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Bring a silicon-based lifeform to Earth and it would start to be eaten by some bug which is ubiquitous but unnoticed by us because it only eats rocks; take an Earth lifeform on the reverse journey and the equivalent thing happens. Find host's earliest works, then re-examine it and spot the hidden references that don't hit all these tropes.

Ohh, this is good - trust me, it passes all the trope tests. I wouldn't suggest it otherwise. The only shocking trope is the actual straight story for them! And, even more hidden is the implication that the genocide by Culture Minds was deliberate. You sure about that? I think you are seeing something that isn't there But, I suspect you want to see that, so you manufacture it Inscriptions, books, hard tablets, etc - how to read? Until someone realises they have a Periodic Table in front of them And that start is enough to "break the code".

In a nominative-accusative language like Russian , A and C are in the same case, B is in another. English is like this with pronouns. Slavery, torture, war, genocide, poverty, settler-colonialism, empire, aristocracy, dominance -- oh my! Is it possible to hold a space opera reader's attention without easily recognizable grotesqueries drawn from history? Maybe not. I certainly enjoyed him. I don't think he ever wrote a space opera, though. Even my adored Iain M. Banks always wrote books mostly about the Culture's Necessary Heroic Space Violence, with only bits of ordinary life woven in.

There is of course an implied multitude of cooks, maids, miners, craftsmen, farmers, imperial subjects, etc. Writing this, I'm reminded also of Jo Walton's Just City series, and the philosophers' neglected servants whose significance is initially ignored. Use of Weapons was never a Culture specific novel until later that Z got uplifted by SC to fight their wars.

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Rest of comment left intact because it's a contribution to the discourse. In my case that would be a really intelligent pigeon rather than a cat - I can "read" pigeon it's mostly visual; hearing the coos is optional; they add emphasis but you can pretty much fill them in yourself and also write it in words; "speaking" it presents insuperable anatomical difficulties pretty fluently.

When it comes to representing a conversation with a really intelligent pigeon, it certainly involves some written pigeon, but in a manner analogous to "Jamila looked at Henry over the top of her spectacles" and the like. The actual interchange of ideas is represented as if the pigeon was speaking English, and it is not clearly stated whether she actually is, or is using standard pigeon with an extended vocabulary, or is using telepathy, or some combination of those. I agree entirely about your Piraha example.

In the real world I'm not sure how far I accept the kind of theories about language that it works on, but I'm happy to assume they're solid for the purposes of the story. Things are somewhat similar with the matter of humans and aliens learning to communicate: while the details of the process don't need to be set down, the slow growth of understanding - and the accompanying subtle misunderstandings - could form a useful thread of the plot.

Planetary days and alien sleep cycles are always coincident with human; the humans will always arrive on-planet in a suitable time-zone, and never suffer "jet-lag" Kinda done with Alien Nation, that whole curdled milk thing, but never really done. Stross: Enjoyed both linked articles and am new to the site , which is going to take up my next few weeks. Thanks for the reply. Yes - it is one of those things where "go hard over the other way" can be an option: make the whole plot all about it.

That could be great. In the current context, though, I'm not sure how much room it'd leave for the space operatics note that I haven't read the book you cited, so I could be going sideways here Aliens sleep, and don't think it at all weird that humans have to spend a third of their lives dormant. It's a shame you have to do something new. I have a feeling that the full-length novel of Palimpsest may never be written now. To be fair, we've heard of Ponzi schemes on this planet, but that doesn't stop people falling for them, even en masse and at high governmental levels.

And btw the next time you see Hannu, he owes you a pint He made my buy on release list And while he has written the most modern take on SF, he hasn't been well rewarded by the Hugo's et al. Most aliens tend to follow that trope, and even when the author throws in some other physical design for a spot of colour, the cognition still tends to be human.

If you can do the space opera thing, then there's plenty of resources to pluck unopposed, and plenty of land, if you want it. About the only valuable thing is sentient intelligence though even that's questionable and thus war is much more about memes, getting others to do your bidding, and control. And for that you don't need lasers, you need psychologists and marketeers. Pirates as marketing exec - admittedly not a massive leap. Oh I agree. I learned from my pet pigeon years ago about how important body language is, and I can still speak pigeon reasonably well, although it annoys the local feral birds no end.

The only reason to use a cat as an example is because rather more people have cats than have pigeons, sad to say. Even though cats don't do body language to quite the same degree, I suspect rather more people here have had conversations with their cats. The big thing about chromatophores is that I thought it was going to be hard to write, and it turned out to be easy, at least for me. Perhaps I'm wired weird, but translating body language into text by intermixing symbolism with intent worked out very easily. Or not. What don't they have? What magic wand haven't they been able to invent?

