Sunday, September 04, 2016

Distant Planet Journeying

I had a post idea today.

It was kinda following up the April Fools post from ... ahem ... April, where I got duplicated and sent off into space to fight for aliens.
It's an idea actually - I've thought for ages that there's a novel or a few in my head, looking to get out into the world. And one tenuous idea follows from the set up in that April Fools post. It also owes a lot to The Martian but ... different. Let's see :

A human, uplifted from 21st Century Earth, plunged into the world, nay galaxy of wondrous technology.
A human marooned on a mysterious planet, with only their own ingenuity (and a lot of alien toys) to help them survive.

Not quite sure where it would go from there as the escape we see in the Martian would need to be much different. As in, you would need to be rescued by the alien peeps as I think building your own space ship would be a bit farfetched.

I think I might have some fun writing it though. The reason the Martian worked well for me is because Mark Watney, central character, was writing his diaries. It felt as if he was writing to you, the reader, directly. A narrative needs explanation, or it will leave the reader behind. For my marooned human, the narrative needs to be explaining to the reader as it is leading the human through what they need to do to survive.

That's such a key narrative trick that so many authors I know use. They'll explain the intricacies of their universe, their tech, through an uninformed character with an expert explaining it to them.

But yeah - I can see there being things in there like :

3d printed parts. Although a bit more complicated than the 3d printers we have now. I believe our 3d printers are essentially laser cutters which slice a shape out of a moulded plastic. Good for some things, not so much for complex items.
Food ... this is a tough one. Our food is made up out of complex proteins, carbohydrates and all sorts of other things that plants are so much better at making than the machines we have. Our marooned human would need a steady, sustaining supply of food. Tough to get that into an escape capsule.

And then there's the narrative key too - having someone for our person to talk to. This would be an AI/VI who would guide our person into the basics of survival after crash landing.

Oh and there would need to be a certain amount of Magic in there too. You can't really get away from that in fiction.

Oh and NaNoWriMo is coming up too ... It's in November and it involves a challenge to write a full length novel inside a month. It's something I want to do at some point. There's also the other idea of the survivors of an apocalypse-to-be-determined who help rebuild society as scouts who explore to bring back materials for the colony ... Some of you reading this may recognise yourselves as characters if I write that one. Cos you're good characters, good people and I think you'd be awesome as part of a post apocalypse rebuilding crew.

And apocalypse novels can be good for atmosphere.

My head isn't quite in there yet though for that kind of hard thinking.
Not so much like that. But the concentration isn't back properly yet as my body constantly distracts me away.

I am healing up ... slowly. I'm seeing genuine progress with some of the healing. Patches that were pretty bad last week have healed up properly. I still think I'm steadily reclaiming my outsides.

But there are a few patches where constant irritation is leading to the damage not repairing. I have plans for these bits (ankles and a couple of other areas mainly) but there are limits to those plans. The tubigrip helped a bit for the ankles but there is that inevitable rubbing of ankle on shoe.

Oh - I think I'm sleeping better too ... Perhaps this is being a bit better at not attacking those really bad bits. Nah. I'm still having a go at them when I shouldn't be. We'll see how it goes over this week to come. I've been using a healing gel thing too (not proper medicine like the Fucibet but something I can use pretty liberally) and it seems to be helping. Ankle is definitely more pale-unhappy than the red-unhappy it has been.

Yep. It's taking ages to repair but very slowly, very steadily, I'm getting my outsides back again.

And from there, I should get back some of the health I had before.

Oh - I've been on the games again too. I think this is a sign of two things :

Some games - I can dive into and lose hours into. The concentration is there to support that.
They distract away from me doing more damage !

I haven't gone back into the Deus Ex Mankind Divided shooter game yet (it crashes and is a bit too hands on for what my head wants to do at the moment) but ...
I do enjoy Planetbase. It's a very simple game for one that can be played effectively by remote control. That's from a challenge :

Make lots of ore in an automated facility. You can't have any new people, so you need to look after those you have (malnutrition aka Fork Disease is bad). The mining is done through robots and you can't turn base materials into better materials because you don't have the people to do it.

The next challenge is to turn an ailing spaceport into an economic one. Without some of the base materials again. We'll see how that goes.

I've been enjoying the Hearts of Iron too, although that's kinda a balance between frustration (there are quirky mechanics in its details) and I Won Dat feelings. My latest game is with Russia and after a tense build up on the border, we rolled over the Reich. Next target - Venezuela (to finish the war) and then the Allies.

One thing about Hearts of Iron is that it feels like a game you should win every time, if you learn the mechanics. The AI doesn't really know how to coordinate an overwhelming attack. Maybe it'll improve with patching.

Planetbase is better because even though it is again, another game you should win every time knowing the mechanics ... I suppose it's because it's competing against yourself instead of an AI which isn't up to the job.

It's just kinda satisfying leading those poor marooned colonists through into becoming a burgeoning, expanding colony.

I better leave it there for a bit !

Still here, despite not posting very much at the moment. I'm gradually improving on my outsides, although my concentration is highly distracted away by dealing with those outsides. But ... I look back to a few years ago and it is so much unbelievably better than it has been.

Always look to improve. Cya !

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