World Builders 2.0 — Brian Guthrie

Today on World Builders 2.0, we enter the world of Brian Guthrie, author of the Future Worlds series.

brian guthrie picBased out of Germany, Brian Guthrie is a serial author of science fiction and fantasy.  He recently won the Inkshares Nerdist Contest, placing second and taking one of five coveted publication spots.   His first novel in the Future Worlds series, Rise, is now in development for publication September 2016, available for pre-order on Inkshares.  The second novel of the Future World series, Fall, is complete and simmering for a bit while he continues on to write Shatter, book three.  He also has plans for a couple more science fiction novels, a bit of historical fiction, and many short stories set in the Future Worlds universe.

Now, prepare yourself to enter Bhana! 

The original name has been lost in the past before the world was ripped apart. Now, only scholars and scientists even refer to the world as a single celestial entity, using the word Bhana which means broken.


Geography and Nature: the big picture

Overall geography: Desert topped shells, fragments of the former world orbiting a shielded core. Very little surface water, virtually no animal life. Each shell is dominated by a single Citadel, which brings water, provides gravity, and keeps the shell in orbit.

Special features that makes your world unique, exotic, or strange:

The world has no surface. Its land surface are fragments of the world’s crust, ripped up and set in orbit around the shielded core with all the water trapped up against a shield, the combination of the two protecting the world from the cold and dangers of space.

brian guthrie body pic 4

Special features that make your world familiar:

Desert landscapes, touch screens, and distrust of secretive, powerful government organizations.

Magic and how it is defined in your world:

Magic, named Altering or Scripting, is built on the basic elements of existence: the elemental table. An ancient language was discovered that allowed the manipulation of the elements to allow alterations to be inserted. However, the alteration is limited to what the mind attempting the change can accept as reality. Doubt weakens the construct, thus allowing the already existing reality to reject the attempted change. Technology was developed to do some of this automatically for those unwilling or undisciplined enough to learn. This lead to powerful machines being constructed, both for good and ill intentions. Most of this knowledge is a closely guarded government secret on some shells, while on others it is openly practiced.

Races and cultures: your world and its people

Races or dominant species:

Humans and Dragons.

Features of races or species that make your world different from our own:

Humans have essentially blended racially. No one shell is dominated by one shade or another. Racial tension does not exist, however national tension between shells does. Most people are highly distrustful of those they call “Offlanders”, those from other shells.

Additionally, coexisting with the humans surviving on the shells are two races of dragons, Greens and Reds. Most have forgotten the origins of these creatures, particularly on Colberra, the highest orbiting shell.

Features of races or species that make your world familiar:

Humans will be humans, wherever they are. Selfish, prideful, and power hungry. Easily tricked or manipulated.

How animals and fauna relate to the sentient species of your world:

Little to none. Most are kept in small highly controlled environments called zoos. The exception to this is the Wilds region on Colberra, an uncontrolled region free of the weather controls of the citadel. It is shielded from the rest of the shell and overgrown with vegetation most humans have never seen outside pictures or videos. Several species of birds have been noted, as well as a very small number of wolves.

Dominant cultures:

Colberra – xenophobic, distrustful of everyone, even themselves. Stubborn. Willing to be ignorant about much to enjoy the benefits their central government lavishes on them. Extremely advanced technology, tightly controlled by the government.

Nomad – Loosely allied tribal units, centered on powerful, ancient families that trace their heritage to the Ancients, a long dead civilization that built the citadels and destroyed the world.

Cultural expressions that are quite different from our own:

Most common phrases that involve animals do not exist. Bear of a task, for one. As another example, “a wild goose chase” on Colberra would likely be “chasing wind”. The core dominates the world, so people swear by it a lot. “Water above” is a common expression on shells that can see the water shield far above and expresses bewilderment.

Politics and origin: how the world is knit together

What are some of your major nations?

Colberra, the Nomads, the Green dragons, the Red dragons, and the Ancients.

How do different nations or territories interact? Are there outstanding disputes? If there is unity, how is it maintained?

