I started the new year by corralling all my menfolk and lecturing them for a couple of hours. My temper and patience went off like fireworks – with a helluva bang.
Speaking of explosions, I’ve been thinking about weapons systems on my swampy world from Smuggler’s Pursuit. First, it started off as a colony world, so thankfully they wouldn’t be stymied by trying to develop weapons systems from scratch. Naturally, gunpowder would be impractical on a very swampy world, but electric-based energy weapons, a standard in science fiction, would be even more so. A missed shot with a taser-type weapon in inch-deep water might well be disastrous. A flame-based weapon system would be significantly better than that, upon reflection. On the other hand, the weapons of the middle ages would be admirably suited for everyday use, despite the difficulties with metalworking.
Upon consideration, I may have to go with a plasma-based weapons system, though those are as standard sci-fi as electrically-based systems. That said, as in any feudal society, the truly effective weapons would be limited to the nobility and the overall government. It’s surprisingly difficult to successfully hold serfs (or slaves, for that matter) unless that population has no way of retaliating or otherwise rising up against the government, hence our own Second Amendment. Conversely, tyranny doesn’t work very well when the population is armed and can stand up for themselves. That said, men at arms for the varied nobility would be armed, if not so well as the nobility, otherwise the interminable little wars wouldn’t work. This is looking more and more like sword fighting in the street and a lot of oil for preventing rust, with occasional charging dragon knight with a plasma lance. As interesting as that is for a scene or two, it doesn’t work for a civil war that Melia and Sophocles would need to take seriously, but space traders, particularly the arms dealer my Smuggler’s Guild pair are hunting, would certainly take care of the level of technology available for both sides.
I’ve still got to figure out what the ‘bang’ was that set off the fireworks between the two sides of this civil war. Is it a disagreement about how far those genetic modification should go? Is it a normal feudal war about royal succession? I’m preferring a combination of the two. The House Saurian vs. the House Draconis, a War of the Roses, as it were. Now, will our Crandal be young Henry Tudor and Electra (book 3 or 4 in case you’re wondering) Elizabeth of York? I don’t know yet! In any case, if the Saurians are supporters of genetic modification only to the point of a lizardman appearance and the Draconis are in favor of much more extreme bipedal dragon-like modifications there would be an outward appearance differences by means of which adherents could determine sides.
On the editing front, the cover for Wendy S. Russo’s January Black has been revealed and it’s gorgeous and set to be released in January!
Isn’t it pretty? I’m excited for her!