This year’s A to Z Challenge theme is ‘world-building’, in honour of my new sci-fi books – the Viridian System Series.

Definition from The Perihelix, Chapter 5

IImperium, The: n. Benevolent system of world alliances, centred on the Terzan E system. Elected Senate meets at set intervals to provide strategic government to 15,000 member planets. Trade regulated to enable equitable access to essential goods. The Imperium network enables the most suitable planets to efficiently produce primary goods including food, fuels, metals, mining products, and components, and to export at favourable rates. Secondary goods feature in a lively exchange system, giving rise to a tertiary system in management, leisure, and service sectors. Imperium citizens enjoy free access throughout the galaxy thanks to their identity chips, which are embedded at birth. (Cavalieri-Chang Modern Universal Word Usage, 2822 edition)


I was very happy that a comment from one of my beta readers about needing more background to some of the worlds and organisations led to my idea of a dictionary definition at the start of each chapter of the Perihelix.  I was even happier to get the idea of a wholly biassed ‘Modern Universal Word Usage’ which I attributed to a descendant of my editor and her partner!

The Imperium is important in the series, not just as the ‘big bad wolf’ but because it gives structure to the rest of the universe.  There is a constant fear of the Imperium taking over, yet the Imperium stands for free trade and democracy.  Fortunately we get an inside view of it from a Senator named Kaa Birith, who appears in the first book in a minor role, and is starting to play a more central role in the second book, which I’m writing at present.  I’m not sure how clear his relationships were in the first book, but by now, I think I’ve written them pretty clearly!  His behaviour towards free trade reminds me of the Irish Clearances and the actions of the English landowners.  It gave me a dramatic start for the second book, anyway.

My main challenge is to make sure the Imperium is not a carbon copy of other pan-galactic entities that appear in other scifi books and film franchises.  But then, maybe the authors have a similar world view as myself.  Slightly jaundiced. 🙂

I for Imperium

21 thoughts on “I for Imperium

    • 11 April, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Delighted to meet you, IB – hope you enjoy the rest of my posts 🙂

  • 11 April, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    It’s difficult to be original with this sort of thing, but good to see that you’re doing all you can do make it your own.

  • 11 April, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I admire writers who can build a unique world for their stories.

  • 11 April, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Sounds like you’ve got an interesting universe going on for your books. 🙂

    • 11 April, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      I hope so, Misha. At the moment I think I’ve swung too far to the world-building and not enough tension/excitement in the one I’m writing at the moment. But plenty of time…

  • 11 April, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    My message didn’t make it! I like your Imperium. It has more nuance, IMHO, than the Empire in Star Wars, for example. I think you’re doing a good job of making it more than a straw-man enemy.

    • 11 April, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      If I get the mini-menu up, I always try reloading. Sometimes it even turns up hours later having hidden in the spam. But I’ll always edit if that happens. I also tend to copy long comments before I press post, if I remember 🙂
      I think it’s just luck.

  • 11 April, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Writing about that which surrounds us is simple, but to create another place requires more than most us can muster. Thanks for taking a look my A-Z today.

    • 11 April, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks for visiting back, Keith. I’m sure I marked your blog to follow during my preview phase, so don’t know why it’s taken me this long!

  • 11 April, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    It’s always interesting how many different authors with many different visions of the future or of alternate reality have similar entities throughout. I think that’s just another confirmation of there being something “more” in this universe than just ourselves. Not that I want the bad things from Sci-Fi to be real…just the good ones 😀 That does make me a bit of an optimist, doesn’t it? We do need those baddies in literature. I suppose they’re necessary in the real universe too but it’s safer to enjoy them via reading. Great post!

    Jen Chandler was Here

    • 12 April, 2016 at 9:42 am

      I think I read someone clever, a long time ago, who suggested that we like the bad things in scifi because it reminds us what could happen if we don’t control our baser instincts and look after our world. It was something along those lines, anyway. Trouble is, not enough people in politics read scifi, IMHO!

      Meanwhile, I have to dish more dirt in the one I’m writing at present – it’s far too cosy!

  • 11 April, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    this is some pretty cool world building.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    • 12 April, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Thanks, Lee! I’m honoured 🙂 See you in Manhattan.

  • 12 April, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    I have been reading science fiction for the last 50 or more years (I’m 63) and I never realized, until I wrote my first NaNoWriMo manuscript, just how difficult world building is. I admire any author who can pull it off.

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