The idea (Part two)
Thursday, March 6, 2008

It was the length that was preventing me from posting this.

Anyway, previous post is my final books for the reading list.

Now to the idea and the reason behind all these books, a bit of explanation is needed.

My father is a historian, specializing in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Because of this, I’ve grown up a little Bonapartist and with a few revolutionary sympathies (only classical, not a Marxist). About a year and a half ago I read Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and was extremely taken by his account of the failed 1832 revolution (A Bonapartist one). Later I began to listen to Austrian Military marches and my favorite song was the Radetzky March . I began to do research in it, because it is named after an old Field Marshal who refuses to stand down in the 1848 Revolutions and because of his stand saves the Austrian Empire. I became so interested in this, that during my final year of high school I took two creative writing classes and wrote a short(!) based on the actions of Field Marshal Radetzky in a sci-fi setting (sci-fi because a lot of military sci-fi is historical incidents set in space; a lot of Zulu, and David Drake did a story based on the Nika Riots) from the Austrian point of view because I’m extremely impressed by the old man; outnumbered and outgunned he saved the Austrian Empire against orders of the Emperor-my kind of guy.
However, there is a short section in the story told from the point of view of what would be one of the French revolutionaries. I really enjoyed that part of the writing and since I’ve started listening to my Jacobite music, my music of the French and American Revolutions, and my Civil War music, I’ve started going a little closer to the side of the rebels and revolutionaries.

So, to the point, I’ve been thinking that what I’d really like to see is some military sci-fi based on the French Revolution, the Jacobite Rebellions, or the American Civil War… I’ve thought about it a bit, and I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that perhaps I should give it a shot. However, I recently became a Firefly Fan and I joined this site recently looking to see if someone had beaten me to it. Unfortunately (I don’t consider myself a good writer) I haven’t been able to find any, so it looks like I’ll have to give it a shot.
Movie SPOILER ahead.

Here’s the concept (very skin and bones and just added the Firefly universe’s spin to it): at the end of the movie the Miranda news breaks; now we know that the Alliance won the war at a cost and we can assume many of the former independents don’t care to fight again, but kids who would have been more then eleven or twelve at the time of the surrender are now old enough to legal enlist in the military today. Most of the childhood they can remember was hating the Alliance and if they were anything like me during the war they were probably playing army as Browncoats versus invisible Purple-Bellies (Kids don’t seem to like playing bad guys; I never remember fighting anyone pretending to be Germans, though that’s possibly because they’d have to die a helluva a lot more then we Yanks), so is it too hard to believe that with the help of a few fiery orators, the Miranda news, that the youth of the rim might at least attempt an uprising (see July 1832 revolution, or the last part of Les Misérables , the students rising).

Specifically (and the point behind all the first person narrations of war and the human psychological response books) I think it’d be interesting to see this story told from one of the volunteers. Originally this was inspired Day By Day Armageddon a zombie story told through a journal, hence the “Day by Day” part. (If you haven’t heard of it, the first half of the book is available free online from the author’s website http://www.tacticalunderground.us/portal.htm, the author is a Navy pilot and wrote it while stationed overseas. I’d check it out.) I’m still considering that style of writing, but I’m checking out the other books for two reasons: I’d like the story to be as accurate as I can make it and I’ve never seen combat, so I don’t want to do something out of my complete imagination because that seems a bit insulting to actual veterans out there. Secondly, I’m also considering it as a memoir type deal, so these books can give me insight into writing that way.

So that’s the concept (so far). I’ll try to enumerate on the different pluses and minuses (that I see) to setting it in the Firefly Universe instead of trying to create my own. Anyway, if anyone likes the idea enough to give it a go of their own, let me know so I can take a break! I consider this idea public domain.

Edit: I also remembered a website that might be of use to me, or anyone considering writing military sci-fi.
http://www.military-sf.com/ The guy who does these articles is (or says he is) a retired Marine NCO; so if you can get past his marine bias (Army Brat in me speaking) he's got a really good site.



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