Their population will increase until it hits some limit; what was that limit? Are they just hitting it, or did they hit it long ago? Humans are descended from colonists from another planet who just coincidentally had gene sequences closely similar to those of earth animals. Assuming you're at relatively close ranges, your target covers a large distance in a small time. Assuming at least part of your laser is pivoting on a mount to track the enemy, don't you get to a point where either it physically can't spin fast enough, or requires a huge motor that torques the ship in an attempt to track the target?

At long distances, even a slight misalignment will throw off the laser. Is there a point at which you can't get your stepper motor or whatever to move precisely enough to keep a beam on your smallish target, many astronomical units away? And of course, you need to build your laser so that it handle both incredible precision and incredible speed readily. Is this even possible? I'm thinking about laser duels where on one hand, someone's "shooting across the system" or shooting between stars, as with Robert Forward's laser sail--that's a hell of an aiming job and on the other, the dueling starships flashing past each other motif.

It's all shiny lazer tech and stuff, I know, but I wondered if there are theoretical limits that would keep you from using laser cannons on your ship of the wall thingie. Toyotacorollary: aliens are accustomed to providing acommodation for human travellers even if they don't sleep, don't use bedrooms, or don't even use acommodation in any human sense at all. As well as the slightly strange but comfortable bed there are washing facilities, and also a toilet if the story is not about those strange mutant humans with no arses. The aliens also provide food, which is perfectly adapted to human nutritional requirements; it is either a delicious, b bland and porridge-like, or c unbearably vile even to look at.

The room also has a device which functions essentially like Google with properly-working DWIM and no spam results, and isn't too hard to figure out how to use; rather than simply not displaying certain of its results, it says BLOCKED when you try to access them and possibly also sets off alarms , and from the pattern of what's blocked and what isn't the humans get to figure out a Clue. He decided he could hold it until he got back to the ship.

There exist aeroplanes fitted with weapon-grade lasers. All the targeting and beam steering is automatic. The laser itself does not move, but a mirror mounted in the nose does. I don't know whether torque reaction is a problem or not but if it is it can always be countered by a gyro or something.


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At spacey ranges a laser is not much use because even with a "perfect" laser, diffraction imposes a certain minimum divergence on the beam. Without checking figures this results in a laser shone at the moon diverging to cover something like the area of Wales when it gets there, and you need a distinctly non-trivial laser even to get a return from the corner cube reflectors Apollo left there.

I think you're out of the country of hidden subtext , over the border and into head canon territory, there. Unless they're following the same course at nearly the same time and were presumably on the same side up until liftoff , such "contact" as ships make is likely to be a matter of passing each other at Mach , or so. A random meeting engagement in the depths of space are even less likely than similar on Earth's oceans, partly for just that reason, but mostly because the effects of orbital motion. Even if the opposing ships are heading for each others' point of departure at the same time at the same speed and acceleration, even the most hyperbolic orbits won't coincide, if we're talking interplanetary scale.

Maybe even at interstellar scales at STL speeds, I'll have to work some numbers after I get out of the bath. Instead, like pre-modern naval battles, they'd have to take place near the points of interest, e. Or pick an approach speed which puts them at an advantage over their opponent, whatever that might be.

Charlie, I worry that if you avoid all the cliches, it won't be space opera anymore. Heck, apply enough of your things to avoid and you can't even have far-future humans in space. Everyone has the same conceptions of personal space and what socialising is. One cliche is exponential growth into space, stopped only by running into other expanding empires.

Thing is, in nature, there's often a death term in nature. What if interstellar flight is possible, but long-term sustainable civilization is not? After some point, all the useful boron has been fused, the gold's not just in the sea-water but in the wrecks of mining bots around the system, all the petrochemicals have either been burned or made into plastic, and so forth.

Entropy has had its way, and there's not enough useful stuff left to keep civilization going in a system. It doesn't necessarily die entirely, but you don't want to try to get your ship reprovisioned at a post-civilized planet either. It's going to take tens to hundreds of millions of years for that planet to become useful again. Just adding a mortality term to the advance of interstellar civilization makes things a lot more interesting, as I noted above in comment 2.

In such a universe, colonization becomes imperative, and wars over high quality planets are not only possible but inevitable since daughter colonies of a mother culture will become competitors for future colonies of their own. It doesn't even require evil, either, just thoughtless, exponential growth, compassion that tries to save as many people as possible, and leaving those who can live within limits marooned on the used-up, post-civilized planets that are "backward" of your cone of progress, rather than settling for a single planet.

