yaoifunboi: Relates to novel project (Default)
The diary of Prince Rupert von Landbeck is a thin volume made of cheap paper, bound with twine, and is kept hidden between the prince’s mattress and his bedframe, the only place which the servants do not regularly clean. It does not bear his name or any other identifying marks on the cover, and it is kept in a barely legible scrawl, which is not made more decipherable by the Prince’s decision to write his diary with a lead pencil rather than using a pen and ink.

peek into the diary )

Here's the plain text, for those who prefer it
yaoifunboi: Relates to novel project (Default)
Here's the plain text of Rupert's diary.

cut to spare your flists )
yaoifunboi: Relates to novel project (Default)
In Of Other Worlds, C.S. Lewis argues that a science-fictional "leap into the future" is only justified if a writer is writing about a situation which could-not be illustrated in a contemporary setting, and where a historical setting would be either impossible or awkward. Lewis gives the example of the short story "Tom's A-Cold" as an illustration of a story that could have been set in the past, rather then the future- in the dark ages after the collapse of the Roman Empire rather then after the collapse of our present western civilization, but not without taking space from the plot to explain historical events and various Roman household conveniences.

However, I would argue that a story which could have been set in the here and now can profit from a leap into the future if the author intends to explore the ramifications technological change will have for the ordinary life of humanity. I am thinking of A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold in particular. The story itself could be set in the present or recent past quite easily. A decorated covert-ops officer has been discharged from the military for medical reasons but has found a high position in the civilian beaurocracy of his nation's autocratic government. He falls in love with a woman, a widow with an eight year old son, courts her, deals with multiple misadventures as his friends and relitives hatch their own plots, foils and a determined but repulsive rival, sees that his sovereign marries his fiancee without incident, and eventually wins his lady's consent to marriage. The basic plot could have been set in the USSR before the fall of Communism, or in any state with an autocratic government. Indeed, A Civil Campaign is primarily about taking the tropes of a Regency romance novel and putting them into a space-opera setting.

However, the story goes into great detail about how the technological changes Bujold has forseen affect things like courtship, marriage, and inheritience. For instance, uterine replicators have, in the Vorkossigan universe, made it possible to completely divorce reproduction and sex. The fact that this has allowed for people to essentially make disigner babies, and even clone themselves is explored.

A FtM person in this universe can be made into a fully functional man - one who can reproduce as a man- and ends up inheriting lands because of male primogenture. At the end of the novel he gets engaged to a demure young maiden and will soon be siring his own (male) heirs. Has he transcended sexism or reinforced it by forcing everyone in his society to give him male privalage?

In short, while A Civil Campaign could have been set in the present or the past, its future setting makes it distinctive and allows the author to take the plot in directions it could not go in a present day setting- it explores the ramifications technological development will have for everyday life. CS Lewis seems to have missed the exsistance of this sort of story, perhaps because it was not very well developed in Lewis' lifetime. He noted that he was so out of sympathy with stories which were all about some technological triumph that he could not judge their literary merit objectively, and in the 1950s stories about the effects of future technology on human life tended to be of this triumphal sort. In addition, science-fiction of the 1950s tended to assume that technology would improve but social mores would remain the same- later writers have not made this foolish assumption. In fact, Bujold almost seems to believe that technology determines morality. The Barryarans are a sexist, militaristic, feudal society because they got closed off from the rest of the galaxy and technology decayed to a medieval level. Therefore, they had to adopt a mideval society, and, while they've gotten the technology back, their society hasn't caught up with their tech level yet.

One wonders what Lewis would have made of cyberpunk? I suspect that he would have considered it depressing but accurate.
yaoifunboi: Relates to novel project (Default)
The Journal of Johnathan Hakkon is a black, leather-bound volume, with parchment pages. Its title is embossed on the front cover beneath the Hakkon coat of arms, a skeletal arm argent clutching a saber argent on a field noir. The book is locked with a small padlock, and sits proudly on the boy’s desk.

open the book )

This is part of a paired set of fics, its counterpart being "The Diary of Prince Rupert von Landbeck", which I will link to when I have it written and posted. Time permitting, this only the first entry in young Johnathan's journal, which he will record through his sea voyage and beyond. Yes, it is in a script font. The other diary will, assuming you have all the nice Vista fonts, display in a different script font to simulate the other boy's handwriting. The plain text of the diary is here.
yaoifunboi: Relates to novel project (Default)
Because some people find script fonts hard to read, I've put a plain text version of the diary below behind another cut.

click here for plain text )
yaoifunboi: Relates to novel project (Default)
Here is some pre-writing for some stories that have been kicking around in vauge form in my mind for quite some time. The RAF in space-verse was inspired by To Say Nothing of the Dog, in a very distant sort of way. The former prostitute turned vicar has been in my head for quite a while, but it took Bujold and Heyer to find a universe that she fits in.

RAF in space, relatively near-future, battling Celts and aliens who kidnapped them. Perhaps the Celts and aliens intermarried and formed a new species. Brands are mostly familiar from today- Starbucks and McDonalds’ are still around, but there should be new companies. There is only one major commercial American brewing company, BCM Inc.
Book 1: Space opera, about the General Sam Huston, a Texas Air National Guard space cruiser, and the brit fighter pilot who lands there after his own ship is destroyed.
Book 2: Romance between a 18th century vicar and a 21st century one- the nuclear beam cruiser Churchill is badly damaged, and makes and emergency FTL jump back to earth. Alas, its FTL drive was damaged, and the ship moves backwards in time as well as space. The male chaplain falls in love with his regency counterpart, who is attracted to him but is terrified of his own homosexuality, not unnaturally.

Universe 2: The New Regency- events have conspired in some ways to recreate much of the fashions and some of the social attitudes of the late 1700s/early 1800s. How, I will have to figure out.
Book 1: Female vicar, former prostitute, two kids, boy and girl, holds multiple livings and is not resident in any of them, is an anti-prostitution activist at the expense of her parishioners. Hero is a young reformer.


May. 9th, 2009 02:56 pm
yaoifunboi: Relates to novel project (Default)
Thank you Gi for the invite to dreamwidth. It'll be the perfect place to post my writing without worrying about deletion.
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