Author Topic: The very first TVWP fanfic  (Read 5060 times)

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Online Goober5000

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The very first TVWP fanfic
Or maybe not "fanfic" so much as "in-universe exposition".  I wrote this back when the TVWP website was first brought online, and I don't remember anyone ever commenting on it.  Might as well post it up-front and see what people think.  It's useful information to know, at any rate. ;)

Quote
"Ever since ancient times, man has looked to the heavens and dreamed of travelling among the stars. The first manned lunar landing in 1969 fired the imaginations of philosophers and scientists alike, but it was another sixty years before humans finally escaped the gravity well of their home planet.... The 2026 manned martian landing proved the feasibility of long-range nuclear-powered spacecraft, and by the end of the twenty-first century humans had succeeded in establishing a self-sustaining colony on Mars.

"The twenty-second century saw a rapid expansion of the human species into the solar system. Excavations of the asteroid belt led to a boom in the world economy, and within several decades the inhabitants of Earth founded outposts on almost every major planetary moon.... In the year 2183, the number of humans living on other celestial bodies exceeded the population of Earth for the first time. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, humans came to call themselves Terrans to identify with their home planet.

"Out of necessity, the Terran colonies beyond the asteroid belt gained their independence from Earth within a few decades after their founding, due to the difficulty and delay of communication over such distances. However, the lunar colonies had always been closely tied to their home planet. In 2219, after a series of high-profile bureaucratic disasters, one lunar colony staged a revolt against the local Terran government. The rest of the colonies joined in, and a major war erupted. Because Earth's space-going military was organized mainly for defending against pirate attacks rather than organized rebellion, the lunar colonies were able to achieve a dramatic victory. The newly-formed Lunar Republic gained its independence in 2221, and Earth, ill-disposed to fight another war so soon afterward, granted Mars independence without much protest a year later.

"For the rest of the century, little conflict was seen among the various solar governments. Although each faction invested significant amounts of money in their respective militaries, the high cost of transporting an assault force across the solar system meant that the various Terran colonies lived with little fear of foreign attack....

"But the discovery of subspace in 2291 changed the balance of power in the solar system dramatically. The ability to move from one point in the system to almost any other point within minutes meant that the various militaries were no longer theoretical equals. A state of cold war ensued, leading directly to significantly increased military spending from every faction. Pirate attacks exploded, and incidents of diplomatic posturing became much more prevalent. Some factions grew closer together, in the case of the United Nations of Earth and the Jovian Coalition, while some factions grew more antagonistic, in the case of the Lunar Republic and the People's Republic of Mars. Indeed, in recent years the L.R. and the P.R.M. have taken to attacking each others' supply bases and freighter convoys, and their hostilities show no signs of abating. One wonders whether this open conflict will eventually escalate into a larger war.

"With the solar system seemingly a much smaller place than it was only twenty years ago, the tension between the various factions has heightened significantly. Such is the political atmosphere we find ourselves in today..."

--excerpts from "An Overview of Terran Political Climate Throughout the Space Age" by Michael Ellis, University of San Francisco, February 31, 2311. Unauthorized distribution or publication of this material is punishable under the Copyright Act of 2298.

 

Offline Snail

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
Cool, but I've read it a hundred times before on the website. :P ;)

 
Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
NOOOOO!!!

I've had just THAT concept for my own fanfic.

Damnation on you!  :lol:
And this ain't no ****. But don't quote me for that one. - Mika

I shall rrreach worrrld domination!

 

Offline Snail

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
Damnation you? :lol:

Good work, Goober, but will there be more things similar to this?

 

Online Goober5000

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
The intelligence entries in species.tbl are all very similar.

 

Offline Snail

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
Will we get them packaged up with the mod or can we get them sooner?

(begs)

 

Online Goober5000

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
Hmm.  I suppose.

United Nations of Earth

For generations, Earth has been the political, economic, and cultural center of Terran civilization. Humans still measure time in Earth hours, days, months, and years.  Though more humans now live on the other planetary bodies combined than on Earth itself, off-worlders still identify their nationality according to their ancestral Earth boundaries.  Earth itself is remembered fondly even by those factions hostile to the UNE.

