Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Freeworlds

For the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I'm posting alphabetically on things related to Shayla's world from my (unpublished) novel, Ghosts of Innocence...

The worlds in Ghosts of Innocence are either fiefdoms, owned by one of the Grand Families, or outlaw worlds eking out a precarious existence on the perimeters of civilization, or Freeworlds.

The Freeworlds enjoy independence by statute, granted by the Emperor, and honored by the other Families by treaty.

Freeworlds usually have a dedicated purpose, or charter, and establish themselves as highly specialized centers of excellence for academics, artists, or artisans. The Families honor the Freeworlds' independent status in return for the strictly impartial value that these worlds bring to all of humanity.

It is no coincidence that Freeworlds typically lack natural resources worth fighting over.

It would also be a mistake to imagine the Freeworlds as being idyllic beacons of freedom in a wilderness of feudal rule. Being a Freeworld simply means that the local rulers manage their affairs unencumbered by central control. That independence rarely extends to the general populace.

Shayla's brother, Brandt, lived on the University Freeworld of Chevinta, which is ruled by an intellectual meritocracy. Brandt lived as a recluse, taking no part in the backstabbing world of University politics, and he would have rejected any suggestion of being a member of a ruling elite, but he hardly noticed the subservient underclass that kept him and his intellectual peers fed and clothed.

At the end of Ghosts, the ravaged world Eloon is granted Freeworld status, and Shayla is exiled there to establish a refuge for people dispossessed by conflict.


  1. Fiefdoms and Freeworlds, huh? Kinda sounds a lot like the geopolitical status of the world today, doesn't it? Interesting post. Good luck with your book.

  2. You do an amazing amount of world building in your writing! So impressed because that's where I struggle.

  3. Hrm... I was under the impression that Eloon was destroyed. Is that the set-up for a sequel?

    Another great post!


  4. Susan, it would be a mistake to confuse Freeworlds as being lands of the free. The closest to true individual freedom would probably be the outworlds.

    Johanna, I find the worldbuilding to be the easiest part, but much of what I put into these posts is never expressed in the story itself. It's mostly just there in the background, seen in glimpses.

    J, I think you're thinking way too Star Wars there. Damn you, George Lucas! Everything on Eloon was destroyed, but the planet itself is still there. That's the challenge for Shayla in the sequel, she's having to rebuild from nothing.

  5. What fascinating worlds you've designed! Thanks for your comment on the F word in my blog post today. Great point about making it appropriate for characters and story. I agree.

  6. The more I read about your world, the more fascinated I become.

  7. This is what fascinates me about fantasy or sci fi authors, that world creation and the way it becomes so real during the reading of the book and remains with you afterwards, due to its powerful creation.


  8. Glad you are finding things of interest here. I took this A to Z as an excuse to expose some of the worldbuilding behind Ghosts, which I'm enjoying hugely. It's still worth remembering that this is all secondary to the story itself :)

  9. This is a fun way to go about the A-Z Challenge. You are building on your own story as you continue to include others in it. I like it! I found you by way of A-Z... and I'm glad I did :-)

    A-Z 2012 (#49) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Poetry
    A-Z 2012 (#861) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Haiku

  10. Any chance this is inspired by real-life stuff? In any case, very interesting!

  11. Will the refuge also develop a dedicated purpose once it has an adequate population? It's a neat idea.


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