Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Second Noon?

Give this wikipedia article on Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Noon Universe a gander. We have an interstellar science fiction setting with no interplanetary or interstellar governments. No space empires, no imperialism and war among the stars.

Most humans just life on Earth. Most of humanity's problems have been solved - by humanity. It's a post-scarcity society, and one that is communistic. The stage of communism that has been achieved is the highest one, where the state has withered away. Socialism circles back into anarchism. Society is guided by other kinds of collectivities such as councils.

Interstellar travel is nearly instantaneous. It is mainly scientists and observers who get around the stars. Other worlds in other systems also have human or near-human populations (Arkanar is a good example of this), but how they got there is a bit of a mystery. We'd probably have to turn the clock back thousands and thousands of years to figure that one out.

Other systems have aliens. Some of the aliens are so alien that it takes a while to figure out they are intelligent.

Earth sends out observers to other worlds. When societies are less developed than Earth (and here it is important to point out that the development of most human and near-human societies follows predictable "stages" outlined in "basis theory"), there is a policy of non-intervention to prevent the development of things like a "20th Century Rome".

But people from Earth are no longer used to everyday violence and misery. Being around it sickens one. Some observers feel obligated to act. Small actions, like saving someone's life: probably no big deal. Big actions, like ending the life of a tyrant, fomenting a peasant rebellion, or introducing advanced technology: those are no-no's. Some observers will do it anyway. There's a story there to tell there.

Other humans go out to explore. Lots of stories to tell there as well.

I'd imagine Sector General style stories could work in this universe too.

Here at FATE SF, I am going to explore developing a Second Noon campaign frame. I'll take my time with this project, lots of irons in the fire right now, and I want to read more of the Strugatskys' novels set in the Noon Universe.

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