Tag Archive: Falaron


Tourist Trap coverLetter WWif is the son of Roi and Feline (feh-LEEN), conceived when both were forced into a sex show as slaves. As a result of this episode and its aftermath, Feline was not quite sane and was extremely possessive of the child. Roi carries the Coven gene and is barred by the Genetics board from having any other offspring, but Wif did not inherit this from his father and as an adult has numerous offspring. He looks strikingly like his grandfather, Lai, except for an eye color that matches his father’s: gold with flecks of metallic gold. In our time, that of the upcoming trilogy, he has become the Guardian of Earth.

He appeared briefly as a baby in Homecoming (where he played an important role as a catalyst) and again when he is three and a half years old at the end of Tourist Trap. I am letting him speak shortly after the end of Tourist Trap.

I rode my pony all morning, even when we cantered! And I wasn’t the least bit tired. Well, my legs were just a little stiff. But this afternoon Daddy said we’d go in the canoe on the river, because he wanted to show me some fish like we don’t have on Central. I had to promise not to jump up and down, though.

I don’t know why Mother didn’t want me to come to Falaron. She never wants me to do anything that’s fun. Even my pony back home. She kept screaming about how dangerous it was, even with Flame leading me. I like auntie Flame better’n Mother, but Daddy says I mustn’t tell her that. He says I have to be polite to her. Even Grandma Marna says that. Grandma Marna made Mother let me come, though.

Oh, look at that bird! It just swooped right down and caught a fish in its feet. Talons, Daddy says.

Flame and Penny are leading my pony and Daddy’s horse along the bank. There’s a path there. I like Penny. She doesn’t scream like Mother. She says I ride really well, and she showed me how to put on my pony’s bridle. Not the saddle, though, I can’t reach that high.

I wish Penny’d come back to Central and be my Auntie, like Flame. I asked her if she would, after lunch, but she just turned red. So did Daddy. Did I say something wrong?

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. The format of background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. Bold type indicates that more information has been or will be available in another A to Z post. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.

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Letter KKyrie Talganian is R’il’noid and non-aging, but she is not a High R’il’noid and thus not a member of either Council. She is a blue-eyed blond who loves food but has a constant weight problem. Although she is a borderline esper (she finds teleporting difficult, for instance) she has superb truth-sense which she uses in her role as a Confederation adjudicator. In Homecoming she is serving a brief term on Central, the Confederation administrative planet; by the time of Tourist Trap she has been reassigned to Falaron. She is a long-time friend of Elyra’s, and is happy to invite Derik and Elyra to Falaron for a brief vacation. (Falaron is within teleport range for Derik.) She is speaking from near the end of Tourist Trap, shortly after Derik and Elyra have arrived.

Tourist Trap coverOh, it’s a beautiful planet, and I enjoy being here. And the food! Derik, I might have overreached in having you pay for half of what I sent the youngsters from Gralen’s, but we all have to dine there while you’re here. I wish I could eat as much, and have it show as little, as you do.

I do feel a little overworked at times, being the only Confederation adjudicator on planet. Three or four cases a day! But it’s a fascinating place – you should see the mammoths and saber-tooths! Roi’s loving it, or at least he was the last time he contacted me. I didn’t really believe it when you said he was quite artistic, but he’s been drawing everything. I’ve seen some of his sketches through his eyes, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them myself.

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. Background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.Banner AZ logo

World Building logoTo find other participants in the World Building Blogfest, click on the logo to the left.

Since my fiction is set on a number of planets of the Jarnian Confederation, no two quite alike, I’ll describe the most important ones for the stories I’ve published. Two others, Horizon and Rakal, will be in my upcoming trilogy, and T’Kun and Mava are in a barely-started book on the first Kharfun epidamic.

Central

Central, the administrative capital of the Confederation, is an Earth-sized planet circling a very sun-like star. There are two major continental masses, both extending from above the Arctic circle to below the Antarctic circle. Axial tilt is about 24°. The broad climate zones are similar to Earth’s: equator wet flanked by seasonal rain belts, deserts along the tropic of Cancer and Capricorn, rain shadow deserts on the lee of mountain ranges, prevailing winds easterly near the equator and westerly at higher latitudes. Mid-latitude continental climates are highly seasonal. There are no polar ice caps as neither pole is isolated from the oceanic circulation, though there is considerable permanent ice on the higher mountains.

Map of Central

Crude Lat-Long map of Central. Numbers are: 1.Lai’s home 2. Derik’s home 3. Seabid island 4. Rollover Archipelago 5. Tyndal school 6. Jelarik’s home 7. Zhaim’s home 8 Trade City

Central was originally a R’il’nian planet called Kentra. As the R’il’nai dwindled in numbers the larger continent, and then the northern part of the smaller one, were increasingly given over to humans and some R’il’noids. In theory the southern extension of the smaller continent is owned by the R’il’nai, but in fact many R’il’noids have homes there.

