The Dangers of Technology

You have read the Arcana books and you know Valaris is a world unspoiled by industry and technology, and yet, by the end of the series Valaris has been discovered, it’s on star maps. As Reaume commences, technology becomes an issue …

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There was danger now, more so with every visitor, of technology gaining a stranglehold, but at present it was strictly controlled.

Electricity, now commonplace, relied on solar power, as did hot water. Farming was the mainstay of the economy and used horse and hand as in the past. Travel was the long-winded mode and goods were manufactured in old established ways.

Items such as radios and televisions were putting in an appearance, in itself not a bad thing, but already there were calls for a satellite to facilitate those needs, and that would require industry and the like. Once a satellite was successfully launched, it was a short leap to spacecraft of Valarian design. Nobody desired to sully the countryside with telephone poles and unsightly wires, but that service too was demanded – not the poles, but a system whereby telephonic communication would become a reality, viz. a satellite. Satellites could be procured from elsewhere, designed to suit local needs, but Valaris was a world rich in natural beauty, not money.

Food produced fed the populace and goods were manufactured according to requirement. That would change swiftly if money became the goal. Natural beauty would slowly vanish as it made way to produce more and more and more, and Valarians would become greedy, selfish and uncaring of the environment.

If that state of mind was avoided, still the demand would remain, and that led to what would other worlds think of Valaris if technology was brought in? Would they not anger over the insistence of an unspoilt planet … at their expense? It was potential political dynamite, as it was potential disaster to Valaris’ rich natural inheritance.

These were the very real concerns of the leaders who conversed with Torrullin at the Keep, and there were no simple answers.

Interview with Cat Dalrish

My name is Blue River Frond and I am from Charikian. We are people watchers and we are scribes. Every being in all time and space has a place and a purpose and to that end we record the words they speak, for posterity … and for insight into the past. Please call me Blue and read my dialogues:

Catalina Dalrish

(I met with Cat in the bar at the Launchpad of Xen III’s largest spaceport)

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Blue: Hello, Cat, please to meet you. Why do people call you ‘Cat’?

Cat: It’s short for Catalina. I like it better anyway.

Blue: I believe you are of the Dalrish family.

Cat: I am, but I prefer not to talk about my family. Nothing good comes of discussing the Dalrish.

Blue: Even your brother Matt?

Cat: Matt is the only good thing in this family.

Blue: I sense your reluctance. Shall we then talk about your talents as a navigator?

Cat: Anytime!

Blue: I hear you studied at Xen’s Navigational School.

Cat: One thing you must say about Xen – it has the ability to instil knowledge and the Navigational School is considered one of the best in the universe.

Blue: Would you say your charts are up to date?

Cat: Absolutely. In fact we discovered some old charts from pre-dome days that have helped our understanding tremendously … but I’m not really allowed to talk about it. We also have the latest duplicates from Beacon’s exploration ships.

Blue: Exploration ships is a bit of a misnomer, wouldn’t you say?

Cat: Yeah. Beacon isn’t known for its benevolence, more exploitation than exploration, in my opinion. Maybe you shouldn’t print that.

Blue: Your brother is a pilot, not so?

Cat: The best. Can fly anything.

Blue: Is it chance that both of you chose careers that take you away from Xen?

Cat: Did we decide together to study in a field that enables it? No. But it isn’t chance either. I think both of us simply understood that was the only way to experience freedom.

Blue: Freedom from what?

Cat: Family, of course, but mostly the domes on this diseased world. If you want to know what real sunlight feels like, you have to leave. Or to feel rain, breathe fresh air. None of that here.

Blue: And yet you return after every journey. Why not simply slip away?

Cat: It comes down to family.

Blue: What do you mean?

Cat: Families always place a sense of duty on your outlook. Sorry, that’s as much as I’m going to say.

Blue: Your next trip is to Valaris, I hear? You and Matt are flying together this time.

Cat: We often fly together, but, yes, we’re on our way to Valaris in two days.

Blue: Have you been there before?

Cat: A few times now, a beautiful world, loads of fresh air and sunshine.

Blue: Easy to slip away there.

Cat: Maybe, but I wouldn’t do it without Matt.

