several years, hundreds have been constructed and launched from Star City, most as spy satellites and platforms from which to drop their crewed nuclear bombs.
When the USSR launched its first piloted orbital nuclear warhead into orbit in 1959, the United States responded by electing Richard M. Nixon to his first term as President. Nixon buoyed by the fear of existential crisis, boosted the United States’ military space program to orbit and left President Goldwater with a legacy of programs he would need to meet the Soviets face-to-face on the Moon — and to contend for Mars.
Now, in 1979, the night sky is filled with glittering necklaces of warheads, satellites, and orbital interceptors. Dangerous and unreliable, these craft are crewed by conscripted, coerced undesirables from both the Soviet Union and the United States.
The IS-9 Raven, known as the Crow Crap by those who have to handle it, is an orbital interceptor based on Boeing’s Dyna-Soar return vehicle. This production model is designed to destroy Soviet satellites and orbital interceptors. In practice, it’s also used to ferry American saboteurs to Soviet spacecraft.
But American and Soviet conscripts might find they have more in common with each other than with the nations of Earth that have ejected them from the cradle of humanity.
This is one of my early concept sketches for Fate Space. I’m having a ball working on these settings with the Evil Hatters and look forward to presenting you with the complete work! You’ll see more as the project takes shape!
We stand now at an amazing moment in the history of our people. Just a 18 herds of migrations ago, our people were unable to build meaning with our hands, for we had neither the digits, nor the consciousness, to build. But here, now, all herds of the Southern Steppe share those genes, and the herds of the Northwest are adapting as well, with genes gained from when our migrations meet during rut. Those hatchlings without these genes, fail and die before reaching personhood; or, reaching personhood, fail to find carriers for their eggs. Just one herd of migrations ago, we would have left them to die of exposure, or be consumed by our old threat, the cleavers.
In March, 2014, I announced the launch of the Mobile Frame Zero 002: Intercept Orbit (originally, Alpha Bandit) Kickstarter. I had high hopes, as my three previous Kickstarters had gone well, succeeding with between 300% and 900% of my cash goal. Instead, the project wound up testing my limits as a creator and seriously, adversely affecting my mental health.
At the beginning of Blade Runner, Captain Bryant tells us that (editing errors aside) four replicants have escaped their restraints and have flown to Earth. The oldest of them is Roy Batty (incept date: January 8, 2016), followed closely by Pris (February 14, 2016). Of the replicants, they’re emotionally closest to each other; where Zhora and Leon seem to be living together as a matter of convenience, Roy and Pris seem to be traveling and living together because they like each other, they miss each other when they’re gone, and they share an objective. But Pris is different from Roy.
The promise of private spaceflight brings with it the conditions of the socioeconomic systems from which it stems. By the mid-22nd century, there are so many private space operations that the asteroid belt and many of the minor bodies of the solar system are crawling with mining operations. Their primary function is not to send their goods back planetside — such an endeavor requires more ∆V than it’s worth in most cases — but to supply other interplanetary operations.
When I wrote Human Contact in 2010, one of the elements I lavished attention on was Kefo Rn, the language of the Academy. Now that Human Contact is out of print (though available as a PDF to patrons of my Patreon), I want to make sure that these ideas are here for everyone to play with.
When its creators, pioneers in linguistic cultivation, first designed Kefo- Rn two centuries ago, they invested the language with several core principles that have endured ever since.