Author S.M. Blooding on World Building for the Devices of War Series
Several people have asked me how I developed Illona (the name of our little moon). You know, how did I decide to build cities inside of jellyfish, mainly.
I enjoy astrophysics, but only understand about…20% of what I hear. I love reading articles on astrophysics. Love it! I love watching shows on astronomy. LOVE that! I’m not going to say I understand all of it. I don’t. But, I do have a wild imagination.
A few years back, when I had the leisure to do so, I studied astrobiophysics. On my own, mind you. So, it was a hodge-podge of information. I ingested everything I could get my hands on. Then, I had kids. Then, I lost those kids. After I got over the depression, I discovered I had a lot of time on my hands and that didn’t suck.
During that time, when I’d been struggling to keep myself and my kids alive and my parents from killing me, a solar system had been building in the back of my mind. I’d watch it grow before I went to bed. It’s not like it was growing inside my brainpan unbeknownst to me. That could happen now. The Change—or Pre-Change is bad for the brain cells, I tell you.
Can we get to the good stuff? Well, kinda. But give me a sec. I was toying around with a dual sun system. More than that, I kinda wanted two solar systems—like ours with a single sun—to orbit close together. Really and truly, these two solar systems are on a collision course. The two systems will merge—eventually—and become one. Hopefully. I don’t know.
For the love of shiny things! What does any of that have to do with world-building?! Studying this system through the eyes of the world I chose—which is a moon, not a planet—I realized that the seasons were drastically different. Illona travels around a giant planet, which orbits Kala, the big, orange sun.
I feel as though we’re finally getting to the point about the jellyfish. That’s because we are. In the extended version of Fall of Sky City¸ Synn tells us that he’s only seen spring once before. This is only his second spring. Guys. Winter is anywhere from four to six years long.
That’s what all the science was about.
The moon freezes over for 4-6 years!
Now, imagine living on that. The oceans become one big iceberg.
The landmasses are buried in blankets of thick ice.
There’s not a lot of land anyway, so the land people have to learn to live on ice. Igloos. Got it.
The ocean dwellers have to convert their boats to living on the ice. Huts. Got it.
The airmen have to learn how to keep their ships from freezing over and breaking while in flight. Whoa. Um…crap.
Where the frell are the rest of the people going to live?
The problems with that much ice and low technology. I could have gone in a very technological foray. I could have. It would have very cool. It would have been fun.
But then Kadar, Synn’s father, introduced me to his air jelly. And then he introduced me to all the creatures he needs on his ship to support the air jelly. The air jelly is crucial. It’s the one thing that keeps an airship afloat. He introduced me to the golden ring ice eaters that keep the ropes and everything slimy, but not iced over, the feather worms that keep the hull protected and the air jelly fed.
Then, Chie introduced me to the lethara.
I’d researched the jellyfish back in high school. It’s amazing how much latent information I have streaming through my head. Somewhere, the back processes of my brain, I’d made a connection between the supreme flexibility of the jellyfish and the need to find a survivable means of existing on Illona.
Huh. Your brain is weird. Yeah. Probably. Maybe. But it was a great idea. With a little melding of the jellyfish we know and the environment on Illona, I came up with a few ways that the jellyfish as we know it would have to survive on that moon.
• They’d have to be versatile.
• They’d have to start small and, maybe, float in the air. The water wasn’t safe all the time.
• They’d have to be able to live above and below the water. Okay, maybe “have to” is too strong a term. I wanted them to.
• They’d have to be able to drop a curtain from their hood.
• During brutal storms and when they went under the water, they’d have to drop something a bit thicker, like a curtain.
I mean, these were just the fun things!
And it all started in high school when I “borrowed” a few books about astronomy, physics, and biology.
About Whispers of the Skyborne by S.M. Blooding
The world has changed. The Great Families are no longer in power. Queen Nix of the Hands of Tarot has been stripped of her title and incarcerated. The League of Cities has been formed to provide a new line of defense to the smaller tribal nations.
Not without consequences, though. Another of the original Great Families has been destroyed. As the new leaders rise from the ashes, a new threat comes to light; something no one saw coming, something that had been lurking under the surface of their society for generations.
The Skyborne. As they discover just how deep the Skyborne’s influences are, they realize the war they thought they’d been fighting . . . . . . wasn’t the real one.
Get book 1 and book 2
Meet the Author:
SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation.
She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.
She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!