Tag archives for world building

The Seven Virtues – or a guide to Skyssian attitudes

The Seven Virtues are how a good Skyssian models their behaviour. Told from infancy through the fairy tales, and reflected in the glorious deeds of their heroes, every Skyssian is aware of them. Origins of the Seven Virtues A while back I thought it might be useful to sketch out the core beliefs of Skyssian attitudes so that I could use them as guiding principles for how minor characters could be expected to act. They also help to set direction for officials and institutions, after all if they aren't virtuous who else would be? At the time I stole the Skyssian attitudes from the Old Norse. A sort of set of Viking Virtues. That gave me the first five below. The local Write Club prompt is to write a fairy tale for the July meeting. So, I thought there ought…
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Horse-Riding Research Round-Up

My pseudo-viking YA fantasy novel moved from seaborne to horse-riding. Yngvild met a cavalry troop and learnt how to ride with them.¬† Like Yngvild, I've had to research how to look after horses, and how far you can travel on horseback. I've not done much horse-riding, I've been on horseback fewer than half a dozen times in my life. I've done it just enough to know that you can take a teenager and give them the basics of horse-riding in about half an hour, but I'm far from being a Dothraki! Horse-Riding for Writers An Argentine Lancer, this is pretty close to how I've imagined the cavalry unit that Yngvild met. (picture credit ) There are many good websites for writers interested in realistic portrayals of horse-riding and horse borne expeditions. There are some links at the bottom, but by…
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dark ages

A Dark History: Vikings by Martin J. Dougherty [book review]

A Dark History: Vikings by Martin J. Dougherty My rating: 4 of 5 stars A Dark History: Vikings is a really good introduction for grown ups interested in Vikings. It's fairly modern and has lots of illustrations to bring the text to life. Way more informative than the stuff your kids might read, but also easily accessible compared to some of the more academic histories. A Dark History: Vikings What I enjoyed about it was that there was a mix of social and cultural history along with the usual timelines. It also gave me a sense of 'Viking' being a product of lazy thinking in the same way that 'Celts' are. The reality was that there were lots of people over a vast geographic area and a couple of centuries. There's no central drive or common ethos for the entire…
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Duke of Piraxis – SciFi draft on wattpad

working cover for Duke of Piraxis Over the last couple of weeks I outlined a science fiction story with the working title Duke of Piraxis. It's about a new colony in the early days of human deep space travel. Despite the name Duke of Piraxis doesn't feature nobility. The Chief Executive is called Duke. They decided to call the colony Piraxis. Hence Duke of Piraxis as he's the primary point of view in what I've written so far. Inspiration for Duke of Piraxis So what inspired me to write the story was a TV programme where Michael Portillo visited Romania. At the beginning of the 20th century the Romanians got themselves a King. They built railways all over the country and also a fantastic palace. It made me think of some of the fantasy steampunk stories. Then I thought, maybe…
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exodus

Autonomous Vehicles pt.2

Social Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles Perhaps Autonomous mobile homes will cruise round here: Catford Road (South Circular Road), London SE6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My previous article on Self Driving Cars covered some of the technical points, that self driving cars are starting to look safer than human drivers and that there are traffic management benefits to most vehicles being¬†self-driving. But there's more to it than that. For a start there will be more than just 'cars' that drive themselves around, so properly one ought to talk about autonomous vehicles (AV). No More Professional Drivers The most obvious consequence of autonomous vehicles is that those who drive for a living will rapidly be out of a job. The cost base for taxis, truck haulage and bus companies involves driver pay plus the costs of the vehicle. I expect that initially there…
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