World Building by Abby J. Reed
One of my favorite parts of science-fiction world-building is the technology and gadgets. I’ll focus on two of the most prominent “tech and gadgets” featured in WHEN PLANETS FALL: Breaker’s prosthesis and Luka’s minis.
One of my favorite things about Breaker is Circuit, his prosthesis. Tons of engineering goes into building any type prosthesis. You have everything from prostheses for simple walking, for jogging, for modeling, even for competing in things like skiing or track. Really, a prosthetic limb is a work of art.
This is where world-building is really important. Circuit couldn’t be as fancy or advanced as many of the prosthesis we have today. Due to the history of the compound where Breaker lives, they simply wouldn’t have done research or developed materials to make prostheses more maneuverable.
Because of this, one of my beta/sensitivity readers actually helped me figure out what type of prosthesis to base Circuit on. She mentioned several types she owned throughout the years, how they worked, pros and cons. Circuit’s design is based from one of her earlier, more simple types. Its main characteristic is its ball-and-socket-like joint to place the end of the amputated limb. Breaker could easily build this in the compound. If I didn’t know this bit of world building, Circuit would’ve looked and functioned totally differently.
Luka’s favorite weapons are his minis. We know them as—sci-fi modified bayonets. When I think of a bayonet, I usually think of the Revolutionary War and a bunch of rag-tag people fighting fancy red-coated officers with their fancy weapons. But then, it disappears from my imagination as modern warfare progressed.
Actually, the bayonet didn’t die out then. It continued to be modified throughout history even until the Vietnam War, when the US Military developed a bayonet for the M-16, calling it the M-7 bayonet. Though its usefulness kept declining, soldiers were still given training for it even into the 2000’s. Given this history, it’s not too hard to believe that the bayonet never completely died out and just kept modifying until it morphed into a version Luka uses.
Luka’s minis are way more useful than the bayonet we know. By the time they would’ve been developed, they would have the ability to fire multiple rounds before their solacharge ran out and rendered the “rifle” part useless. (There’s so much research out there on using solar energy, and how to use it more effectively, this isn’t as much of a scientific stretch as you’d imagine.) Guns are more accurate, more lightweight, making the weapon way more feasible for Luka to use for multiple ranges of destruction.
In this way, I could have way more fun with the world building because, due to the history of the compound, they would’ve developed better weapons, unlike Breaker’s prosthesis. But both the limited design of Circuit and more imagined design of Luka’s minis stemmed from the same tiny world-building detail—the history of the compound.
When Planets Fall
Abby J. Reed
(Stars Fall Circle #1)
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: April 12th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
“In this richly imagined start to a new sci-fi series, Reed brings optimism to the goal of solving entrenched violence in a galaxy far, far away . . . A propulsive, sharply crafted tale about a planetary war.” -Kirkus Reviews
Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.
All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.
Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.
Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint. Find her online at www.abbyjreed.com.
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