The current government of Earth was formed shortly after the Lunar Rebellion, as individual countries recognized the necessity of a unified approach to interplanetary affairs.  Over eighty percent of Earth's nations formed the United Nations of Earth as a federation for common planetary defense and trade.  Invididual countries retain autonomy in domestic affairs but defer to a Council of Interplanetary Relations for diplomatic and military interaction with each of the solar factions.

The UNE's organization is not perfect.  Though the abundance of water has made the planet rich beyond comprehension, the degree of political infighting has made the UNE less effective than it could be.  The UNE has the biggest military in the solar system, but lacks the political will or coordination to conduct any significant military action beyond routine border patrolling.  This apathy was a major factor in allowing the rest of the Terran factions to obtain the plans for the Reliant destroyer.  On the other hand, an attack against UNE interests would surely result in disaster, since the UNE is capable enough to quickly crush any would-be invasion.

 

Offline Flaser

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
Looks like that changed a bit since I last read it (when I had access). When I started writting a Freespace RPG I even tried to incorporate the most of it.

Some points I would like add:

a) A likely economic exploitation
-Even though outright military conquest is a hard proposal the very harshness of space and the subsequent dependence on the homeworld for essential resources (water, air, metals, produced goods, fissionables, but most importantly food!) would render the colonies defenseless against economic blackmail.
-Producing food is a lot harder than one would think. Synthetic food can alleviate the problem, but isn't likely to solve it. You need vitamins, minerals and a number of essential amino acids - and a gazillion of trace elements - in your long term diet.
-The hardest to produce part for growing food is soil. (It's an entire ecosystem of its own with a myriad of living organism interacting. If it breaks down you're left with humus - great to enrich living soil, but worthless on its own).
-By 2200 most of these obstacles would be a thing of the past. In the meanwhile though, Earth could mercilessly tax the colonies for the needed amenities.

b) The likely exploiters
-Even now Earth is slipping more and more into the power of huge corporations that exists above and beyond nations. Their economic power is second to none, and their subsequent political clout make them hard to ignore. Unlike governments they aren't liable to the general public and their conduct has been often downright sociopathic (def.: a sociopath is one without compassion, fear and an abundance of selfishness).
-They're the only likely source to field the capita solar exploration and exploitation would require
-There conduct has been already questionable here on Earth, imagine what they could and are willing to do if there is no government oversight, and they can literally make everyone pay for every breath of air.

c) New Societies
-The workforce of the colonies would be likely recruited from poor nations with high enough education or the impoverished of developed nations. Why? Because once the basic infrastructure is in place, you no longer need extraordinary and expensive people just to dig, mine, and transport. The average blue collar worker will do and is a lot cheaper.
-Since the Moon is the closest and oldest colony the Lunarian population would be the most developed and therefore contain the greatest amount of intelligentsia and high society compared to other colonies.
-The Jovian colonies would likely have a still high concentration of space explorers (scientists, astronauts) as they're still more or less living in-space at the edge of the explored/colonized space.
-Mars is the likeliest contain the least educated and most impoverished percentage of colonists.

d) New Culture
-The environment one grows up in, has an immense effect on the psyche. One can't disdain the new emerging traits in these new "phenotypes" of homo sapient sapient with a shrug.
-Spacenoids (people who grew up in micro gravity - Jovian are the prime suspects, but the Lunarians also likely fall into this category) could live all their life in artificial ships and habitats.  As a result likely have an extremely keen sense of 3D space, an immense sense of economic interdependence. Their culture would run very-very counter to Earth's current all powerful consumerism: to them, consuming is a necessary evil; and willful and wasteful consumption is a sin. Without medication or genetic modification their bodies would be naturally frail.
-High-landers, or the Martians would have an even stranger set of standards. They are lithe and tall, they live in a semi-hostile environment, and while Lunarians could be natural agoraphobics; these people would likely be in love with space and the huge overwhelming landscace of their birth. The average Martian hill easily dwarfs our greatest mountains, and on the planet they can easily leap about like tall and graceful giants born to that world.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 01:12:35 pm by Flaser »
"I was going to become a speed dealer. If one stupid fairytale turns out to be total nonsense, what does the young man do? If you answered, “Wake up and face reality,” you don’t remember what it was like being a young man. You just go to the next entry in the catalogue of lies you can use to destroy your life." - John Dolan

