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As some of you know, I'm working on a PhD thesis at the moment - hence my relative lack of activity lately.

On Friday, I submitted my first draft; after five years, the thesis is coming to an end.  I'm not there just yet, but I'm already thinking about what's ahead.

One certainty is that I'm going to plough a lot more time and effort into getting my sci-fi project off the ground.  The first two novels have been coming along very well prior to being paused for me to finish the thesis.  Now that's going to be increasingly out of the way, I'm hoping to get them finished before too long.  And then... we'll see.  I have other projects lined up for the sci-fi which I'm looking forward to pursuing as well.  One of these is an episodic serial.

What's clear to me is that this sci-fi project is going to be... rather large.  The setting has turned out to be much bigger than I anticipated when I started work on it.  It's going to take time to explore properly.  And if nothing else, it's going to need a name.

So as of right now, it's the Diaspora Series.

I'm looking forward to seeing what people make of it. :)
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: "Among the Stars" - Louis Viallet
  • Reading: The January Dancer - Michael Flynn
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Inquisition (again)


Sci-Fi: Casimir System by Leovinas
Sci-Fi: Casimir System
Finally in this batch of system charts, this is a chart of Casimir System, one of the most important systems of the United Earth Alliance, as well as one of the oldest.  It is also the home system of the main character of the first few books in the Diaspora Series.  As with the other systems charts, the background is stock by Smattilla; everything else is mine.  Let me know your thoughts. :)

Casimir System's three inner planets - later christened the Three Fates or the Moirai - were among the first extra-solar planets to be discovered by humanity during the Threshold era immediately before the onset of the Diaspora Humanarum.  As one of the closest systems to Old Earth, Casimir, at first known purely by its catalogue name of 82 Eridani, was also one of the first to be visited.  The first explorers to chart the system found the Moirai more or less as they expected - less expected were the next two planets out.  Unlike the Moirai, both were too small to be detected from Old Earth, but they were among the most Earthlike worlds yet discovered.  (Of course, the discovery of giant, verdant Mandalay would soon eclipse them completely)

Among the earliest targets for colonisation, both of Casimir System's Earthlike worlds were settled by the International Consortium in the final years before its monopoly on jump travel expired.  After the inital flurry to colonise Malinché and San Bartolomé in Tau Ceti, Mandalay in Beta Hydri, Orel in Alpha Centauri and Atlantaea in Beta Canum Venaticorum, the Consortium found itself stretched thin.  However, the lure of worlds such as these remained, as did the desire to 'stake out the watering holes' before other powers gained access to jump technology.  Instead of commissioning direct enterprises through its fatigued members and its own fragile outsystem holdings, the Consortium farmed out the colonisation of these later worlds to independent enterprises and startups in Sol System, with Consortium backing.  Three of these enterprises colonised Casimir System.

The larger, outer world, christened Artemis by the original surveyors, was colonised initially by an independent group led by two Australian and East Asian enterprises.  Situated in the outer portion of the habitable zone, its settlers were able to refine the terraforming techniques pioneered on Mars, Malinché and Atlantaea, and were able to completely terraform the planet in just over a Terran century.  The inner, smaller world was originally dubbed Hephaestus owing to its unusually large iron core, but was swiftly rechristened Aquitaine by its French-led colonists.  It was hot and dry, and the prospect of terraforming it completely daunted its initial French, Japanese and African settlers.  Instead, they pioneered a different manner of terraforming more akin to that on Orel and San Bartolomé - instead of making the planet as Earthlike as possible, they did the minimum required to make it permanently habitable.  Instead of a global ocean, its icecaps and deep groundwater were released to create scattered seas, the coasts of which swiftly became fertile, even while the rest of the surface remained desert.  Unlike Artemis, which was blessed with a brace of large moons, Aquitaine had none, relying instead on its vast magnetic field for protection from the elements.  One became a world of wild seas, cool forests and grass oceans, while the other became one of fertile floodplains and rainforests around warm, vibrant landlocked seas separated by endless steppe and deserts ranging from cold and Martian to hot and baking.

