author’s note: antarctica map

another map.  this time with rivers.  so many things to consider when making a world.  like where are the people going to live?  if you were designing a world, where would you put the population centers?  on the first map i made a stab at it, but you’ve got to look at the elevations and the rivers and how deep the ports are going to be, and whether the land is going to rise or sink and whether your area will silt up or flood.

all these various parts of antarctica will be drastically different from each other, even tho they’ll all be subject to long dark winters, and the most temperate part of the place will be the northern fringes, especially the peninsula.

so even tho everyone except the plains tribes will fish and farm and raise ruminant animals and build houses of wood, they’ll all have pretty much the same resources.  except for there’s coal in transantarctica, and oil and gas in the inner part of the ross sea and amery bay.

i haven’t yet found names for the seas around adelie, or the inner sea, and indeed haven’t come up with a name for the inner ross sea.  these will come as i consult more maps, or better yet make things up.

some thoughts on the process of writing this.

i’ve only been at it officially for about 3 weeks, and i’ve done tons of research in all the various topics this story will address – antarctica, the occupy movement, quantum physics, video gaming.  it’s exhausting, but i bound out of bed in the morning just thinking about it.  and it’s all coming together, but what a mass of details i have to master in order to write about it with any kind of sense at all.

the stuff i’m putting up on this blog about the plot is basically my first thoughts.  you’re actually seeing some of this as it comes out of my head (author’s notes) and you’re seeing the plot as it gets worked out.  but this is such a strange story that it can’t really be presented straightforward.

it’s a quantum story, and everything happens at once.

it’s more important to follow the principles of quantum mechanics in building the story than it is to follow a timeline, because in quantum physics there is no time.  it all happens simultaneously, and it’s our focus that determines the apparent time stream.

so, for instance, in the game.

the game is giving me fits.  because it’s a massively multiple game, for millions of simultaneous players around the globe, and there are very few rules about what you can and can’t do in the game.  the only limitations are within you the player.  so i’m having to construct a video game.

i don’t even play video games anymore.  i stopped with leisure suit larry and jazz jackrabbit and myst.  so i had to learn about game programming.  and game level design.

that’s why i love the library.  and internet search engines.

back to the game.  i’m in the middle of constructing the game document, the written description of the game and all its salient points.  but this game isn’t one long tunnel to the end that can be described by ‘and then, you…’  because at each turn you can do fucking anything you like.  there is no one path, or one right answer, or even a best path or answer.  because the outcome of the game depends entirely on you the player.  and you can spend all the time you want playing your own version of the game, and never once address the game’s actual purpose.

the game’s actual purpose is to teach you the player how to function in a quantum world, how to master the art of quantum thinking, and how to create the world you want to have.

which is a tall order, i know.  but not impossible.  in fact, it’s quantumly inevitable.

up until yesterday i was going to have the tester play the game.  in the beginning i was going to have ‘people’ play the game, but i realized that it wouldn’t be consistent enough unless it was one character.  one guy playing from start to finish.  but i can’t do that, because there are so many possibilities for the game that to track one would only give you the barest idea of the potential of the game.

and then there’s the interaction between the boy and the girl.  the two who had the quantum experience that started it all.  i need for their relationship to develop thru the whole story, and can’t take that much time off to have some third party play the game without them.

so they have to be playing the game.  both of them in there making unique decisions, having an entirely different game experience, learning different things.  that way i can have more experience and more choices and two branching paths.

and i will need others playing the game, filling other roles, showcasing other possibilities, developing other skills and other versions of the game.

so i’ve got to have a passel of characters.

boy
girl
kernel programmer
replacement programmer
them

that’s all i have so far.  them is rather nebulous, but at this point everybody is an npc to me, because i’m just laying them out.  when it comes time to write them they’ll become people.  their states will be chosen by being observed, and they’ll appear as they are in the story.

i could do it that way.  just materialize them into the story.  but it won’t make sense, so i’ll give them backstories and real pivotal roles in the story.  because there are so many damn crises that it’s not funny.

the talents are developed by playing over and over, until thinking quantum becomes a habit.  but in the story, we only need to play the game once, because it’s a quantum game.  the act of the boy and girl playing the game is the same thing, quantumly, as the universe of players playing a million times each.

and that’s where it gets mystical.

how the hell can i write this?  it’s already too complex and it’s only going to get more entangled as i figure it out and the pieces fall together.

but i can’t stop because the pieces are falling together.  the whole thing makes sense, and each part enriches the other, so i know i’m on the right track.  and my little voice is jumping up and down.

antarctica and a video game
quantum physics and the occupy movement

what have they got in common?

the links between quantum physics and the occupy movement are obvious to me.  horizontal organization and bottom up politics is very like quantum physics, but at the moment i’m having trouble saying why.  it’s very obvious in my head, however.  that’s the challenge.  how to make all this into a simple fairy tale, how to find the places where all these things intersect and describe that.

okay, time for dinner.  i just wanted to set down some of the process i’m in now.  i’m still trying to work thru the game and describe it, just taking one path and following it, even tho that’s against the spirit of quantum mechanics (multiple paths), just to get it written down so i can go on to the next part, which is the reaction of the outside world to the game, the actual action, and the real crisis.  but i’ve got to get thru scene 2 before i move to scene 3 or there’ll be hell to pay.

and it’s not like the scenes will be run one after the other, either.  there won’t be a break to go play the game and then come back to the real world.  the three scenes will be all tangled up, as is quantum mechanics, and it’ll take a better storyteller than i to put it together.

which is why i’m letting the fairies write this one.

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About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on December 11, 2011, in antarctica, author's note, characters, game, occupy, plot, quantum and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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