That Moment When…

You can’t sleep so you work on the back story for your gaslamp fantasy idea, and realize that you need to invent an extra daughter for Queen Victoria, in the 20-month gap between Princess Helena and Princess Louise, to be the mother of one of the characters in the gaslamp fantasy.

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Real Estate Website That Lists Castles For Sale

I suspect I am the last one to find out about this site, but it’s still cool. Great place to research castles for your fantasy novel, or just daydream about how to spend your hypothetical lottery winnings.

Also, here’s an interesting study from 2018 of how Lake Powell in Colorado suffers from water management rules that favor keeping Lake Mead (downstream of Lake Powell) filled, and by extension favors the lawns, swimming pools and delta smelt of California, the most populous area supplied by Lake Mead.

Where Did THAT Come From: Essem and Co, Ularti

Ularti, the owner of the tramp freighter Vanner, keeps Jetay and Khed in indentured servitude, and is one of the main antagonists in Shadow Captain. Jetay’s story arc, as previously told is that of the drifter Drafted Into a Good Cause, and frequently in that arc, there’s a character who the drifter used to work with, who represents the pull away from the Good Cause. I didn’t have a good sense of what that might be in this case, until I hit on the “Hansel and Gretel” framing for Jetay’s situation.

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Where Did THAT Come From: Samar, the White Knights, and the Red Knights

The White Knights are largely my response to the Jedi: a fallen order of psychic warriors formerly revered for their nobility of character, now hated and propagandized against. They were called Paladins, and the Red Knights were called Pioneers, until the early stages of editing Shadow Captain, when I decided these names would cause too much confusion with the Partisan faction in the same story. Akira Kurosawa, although certainly extremely gifted, didn’t have quite as much influence on me as Howard Pyle and the Story of King Arthur and his Knights, so that accounts for some of the differences between the White Knights and their inspiration, the more samurai-influenced Jedi.

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Kindle Vella is Here!

Mauti and her brother Embo have had their memories damaged by an evil psychic. Now Embo is desperately traveling from planet to planet in search of his missing fiancee, and Mauti is trapped in a dead-end job working for a shady politician. The mysterious duelist Roukazor may be Mauti’s only chance of escape, but Embo thinks Roukazor is the one who attacked Mauti’s mind. Can they trust him? They may have no choice if they want to survive….

Vella is a new piece of the Amazon/Kindle family, geared towards serialized fiction. I’ve started a serial called Thorn Master, set in the Star Master universe. It deals with the adventures of Roukazor and Mauti, the parents of Shenti, the mysterious spy from the Star Master series. This takes place about 27-30 years before the events of the first Star Master book. You can read the first couple of episodes for free here. I am currently working simultaneously on Thorn Master and Star Master Book 2, and hope to have the first draft of Star Master Book 2 completed later this summer, with an eye towards publication somewhere between December 2021 and February 2022.

Currency of Settled Space

In the Star Master universe, Settled Space is inhabited by humans who were abducted from Ancient Egypt by noncorporeal beings several thousand years ago. The people of Ancient Egypt used barter instead of currency, but they seem to have expressed the value of barter-items in terms of quantities of gold (and later, silver).

Unlike its parent culture, Settled Space has actual currency and coinage, backed by gold. Even so, it’s worth noting that most money in Settled Space moves around digitally through bank accounts, debit cards, etc. Two of the major currency unit, the deben and the qedet, are derived from Ancient Egyptian weights. The smallest unit, the bajat, may be derived from the Egyptian word for bee. Below, you can see the values for the deben, qedet, and bajat expressed in imperial ounces (oz.) of gold. You can also click on this link to see the current price of gold per ounce, which will give you a better idea of what debens, qedets, and bajats would be worth in the currencies of our world.

Deben90 oz. of gold
Qedet9 oz. of gold
Bajat0.0001 oz. of gold
Currency Units of Settled Space