Thus, two very different worlds were born.  Artemis developed a true pioneer spirit as it became one of the DH's leading garden worlds, while Aquitaine, isolated by its lack of nearby bodies for infrastructure and punishing magnetic field, fractured into a mosaic of societies.  While Artemis attracted colonists from across Old Earth, particularly after the Jovian War, Aquitaine attracted fewer, mainly from northern Africa and the Middle East as they fled the Islamic Wars of Unification and the fraught creation of the League of Humanity.  A result of this displacement was the relocation of many persecuted societies to Aquitaine, including nomadic and seminomadic groups fleeing climate change and instability on Old Earth to a world where they could start their ways of life anew.

When the Jovian War ended, Artemis passed from Consortium oversight to that of Old Earth's Sector Earth Authority.  Aquitaine's milliard Oasis States petitioned for direct Alliance membership, which they achieved, on condition of creating a global polity.  Artemis, meanwhile, thinking itself on the cusp of independence, had to adapt to direct rule from Old Earth.  In the golden years of the Authority's youth, this was easy, but as the post-unification Troubles began on Old Earth, the Authority became ever more authoritarian.  The break finally came in 316 ADH amid the era of the Great Marches against the Reign of Fear after the SEA introduced the draconian Mandate Reform Act.  There was no unrest, no civil war - the Commonwealth of Artemis unilaterally declared independence and in the same diplomatic packet, claimed direct membership of the United Earth Alliance.  The resulting furore nearly collapsed the Alliance; the Authority was hamstrung from intervening by the distance between them and the pre-existing status of Aquitaine as an Alliance member, while the Alliance Grand Council was keen to send a rebuke to the SEA for its increasingly anti-Alliance values.  The result was a bloodless independence, although "rogue" elements within the SEA were thought to lie behind a long-running terrorist campaign by pro-SEA agitators within the newly-independent Commonweath.  
Following Artemis' secession from the Sector Earth Authority, many other colonies were inspired to follow suit, although in some cases, with tragic consequences.
Sci-Fi: Commonwealth of Artemis Flag by Leovinas
Sci-Fi: Commonwealth of Artemis Flag
I'm taking a break in my series of system charts to focus on something in particular.  This, then, is the flag of the Commonwealth of Artemis, a member of the United Earth Alliance and one of the Diaspora's most important worlds.

As with my other flags, this was done in Photoshop; the design is one I've been toying with for years.  The red and white are the colours of the Sector Earth Authority, from which Artemis unilaterally declared independence in 316 ADH; the yellow symbolises the Casimir System primary and emphasises Artemis' independence from Old Earth's oppressive regime.  The sun reflects Artemis' history as a colony founded by the International Consortium. The deer itself was the animal primarily associated with the the hunter-goddess Artemis in the Ancient Greek pantheon.

Artemis is the larger of the two temperate worlds of Casimir System (82 Eridani) - one of the closest systems to Sol, and therefore one of the longest-settled.  One of the first of the so-called 'Second Wave' colonies, Artemis was originally settled by twin Australian and Southeast-Asian enterprises under the coordination of the International Consortium in the final years of its monopoly on jump travel.  Clement, and with large native ice reserves, the complete terraforming of the planet was achieved in almost record time - just over a century - and in the years since, Artemis' biosphere has become one of the Diaspora's most mature.

Originally a major Consortium colony, Artemis passed under control of the Sector Earth Authority following Terran Unification at the end of the Jovian War.  For two hundred years, all was well (barring a small but vocal independence movement); the mood changed during the Reign of Fear after the passing of the Mandate Reform Act in 301 ADH.  In 316, during the turmoil of the Great Marches protests against the Authority on Old Earth, quite without fanfare, Artemis unilaterally declared independence and requested direct membership of the Alliance.  Its hands in the United Earth Parliament tied, the Sector Earth Authority had no choice but to watch the Grand Council strip it of its leading outsystem colony - the Commonwealth of Artemis was born.

The Commonwealth itself is an elective e-republic headquartered in the planetary capital of Providence.  In the hundred and forty-three years since its independence, Artemis has become one of the most important colonies in the Alliance.  Shorn of its ties to any of the Grand Council powers, as a direct Alliance member, Artemis is a key contributor to the Alliance budget and military, as well as its bureaucracy.  The rugged, inventive pioneer spirit of its original settlers remains a part of the planetary character, while its strategic location and brace of terrestrial Galilean moons make it a Diaspora leader in shipping.  Its major moon, Arethusa, is the site of a major United Earth Naval yard, and more than a few of the Alliance's major naval and legionary heroes originally hailed from the grass-ocean world.
Sci-Fi: Tegmeni System by Leovinas
Sci-Fi: Tegmeni System
Continuing my series of system charts, this is a chart of the primary binary of Tegmeni System, specifically the A-B component (the C-D component orbits too far away to be shown on the same chart).  As with the previous systems, the background is by Smattila; all the rest is me.  Let me know what you think. :)