Attack Vector: Tactical is the hardest science fiction space combat game I know of, and includes several "Science Behind the Rules" sections. The one on lasers assumes that with about ten times better lasers than we have today, you can put signficant amounts of energy onto a square metre spot at ranges up to km or so before the beam starts to diverge. And it's microsecond pulses, not a slow burn through, so you don't need to track and hold. I had real trouble with this trope in Robinson's I still have a sneaking suspicion that the solar space-going economy is somehow ultimately dependent on the agricultural surplus of the Lowly Terran Peasant, despite the heavy-duty Handwavium of Robinson's standard And Then A Miracle Occurs economy.

And so the Generous Spacers unleash predators that nobody is prepared for back on Earth 'surprise, aren't we wonderful? Sadly, the natives have the gall to be less than grateful Regarding languages, just because I think this will make sense to some people here: two languages in which I have had formal courses are Spanish and Japanese. I once told my Japanese instructor that Japanese grammar was like Spanish in reverse Polish notation. He had a science background and thought it was very funny. I was mostly thinking of Postpositions vs. OTOH, it's kind of insane that we ship saw-logs from, for example, North America to saw-mills in China, then ship lumber back to hardware stores in North America Always puzzled me why people think they are being clever remembering Newtonian mechanics when talking about zero-g sex If you can push your partner away, they can stop themselves being pushed away with exactly the same force.

I mean, exactly how powerful do you think your dick is? Most cultures didn't experience "culture shock and negative effects" from merely having first contact with a more advanced species. They experienced negative effects from being freakin' invaded and colonised. In a way, only democracy would make sense.

Provided there are signal markers that influence the behaviour of other workers. Hives are not hierarchical, the "Queen" isn't a If so, "nice" try. For certain values of I really couldn't figure out what Robinson was trying to do with The whole book seems to be an exercise in writing the most unsympathetic morally-good character ever. Sleep: Except that, as far as we can see, all vertebrates do it? Do other non-chordate animal species sleep? Not such a "worng" trope, perhaps. People will always live on planets.

They're only in space to go from one gravity well to the next. Eric Lerner from Lppfusion. Interesting and educational. Last couple of days I have been rewatching Double Zeta Gundam - it is very good fun space opera anime, although not as good as Legends of Galactic Heroes, Gundams are much more approachable and fun. Although not in written form, my biggest annoyance is the way microgravity appear and disappear constantly as the animators wish inside the ship which does not rotate and Gundam universe does not have artificial gravity tech.

Other is the instant mecha to mecha comms, even between enemies Gravity inside ships is not well handled in many space opera, usually artificial gravity is assumed. Some books use this as good plot points. Most people are not interested on new things but old and comfortable things that make them warm and happy. I love Hannu's books but they take some effort to take in if you are not adventurous.

The Quantum Thief will probably remain one of mynall time favourites. Exponential growth doesn't require empire building. Each time a colony is built up to the point where it can send out colonies of it's own, all it requires is an inevitable percentage of "people" that want to migrate to "greener" pastures, and the persistence of knowledge of the know how to do it. While some sapient cultures in a randomly generated galaxy will choose to stay at home, inevitably some will want to expand. And while some will want to leave alone alien sapients they encounter, inevitably some of them will want to eat them or use them to build pyramids or something--unless life or sapience is very rare.

In which case expansion will be inevitable until the galaxy is full. A few light years is no big deal. A few million light years is no go. And while boron may be the simplest way to do fusion and the first done, surely on future-historical time scales direct hydrogen-hydrogen fusion engines will become common. Cultures will tend to migrate to the most common types of materials. That's why we insulate wiring with polymers synthesized from oil rather than using gutta-percha or natural rubber.

Some of these are repeating Charlie's points in different terms; what I'm hoping to contribute here is really the mid-level headings, with the bottom level just being examples of how to apply them. There are probably other things space travel is "basically just like" as well. Let's define space opera then. Here's a try: "Fiction involving interstellar travel by story characters as part of the story rather than merely as background " This would exclude stories that occur only in one solar system, such as the earlier books of The Expanse, or The Prefect.

It would also exclude Neptune's Brood. And all three of those are clearly space opera in character. I know it when I see it.

An Opera from the Indian Ocean

But you can't just say "Fiction involving space travel I think a whole space travelling or star travelling background culture is also a prerequisite. A culture in which space or star travel is commonplace, and the space or star travel of the characters is no big deal.

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I know, but I wondered if there are theoretical limits that would keep you from using laser cannons on your ship of the wall thingie. Short answer, yes. If you want to get into crunchy examination of technologies which don't technically exist yet, there's a classic discussion on the laser versus missile question over at Rocketpunk Manifesto: Battle of the Spherical War Cows: Purple v Green. It's worth a read if you're into that kind of thing and many of us here are. I propose that Mind reading is forbidden for Minds because Minds have a built in and irrational love for biological humanoids that underpins the entire Culture.

