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On the SFIA theme: "Megastructure Compendium"
This week, Isaac released a two-hour megastructure episode. Sorry, couldn’t quite keep up with that in a week. Not sure whether it’s a totally new episode on his end or whether it’s a collection of older episodes compiled into a sort of convenient tapestry for all your megastructure needs. If it’s all new, let me put that in perspective. My story is about 7,700 words and is about 40 minutes. So a two-hour episode, reading at the same pace as me, would be about 24,000 words, about a third of a short-ish novel. That’s a level of insane productivity I have to take my hat off to.
I say all that to say, I needed this story to be set on a megastructure, and given that we’re in compendium territory, I thought there should really be at least two megastructures in this story. So that’s part of where our main character’s home comes from. She lives in an agricultural cylinder—home to fifty-thousand Ag workers—a megastructure in its own right. But she ends up travelling to a true megastructure—a planetary ring that is encircling a gas giant roughly the size of Neptune, home to 4 trillion people. Truly a megastructure worthy of the term mega.
With so much happening on an orbital ring of that magnitude, I could have gone anywhere with the people living here, but I’ve really been making an effort to make the characters seem like real people with real aspirations and problems and lives. I went deep into the life of a musical prodigy to see what inspired her to pursue musical perfection so tenaciously. And though this story explains that aspect of her character and, I think, seems to be an end to the story of her musical origin, it’s hardly the end of Liryre’s story. If it seems like I might be saying this isn’t the last you’ll hear of Liryre, all I can say to that is…maybe.
Hope you enjoyed this week's story and some of my admiration for the subject matter comes through for you!