BLUE SUN ROOM

Life in the Core

POSTED BY: SPACEANJL
UPDATED: Friday, September 7, 2007 05:07
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VIEWED: 2279
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Monday, August 27, 2007 8:22 AM

SPACEANJL


I'm working on something that will take some of our crew into the Core, and although I have a very clear idea in my head of what life is like there, I would like to know how other folk see it.

(Bear in mind that I am a Gibson fan and a movie buff, with a background in history.)

Londinium - a bit like Burton's Gotham in part, that sort of Metropolis feel, all Pugin architecture on a massive scale. Arcologies and biodomes, and even the open landscape somehow sculpted. (I know the whole planet was terraformed, but that kind of unreal feeling you get when you see the 'perfect wilderness' of a stately home landscape in Britain; very little of our wild and natural outdoors actually is.)

Sihnon - consciously graceful, but very vertical, though a lot more organic in its architecture. Very Forbidden City.

I'm also interested to know how the culture meld has worked, lifestyle-wise. The whole would seem to me to be a very calm and ordered society, but again, consciously so. (P K Dick paranoia) If they can send out sublims in the advertising, and mix up the air, what the hell do they do to the food? Soylent Blue, anyone?








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Monday, August 27, 2007 11:47 AM

LEIASKY


There is a lot of good info on the core worlds in the first Serenity RPG book. If you don't have it, pick it up. It's got a wealth of good info for fic writers:)

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Monday, August 27, 2007 12:56 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


On the melding, remember in Safe? Gabriel is reading a newspaper in Chinese. I think for the upper class there would be a blend of the "stately British home" with oriental touches, like knickknacks brought back from India and further East.

On Shinon, maybe the opposite, Oriental with touches of Brittania.

The other Core planets would be similar depending on which group predominated.

I see the lifestyle especially in the Anglo Core planets to be very business driven. Success in business and social status is everything for both men and women.

Marriages aren't for love but are business deals with social status and wealth preservation and acquisition predominating.

The young are permitted a bit of wildness before marriage, and after the children are born men (and women if they are very discreet) are permitted to take lovers. Very 19th century British.

At least that's how I envision the Anglo Core. Or at least how I thought of it when I wrote a fic about Mal's Pa, who's from Londinium, and was disowned by his family when he decided to ranch on Shadow and marry the daughter of a local shopkeeper rather than buckle down to the corporate family lifestyle.





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Monday, August 27, 2007 2:08 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


I've had a chance to think a little more on this .

In the Core weatlth "trumps" (pun intended)social status. Wealth itself can confer social status unlike 19th century Britain.

And things are a bit looser for women than for 19th century women. Most if not all have a career at some point. Even among the upper classes.

A few wealthy divocees and young widows are starting to show up at parties with "Social Escorts" . They are essentially the male version of a Companion and are becoming more acceptable.

The middle class mainly toils at regimented jobs in cubicles and dream of the day they have enough money to quit. They buy the latest things in order to off what money they do have.

They pressure the children to excel in school and gain entrance to the "right" schools and universities.

These are just my thoughts. I haven't really thought about the more Chinese influenced worlds.


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Monday, August 27, 2007 3:29 PM

BRAINSPECIALIST


This thread has really disappointed me.

Hasn't it occured to anyone that maybe, just maybe, the Core planets - for example, Londinium - don't have a 19th Century culture? In the two episodes that at least partly took place on central planets, what did you see? One, Safe, showed you a few shots of life in a well-to-do home. Nothing much different from how a modern well-to-do family would act. No 'rigid social structure' dictating who you marry. Sure, Gabriel wanted his son to do well at his exams so he could be successful in life, but come on, doesn't any parent? Furthermore, at no point do Simon's parents ever say anything along the lines of 'You must be a doctor because that is your place in life'.

The other one, Ariel, shows us more of what Core life is like. They have flying cars, and better x-ray machines. Better phones. Better technology. Is anything there drastically different there? Do you have to be a high-class citizen to even live there? No.

The future isn't the past. The outer rim planets act that way because that's the way humans act in more feudal societies - when one man/woman has all the power (Money, arms, technology, ect.), they're the leader. Persephone acts that way because, well, it's a border town. It has less technology that the Core worlds, but more than the rim worlds. It's gotten to be that way through trade. Also, the aristocrats who dress up and throw big fancy balls? Tell me that people don't do that in America, England, or in any first-world nation, then you're either lying or stupid.

