Wednesday, October 17, 2007

World Building in the Modern Age

Isn't this a handsome fellow or lady frog? It's an Australian red crowned frog and it's just been put on the endangered species list. Not much water over there at the moment. Seems that frogs need water to live in. Unless we get our collective act together, this froggie will join a whole host of other species that are dying out through loss of habitat.

I'm about a third of the way through my new work in progress. It's set on the planet Elyria. And the setting is more or less contemporary. By that I mean that is isn't high-tech futuristic sci-fi. Nor is it a medieval peasant state or a primitive culture. Having said all of that, how do you make it different without making it a copy of Earth?

If we colonized an Earth-like planet with humans, what would we change? And what would remain the same? How long would it take for there to be a distinctive Elyrian culture? How much would we use what we've learned about caring for the planet? Those are the questions I'm struggling with...not because I am trying to make a point about how our planet is dying--but because surely we would want to change a few things if we were starting over? So what would we change and how would that affect societal norms?

For instance, would there be wholesale recycling? Water restrictions like our country is facing in the south east? Would we have learned anything about a sustainable existence or within fifty years would we be back to the same-old, same-old?

Ah well. That's to deal with another day. Today, it's my turn at the Saga. Here's where Amarinda left off...

One of the sheathed men approached them. “Your majesty, the prophets said you would return. We are overwhelmed and wish to share our riches with you.”

Emmeline smiled. “Well, here I am.” This was more like it.

“I think they’re looking at me, Em.” Zoltan smiled at the little man.

“I am way more majestic then you, magic man.” She pushed Zoltan aside.

The crowd of naked villages gasped in horror. “Do you want her dead, your Majesty?”

“Hmmm...” Zoltan murmured thoughtfully as he looked at his estranged wife.

And I will now take up the story...

“Zoltan, who are these people?” Emmeline demanded impatiently.

“Em, dear, these are the Ee-Seas, my loyal subjects.” Zoltan smiled down at the short villagers. “Let me get back to you about that. It will all depend on whether Emmeline and I can come to an agreement about her unwomanly behavior.”

The head villager nodded his head solemnly. “Yes, sire. I can see that you have much work to do. Her clothes are the wrong time period and a woman should never have access to a peeler. The next thing you know, she’ll be insisting on having babies. You must do something at once or we’ll be forced to banish her to the valley of blue people. There will be no other course of action…or we could just kill her off. The unconventional people are very hard to manage,” he pointed out wisely. “Sometimes they are even beyond the powers of the Frog Queen.”

Zoltan motioned for Emmeline to hand the peeler to him. “Give me the peeler, Em. The headman is correct. I should have taken you in hand a long time ago.”

She stared at him incredulously. “Are you insane? Have you lost your tiny mind? A warrior never gives up her peeler!”

“So that’s you’re final word, Emmeline?”

“That’s my final word.” She stared haughtily down her beaky nose at him.
With a deep sigh, he whipped the purple box from beneath his robes and shouted, “Chrysanthemum” as he jerked the lid off. In a poof of purple smoke Emmeline disappeared as the smoke filtered back into the box.


Don't forget to check in with the Kelly blog at and the Amarinda blog at and then have a nice day!


  1. Well, I have to say I think Zoltan is being a bit bloody high handed with his treatment of our girl Emmeline.

    Deep meaningful questions you ask Anny. If I had a meaningful bone in my body I would answer them. Maybe Molly or Grasshopper will know.

  2. Meaningful. That's asking a lot. Okay, how bout employing the rain catchers AJ and other Aussie's have? Or waterless showers (personally would hate this but would make an interesting crime paradigm).

    Genius. And how come I hadn't heard of this story??

  3. You have...The Kama Sutra Lovers. You'll find the revisions interesting.

  4. OH! I didn't realize it was the same story. Very cool.

  5. I'm so excited by your blog. I can't wait to read your SciFi. You have such an incredible imagination and are so creative. (I am turning into quite the Anny Cook fan-girl.)

  6. Thank you very much! I see that I have your new book scheduled for my reading binge on Saturday. And then....a review! Heh. I bet that I'll be turning into a Jae Roth fan-girl.