Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Give me wide open outer spaces…

The Peas are randomly busy with random business this week so I'm recycling an old post about setting from my time with the Criminal Minds blog. I hope you enjoy. We'll be back with more random wackiness next week!

Space… The final frontier… These be the voyages of the starship Fortune’s Fool. Arrr five-year mission be to explore new worlds and plunder their riches, to be the most feared band of pirates in the Andromeda System, to discover the dirty bilge rat what be stealing arrr rum and keel-haul ‘em, and to boldly go where no pirates have gone before!

This week I be -- ahem -- I am talking about a setting I’d love to write about but haven’t…yet. As you may have guessed, I’d love to write a novel set in space. But not just any space novel. I want to write about pirates in space. Think Star Trek meets Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Why would I want to write something like this? Well, first of all, it would be a lot of fun. I enjoy the process of world-building and a space pirate novel would give me the opportunity to literally create worlds.

Second, and this may come as shock to some, I like pirates. However, I have an extreme phobia of large bodies of water. (So naturally I live on the Gulf Coast. Yeah, I’m still trying to figure that one out myself.) My phobia would prevent me from ever writing a novel based on the high seas. Space seems a logical alternative.

Third, it would be a challenge. In my other works, such as BLOOD LAW, even though my main character is a vampire, she is bound by certain laws of nature -- mainly gravity. In space, gravity takes on a whole new role. Some planets have less where as some have more. Stars create various levels of gravitational pull. Black holes are the universal bullies. Years of research have been conducted on black holes. If I were use one in a novel, I’d have to be certain the science (for the most part) is correct. If not, I’ll be facing a mutiny of epic proportions.

Then there are the actual ships to consider with regard to science. Do they have gravity? If so, how is it generated? If not, what are the long-term effects of zero-gravity and how might a humanoid race evolve in such an environment? Are the pirates recognizable as humanoid or are they completely alien? The possibilities are infinite.

For me, setting is playtime but is also one of the more important aspects of the story. It’s vital to get it right. When discussing setting, it’s often easier to refer to films simply because of their visual natural. Would Bladerunner be just as cool if it were set in the Old West? What if True Grit played out against the backdrop of feudal Japan? Would Darth Vader’s famous line deliver the same punch if he told Luke he was Luke’s father atop the Empire State building instead of the bowels of Cloud City?

I don’t think so. Setting, as in real estate, boils down to location, location, location. Some of us just choose more exotic locales than others. So drink up, me hearties -- yo ho!

Peas out!

No comments:

Post a Comment