Author's Commentary: "Schism"
This week we spent more time circling Athos than Hellenia, ironically to get to the topic of “Life on Giant Moons,” but you can’t get to Hellenia without first going through Athos. When I first discovered these two sister societies—the massive rings in Dreeson’s and the ecumenopolis of Carol’s system—it didn’t occur to me to interrogate how such densely populated systems came to be so close to one another. It seemed natural and organic that they would be, until I started spending a little more time there. Athos and Iophos do continue to grow as their populations reach capacity on both rings, so why wouldn’t all these people, descended from the same world (Charris) just live on the same ring. Carol Dreeson, that’s why.
I first conceived of the schism sometime last summer while I was kicking around ideas for two stories simultaneously. I’m not sure what the other story was at the time—maybe “Failsare” or something around that time. I liked the idea, but ultimately wrote the other story. But Carol Dreeson’s schism became canon in my mind even though I hadn’t written the story yet. I liked the idea that they had a good old-fashioned difference of opinion and still came away from it as sister civilizations. Something about that seemed right, especially with the two very different types of worlds—the impossibly long rings and the impossibly dense ecumenopolis.
So I saw the topic of colonizing moons come up, and it seemed like time. Family infighting, megastructures, strict timetables, workers strikes—real high drama stuff in real life. I hope some of that suspense translates in what amounts to a historical narrative as a real change of pace from the recent action stories. We’ll get back to that mode soon enough.
This week will also mark the one-year birthday of Sci-Fi Weeklies. When I look at this website and the channel on various platforms, it’s hard for me to believe that it didn’t exist just last year. What a year! If you’d have told me then that this would be the result from that simple little idea, I’d have been hard pressed to believe it. I’m going to celebrate with a playlist of my (lesser viewed) favorites. It’s hard to pick from so many I enjoyed writing. Right now, the channel sits at 734 subscriber and roughly 45,000 total views so far. That’s unfathomable to me—pretty much a full stadium for a baseball game. It’s amazing, and I’m so grateful to have so many amazing readers, viewers, and listeners along for the ride!
Year two will be awesome!
Thanks for reading!