That sounded rude. My bad.

Beaumonde's that way because, like persephone, it's a port planet. It's where lots of merchants go to sell wares, and that makes it incredibly wealthy. Good for them.

To finish, you asked for an opinion on how your world sounded. It sounded fine, but not really Firefly.

Whenever I try to think of a Core world in Firefly, I always try to think 'America with lasers' for the more Western-influenced planets. For the more Eastern-influenced planets, try Japan or Hong Kong, technology incorperated into lives, but never make it seem forced. Need to get to work? Car. Why need hovercar? Costs too much. Or catch the monorail that goes to a central neighbourhood where all the big businesses work. Stuff like that.

You also mentioned the Phillip K. Dick paranoia stuff. Well, think of this. The Alliance lied to their people. Well, it's not as if our governments haven't lied to us before. Iraq? Watergate? Aids? Sure they stole River from a school, drugged her up, and turned her into a superbeing, but they did roughly the same thing in the Halo series, and they got away with it. Why? They had a damn good reason, that's why. They needed to stop a revolution. They had River, and probably more, because they were fighting an enemy who could be in their backyard and they might not even know it. Think about it this way: Today's government is fighting terrorists who operate in cells. Their day-to-day lives are like everyone elses, with the exception that their long term goal is to destroy us (Or something like that). If you were President, or Prime Minister, or whatever, and there was the possibility of having a mind reader find these terrorists quickly without harming anyone else, how far would you go?

The Alliance isn't a perfect government, but neither is any other. We did Iraq. They did Miranda. Think what Earth's countries do, then increase the scale tenfold.

Does that help?

BrainSpecialist.

P.S. If any of this sounds rude, then I'm really sorry about that, but it's late here and I'm fed up of people getting wierd ideas about the future.

Oh, God, I'm down with the ding! I'm in space to fly!

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Monday, August 27, 2007 3:56 PM

REGINAROADIE


I've said it before in a different thread and in my story, and I'll say it again.

To me, I imagine the Core to be like a mix of Coruscant and Toronto. Definitely a futuristic city with hovercars making up a hanging grid in the sky and buildings breaking the cloud limit and flying billboards and all that, but at the same time there'd be a lot of stuff that's in major cities everywhere today, like subways, bars, warehouse districts and buildings hundreds of years old. In my story I had River get off the subway at the Young St. station

I wouldn't worry too much about aesthetics and design or class systems or stuff like that. I didn't with mine. I just wrote what I knew, so I based the Core on my experiences to make writing it easier.

**************************************************
"And it starts with a sentence that might last a lifetime, or it all might just go down in flames. If I let you know me, then why would you want me? Each day I don't is a shame. Each day I don't is a great shame."

Loudon Wainwright III - "Strange Weirdos" off the "Knocked Up" soundtrack

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Monday, August 27, 2007 5:20 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


I agree that the cities would be futuristic, but practical. Lots of public transportation, big office buildings, bars, warehouses etc.

Besides the big cities with lively social scenes there would be suburbs and small towns scattered about.

I do believe that you do need to know a bit about someones basic values and by extension their cultural and social environment in order to make characters not just paper cutouts but three dimensional.

That's what I like about Firefly and by extension Serenity. You are given enough hints about the character's background but you aren't given everything. You have to add a bit from your own imagination to fill in the blanks.




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Monday, August 27, 2007 11:11 PM

SPACEANJL


BrainSpecialist; Actually, you seem to be thinking the same sort of thing as me. The 19th century feel to things I think is a deliberate style statement. After all, one of the most popular styles of housing for the wealthy in China at the moment is a form of 50's stockbroker Tudor. There's a whole town built like that, church, pub and everything.

I'm hoping to show some of everyday life in the Core, and yes, that's my feeling, too - hi-tech, but not vastly beyond what we have now. A bit more eco-friendly in some cases (but not all; Wash's homeworld was a smog-pit) but a world where folks still do their groceries at the local stores, take the rail to work and work in little offices with all the petty grumbles that people have. I'll say this again, too - it has been stated in sources that the Tams are a wealthy family. They are not typical Core. But OVC does mention that the Core Worlds do have that Asiatic sense of 'face', and that social status is important.