 
Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
 :yes: Very well thought out, Flaser. I love to see people take a stab at creating a genuinely futuristic culture. Very few scifi authors have even bothered- most just clone modern society, which seems out of place. I mean, not everyone is going to speak American English in 2335. Only one problem:

Quote
-The workforce of the colonies would be likely recruited from poor nations with high enough education or the impoverished of developed nations. Why? Because once the basic infrastructure is in place, you no longer need extraordinary and expensive people just to dig, mine, and transport. The average blue collar worker will do and is a lot cheaper.
-Since the Moon is the closest and oldest colony the Lunarian population would be the most developed and therefore contain the greatest amount of intelligentsia and high society compared to other colonies.

By the TVWP era, menial tasks such as running mines will almost certainly be autmated.

Other than that, I wish he had had you to write our storyline. Oh well, I don't want to sound like a traitor.


 

Offline Flaser

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
:yes: Very well thought out, Flaser. I love to see people take a stab at creating a genuinely futuristic culture. Very few scifi authors have even bothered- most just clone modern society, which seems out of place. I mean, not everyone is going to speak American English in 2335. Only one problem:

Quote
-The workforce of the colonies would be likely recruited from poor nations with high enough education or the impoverished of developed nations. Why? Because once the basic infrastructure is in place, you no longer need extraordinary and expensive people just to dig, mine, and transport. The average blue collar worker will do and is a lot cheaper.
-Since the Moon is the closest and oldest colony the Lunarian population would be the most developed and therefore contain the greatest amount of intelligentsia and high society compared to other colonies.

By the TVWP era, menial tasks such as running mines will almost certainly be autmated.

Other than that, I wish he had had you to write our storyline. Oh well, I don't want to sound like a traitor.

Although I said blue-collar workers, I'm not speaking of the menial wrench in hand variety. Even now, that is becoming less and less frequent. These are programmers, engineers, technicians; agricultural and geologic experts on their own.

In the future, such tech-savvy eduction would be the bare essentials. These aren't dumb luddites hating the machine they serve, but unlucky souls bound to the machine that serves them and in turn both serve their masters. You can't keep such people under lock-and-chain, they're too smart for that by necessity.

Actually by comparison, while the colonists would be a lot poorer and exploited than most Flat-Landers (the people of Earth), back on Earth by education and knowledge alone they would likely fall into the average upper middle class or above.
The reason they're not and had to ship out to the colonies, is they were merely good or good enough, not genius or smart which is needed if you want to break into high-society. (Which usually also involves literally wedding into  either the still existing elected political cream, or becoming part of the very zaibatsu-ish economic elite that has long ago become cosmopolitan and international). Another likely reason is that to attain their education, they had to make some pretty hard economic concessions - namely they became indentured to a transnational company that financed their eduction.

However by the time the new rich of the planet are predominantly tought only leadership and management skills - or not even that. Our new rulers will be born managers, salesmen and politicians. While one might think of them as just another plutocracy living off our blood (sorry, my Communist heritage tends to make me think like that) - which they are - they are also very-very good at what they do.
After all for them, this is often a fight for the survival, while those on the very top play a slow game of chess against each other - moves taking decades - those in the middle are frequently caught up in a fervent battle for  on the merciless plains of business.

PS.: BTW I was involved in refining the current story. The original and bulk of the credit even now goes to Eisthmo for drawing up the storyline I merely chipped in my ideas for the project team to chew.
"I was going to become a speed dealer. If one stupid fairytale turns out to be total nonsense, what does the young man do? If you answered, “Wake up and face reality,” you don’t remember what it was like being a young man. You just go to the next entry in the catalogue of lies you can use to destroy your life." - John Dolan

 

Online Goober5000

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Re: The very first TVWP fanfic
Well, Eishtmo created the timeline and a bunch of story elements, like the Sagittarius; I wrote the Chapter 1 storyline and all the tech descriptions.