Brandon: Stephen King question

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Postby SteveFoerster » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:07 pm

Brandon wrote:I’ve gotten a decent start but I just don’t have time to devote lots of energy toward finishing it right now. I’ve got fourteen pages done and I’ve used those to introduce a few of the important characters. The basic idea right now is a Spartacus type figure who leads a slave revolt that is much more successful than the original Spartacus. Along the way, a major component of the story will be about forgiveness and redemption.

Interesting. Is the Roman Empire the setting? Does that mean it's an alternate history of sorts?

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Postby Brandon » Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:06 am

SteveFoerster wrote:Interesting. Is the Roman Empire the setting? Does that mean it's an alternate history of sorts?


It is interesting that you mention that because the Roman Empire and Spartacus serve as the inspiration for the novel. Instead of taking place on Earth in the distant past it is set in the distant (well, maybe not too distant) future and it is on a partially terraformed Mars, or maybe a big dome. I’m trying to find out which is more feasible. What happens is a young slave is betrayed by his cruel master and becomes a runaway. He comes across other runaways and they form a rag – tag group that is just trying to survive. In the process of doing so, they incur further wrath from the leaders of Mars. Their fame also grows, more join in their cause. A large revolt begins that turns into a civil war and is ultimately successful on the part of the slaves and their lower caste supporters. In the process, the main character has to forgive a lot of people, including his cruel master, his parents who sell him into slavery to pay off debts that would have gotten the entire family enslaved, and so on and so on. Of course, that is all preliminary and I’ll probably change a lot of it. The redemptive aspect of it may center on the cruel master of the main character and on the main character seeking redemption as well because of the loss of life the war brought. Or something like that, I am still in the early stages of planning this out. I’d like to have a lot of depth and personality to each of the characters, with some emphasis on their imperfections and how these can eventually led to a spiritual perfection of sorts, when we choose to deal those imperfections that cause us harm in life. Comments are appreciated at this point. Thank you.
Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

- 1 Peter 5:8

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Postby SteveFoerster » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:01 pm

Brandon wrote:It is interesting that you mention that because the Roman Empire and Spartacus serve as the inspiration for the novel. Instead of taking place on Earth in the distant past it is set in the distant (well, maybe not too distant) future and it is on a partially terraformed Mars, or maybe a big dome. I’m trying to find out which is more feasible.

A dome would be a lot more feasible. Although, one of the things that bugs me about science-fiction is when authors fail to take into account surveillance technology, even that already available today. If your runaway slaves are in a dome, it would be easy for the powers that be to figure out where they are.

Brandon wrote:What happens is a young slave is betrayed by his cruel master and becomes a runaway. He comes across other runaways and they form a rag – tag group that is just trying to survive. In the process of doing so, they incur further wrath from the leaders of Mars. Their fame also grows, more join in their cause. A large revolt begins that turns into a civil war and is ultimately successful on the part of the slaves and their lower caste supporters. In the process, the main character has to forgive a lot of people, including his cruel master, his parents who sell him into slavery to pay off debts that would have gotten the entire family enslaved, and so on and so on.

Why does he have to? Most people wouldn't.

Brandon wrote:Of course, that is all preliminary and I’ll probably change a lot of it. The redemptive aspect of it may center on the cruel master of the main character and on the main character seeking redemption as well because of the loss of life the war brought. Or something like that, I am still in the early stages of planning this out. I’d like to have a lot of depth and personality to each of the characters, with some emphasis on their imperfections and how these can eventually led to a spiritual perfection of sorts, when we choose to deal those imperfections that cause us harm in life. Comments are appreciated at this point. Thank you.

Have you read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein or Pallas by L. Neil Smith?

-=Steve=-
BS, Information Systems concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Educational Technology Leadership, George Washington University
PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
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Postby Brandon » Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:22 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:A dome would be a lot more feasible. Although, one of the things that bugs me about science-fiction is when authors fail to take into account surveillance technology, even that already available today. If your runaway slaves are in a dome, it would be easy for the powers that be to figure out where they are.