As for the paranoia? As I've mentioned, I am, or was, a student of history, with all the attendant political, economic and philosophical theories. This means I am rarely surprised at what people will do to each other. Occasionally appalled, but not shocked. And people who get to be in charge of large political/military/industrial/religious structures do not get there by asking nicely and playing fair. I can believe that a government that would try the experiment of airborne pacification might well try something with the water, or the foodstuffs on another world. Think how many of those food tins had Blue Sun's logo on them. Or the drink ad at the Space Bazaar? Huxley's soma ring any bells? But that's my view. Maybe some folk feel it's better to be a docile well-fed white mouse in a padded cage; just some of them are always going to be the rats in the walls. (Go Harry Harrison! )

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007 7:23 AM

MAL4PREZ


Yeah, I'm with BrainSpecialist. There's been a shift in the mentality of society as far as power balance for women, or the whole Companion thing could never be. These women are so respected that they go on to be diplomats and politicians. Imagine that happening today!

OK, but social status and class is still a big deal among the wealthy, like Simon's dad. That's the fun of Joss's verse - some old thing, some new things...

As for the cities: hey, make them however you want. And yay! for descriptiveness. So many fics focus on action and dialogue without taking a minute to set a mood or describe a setting.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007 8:14 AM

REGINAROADIE


I'm always conscious about describing the setting and tone so that the reader can get themselves immersed into my stories. At the beginning of one of my chapters, I spent a whole page describing a building on Capital City on Osiris just to set up what a big deal an impromptu rock concert would be at this place and time.

That's partially why it's taken me months to get any headway on YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN (that as well as real life and procrastination). How many times can you say "This concert rocked" in so many different ways.

**************************************************
"And it starts with a sentence that might last a lifetime, or it all might just go down in flames. If I let you know me, then why would you want me? Each day I don't is a shame. Each day I don't is a great shame."

Loudon Wainwright III - "Strange Weirdos" off the "Knocked Up" soundtrack

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 2:43 AM

JAMESTHEDARK


When I dealt with a character from the Core, I went exactly in the opposite direction. Any time there is an advanced, high society with gifted individuals calling the shots, there will be legions upon legions of peons doing all of the grunt work. Even the magical skyline of Sihnon had to be built by sweaty, dirty men working for just enough money to buy dinner and a bottle of hooch.
Add to the fact that even the best terraformed planet will have less-than-hospitable regions in it, and you'll have a further divide between the nice, rich regions, and the more arid, impoverished regions.
Too, creation of many of the uber-high tech toys can't be entirely automated. There will always be a need for human labor to fill the gaps of what the computer can't do for itself. There might not be very many factory workers, but there will be a need for them, even in places where automation is the order of the day.

I posit that every one of the Core Planets are as stratified by wealth and standard of living as Earth is today, which is to say, 1% of the people having 90% of the fun and money, while presenting 100% of the public relations image. There are poor people on the Core worlds, and in droves. It's just that the rich folk are good at keeping them out of the common sight.

--------------
I ain't lookin' for help from on high. That's a damn long wait for a train don't come.

98% of teens have smoked pot, if you are one of the 2% that haven't, copy this into your signature.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 10:57 AM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Yeah, I'm with BrainSpecialist. There's been a shift in the mentality of society as far as power balance for women, or the whole Companion thing could never be. These women are so respected that they go on to be diplomats and politicians. Imagine that happening today!



i have to be quick, sorry.
1) did you know that in the 19th century a woman medium and prostitute ran for president?!!! IT IS TRUE.

2) i can't make my mind up about the role of women in the 'verse...
(still exploring different takes in my fics)

problems are:
Companions are 'respectable' - but to an extent - (not unlike 'socialators' in Galactica). Inara gets a lot of verbal abuse - and 'ambassador' is an ironic title. Having a 'consort' on your arm was de rigour (sp?) in the old courts of france but women had no power. a similar thing could be said of geishas in japan. very respectable - little obvious power.
(of course it's a complex issue)

The most obvious female leader - indeed the only one who leaps to mind is Patience - out of the core - and whose ambitions are derided slightly.

