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Setting: Galactic Empire, part 4

In part 1, I described the enormous scale of a galactic empire.  In part 2, I discussed the impact of FTL technology on the empire’s economy.  In part 3, I wrote about the purpose of the empire, and ways it could be managed. Now, I ask:  how does our empire maintain military and political control?  […]

Setting: Galactic Empire, part 3

In part 1, I described the enormous scale of a galactic empire.  In part 2, I discussed the economic impact of FTL technology on its economy.  Now I ask:  what is the point of our galactic empire? Why do some of the characters in the story support it and defend it? The empire’s purpose may […]

Setting: Galactic Empire, part 2

In part 1, I wrote about the enormous scale of a galactic empire.  If we’re going to turn that empire into a decent setting for a story, we’ll need to understand its economics. The first thing we need to know is what type of FTL (Faster Than Light) technology it has. Without FTL, the planets […]

Setting: Galactic Empire, part 1

A while ago, I decided I wanted to read some science fiction about a galaxy-spanning empire. I briefly browsed Amazon’s kindle offerings under “galactic empire”, but all I found was military sci-fi where the galaxy-spanning nature of the empire wasn’t a major element in the story. Thinking back to classic sci-fi, I’m only coming up […]

Reference: The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places

I found this book when I was cleaning out some closets in anticipation of another move. I think I received it as a Christmas present one year and promptly forgot about it. Now that I write a science fiction blog, it seems much more relevant. The book delivers pretty much what it says: science fiction […]

Setting: the middle of nowhere

I took the above photo during my honeymoon, part of which included a drive from Springbok to Augrabies Falls in South Africa’s Northern Cape. I drove through this terrain for hours, and tried to imagine what it would have been like centuries ago, traveling in an ox-drawn wagon, with no road or power lines to […]

Setting: Underwater Dome City – part 2

In part 1 of this topic, I introduced the underwater dome as a setting for science fiction stories. Here, I’ll discuss some of the difficulties of life in an underwater dome, because they can be used to give more detail and flavor to your story. First, you’ll need to build your dome out of something […]

Setting: Underwater Dome City – part 1

I wanted to live underwater as a child. I saw underwater domes on Saturday morning cartoons, but also in serious reference books predicting that by the far-off future of 2015, there would be cities inside underwater domes as well as domes on the lunar surface. I would imagine myself driving a kelp-harvesting tractor, piloting a […]

Setting: Berlin 1945

The forces of evil face off against … the other forces of evil. The city’s defenders are hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded with no chance of escape. Many of those defenders are SS war criminals with nothing to lose. If they surrender they’ll face execution or a slow death by hypothermia and starvation in a Siberian […]