It's a consequence of how the very first Minds were originally created, an evolutional scheme that still isn't understood, so new Minds are just replicated from designs that are known to work, though embellished on the outside. Minds that read minds risk having that core corrupted.

But Consider Phlebas is not about genocide so much as it is about simple extinction. The extinction of the crew of the Clear Air Turbulence Banks spent a paragraph telling about each of the 20 or so characters then killed them various ways--why? The Changers were rare at the beginning of the Culture-Idiran war, the Culture was not ill disposed to them, and their asteroid was in Idiran space.

All we know is they were wiped out as a species during the final stages of the war. And the Idirans were not. The Idirans probably wiped them out. There's even a Mind out there somewhere named Bora Horza Gorbochul. At least the Culture mourns. I just wanted to pick up on Apollo 13 because it illustrates some of the massive complexity involved in building a real working spacecraft, as opposed to a Space Opera starship based on various sources Problem 1: The structure containing the service module's Oxygen Tank 2 was partially dropped during assembly — denting an outflow pipe that was only used when draining the tank after a pre-launch test i.

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Solution we are still on the ground here! Problem 2: Due to a miscommunication between subcontractors, the heater and thermostat in the oxygen tank had been rated at 28 DC Volts rather than the 65V used on the rest of the spacecraft. The tank reached approx. Problem 3: The temperature gauge on the tank was only calibrated up to the notional temperature the tank should have reached. Whose insulation has melted. Cue spark, fire and massive explosion. The mechanical shock also caused a failure in the plumbing of Oxygen Tank 1. Ships that easily accelerate to near-lightspeed happens, time dilation happens, interest on money in bank accounts happens, yet people who work on these ships are still poor.

No-one seems to start a modest saving account then return in years after a trade run and retire. Some manner of anti-senescence technology was created in around the year , but is never perfected and fails at just the wrong moment. Only the very rich can afford it, and the peasants don't rebel. Everyone is immortal, families continue to have 2. Overpopulation never destroys worlds or leads to war.

You don't use a laser in a space battle. Let's, for the sake of argument, call them "plasma torpedoes". Each one packs about 1GJ of energy. When it comes to space opera the ones I no longer read are ones with conflict based story lines. That's actually an easy one to answer, thanks to lasers as weapons being an actual Thing that a fuckton of research dollars have been spent on over the past few decades and which are actually being bolted to USN warships for sea trials as I write.

The laser itself is bulky, but you just mount it inside your ship's hull and point its emitter at a mirror -- — that's what you need to aim, not the entire weapons system, and it's comparatively small and light. Just ridiculously expensive to implement on the scale needed, using hardware in orbit. For every joule you deposit on the target, you need to dump about four joules of waste heat -- which is difficult, in space. The US Navy gets a get-out-of-jail-free card for the waste heat problem with point-defense lasers for warships because they're sitting in a special heat sink called "the ocean".

It's considerably harder to build a ground-mobile laser air cooled , and much harder to build a high-powered airborn laser weapon, which is why the F laser program is going to have some interesting constraints to beat. As for space-based, that's the big prize There is a very very special deleted scene in GQ where Dr Lazarus is shown his quarters: start at 2m20s and keep watching for at least a minute! The bathroom still brings tears of pain to my eyes. You don't fight a laser battle across many AU, unless your target is on a fixed trajectory and isn't going to dodge.

It isn't about how well you can aim, its about lightspeed lag. I suspect that once you get into light second ranges and an AU is light seconds you're not going to be hitting much. Using slow plasma toroids sounds like a less than great idea, because they'll have sharply limited ranges you don't get to stabilise a plasmoid for long , their effectiveness also diminishes with range and they are far slower than lasers.

On the bright side, they do provide scope for energy shields, and everyone likes those! Dave Langford and Brian Stableford took a stab at describing it in the gigantic monograph on space opera in the Encyclopedia of SF , but it lacks a coherent definition because it's not a tightly-defined form. I think that for a work of SF to qualify as space opera it requires certain features to be present. A sense of wonder is necessary as well. Jean le Flambeur is a classic space operatic anti-hero in the mold of Gully Foyle.

Oh, and re: languages, this may or may not be familiar to people here, but is probably relevant The site has a number of other interesting little articles on various SF tropes, and has a charmingly 90s aesthetic. The laser itself is bulky, but you just mount it inside your ship's hull and point its emitter at a mirror. But doesn't that point to the other reason lasers would be useless in a space battle: if you can aim it without melting your mirror, surely I can be shielded from it simply by having a shiny hull?

