I have to post this in a flash to make it in time for #SciFiChat today.
Here is the summary Jaleta Clegg has sent to me, of what we have accomplished so far in #SciFiChat on Twitter.
Today, at 3 pm ET, we finish up the world building for the shared world anthology Flying Pen PRess will publish. Jaleta Clegg (@Jaleta_Clegg) is the anthology editor. What follows is her raw copy from my email.
Shared World Anthology
Change from last week: Travel between planetoids happens two ways – gates and ships.
Gates are similar to the pillar world gates Andre Norton used. They require magic to operate. Only 13 gates are known to exist. One is permanent on the marketplace planetoid. The other twelve are installed on different planetoids. Each gate requires a very specific recipe of magical paste in order to activate. The gates are limited in the mass they can transfer, making them impractical for most trade. Gate travel is controlled by the world where they are installed. All gates link to the marketplace gate, so any travel to another planetoid requires a stop at the marketplace first. So the marketplace owners are the ones who control gate travel.
If someone wants to write a story about a rogue gate or a planetoid that figures out a way to bypass the marketplace stop, I’m open to the idea.
Ship travel is cheaper and more reliable, but it takes much longer and involves many dangers. See last week’s post about aether ships.
The first anthology revolves around the annual (however we decide to define annual) cooking contest at the marketplace. The contest has two parts. The first part determines if a planetoid and its people have enough magic to operate a gate. Those who pass this qualifying round are invited to compete in the second round where the twelve contestants with the best magic (quality or quantity or strength or whatever) win the right to have a gate on their world for one year. They are given the secret recipe for that year that allows the gates to operate. This leaves lots of room for cheating, scheming, and conspiracies. Having a gate on your world gives your people a huge political and economic advantage.
The secret contest:
The world (we really need to invent a name for it) was shattered some time in the distant past. The fragments of that world have formed the planetoids, its air and magic created the aether that tie the planetoids together. The narrator/marketplace owner character has a secret agenda. She wants to learn how the catastrophe happened and how to put the world together again. The yearly contest is partly a way to experiment with magic to try to find the magic recipe/potion that will heal the world. The gates are linked to the shattered magic in a way no one fully understands.
These are rough guidelines and ideas. We are still in the process of creating the shared world. Ideas are subject to change based on the twitter discussion happening at #scifichat on Fridays at 3 pm EST. I’m taking liberties with some of the ideas presented. A final, firm outline and world description will be made available to the authors involved in the anthology. Some stories will need to be part of the overall story arc we would like to create. I’m happy to work with authors to make sure the world is consistent and the stories fit into the larger framework without smothering their unique voices. We will have five or six worlds that are described in more detail that all authors can reference as needed, but only a few authors will be asked to write stories of those worlds.
I will post the final summary here this weekend.