Societies are almost entirely cut off from each other. While the citadels are connected via the network, this is tightly controlled by an unknown entity. Colberra and the Nomads have a lot of interaction owing to their relatively close orbits, however orbital drift will soon carry the shells away from each other. There are several other smaller societies, but those remain distant and unknown. Unity exists only on the shells and even that varies. On Colberra, that unity is maintained by the Central Dominance by using the Seekers, a police/military force that helps contain and control the population. On the Nomad Shell, unity is secured through loyalty to family and a shared distrust of other shells. The Greens and Reds are unknown to the people. Greens are rarely seen, with no recorded sightings in recent history. Reds, however, are very familiar, as they conduct raids on the upper shells. Kidnapping those unfortunate enough to be caught in the open, along the edge of the shell or, as in the case of Colberra, have the unfortunate fate of becoming an enemy of the state. These tend to be forced out to the Outer Dominances, the edge of the shell districts, and unprotected from potential dragon raids.  The Greens and Reds appear to be enemies, but no one has been able to confirm this.

How does the world economy work?

brian guthrie body pic 3Money does not exist. All necessary items for fabrication of anything needed are produced in matter reforgers, Ancient devices that take matter, break it apart at the elemental level, and reconstruct it into a desired item. Access to reforgers is not controlled, however recipes available on the reforgers is. Even in a society as distrustful as Colberra, no one is denied food or clothing. The Nomads do not even control the recipes, trusting their tribal leadership to properly educate their people on responsible use. Water is provided from a separate system that draws the water down from the atmosphere and the water shield and distributed through a network of water pipes to the edges of the shells. It is unknown why matter reforgers cannot be used to create water.

As in all things this powerful, it has one very strong limitation: you must have matter to create something else. You cannot create something from nothing. The single most powerful reforge device is called Third Gate and was built by Ancient scientists. It was believed lost, along with the control citadel For’a Dal, during the Shattering.

What is the overall history on which the present world is built?

Most of the world’s history vanished from the network after the Shattering in a period in which the network was blocked from everyone. What is known is that the Ancients used the Citadels to build the water networks, create gravity, and control weather (a hold over from their original use before the Shattering historians claim).  They set the shells in orbit, then tried to help rebuild society. In the following cycles (years), the Ancients eventually vanished as the shells rejected them. The Ancients are still blamed today for the destruction of the world. Within a hundred cycles of the Shattering, the nomad shell collided with another, forming the super-shell. Historians theorize that a secret force of Ancients infiltrated all of the citadels and moved the shells into distant orbits, although it’s unknown why Colberra was placed so high and why the Nomad super-shell was set in an orbit that kept it relatively close to Colberra. Some conspiracy theorists believe this was done to keep Colberra far from the core where they believe For’a Dal still exists and controls the network. They claim that the Nomads were placed in orbit near Colberra to keep an eye on the upstart civilization. However, most of that is conjecture. In recent history, as water began to be rationed, Colberra attempted to reach the water shield on their own and the Nomads followed suit. It is unknown by the general public what happened on the first successful mission to reach the water, however only two of the four ships (two each from Colberra and the Nomads) sent returned. Colberra has also begun exploring smaller shells that have drifted near the larger shell and even placed a small force on the upper most edge of the Nomad shell.

No one knows the history of the dragons as the two races are very isolated. It is unknown where they call home. All the upper shell societies do know is that the Reds conduct raids on their population centers, stealing large numbers of people. Up until recently, records showed that the Greens often intervened to stop the Reds, but no one has seen a Green dragon in many, many cycles.

How does your world relate to the real world as we know it?

The story told by Logwyn has been broadcast out into space. This is how Earth became aware of the story.  There is no relationship otherwise.

Religions, language, and recreation: expressions of your world’s people

What are your dominant faiths, beliefs, and religions?

There are two religions on Colberra. One is outlawed and is only practiced in private. It holds that everything is derived from a single Creator, including the power used in Scripting. However, most of the teachings from this religion, which heralds from the Ancient days before the Shattering, have been lost.  The other is a state system that merely encourages their citizens to be civic, civil, and charitable.