Conventionally lasers are used defensively because they are short range and quickly aimed while guided missiles are used for attacking because they are long range and can change course to track a moving target. Projectile weapons such as railguns and such are intermediate. The speed and volume of fire from them gives them a chance of getting through laser defenses, but projectiles can't change course and don't aim fast. So I'd put railguns on my "missiles" making them essentially AI driven fighters.

The best space battle ever written was at the end of Westerfield's "Risen Empire" and the beginning of "Killing of Worlds". There's some recent research suggesting that glial cells need a regular sleep cycle in order to get rid of molecular by-products of activity, and depriving a vertebrate of sleep indefinitely is damaging and ultimately fatal -- see fatal familial insomnia in humans.

But I don't know of any reason why sleep would be a universal characteristic of sentient organisms. I would guess that multicellularity is probably a mandatory pre-requisite for the evolution of a nervous system able to retain information about discrete previous states, but sleep? That's something else. Space gentrification! Consider that you can focus sunlight to melt sand without melting the lens you are focussing it with. That's by no means a universal bad space opera cliche. And you know what else? The "humans living on a big-ass space station" setting is dangerously close to a cliche, at least when it's done badly.

Space is a high-radiation fault-intolerant microgravity environment. It takes a paranoid degree of attention to life support integrity for humans to live there at all -- much like long-term life aboard a nuclear submarine, only with added happy fun medical conditions detached retinas, bone mass loss, fluid retention, muscle wasting due to microgravity. So the "tin wheel" model of space station probably isn't going to work very well, and the "spinning cylinder with big windows and mirrors" a la Gerard K. O'Neil has big engineering headaches differential thermal expansion cycling is the big killer for his s L5 colony designs, AIUI.

We might get somewhere by digging holes in big-ass lumps of rock and putting our spinning hamster wheels inside them -- it certainly provides a barrier against thermal shock and high energy cosmic rays -- but massive lumps of rock are kind of hard to move to where you need them. As for colonial planets, I find single-government planets relatively plausible for several reasons: It's a colony.

It was started up by a single group of people, who probably didn't develop their own traditions, religions or culture in separate see below. Unless you're dumping multiethnic detritus ie. Modern communications. Unless you are building a real "back to nature" colony with hippies who don't have faintest clue about misery involved , you'll have a reasonable tech base.

Which includes planetary communications and these days planetary internet. This promotes cultural intercourse and counters cultural divergence along homogenizing planetary culture. Most importantly, it keeps people informed about politics and allows for more-or-less immediate political feedback. Initial government. The Initial colonial government has a significant initial legitimacy advantage. Unless they fark up seriously, in long term and there is no possibility of even semi-peaceful transition ie.

And even in this case, the end result will most likely be either idiots keeping their jobs or parallel government personnel either taking over old government and dissolving the revolutionary government or dissolving the old government. I sort-of addressed this in "Neptune's Brood".

TLDR is that the economic implications of slower-than-light interstellar travel, colonization, and trade are far weirder than most authors realize. So the Wendelstein 7-X is a prototype anti-spaceship weapon? No, seriously, you got me at "internally stabilized using magnetic fields". That's some serious handwavium you've got going there!

When ships meet in space - They will always share a common vertical orientation. All aliens light their interior spaces with something that approximates the spectrum of a G-type star. Even if the light levels are much lower than is usual for a human, this is not an indication of different physiology, but more to do with the moral character of the aliens. Yes, you can have an anti-laser hull.

Of course, the individually-aligned hull plates are going to have to be mirror-finished about as well as the James Webb Space Telescope, or the attacker will find some flaw and begin to burn through.

Also, beware of dust. Also, this is going to play havoc with your ability to reject waste heat But frankly, the biggest cliche of all is ship-to-ship combat in space. I mean, combat, why? I can think of a better way to local stealth spaceships, destroy sensors and kill people EVA, using existing technology, and I don't see lasers being much use for anything else. Inter alia, a mirror surface provides a lot of protection, for a short time.

I liked the way that you pointed out that our current systems wouldn't work - Cordwainer Smith's system assumed a centralised empire - but am doubtful it would work. What I really do agree with is your comment that any viable system is going to be truly weird to our eyes! Just as our system would look truly weird to someone from the 18th century or earlier.

Not really. Of course, if I could describe it perfectly and show it could exist, I would probably be building it and it would not be SF or even a fusion project. It provides a very small amount of protection for as long as the top layer of the mirror does not ablate away. If the lasers involved only develop enough intensity at the target to melt it, then you can quite effectively defend against some small range of wavelengths eg. Once you start using things that are out of that range eg.

