The Homeworld Saga – how it began
After this point I moved on to creating ‘Elementals’ – see those pages for the next part of the story.
What follows is a chronology that’s best read from the bottom up…
Writing is still frustratingly slow – if I could find a better way to do this, I would jump at the chance to uprate my word count. But for the moment, it’s still the pen-and-paper, then-transcribing-to-laptop method.
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The new form of ‘Homeworld’ is coming along nicely, with the conflicts between the three genders of aliens forming most of the interest instead of (as was before) the technology.
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Now integrating the new aspects of the species into the story – this involves quite a lot of re-writing, but it’s not something that can be done afterwards. It’s now an integral part of the story..
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My aliens are now a three-part species, the result of an integration with another similar genus and a necessary survival tool. I’ve now brought them back ‘up-to-date’ to establish their modern society.
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Continued to develop the physiology of the aliens by ‘retrofying’ them – taking them back to their most basic evolution and establishing how they would have survived in the wild.
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So once again I moved the story, back to an alien system, but it had evolved greatly, thanks to the idea that the aliens had developed on a world so different to our own. How would a mammalian species manage to survive on a world with a 243-day rotation?
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Whilst reading a self-editing book by Orson Scott Card, I realised that the author, who suggested that the greatest aspect of sci-fi and fantasy was the wonder of the mileu, was right and that to have my story set in our own Solar System was not such a great idea after all. It would have worked, right up to the point where the reader put all the little clues together and realised ‘Oh…that’s here! How ordinary!’
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Developed the alien’s physiology so that they could conceivably have developed on a slow-turning world.
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Had a startling revelation regarding my Sci-Fi adventure. As it involves (basically) beings from an inner world fending off the remains of a destroyed planet in order to save their own, I wondered if it would be feasible to transport the whole story into our own Solar System, but (the clever part?) set it 65 million years ago. This involved a lot of adjusting and having the aliens evolve on Venus, a slow-turning world that eventually suffered from massive greenhouse build-up.
* * *
The concept continues to grow. Where I am working (as a High School Technician), part of my work was to maintain the school’s fleet of photocopiers. This evolved into performing some of the copier duties for the teachers and when it was decreed that teachers were no longer to copy any work themselves (takes too long, you know!) part of that task fell to me.
However, I’m not complaining. Because of the wide variety of schoolwork I’m now copying, I am fast becoming the most well-read member of staff in the building, with the possible exception of the Librarian. In the past year I have learned all about; Biology (useful for developing non-terrestrial species), History (necessary to create a past for my aliens), Astronomy (useful? Duh!), Physics, Chemistry, Mechanics, Electronics, Nuclear Power Sources, Gravity, Food, Bacteria, Computers and so on and so on. More than one ‘extra’ copy found its way into my folder of ‘useful information’.
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Homeworld continues to grow, added to as and when I have time. Unfortunately the laptop, despite being portable, is a little unwieldy and is limited to 90 minutes battery life when I’m away from home (and any source of mains power). The best compromise, I’ve found, is to write on paper, then transcribe the notes when I have the time. Not an ideal solution, but it works.
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Became ill for about a week and whilst convalescing at home and unable to move about, I picked up my old Acer laptop, gathered together all my notes for Homeworld and entered them onto a Word document in chronological order.
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Prior to 1999
I had accumulated (and begun to write) many story ideas since I was at High School, but none really lasted apart from one…
I’d been scribbling a particular ‘End-of-the-World’ saga for years, one that began with the idea that a ship packed with cryogenically-suspended aliens entered tour Solar system, looking for a new world to colonise.
This race had fled their own system after a Rogue Sun had destroyed their own home. Their ship was programmed to seek out a world similar to theirs and ensure that it would be suitable for colonisation. Unfortunately for us, their world had a CO2 atmosphere. So the ship landed in Antarctica (where the temperature was comparable to that of the HomeWorld) and took it upon itself to begin the massive job of converting the atmosphere. This required vast amounts of energy – which the ship procured by setting off our nuclear weapons and absorbing the blasts. Power Stations across the world were similarly overloaded and consumed.
Not good for us.
Rather fanciful? Probably. Realistic? Maybe not.
But as the story of the human beings that struggled to survive in this rapidly-changing world grew longer and longer and I began to wonder where it was going, the idea of what exactly had befallen these aliens in the first place began to grow in my mind. My (still under-developed) Muse toyed with it and from that grew the idea of the Homeworld Saga. Notes and ideas began to accumulate until the End-of-the-World part of the tale faded from the schoolbook pages upon which I had devised it…