Blue: He wouldn’t want to stay?

Cat: He’d stay in a heartbeat, but has too great a sense of duty to family to simply leave.

Blue: What’s on Valaris that takes the Blue Domian Nine there so often? Nice name, by the way.

Cat: We call our ship the Blue Dom, and it’s produce mostly. We swap solar gear for fresh food … and there’s the tourist aspect, of course. Many pay huge amounts for a few days in clean air.

Blue: Ah, yes. Matt’s actual name is Le Matt, isn’t it? Most Dalrish have a ‘Le’ something – do you?

Cat: The Dalrish women don’t get it.

Blue: Your uncle …

Cat: I’m not discussing my uncle.

Blue: Fine. After Valaris, what’s next for Cat Dalrish?

Cat: Another journey, another chart, who knows?

Blue: If someone were to offer you change, would you take it?

Cat: What kind of change?

Blue: Employment on Beacon, for instance?

Cat: Ah, I don’t rightly like Beaconites, but yes, I’d take it for the cleaner way of life, if Matt did so also.

Blue: Would you do it for Valaris?

Cat: Without thinking twice.

Blue: Have you met any Valleur on Valaris?

Cat: One. His name’s Krikian. He teaches me magic and I teach him science. A great guy!

Blue: Magic?

Cat: Oh, nothing like the big stuff the Valleur can do, just tricks really to entertain the crew on long journeys. Blue, I must go …

 

An alarm sounds and Cat is on her feet and running.

(Next I hear of Cat, she and Matt are both employed by the Valleur on Valaris. One wonders what a techno-poor world wants with a navigator and a pilot able to fly anything, doesn’t one?)

Update: Lore’s Reading Order

As promised, with the LORE short stories all live, here’s an updated reading order. This slots the short stories into the correct places in order to read sequentially, but the shorts can be read separately after finishing the entire series 🙂

  1. The Infinity Mantle (Arcana)
  2. The Kinfire Tree (Arcana)
  3. The Drowned Throne (Arcana)
  4. The Dragon Circle (Arcana)
  5. The Rainbows of Pilan (short)
  6. The Life-Wheels of Pendulim (short)
  7. The History of Ardosia (short)
  8. The Wolves of Valaris (short)
  9. The Kallanon Scales (Reaume)
  10. The Tower of Stairs (short)
  11. The Glittering Darkness (short)
  12. The Nemisin Star (Reaume)
  13. The Sleeper Sword (Reaume)
  14. The Beyond for Vannis (short)
  15. The Dreamer Stones (Reaume)
  16. The Nemesis Blade (Sanctum)
  17. The Echolone Mine (Sanctum)
  18. The Nowhere Sphere (Sanctum)
  19. The Master Mechanism (Sanctum)

(All links in the dedicated pages)

Coming soon: EURUE (World Series)

Currently in progress: FAROCHIN (World Series)

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Blue Domian Nine

Minutes later the building shook, glass rattling in frames, and an ear-splitting whine filled the air. It sounded like the end of the world, and the concourse darkened dramatically as the shadow of a huge ship came overhead.

The whine was mercifully short-lived, for the craft was down in short order. The women reached for files. The engines shut down and a ramp lowered. It was an old cargo ship, of uniform dark blue, covered in strange silver markings.

It came to rest on a gantry lowered from the ship’s bowels and was the traditional triangular shape, with a bloated central oval in which portals shone as they caught the sunshine. Near the nose of the craft, a bubble rose and figures moved within.

This particular ship was a familiar sight, ferrying in guests and cargo from Xen III and other worlds. She was a trader known as the Blue Domian Nine, affectionately known as the Blue Dom.

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The Kallanon Scales

Not ‘pretty’ fantasy

Weekend is upon us!

If you enjoy Fantasy with a touch of sci-fi, loads of epic situations and battles, other worlds, visionary concepts and intriguing magic, then start your journey with the lore in LORE 🙂

Oh, I dare you! As one reviewer said, “This isn’t pretty fantasy.” It isn’t. It’s gut-wrenching emotion and it always surprises you.

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LORE OF ARCANA OMNIBUS

LORE OF REAUME OMNIBUS

THE MASTER MECHANISM

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