2. Writing Work excerpts nuts & bolts world building

How Did It All Start?

The week’s cheerful data dump, this time about my Restoration Stories world.

World-build day! I’m alternating worlds. One week I’ll focus on the glittery superpowers of my contemporary alternate-universe, the next week I’ll scatter sparkly factoids of future history from the Restoration Stories.

The following excerpt may look familiar to beta readers of Flight Plan’s first edition. I cut it from the book because  interrupting the story flow  made me itch even when I wrapped the information up in a narrative blanket. It’s still hard to find the right balance between immersion and confusion.

ANYhooozle. Here’s this week’s cheerful data dump, presented as an introduction to a historical text covering the period 50-100 years before the Restoration novels begin.

Excerpt from the introduction to “Doomed to Repeat: Revision, Restoration and the Coming Crisis”

The global sociopolitical meltdown now classified as The Great Revision was in many ways a self-inflicted disaster. One stagnant government after another collapsed, choked by debts, strangled by diplomatic obligations or torn apart by internecine conflict. Civil unrest and military conflicts crippled vital industries, and critical infrastructure fell prey to violence as well. Bioweapons and poisons were released to devastating effect. Technological standards backslid by decades in some areas and centuries in others.

The disintegration could have been the start of a new Dark Age, but while the future went up in flames and crumbled to rubble, it never quite died. Day-to-day life continued amidst the ruins,  and principalities all around the world found their own solutions to stave off total destruction. As the tumultuous decades of Revision drew to the close around the world, new national governments were slowly constructed by those who still remembered life under the rule of the old orders. Civilization emerged from the crucible of anarchy in new forms that were in many ways indistinguishable from the old. Familiarity bred comfort rather than contempt.

Widespread violence  and rule of might became the norm in the semi-organized territories and city-states that remained of the United States, but even during the worst of the disorder, people fought and died to keep the broken pieces of civilization from eroding into utter chaos. An alliance grew up between international corporations who feared extinction, surviving elements of the military branches who clung to traditions of honor and service, and the leaders of individual communities who wanted more than bare-bones survival for themselves and their descendants. Compromises were struck, deals were made, and the basis for a new political construct was pieced together on the ruined foundation of the old.

This book will examine the forces that broke apart the old world and demonstrate that, as a political entity, the Restored United States has failed to learn the most important lesson of its own history.

I’ve mentioned previously I thought I was building a shiny idealistic world in Restoration America. It turned out to be a much grittier, unjust, and complicated place than I intended. Reality is sneaky that way, even imaginary reality.

That’s all for now. Thanks for coming to the show. Enjoy the free words, remember to tip your server, and keep on keeping on.

By K. M. Herkes

Author, gardener, and cat wrangler.