The Nomads are believed to hold to a belief system similar to the outlawed belief system on Colberra but this is unconfirmed.

The Dragons do not appear to have a belief system of any kind.

What are you major languages? How extensively have you worked your languages out?

brian guthrie body pic 2Each shell speaks the same language, Basic. However the computer language of each shell is different. While built on the same construct used by the Ancients to build the network central computer, there are variations experts theorize were put in place to prevent one shell from taking control of another.

The Ancient language is now a dead one, no longer spoken. It is, however, still widely recognized as it is the base form of all computer language. In its written form, it is pictographic and is constructed in column format, left to right, bottom to top. Each column contains a central pillar of nouns, the lower being the subject, with the next being the object and any other necessary nouns stacked in order of importance in the sentence above that. Adjectival symbols are molded in on either side of the nouns. Constructs like prepositional phrases do not exist as separate unique words, but as simple symbols that are memorized. Verbs are placed between the columns. Adverbs do not exist. This language can be drawn onto a screen or a desired word symbol can be pulled from a dictionary or thesaurus application run concurrently.

Settings: zeroing in on the fine details of your world

What are the major settings in your novel?

Colberra and the Nomad Shell, with a few scenes on the water shield.

What is one of your favorite settings and how is it laid out?

brian guthrie body pic 1

Nidfar’s Tower

Tell us how people live in your important settings:

Colberrans primarily live in Colberra City, capital of the Central Dominance, built around the citadel in a large, high peaked mountain range dominated the center of the shell.  Those in the Outer Dominances cluster around water stations along water pipelines.


Want to know more about Brian’s world? Why not enter it by pre-ordering a copy of his book, Rise — the official winner of Inkshares’ Nerdist Contest:

brian guthrie cover

Release Date: Projected September 13, 2016

On a world brought to the brink of destruction, life now clings to the shattered remains of the planet’s crust. These fragments are the Shells: fragile wastelands of desert and rock, protected from the cold of space by a water shield. In the struggle for survival, its people have depended on ancient technology, controlled by the omnipresent Network, to sustain the entire population. But the Network is breaking down, water is sparse, and a complete societal collapse is imminent. As the stakes become clear, the inhabitants of the Shells begin to turn on each other, and appear headed for all-out war.

Now the paths of several strangers will converge at the opportune moment. From a woman who seeks to protect her family as it’s ripped apart to a prison warden hiding from his past, this unlikely group has little in common—but together, they may hold the key to saving humanity from its worst enemy: itself.

 

“Guthrie writes with a magic and mystery that makes even a stack of paper feel like the answer to all of life’s questions. His prose is sweeping, while detailed, and he carries the reader through with an agility that reminds me of one of the greats-Leguin. You don’t want to miss this one!”

Janna Grace, author of The Talkers are Talking

Excerpt:

I suppose this all started with paper. Real paper. I could not recall the last time I had seen a fresh batch of it. That close to the core, one rarely found supplies of this sort; they were hard to come by even for researchers like me. ’Only the bare necessities for those sworn to protect.’ How many times had I had those words thrown in my face? Still, someone must have seen my request. How else had this package of crisp, white paper been delivered? The first thing I did was pull a piece free, hold it close to my nose, and inhale slowly. If I closed my eyes, the faint odor made me believe I was pressing my face close to a real tree standing before me, a soft breeze shifting my long hair around as it moved past. Well, I pictured what I thought was a tree. It was a pleasant dream.

 


Buy the book!

EBOOK: Inkshares

PRINT BOOK: Amazon

Connect with Brian Guthrie in the following places!

Website: Guthron

Blog: Guthron

Twitter: @nidfar

Facebook: Brian Guthrie

Email: colberra “at” gmail “dot” com

 

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About John Robin

John Robin is an epic fantasy writer, professional editor, and lover of imaginary worlds. He write stories about magic and myth, human suffering and the power to rise above it. He loves world building, coffee shops, mathematics, chess, and is an avid author community builder.
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