Space Opera Notes

So, as I have mentioned before, I do NaNoWriMo every year.  I actually did it twice last year.  Altogether I have written five “novels” though the term can’t really be applied to the stuff I have written.  An important thing to note though is that while my favorite genre is Science Fiction, all five of my novels have been Fantasy.  This is primarily because I feel as though Science Fiction has to actually have some sort of meaning for it to be relevant, while I am perfectly OK with a fantasy novel simply telling a fun story.  Since this is likely my last NaNo for several years, as I suspect I will not be writing one in Africa, I have decided to actually write a science fiction novel this time around.  Unfortunately this means having to deal with all of my many expectations of good science fiction.  Thus, in order to actually be able to start writing come November, I need to get the world hammered out during September and October.  I started working on this today and figured I should actually get some of my ideas down in some sort of concrete form so it will be easier to look back at them when I start to write.  

So, the first thing I thought about is what sort of races to have in the universe.  At this juncture I am not planning to include humans at all, and hopefully few things that are humanoid at all.  I am one of those people that gets all annoyed when the aliens end up looking like people, so I will be trying to be creative with my different races.  The basic idea for how many is that I will have five or six major ones, and possibly several more that are hardly detailed at all.  I will be thinking about what sorts of worlds would cause what sorts of aliens and going in both directions probably, both having a good idea for a species and figuring out how such a thing might have evolved, or having a fun idea for an ecosystem and then figuring out what sort of creature would end up coming off of that planet.  So far I only have three species’ that I even have any data on.

I decided that I wanted the oldest race ie the one that first got to space, and evolved into sentient beings first to be rabit like.  That is to say, I want them to be a race that evolved as a prey species, with all of their technological advances based on avoiding predators, finding some nice places to eat and getting the heck out of dodge.  I also like bunny ears because I think they look cool so the creature will end up with those sorts of ears even though I have no idea what the rest of it is going to look like.  Possibly kinda sebulba-like, with arm and legs swapped in positions on the body relative to humans, or maybe a four legged creature with a particularly dexterous tail or nose or something.   Even though I understand that my perceptions of the way creatures work is based on the limited set that exist on this planet I find my thinking constrained by the typical set of forms, so I will have to work on thinking of new ways that creatures might work.  

The next to races kinda play off each other a bit and are based on defying expectations.  The first is a race based on predator type creatures with a long history of constant warfare and strife.  Not only would the world be broken up into a whole bunch of little countries like our world, but because of the creatures deep understanding of warfare and the dangers of fighting along with the general predator urge to be cautious, this race would be amungst the most cautious and least warlike races out there.   They know how to fight, but they also know the cost of war and are committed to finding a peaceful solution if one exists.  Visually, I was thinking something sort of wolf like, but with a bit of a hork-bajir sort of vibe, with spikes or blades being natural parts of the body.  If any of you are all like, “This guy has a wolf race and a bunny race, obviously this man is a furry.”  Then I have a few things to say to you.  Firstly I have a lot of opposition to peoples opposition to furries, but that is a post for another day, and secondly, No, that is not what is going on, I am simply trying to create races based on things that are not human, and the only real things to base living things off of that are not human, are animal or plant or virus or fungi or whatever.  Anyways, moving along.

The final race is very different than either of the other two races.  Firstly, it faced very different environmental conditions, as I am imagining this last race as a race of intelligent floating blobs that would photosynthesize or absorb stuff out of clouds or something.  Basically, they did not have to deal with the usual predator prey interactions.  Furthermore, there communication was going to be very holistic.  They would make contact and then they would completely understand each others whole consciousness.  In any event, the kicker is that they manage to make it out into space without ever really having to deal with the idea of “different” or even having much in the way of conflict, aside from fast winds or whatever and they run into another alien race.  They can tell it is intelligent, but they can’t see its motivations and such like they can all of each other.  Then they go on a big xenocidal war.  Yes, I realize I’m ripping a bit from the hitchhikers guide, but I hope that the end result will be different enough that it was worth doing.  

I also had one other idea while I was writing the above and that was to base a race on either a virus, or like a fungi or any of those other weird single celled organisms you learn about in microbiology and hear about nowhere else.  Anyways, thats what I have come up with so far, I will likely be posting a lot about this stuff as I go along, as its a lot easier than coming up with a random topic off the top of my head, and it is something I really need to get done if I want to write a good story come November.


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One Response to “Space Opera Notes”

  1. Arphaxad Says:

    Your idea sounds like fun, and a real challenge. I look forward to hearing about your progress on this and hopefully getting to read the completed story some day.

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