Tegmeni lies at the heart of the Windward Reach, and is that Reach's dominant jump nexus.  As a system of four stars, all of which support planets, it contains one of the largest concentrations of Lagrange points in the known galaxy, and thus one of the largest concentrations of jump points.  Tegmeni A and B orbit far enough apart for each to have a small system of planets.  Between them, Tegmeni A and B support three temperate terraformed planets; a further one is a realistic candidate for terraforming in the future.  This fortiutous combination of habitable worlds and far-reaching jump links makes Tegmeni not only the largest concentration of human habitation outside Sol System, but also the leading light of the Windward Reach.

The three Tegmen worlds of Tanganyika, Kiranda and Parnassus are among the oldest in the region; all three were founded as independent colonies.  While Parnassus struggled with internal difficulties, Tanganyika and Kiranda squabbled for domination of the jump nexus.  All three joined the new Inter-Solar Treaty Organisation when it formed, ceding power to the Treaty's capital world of Van Arnhemsterre.  Dragged inexorably into war with the United Earth Alliance in the First Inter-Solar War, the three Tegmen worlds were collectively one of the main powerhouses of the Treaty.  Only briefly invaded once by Allied forces, Tegmeni was nevertheless eventually cowed - after the Battle of Menkalinan cut the Treaty in two by severing the Windward core from its Armward holdings in the Algolid, it was clear that defeat was only a matter of time.  The manner of that defeat - the brutal c-fractional bombardment of Van Arnhemsterre by an Earth Authority ship - was unexpected.  As Van Arnhemsterre struggled with rebuilding after that cataclysmic attack, the defeated Treaty agreed to disband.  Under Allied oversight, and in exchange for massive reparations from the Earth Authority, the provisional government of the Windward Hold founded a new Windward Federation, headquartered in Tanganyika's capital city of Touchdown, mirroring the new Armward Federation in the Algolid.  After centuries of de facto leadership, Tegmeni at last became the capital of the Windward Hold.

In the years since its creation, WindFed has maintained good relations with the Alliance, although in all Diasporal matters is scrupulously neutral.  This neutrality was sorely tested in the Second Inter-Solar War between a resurgent Alliance and WindFed's erstwhile Treaty partners in ArmFed, but it held.  Committing its efforts instead to developing the Windward Reach and exploring further to Windward beyond the Outer Veil, the leadership of Tanganyika - with the help of Kiranda and Parnassus - has ensured that WindFed remains apart from the slowly souring relations between the Alliance and Alignment to Spinward.  Whether the Federation is able to remain neutral is yet to be seen - a Third Inter-Solar War would spell disaster for the entire Diaspora.  Even so, Tegmeni is likely to remain a beacon of human civilisation into the future: it has the largest concentration of habitable worlds in the settled galaxy outside Sol itself, and its three worlds are collectively larger and more clement than slow, daunting Venus, cold, fragile Mars, and an Old Earth still recovering from mass extinction under the suffocating rule of the Sector Earth Authority.


Leovinas's Profile Picture

Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United Kingdom
I'm a young novelist living in the south of Britain, not too far from London. I write fantasy and sci-fi, and who knows, I may even put the occasional extract or image up on here. :) I also think a lot of people on DeviantArt do fantastic work; you guys rock!

I've been writing my fantasy since 2001 and my sci-fi since 2002.

Current Residence: Reading, United Kingdom
Favourite genre of music: Classical, Soundtracks, Symphonic Metal
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: iPod touch
Wallpaper of choice: Horizon by ~hameed
Favourite cartoon character: Danger Mouse

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FugasCZ Featured By Owner 5 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank u 4 :+fav:
Leovinas Featured By Owner 4 hours ago  Hobbyist Writer
Sure :)
Yin2252 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the Fave!
Leovinas Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Sure thing :)
MH11387sly Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2015
Leovinas Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Hi!  How goes? :)
MH11387sly Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2015
great! yourself?
Leovinas Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Really good thanks :)
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FirstDarkAngel2001 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2015  Student Digital Artist
thanks much for the fave on my latest work. :)
Leovinas Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Sure :)
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