Oh, yeah! – Capclave!

by Doc Coleman on October 9, 2013 · 6 comments

in Asides

Instead of looking back on the week that was, for this week’s #WriterWednesday post, I’m going to look forward. This is probably just as well, because as everyone knows, this past week has pretty much been a gall stone of a week. It will pass, but not easily. Instead, I’m looking forward, and finding a new experience on my horizon for this weekend: Capclave! Despite the fact that Capclave is pretty much in our back yard, this year will be the first year for us to attend.

I’m tempted to say that this is because Capclave is a smaller con, but honestly, I’m not that connected with the con circuit to judge how big Capclave actually is. Yes, it is no Dragon*Con, but then again, what is? Like Balticon, Capclave is a more literary convention, focused more on written storytelling than on genre movies and TV shows. Unlike Balticon, Capclave doesn’t really have a New Media Track, so I’m not going to be on panels this year. While I do have a few things published, most of my cred is in the New Media arena: podcasting, voice acting, blogging. Perhaps next year I will be able to establish enough street cred to be invited as a literary guest, but this year it didn’t seem worth the attempt. Besides, going as a paying member of the public is a good way to get the measure of a con.

Of course, the big draw for this year’s Capclave is the guest of honor: George R. R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire series, aka Game of Thrones, and editor of the Wild Cards shared world. The HBO Game of Thrones series has brought George back to the spotlight, but the series wouldn’t have been possible if it had not been for the huge following that the Song of Ice and Fire had first gained as a fantasy series. I hope to see some of the events with George in them, but they may be so crowded I might not be able to get in. We shall see.

Of course, looking farther down the line, NaNoWriMo is looming on the horizon. I will be participating in NaNoWriMo again this year, my third time doing NaNo. This year, I’m going to be doing a science fiction/superhero mashup story. You could also look at it as a spec-fic story, since the idea came from the idea of what would happen if in our world people really did start popping up with super-powers. Why many other authors have looked at the immediate reaction to the sudden appearance of metahumans, I’m setting my story at little farther along in time. In my timeline, the appearance of metas caused a lot of turmoil. Most metas pretty much tried to continue going about their lives, viewing their abilities as a curiosity. Some took their abilities as a sign that they needed to do more for their fellow man. Of those, a few let themselves be guided by the pattern of comic books becoming costumed vigilantes, but most offered their services to the military and police services. And it follows that some looked at their new abilities as an advantage to be exploited. They used their powers to take what they wanted and pretended that consequences were for other people. Some people worshiped the metas. Some reviled them as demons. In the end, that became the pattern for the future. Those metas who believed themselves superior to ordinary humans formed the Sovereign Union, and banded together to take over the world a piece at a time. A quasi-religious opposition arose among the un-powered humans, evolving into the League for Human Purity. The League viewed the Sovereigns as witches and demons. They dedicated themselves to wiping the Sovereigns off the face of the Earth. A bloody, undeclared war broke out between the two groups and governments around the world collapsed in the chaos.

The League and the Sovereigns re-divided the world between them, creating new racial slurs: Purist and Uber. In the midst of the war, a new power arose, the Alliance, a collection of humans and metas who banded together to preserve their way of life without regard for race or powers. The three-sided war re-drew the map as old nations fell away and new governments stood up to protect their people. War raged for over a hundred years, with no side gaining dominance over the others. Now the Alliance has managed to negotiate a temporary cease-fire. The planet is on the verge of an ecological collapse, and humanity is now betting its future on a wild card: The Seeker, a starship crewed by a mixed crew of personnel from all three factions. Their mission, to find new earth-like words to colonize, so that each faction can live in isolation and end the constant and vicious warfare. Of course, first the crew of the Seeker has to keep from killing each other.

Enter David “Happy” Harrison, psychologist for the Alliance. His job aboard the Seeker is to keep the crew away from each other’s throats and keep them functioning long enough to complete the mission. That won’t be easy, as all the crew are suffering from the psychic scars of a lifetime of bloody warfare. Things begin looking up when the Seeker discovers a planet that seems compatible with human life, but quickly go south when crewmen start collapsing into a catatonic state. Is this a result of the stress of the mission, or is something alien now on the ship, spreading through the crew and decimating their numbers?

Yeah, it needs a lot of work, but that’s the idea I’m working on. We’ll see if I can come up with a cleaner write-up in the next few weeks.

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