One thing the R’il’nai insisted on: a large fraction of each ecosystem must remain natural. Thus Central is largely a natural world, though there are very advanced cities. Most of the action in my novels takes place outside of the cities.

The flora and fauna make up a very mixed ecology. The planet was Terraformed (or rather R’il’n formed) a couple of hundred thousand years ago. Since then many species from Earth have been added, along with a large number from other planets, including Riya. The R’il’nian ability of conditional precognition has managed to keep out those species that would be disruptive. One species, the Akeda, is modeled on the terror bird that was a major predator at one time in South America. These are six foot non-flying birds which are the top predators in some areas.

I drew the rather crude map some twenty years ago.

Riya

Riya, like Central, is an Earth-like planet with Earth-like climate zones. Most of the action takes place on a subtropical volcanic hot spot island, Windhome. (Think Hawaii.) The main peculiarity of this planet is that there are no mountains of any significant height in the southern hemisphere, but there is a continental extension into the extreme north with mountains that are snow-covered year round.

The biota differs from Earth’s. The local fauna have evolved from six-limbed ancestors, with the extra pair of legs evolving into anything from wings to feeding arms. Flora often gives the appearance of branching down into the ground. However, this native flora and fauna has been blended with species imported from R’il’n. (Homecoming.)

One species imported as pets, and surviving in the wild only on isolated islands without predators, are the tinerals. They have a vague resemblance to feathered monkeys with wings. They grow throughout their lives: flying in their youth, but the wings acting only as a weather cloak as they become larger. They are singers with voices much like our musical instruments, and an instinct to harmonize.

Mirror

This planet is in the very early stages of evolving land life. In contrast to most planets, where living things are either all dependent on left-handed proteins or all dependent on right-handed ones, Mirror developed two totally independent ecosystems, one right handed and one left handed. When Marna and Lai are forced to land there, they go to a great deal of trouble to avoid contaminating the planet. (Homecoming.) There are animals in the oceans, including a mass of tentacles with threefold symmetry that Marna identifies as a possible food source, but the land (or more accurately the shore) has been colonized only by algae and land corals in the spray zone.

Falaron

Falaron was Terraformed as a vacation planet around 75,000 years ago, with most of the ecology transplanted from Earth in the Pleistocene. The action takes place around 45° North latitude, from coast to coast of a continent spanning several time zones. From West to East, the terrain is coastal forest, forest-clad mountains, more rugged mountains, a high plateau, more mountains with an apron down to a high scarp, plains with a climate ameliorating from rain-shadow near-desert to open woodland as the travelers move east, a fault scarp damming the river the party is following, a canyon cut by the river through the higher ground, and finally forest with open meadows to the east coast. (Tourist Trap.) Animals include mammoths, mastodon, longhorn bison, small wild horses, a miniature variety of horses in small canyons, and flat-headed peccaries, all real animals which left fossils during the Pleistocene ice ages.

Eversummer

Named (as Marna correctly deduced) by a publicity agent, this planet, though Earthlike in many ways, has no axial tilt and a very low-eccentricity orbit, thus no seasons. To quote from Tourist Trap:

“The planet, with its rotational axis almost perpendicular to its orbital plane, had no seasons.  The poles were bitterly cold, glaciated wastelands where the sun forever rolled around the horizon.  The equatorial belt was an unchanging steam bath, the permanent home of daily tropical thunderstorms, varied by hurricanes along its poleward borders.  The desert belts, inevitable result of the conflict between the planet’s rotation and its unequal heating by its sun, were broad and sharply defined, with no transition zones where the rains came seasonally.  The temperate zones, between desert and polar ice, were swept year round by equinoctial storms, varied only by occasional droughts.  No monsoons, no seasonal blanket of snow to protect the dormant land, no regular alternation of wet and dry seasons.”

Native animals are toxic, and Marna must determine why.

Horizon

Horizon was introduced in Horse Power as a planet recently terraformed from bare rock for stock rearing, specifically for silkies. This made-up species is a blend of cattle and sheep, producing both gourmet meat and a fleece that makes a luxury cloth. They are sensitive to ultraviolet, but Horizon is a low UV planet. For the same reason it has attracted colonists with fair skin, who are also UV-sensitive. The ecology was planned for stock rearing, with no large predators (foxes are about as large as they come) and few native herbivores beyond the rabbits introduced as an emergency food source. Gravity is slightly slightly less than or Earth or Central.

I’m still working on the Horizon War trilogy, but one of the plot points is the disaster that could be created by the introduction of pumas on land and great white sharks in the oceans.

Rakal

This planet will be mentioned several times in the first two books of the Horizon War trilogy, but is only visited in the third book. It is a steam-bath planet, especially near the equator where the action takes place, with jungle, part of which is prone to seasonal flooding. (Parts of the Amazon basin, but warmer.) Sample native animal? A predator the castaways call a One-arm and others call a Kraken. It has a flattened, bulbous body with a mouth and a single long tentacle with poison hairs, and attacks by attaching the body to a tree and grabbing prey with the tentacle. I’ll probably post its attack on January 10, as part of the Year of the Snake blogfest. I may also use a character’s first view of the planet as my excerpt Friday, but I’m still waffling on that.

