The authors of Windship - The Crazy Plague, a shared-world anthology of nine intertwined stories by seven different authors, talk about the collaborative process of world building. Lisa Smedman, Fran Skene, Peter Tupper and Guy Immega talk about the science fiction world they created, and the challenges and joys of writing stories with shared protagonists. For more info see www.windship.space
Windship - The Crazy Plague A hard science fiction novel of struggle and survival, told across nine interlinked stories.
From the book cover:
On the colony world New Hope, a plague has broken out. Its victims become delusional. Some experience moments of crazed religiosity, while others fall into uncontrollable violence. Still others fall into a stupor, and either starve to death, or wander onto the vast desert playa that makes up most of the planet, where they die.
So far, the plague is confined to the northern hemisphere. But it’s in danger of spreading, via the “windships” (wheeled landships driven by sails) that serve as long-haul cargo carriers between cities in the planet’s northern and southern temperate bands.
Nine tightly integrated stories, written by seven different authors, tell the tale of Fusheng, a windship captained by Min Long, a woman who clings to the romance of windships in an era in which coal-powered landships are becoming the norm.
Ultimately, the Crazy Plague turns out not to be a disease, but the deliberate colonization of humans by billions of “twinklers,” creatures no larger than a grain of sand. These creatures (based on a real-world creature called a tardigrade) collectively form three separate group minds on the planet. Communicating with each other via bio-luminescent pulses of light, the twinklers act like neurons in vast brains that span much of New Hope.
As our story opens, these group minds are in conflict about how to treat the recently arrived humans, whose eyes and brains the twinklers are colonizing. Should humans be turned into mindless “drones” to give the group minds the physical bodies they lack? Or are humans worthy of a more benign, symbiotic relationship? Whatever the final consensus might be, the three group minds must tread carefully, lest the humans suffer a mass die-off and extinction, as happened to the group minds’ previous hosts, the snakelike Quetzals.
Ultimately, the crew of Fusheng will be the ones to tip the balance, for good or ill...
Second medium size programming space. Will also have a widescreen tv or monitor available for presenting slides or running video. On Friday and Sunday the entire track of programming here is sponsored by VCON Emeritus Stan Hyde and the Monster Attack Team model building club - so expect topics on those days to range from how to build and paint garage kit models to an in-depth study of the Godzilla Multiverse. On Saturday you can expect a little bit of everything here.