If the lasers involved are capable of rapidly vapourising material at the target rather than merely melting it, then even if you mirror is highly reflective of the specific laser wavelenths it will still fail very quickly. What you want from laser armour is something with a high vapourisation energy for its mass; shininess optional. But it would be only marginally less movable than a damn great lump of rock. I have used carbon fibre matting to stop laser energy at around 1kW per sq cm continuous.

It just glows white hot and re-radiates. The real weapon would have to be pulsed, and the real defense would be ablative armor. Ice, for example. Note that once the surface is ablated the resulting gas then becomes the absorber. Might do for a laser thermal rocket, maybe?

Ice might not be such a great choice for armour on its own, because if you've got a laser strong enough to vapourise it you'll probably get some cracking and spalling and bits of your armour that aren't being heated by the laser will still be damaged. Something more like pycrete might be better, but a nice big slab of carbon fibres is better still albeit harder to produce because it will absorb more energy before vapourising.

The amount of power required to do almost anything will be totally ignored. From the gigawatts of power your shuttlecraft will need to just pop back up to orbit to the megajoules of energy stored in a handholdable weapon that can all be released in a microsecond, let alone the continual 1G your spacecraft develops between planets, everything will have compact, clean, safe and reliable batteries or reactors.

Don't modern laptop batteries already have energy density comparable to a hand grenade? When the power module for your blaster says "don't insert the wrong way round or dispose of in a fire" you'd better believe it. Caution: Improper disposal of this energy clip may lead to charges as a war criminal, terrorist, or worse. PS i the only one, cried cause the first leckie ancillary novel was so good, then cried again cause the 2nd and 3rd were so bad?

Well, these things are often a little more complicated that merely antisocial nose wiggles - I had to re-read the book to find what I was looking for. Besides, she has never been to Schar's World; the tricky part about this problem is that Bora Horza Gobuchul has'. It might have been nice for the Culture to look after 'their' Changer, especially as not part of the war. But, the meta-narrative is that HBG is the one responsible for his species' end and the death of the female Changer he loved, thus the book is book-ended by the fantasy tale within it:.

The Jinmoti of Bozlen Two kill the hereditary ritual assassins of the new Yearking's immediate family by drowning them in the tears of the Continental Empathaur in its Sadness Season. Sro Kierachell Zorant. She was what they called a dormant Changer, one who had no training in and no desire to practise Changing, and had accepted the post on Schar's World partly as a relief from the increasingly warlike atmosphere in the Changers' home asteroid of Heibohre Horza was sent to Schar's World partly because he was being punished and partly for his own protection.

A group of Changers had plotted to fire up the ancient asteroid's power-plants and take it out of Idiran space, make their home and their species neutral again in the war they could see was becoming inevitable. Horza had discovered the plot and killed two of the conspirators.

No link, obviously - but that I kinda suspected this irony before a quick search hit it does say something about the cultural impact of SF. Heteromeles has a pretty good knowledge of biology. Millimeter bacteria only bend the rules, and then not much. Much better examples are the Myxogastria and Labyrinthulomycetes, though it is hard to see how they could develop intelligence.

And, of course, the largest single cell is an unfertilised ostrich egg :- However, the lower limit is pretty fundamental though loose. I'd also suggest xenophyophores. Syringammina can get quite large, and has an interesting and complex structure. Probably not much scope for intelligence there, either; they don't really live in a niche that would benefit from an excess of brains. Spectacle: the energies and speeds involved provide the author with lots of opportunity to unlimber his thesaurus and project his lambent, corruscating prose on the unsuspecting reader.

Also, jeopardy. It's an easy and obvious way to put the protagonist s in danger, for that vicarious thrill that make readers want to read the author's books. Also, also, write a good, well-researched space battle and you'll be brought up in discussions like this for years to come, which is good exposure for the brand. The most striking thing about reaction videos, if you watch a string of them, is their sameness. There are little stylistic differences — one guy will shriek and jump out of his chair; another will just sit there open-mouthed — but everyone basically has the same responses at the same moments.

The great lesson of the genre is that we are physically different — our couches, beds, hairstyles — but spiritually uniform. A grandmother sitting in front of a ferret cage is the same as two college girls in a dorm room. This is part of the appeal of reaction videos: they allow us to experience, at a time of increasing cultural difference, the comforting universality of human nature.

Which means that the most disgusting and offensive video ever to go viral was ultimately, oddly, a force of togetherness. Reaction videos are designed to capture, above all, surprise — that moment when the world breaks, when it violates or exceeds its basic duties and forces someone to undergo some kind of dramatic shift.