Mava

This planet is mostly ocean, with only a small land area. Because the settlers realized early that only a limited population could be supported, production of babies was never a priority and a matrilineal culture developed with extended family structure. Recently at war with T’Kun. This planet is a home planet of a character in the Kharfun epidemic story, but all the action takes place elsewhere.

T’Kun

Physically, T’Kun is the opposite of Mava, with 90% land, and only a few saline lakes. It is a very harsh world, and many of the males die young. Partly as a result of this, a strongly patriarchal culture has developed with multiple wives and an idea that every woman should be nursing or pregnant — necessary to keep the population up, as most children die young. Again, only a very brief part of the action actually takes place on this world, but it is important in forming the character of one of the protagonists.

This is the end of the section I’ve been using for Six Sentence Sunday. In fact, the end of the section was reached after 4 sentences, so I put in two from the next section. Starting next week, I’ll be using bits from WIP.

Her hand rose to touch her aching jaw, and she realized with a start that she was still wearing the breathing mask that had kept her from drowning as she was carried downstream. She didn’t need it to sleep in, she thought, and pulled it off of her face. She was half hypnotized by the dancing flames, and very tired. Gradually her eyes became harder and harder to keep open.

****

The sun woke her from a nightmare. She had been somewhere else entirely, cramped into a cage.

Tourist Trap is now published (it wasn’t when I started blogging from it) and available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon — I hope by now in all formats. I’d love some reviews.

Other Six Sentence Sunday authors:

 

Continued from last week.

She reached for the piece she had bumped into, and dragged it close enough so that she could put it carefully on top of her little fire, where the flames could lick at the few dry curls of bark. Once it caught, she dragged half a dozen more branches back on hands and knees. Finally her sense of urgency eased, and she shook out the air blanket, wrapped it around herself, and lay down as close as she dared to the fire.

She ached all over, she found once she was no longer moving. For a while she kept reliving the day – the sudden cutoff of Roi’s mental voice, the shock as she struck the cold river water, and her frantic efforts to protect her head as she was carried helplessly through the rapids. She could not remember dragging herself out of the river onto this bar, and she must have lain here for hours.

Tourist Trap is now available from Barnes and Noble and from Amazon. Please consider reviewing it on either. This is near the end of this scene, and after next week I’ll start doing excerpts from WIP.

Other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts:

Continued from last week:

Amber ran her hand carefully over the gravel, finding a considerable accumulation of smaller bits of wood and dry twigs in a ragged line parallel to the shore. She scraped them together in a small pile and put a fuzzball in the middle, then got out the sparker and began trying to light it. The sparks dazzled her eyes at first, and it took several tries before she could get a few to fall on the fuzzball. The soft outer layer went up in a flash that eliminated the remainder of her night vision. Then the wax caught, and in a few minutes she had enough of a fire to see the larger mass of driftwood.

It wasn’t a single dead tree, she saw with relief, but a row of branches a little higher up the shore than the light stuff she’d scraped together.

Tourist Trap is now available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Reviews on either would be much appreciated.

Other Six Sentence Sunday posts:

Following on from last week’s.

Fire-making supplies, fishhooks, reflective air blanket. Fire-making supplies. Driftwood. She could build a fire. Only to do that, she would have to move, and she was so very tired. So much easier just to lie down and rest.

Tourist Trap is now available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Please, if you get it, write a review.

Other Six Sentence Sunday authors:

Following right after last week’s.

Her hand slid back down toward the gravel, brushing the heavy climbing belt on the way, her fingers catching on one of the pouches fastened there. Penny’s face came into memory. “You’re going to be short of belt loops, carrying all the anchors,” Penny had said, “so let Timi carry your tracer. But keep the stuff in the emergency pouch with you. It doesn’t weigh that much.”

Emergency pouch.

Tourist Trap is now available from Barnes and Noble or Amazon. If you want to read the scene to date, I’m adding each six sentences to my author website as they are posted here.

Other Six Sentence Sunday posts:

Immediately following last week’s six sentences.

The need to be doing something drove her to hands and knees, and she dragged herself slowly away from the water. She gained a body length, and then another before she collided painfully with something sharp-edged, further scraping her sore jaw and narrowly missing an eye. Her hips collapsed sideways until she was half sitting, held up only by braced arms. After a moment she managed to rock back enough to raise one arm and examine the barrier.

Driftwood, she thought hazily. That should mean something.

Tourist Trap is now available from Barnes and Noble and from Amazon, in e-book, softcover or hardcover formats.

The scene from which these six sentences was taken is being put up on my website as the bits are posted here.

More from Tourist Trap, again following right after last week’s. Six sentences is very short this week–several 1 word sentences.

No moon to help her see, and no faint lingering of daylight, either. “Roi?” she called out anxiously. “Timi? Flame? Penny?” Only the soft rush of the river water answered her.

Other six sentence Sunday posts: