Welcome to the Gossamer World

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives

For some months I have been posting about my “Gossamer Steel” world, but now that world has evolved. Welcome to its new incarnation.

Gossamer Flames” is a series of short stories and novellas set in the post-apocalyptic world that arises after a catastrophic event leaves the planet ravaged and divided. Society is forced to adapt to a changed world where the surviving enclaves need to make use of their remaining resources. Only two regions are known to survive, Bhārata, formerly the Indian sub-continent, and The Country, comprising parts of Scandinavia. However, there are pockets of survivors in other areas, including within the desert areas of North America, in some remote mountainous regions of the Andes, and on some islands. Most of these are totally isolated from each other post the apocalypse.

The two principal enclaves of The Country (Scandinavia) and Bhārata (India sub-continent) have adopted economies that are regenerative and structured around renewable energy. Bhārata has the advantage of being built on the Republic of India’s self-reliance policy, although it is also hampered by the scale of the challenge. In The Country myths have come alive again and permeate society, but not all the forces favour re-building the world. The Ravagers, the people that pushed the technological fixes and exploitation of the Earth, are committed to destroying the greenpunk solutions that could be the future.

My 2014 posts in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge focused on various aspects in this future world, which at that point was still called Gossamer Steel, as in the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that provides the mystery in my cyber-crime novel “Wyrm Bait”. In the MMORPG the two main playing zones are Bhārata and The Country and the game touches on aspects of the tales.

MY BLOGGING FROM A TO Z APRIL CHALLENGE 2014 POSTS:

A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native~ O is for Outcasts  ~ P is for Punk ~ Q is for Quisling ~ R is for Ragnarök ~ S is for Seiðr ~ T is for Technology ~ U is for Urdu~ V is for Vidda ~ W is for Windsong ~X is for Xerarch ~ Y is for Yggdrasil  ~ Z is for Zephyr

Although “Gossamer Steel” had a good ring as a game, I felt that I needed a different title for the series of tales. An author needs a title that doesn’t require explaining, just one that sparks interest. I suggested various options to my followers, and after assessing your feedback, Gossamer Flames seemed the most appropriate and the most popular. Warning – explanation ahead!!

Dewy Cobweb ~ by Norman Hyett

Dewy Cobweb ~ by Norman Hyett

Gossamer as in spider silk that makes such intricate webs, although technically gossamer is the silk used by spiderlings for ballooning or kiting to reach other locations. Spiders are often among the first inhabitants to recolonize a devastated area. Thus after an apocalypse Gossamer allows for new life and in my stories it also reflects the light touch of healing the planet. However, spider silk is both delicate and strong, exhibiting a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility. Most important, weight for weight, spider silk is stronger than steel, thus a force that cannot be ignored even amid the harshness of industrial solutions to the devastating problems remaining. Steel then is a contrast to Gossamer but I needed something even more evocative, hence ‘Flames’.

Flames have multiple meanings as in energy and passion as well as the destructive sense.  Flames can also generate ‘steam’, which covers the Steampunk’ elements in some of the tales. Flames can be both the devastating forces that threaten the world from the outset, and the passions that drive many of the characters forward towards the Renascence at the end.

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As my Gossamer Flames tales are released, I will post more details on the new Gossamer Flames page.

 

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T is for Technology

T

T is for Technology: In the world of Gossamer Steel the resource-hungry technology of the 20th century has been forced to give way to low impact technologies with innovations that lean towards steampunk, solarpunk and greenpunk.

Wikipedia says, “Technology (from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, skill, cunning of hand”; and -λογία, -logia) is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments…”

From the wheel to cybernetics, technology has been used for both the positive advancement of society, and for the exploitation of people and destruction of the environment. Most of these technological advances have been since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century, although prior to that there were some pivotal advances made in many parts of the world. However, the rapid advance in technological progress has depleted many precious finite resources. With the growing threat of global warming, another approach is needed and humanity already holds the knowledge to apply beneficial technology, like alternative energy sources, to advance forwards. [See also E is for Energy & M is for Mojave]

Printing press from 1811. ~ Photographed in Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany

Printing press from 1811. ~ Photographed in Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany

T is also for Tamil, the inhabitants of the southern areas of Bhārata (India sub-continent), and followers of the Dravidian League.

PREVIOUS A TO Z POSTS:

A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native~ O is for Outcasts  ~ P is for Punk ~ Q is for Quisling ~ R is for Ragnarök ~ S is for Seiðr

*

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] (1)

E is for Energy

E

E is for Energy: After the apocalypse that creates the Gossamer Steel world, the role of oil as an energy source diminishes rapidly as the means to produce and distribute its derivatives are devastated. The surviving enclaves are forced to turn to alternative energy sources, primarily solar, wind and the waves. There is also a powerful atmospheric charge to be tapped from The Storm that continues to divide the world and create Electro-magnetic interference.

All these renewables, except atmospheric charge, are viable today. The uptake on renewable sources depends on many factors, not least the individual country’s government and public opinion. The United Kingdom is the world’s leading generator of offshore wind power, and is currently seeing a healthy growth in onshore wind generation, while in the United States the favoured renewables varies from state to state. According to Wikipedia sources, “In 2010 renewable energy accounted for 17% of total energy consumption. Biomass heat accounted for 11%, and hydropower 3%…” “…In international public opinion surveys there is strong support for promoting renewable sources such as solar power and wind power, requiring utilities to use more renewable energy (even if this increases the cost), and providing tax incentives to encourage the development and use of such technologies. There is substantial optimism that renewable energy investments will pay off economically in the long term…”

English: Wind turbines in a rapeseed field in Sandesneben, Germany ~ Jürgen at Flickr

English: Wind turbines in a rapeseed field in Sandesneben, Germany by Jürgen at Flickr

Our industrialised society will continue to devour fossil fuels at an enormous rate, despite climate change and high oil prices, but inevitably they will run out. But will the Ravagers of Gossamer Steel destroy the world first? Or will an apocalypse herald a new fossil fuel-free world? A greenpunk future?

United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that renewable energy has the ability to lift the poorest nations to new levels of prosperity. Thus, in Gossamer Steel, one of the leading enclaves is India.

"King Of Nagas & Kylin Carving On Teak" by kornnphoto

“King Of Nagas & Kylin Carving On Teak” by kornnphoto

E in our A to Z tour of the  Gossamer Steel world is also for the elves/elfes or Alfar; for the Elementals that are intrinsic to the Blood-marked and possess supernatural powers; and for Etiäinen, spirits summoned by Finnish shaman.

PREVIOUS A TO Z POSTS:

A is for Array

B is for the Blood-Marked

C is for Corylus Avellana

D is for Duskweald

*

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel’, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel  ‘Wyrm Bait’.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] (1)