I was thinking the same thing. So here is what I am thinking of doing. It can be a partially terraformed Mars. If you read The Case for Mars by Dr. Robert Zubrin, he outlines a plan that would allow you to thicken the Martian atmosphere to the point where humans could walk outside on the surface with only the assistance of a respirator/oxygen mask device. It involves heating up a portion of the polar caps and releasing the gases there. That'd warm up the planet and melt more of the gases frozen at the caps and in the soil. That, in turn, heats the planet up more and causes more gas to be released. And so on and so on. You get the point. Anyways, you'd still have to have domes to live in. So what this does, it allows the slaves to flee into in the uninhabited Martian deserts to hide, well outside of the large domes that house most of the Martian people. I know what you're thinking, the slaves can't just live in the desert with just a face mask and oxygen tank saving them from death. This is where Zubrin comes to the rescue. He mentions in his book temporary domes that can be constructed by humans when we first arrive on Mars. They are cheap and easy to build but not very portable. But that is very easily fixed, at least in my book. All I have to do is say that succeeding generations of Martians got better and better at dome making, not just at making large domes that could contain large cities but also small, portable domes for explorers, soldiers, campers, etc. That's what the slaves could use, small and very portable domes that they can steal on their way out of the main dome. So, this allows the slaves to be far from the prying eyes of the authorities. It also gives them reasons to launch raids on the large domes. These raids would be conducted so the slaves could take the supplies they need. Those raids would make the Martian leaders angry and the story can build from there. They’d get more famous from the raids. They might pick up a few runaway slaves as time goes on. That allows me to work a spy into their midst, if I want. I am thinking of having the slaves raid a slave trading post and liberate more slaves. They could then have a guerrilla army. And so on. I still have to think most of this out. But I feel I have good start.

SteveFoerster wrote:Why does he have to? Most people wouldn't.



Honestly, because this book is going to present a Judeo – Christian outlook on life. Anyone can be harmed in life and then hate the person who did it. It takes an entirely different kind of human being, some one who isn’t most people, to forgive the person who harmed them. I want my main character to be that person, who can rise above the common and achieve extraordinary things.

SteveFoerster wrote:Have you read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein or Pallas by L. Neil Smith?



No, I haven't. Do you think reading them will help me write my novel? I do read a lot of the Dune series. I love those books.

Thank you for the insight you have provided thus far. I appreciate anything else you would like to add.
Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

- 1 Peter 5:8

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Postby SteveFoerster » Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:08 pm

There's a rift somewhere on Mars that's deeper than the rest of the surface. It's large enough that perhaps if that were terraformed first it would make a suitable setting without being unrealistic.

Understood about your character's motivation. You have me wanting to know more, so that's a good start. :)

Yes, those novels are worth your attention, if only to see how other authors have covered similar ground.

-=Steve=-
BS, Information Systems concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Educational Technology Leadership, George Washington University
PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
More about me at my site
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Postby Brandon » Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:04 am

SteveFoerster wrote:There's a rift somewhere on Mars that's deeper than the rest of the surface. It's large enough that perhaps if that were terraformed first it would make a suitable setting without being unrealistic.


I'll have to look into that. Thanks.

SteveFoerster wrote: Understood about your character's motivation. You have me wanting to know more, so that's a good start. :)


This is what I really want to know. Do you think it has potential and could be an interesting book to read?

SteveFoerster wrote: Yes, those novels are worth your attention, if only to see how other authors have covered similar ground.


I’ll check them out.

Thanks for all the advice, please add anymore that you have. Thanks.
Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

- 1 Peter 5:8

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Support the Pregnant Women Support Act!
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Postby SteveFoerster » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:00 am

Brandon wrote:I'll have to look into that. Thanks.

This page refers to Valles Marineris and a few other deep Martian locations. Also, there was a movie called Stranded that used the idea of localized survivable atmospheric pressure in a deep rift on Mars, but it was used in a completely different way. It's a low budget flick and not that great, so if you want to see what I mean you'll have to suffer for your art. ;)

This is what I really want to know. Do you think it has potential and could be an interesting book to read?

Absolutely!

I’ll check them out.

You may find that reading Pallas is also suffering for your art. L. Neil Smith is not for everyone. Then again, if you're willing to consider joining the LP, you might find him okay. Heinlein you ought to love, well, at least that one.

-=Steve=-
BS, Information Systems concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Educational Technology Leadership, George Washington University
PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
More about me at my site
SteveFoerster
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Posts: 2352
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