Watching a reaction video is a way of vicariously recapturing primary experience. The lighting is bad; the camera is almost always unstable; humans are reduced to torsos and elbows and foreheads and bellies; everyone is covered in denim. All of which combines to create a feeling of perfect authenticity: that we are deep inside the engine room of 21st-century America. After watching many, many reaction videos, I started to think of them as the 17th- century Dutch paintings of millennial America: our modest interiors rendered with total realism, our quotidian density captured in full, pure shots of undiluted lifeworld.

But authenticity is never simple. What does that smirk mean? Is she self-conscious about being on camera? Or is it a complicit smile — evidence that the whole video has been staged? Or it could be that authenticity is a more complex and interesting notion than we tend to acknowledge. Maybe its borders are wide enough to encompass artifice of every kind: self-consciousness, coercion, premeditation, deceit. Every image of a human, ever, is of a human reacting to something. We only have a handful left and if you want to join the party and see all the amazing things you better act fast!

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space opera 2 a great ocean of truth Manual

If you want to join the party, now is the time! We've also added PayPal as a payment option, yey! Blog Entries: 0 Joined: Feb 18, Messages: Last edited: Nov 1, Last edited: Nov 6, Be careful failing in your covert action will have repercussions at diplomatic level, etc. Ship construction: large shipyards can build: command ships and carriers Mediums can build: capital ships and transport Small can build: light ships -the amount of shipyards you have control how may ships you will max produce per turn of a class.

Tech level increase their production ability -Yes you can build more shipyards; the cost and time it takes depend on the roll and size. Last edited: Aug 18, Yearly Income: 3,,,, Expenses: 2,,,, Treasury: 3,,,, Going to war may cause a popularity hit. Yearly Income: 6,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, Treasury: 4,,,, System.

Yearly Income: 4,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, Treasury: 1,,,, System. Yearly Income: 6,,,, Expenses: 5,,,, treasury:1,,,, System. Higher chances of covert actions to be successful, higher defenses against covert action against them Negative Traits: Ar'krai: The Bothan are required to carry genocidal war on any enemy attacking them, If in a defensive war no peace or cease fire can be done if winning the war. Yearly Income: 4,,,, Expenses: 2,,,, Treasury: 3,,,, Yearly Income: 5,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, Treasury: 4,,,, system:.

Yearly Income: 4,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, Treasury:2,,,, System:. Ships recruitment and maintancement is 1. Yearly Income: 3,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, Treasury: 1,,,, system:. Yearly Income: 3,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, Treasury: 1,,,, System:. Yearly Income: 2,,,, Expenses: 1,,,, Treasury: ,,, System:. Yearly Income: 6,,,, Expenses: 6,,,, treasury:4,,,, System:. Yearly Income: 2,,,, Expenses: 1,,,, Treasury: ,,, System. Yearly Income: 2,,,, Expenses: 2,,,, Treasury Systems:.

Hiher trade growth, higher success from trade agreements Negative Traits: 1 Due to the Kendarians nature of being armed the populace will not be afraid to voice their opinions on what their district thinks is right. Yearly Income: 3,,,, Expenses: 1,,,, Treasury:1,,,, Systems:. This means that the Alliance can easily populate even the most disparate biospheres. Sadly, foreigners find this confusing, annoying and impossible to fully understand in all its complexity.

While the peoples of the Alliance rallied under its banner after fled from other conflicts across the galaxy, they are willing to give their lives only to defend their homes and families but not to attack the home of another. For such purpose, the Alliance relies only in their soulless war-machines, knowing that sometimes, the best way to defend oneself is to attack. This deadly machines will take the place of the regular alliance soldier in the fiercest battles and they will lead the attacks in order to prevent any major loss of life.

Marines cost and maintenance reduced Negative Traits: 1 Political Diversity: The administration of an entity composed by so many different people and races is something exhausting, time-consuming and ungrateful. This always leads to a constant state of tension between all the races that form the Alliance. It is her will that spurs the people onwards, it is her words that maintain order in the streets and it is her divine right to govern over all the living things in the galaxy, so she can lead them into a new Golden Age of Immortality.

Without her, the Alliance, its believes and the faith of their peoples will surely crumble and collapse into dust. Yearly Income: 4,,,, Expenses: 2,,,, Treasury:1,,,, Systems:. Furthermore, non-slave aliens are forbidden from landing on their planets merchants are required to use space ports to buy and sale goods. Yearly Income: 5,,,, Expenses: 2,,,, Treasury:2,,,, Systems:. Fleet assets suffer less thanks to automation; smaller army than standard initially, 2 Greedy politics can force the republic into un-wise scenarios if not properly contained higher admin cost for the home system 3 People and Senate party: The Republic is divided amongst these two main parties.

