UUlric is a planet within the Imperium, although it is not a planet, but a large moon, orbiting the planet Daedalus, which orbits the star Barnard at 1AU, the same distance as the Earth from the Sun.  Barnard, as it is generally termed in my Viridian System universe, around the 29th century, some 700 years after the Exodus from Earth (which is now uninhabitable), was originally known as Barnard’s Star, or Proxima Ophiuchi.  It is one of the closest stars to the Solar system, along with Proxima Centauri.  It lies between those two systems along the western spiral arm.

It’s interesting mixing fact and fiction within the world-building that I do.  Barnard’s Star is a red dwarf, a very ancient star, nearly the end of its life.  It was thought to have planets at a relatively early stage of astronomy, although recent research has eliminated many types of planet from the possible options.  Terrestrial-type planets have not yet been eliminated. [source: wikipedia]


All the rest of what I’ve built for Ulric & Daedalus is fiction, but takes the distance from the star as a starting point for its physical characteristics – at 1AU the light from Barnard is about 100 times that of our full moon, and it is much stronger in the infrared.  Consequently I have allowed Ulric and Daedalus to be relatively warm; Daedalus is rather too hot for comfortable living due to the greenhouse effect on the water vapour in its atmosphere.   Ulric orbits Daedalus retrograde, i.e. in the opposite direction from Daedalus’s rotation, which has the effect of keeping it on the ‘sunny’ side of the planet, and Ulric’s own rotation keeps it a habitable temperature and climate.

That’s for the techies, I suppose.  It means that Ulric is a temperate ‘planet’, with seas, active volcanoes, and vegetative growth, and daylight dimmer than normal for human eyes but fine for general needs for anyone used to it.  It is a well populated planet, with five landmasses that have constantly shifting political alliances with each other, and a global council which represents its interests within the Imperium.  Three of the ‘nations’ are industrialised, with considerable Imperium aid in technology and know-how, especially to maintain the Old Earth Reconnaissance Technostation; the other two are primarily agricultural, keeping the Ulrics self-sufficient in food.

There is not much of importance at Ulric.  The Delphian seer, or Oracle, caused so much trouble some twenty years ago she was banished to an independent planet further out, to keep her from interfering with various political manoeuvres. She was last known to be on the planet Bartelski.  One of Ulric’s more active council representatives moved off planet about the same time, to become a permanent member of the Imperium Senate.  If you’ve followed this A to Z, or my blog generally, you know him as Kaa Birith, a name he took to hide his unfashionable origins.  The only other person from Ulric you might have come across is his son, Alwyn Johansson, who left to go to Farsight Academy and never came back. Not under that name, at any rate.

© J M Pett 2016

Keep up with all the news on the Viridian System series at our website.

Picture: By NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI) – Self-made JPEG version of original TIFF image at Hubble website, Public Domain  downloaded from wikipedia [Barnard’s Star entry]

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U is for Ulric
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14 thoughts on “U is for Ulric

  • 25 April, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I don’t know if I’d want to live on a planet (or moon) with such a dim star.

    • 25 April, 2016 at 9:42 am

      I must check how much luminosity 100x the full moon compares with a dull day in London. It would certainly be fine to see each other’s faces etc, and the plants will grow to feed the population. Warmth is not a problem. And of course, many Ulric’s are adapted to it so see well in dim light – as well as we do in cloudy conditions.

      Hm. I’ve never directly referred to that capability in my native Ulric man in my stories — you’ve given me ideas for book 3, Elizabeth 😉

  • 25 April, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Hi Jemima – you’ve certainly given your Viridian System some very intelligent beginnings … I really must come back and read all the posts through – but Ulric is a good name for a moon … not a planet as you say .. cheers Hilary

  • 25 April, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Sounds like you put a lot of thought into your world building. I bet it is fun to find aspect of reality to fit in.

    • 25 April, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks, Tamara. Some things just go with the backstory of a character, and then I read something interesting that makes me put a twist on it 🙂

  • 25 April, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    It must take you so long to work all this out, never mind the time to actually write the story! Impressive.

    • 25 April, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      I do a lot of thinking in my sleep! 🙂

  • 25 April, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Hmm. Yes, interesting possibilities!

    You inspire me with the level of world-building you’ve done. I can see that if I ever develop even such a tongue-in-cheek character as Xavier Xanthum into a book, I will have to do a lot of background work!

    • 25 April, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      You probably have all of XX’s worlds in your head, as I did with a lot of things I’ve written down here this month. I guess is just another brazen attempt to raise awareness of my books!

  • 25 April, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Interesting, Jemima, and great imagination. Passion makes it happen, putting all this together. Sounds fascinating.

    • 25 April, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      You’re right, passion comes into it. At present I’ve been writing about a planet called Corsair in my latest book, and I realise I haven’t given it any wildlife. I think it ought to have some!

  • 26 April, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Hope you’re having as much fun writing your A to Z as I am reading it! You’re world-building is incredible. And it sounds like we’re going to get a Viridian System book 3! Whee…so much fun.

    • 26 April, 2016 at 8:53 am

      I think it’s inevitable, Judy 🙂 I’m making sure book 2 isn’t a cliff-hanger – but there are plenty of things going on elsewhere that have only just started!

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