Yearly Income: 2,,,, Expenses: 1,,,, Treasury:1,,,, System:. Yearly Income: 4,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, Treasury : 3,,,, System:. C military leadership belive that only humans are intelligent enough to oppose them. Yearly Income: 3,,,, Expenses: 3,,,, treasury: 1,,,, System. Blog Entries: 0 Joined: Jun 13, Messages: The Horatio Absolute Monarchy Horatio Positive Attributes Loyal Colonizers Brave Cloners Negative Attributes Overcrowded Reliance on imports expensive ships Jingoistic Overview Born in the core systems of the galaxy, Horatio, an eccentric trillionare, grew tired of everyday life, and opted to venture out among the stars with the most beautiful and wonderful person he knew.

Discovering ancient ruins on an arid world in the fringe of the galaxy, Horatio was able to uncover ancient cloning technology left by a lost civilization. Bored and alone, Horatio turned to these facilities. Using his DNA for a template, Horatio created a race of obedient replicas of the most beautiful being in the entire universe - himself. Before long, Horatio had populated the entire planet with beings of his likeness. Completely loyal and subservient, these race of clones are bred and designed to carry out the will of their creator, Horatio. Society Horatio is viewed as the father of all the clones.

All have been created to be loyal and subservient to his whims. As one would expect in a society of servant clones, independence is frowned upon and all is viewed as belonging to their creator. Clones that persist in expressing independent thought are "reconditioned" or failing that, terminated. The Horatio are instilled to believe themselves to be the image of their creator, and as such all beings outside their collective are thought to be crude and ugly. Though relations with other races are tolerated for furthering the collective, they are kept at a distance and met with suspicion and sometimes resentment.

The overall goal of The Horatio is to spread the beauty that is Horatio across the stars and make the galaxy truly beautiful, at least as Horatio sees it. Home The home planet of the Horatio is aptly called Home. It is an arid world with three orbiting moons, sprawling with population centers and shrines for worshipping their creator. It is a place of great vanity and decadence but also shipyards, factories and research facilities.

Though much scientific theory and research takes place on Home and her moons, their is a dependence on resources not produced on the arid world. For this reason, diplomatic relations with the ugly races of the galaxy is not only desirably but mandatory. Last edited: Aug 16, BlackBishop , Aug 16, Blog Entries: 0 Joined: Apr 30, Messages: 1. Positive Attributes: Martial Traditions — Every male Hrothman is trained for war from the age of six.

Slave Production — Strict Slave Codes increase production. Emergency Protocol — Because of the State of Emergency that the planet is under, there are no limits to the power of the Council of Shah. Suggested Negative Attributes: Civil Discord — Years of war have made the warriors of each Shahdom distrustful of each other. Bloodthirsty - Hrothmen thrive on the battlefield. If there is no war stability will steadily drop. It is said that Hroth gathered an army of loyal men and overthrew the Cult of Magog who preached that the planet is actually a flying beast.

With musket and cannon Shahanshah Hroth brought the planet to its knees and executed every Cultist of Magog. The planet was renamed from Magog to Hroth. The realm split between his five greatest generals. Kaspian founded the Shahdom of Kaspar. Toular founded the Shahdom of Toul. Yartog founded the Shahdom of Yar. Herioc founded the Shahdom of Her. Juli founded the Shahdom of Julius. The Eternal War began in the year 4 according to the Imperial Calendar. Shah Kaspian saw that he would lose the war without help so he allied with his old friend Shah Toular.

Shah Juli was then defeated at the Battle of Boro in year 5, where over a million Hrothmen died.


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Shah Juli fled to his Shahdom to regroup is army. The war lasted for over two hundred years and saw the grandsons of each of the Shahs sign a peace treaty in after eighty million Hrothmen died in the war. The civilization advanced and border conflicts were common. However, after three hundred years, no war had happened. No Hrothman wanted to return to the dark days of the Eternal War.

That was until the coronation of Shah Kasparibn VI in He dreamed of finally uniting Hroth under the true rule of a Shahanshah. Kasparaibn declared himself Shahanshah Hroth II. The other Shahs immediately allied and mobilized their armies. The war was to be decided in one battle. This was to be known as the Battle of the Field of Allah, a name many had taken to calling Hroth the Conqueror. Ten million Hrothmen died and twenty miles of land was permanently scarred. At the end of the month long battle, Shah Yartobn V was the only surviving ruler.

He had the chance to declare himself Shahanshah, but instead he reinstated all the sons of the dead Shahs and returned Hroth to its pre-war borders.

Curious corners of a writer's cluttered mind

In the year in the Shahdom of Yar, a massive slave revolt took place. It quickly spread to every Shahdom and only through unity were the five Shahs able to defeat the slave army. A State of Emergency was declared and the Council of Shahs was established.