The alliance seems predominately male.

saffron could be seen as a woman desperate to steal some individual power back - and she does it through back stabbing the men she marries (surely a point is being made).

Zoe is female. But i) Joss clearly wanted a strong recurring female character. ii) What other women browncoats do we actually see?

i'm not saying you're wrong - you could, point of fact be absolutely correct... i just have a suspicion that joss - who is a mega femminist and who has gone on record very recently at equality.org as denouncing 'the male war against women' -- had not made up his mind whether to present a utopian, dystopic or mixed up now-ish engendered society.

whew! so much for the quick reply!
hope that made sense!

???

this shiny shiny site!

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 12:52 PM

WYTCHCROFT


OT side bar - gender swings and roundabouts. Ever seen the wonderful Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett?

In the victorian days - working with horses was a good trade, there were many horse professions. all male only. even simple stable skills were the province of men. women worked with cows*.

when they came to make the show - the producers discovered they couldn't find any men! ALL the handsome cab and calvary riders are women in disguise! true! LOL!

*even in the US the 'cowgirl' phenomenon was rare, in truth.

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Friday, September 7, 2007 4:50 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by wytchcroft:
1) did you know that in the 19th century a woman medium and prostitute ran for president?!!! IT IS TRUE.

Even if it is, it is such a bizarre occurance that it you had to go back more than a century to come up with the example! And I bet she didn't do well, and certainly didn't use her "training" as a means of getting votes.

The disrespect of Inara you mention comes largely from Mal. The "ambassador" thing certainly does, and there have other threads arguing his reason for being so bitchy to her, so I won't get into it here. But I don't think it reflects the regular treatment she gets - her reaction to him shows that she's not used to being insulted.

In one of those visual companion book thingys, Joss does say that the diplomatic skills Companion are so good at are prized, so much so that they often have a public life after they quit taking clients. The fact that a woman with hordes of sexual experience - paid sexual experience, no less - isn't automatically seen as dirty, represents a huge shift in how society views women and sexuality.

Another example - I love love love how Kaylee is innocent and naive and sweet and yet sexually empowered, which are not qualities you see all in one female character EVER. Things would have to be different for her to not be at all embarrassed about her sexuality. Or maybe I just think that because I grew up in the midwest, where proper women are delicate virginal little flowers...

OK, I've no doubt that it isn't universal, and certainly in this big `verse there will places where women are far from empowered. But that's part of the beauty of Joss's vision - the "good guys" on the Border worlds aren't so enlightened, and the "bad guys" in the Core have actually done some good. The Alliance isn't utopian by any means, but it's not purely evil.

You have a very good point about the military. The power figures we have seen are mostly male. But we have seen women in uniform. OK, Alliance underlings, but I recall one, at least, and possibly a woman Browncoat in the cut scene from the pilot... I'd have to check. I've assumed that the tough women are out there, since we have Zoe and Patience in our first introduction to the `verse, and, after all, it's a Joss show LOL! But I could certainly be stretching my assumptions too far...

*sigh* With a full seven seasons we'd know for sure...

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Friday, September 7, 2007 5:07 AM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Quote:

Originally posted by wytchcroft:
1) did you know that in the 19th century a woman medium and prostitute ran for president?!!! IT IS TRUE.

Even if it is, it is such a bizarre occurance that it you had to go back more than a century to come up with the example!



just thought ya might like to know is all.



Quote:

In one of those visual companion book thingys, Joss does say that the diplomatic skills Companion are so good at are prized...
,

my bad, aint read it. sorry.

Quote:

so represents a huge shift in how society views women and sexuality.


given the above - absolutely. i agree.

Quote:

Another example - I love love love how Kaylee is innocent and naive and sweet and yet sexually empowered, which are not qualities you see all in one female character EVER.


yeah absolutely - and i hate the 'delicate flower' nonsense you also describe. -bangs head in sympathy!-


Quote:

But we have seen women in uniform. OK, Alliance underlings, but I recall one, at least, and possibly a woman Browncoat in the cut scene from the pilot... I'd have to check. I've assumed that the tough women are out there,

i generally LIKE the asumption - and keep to it - but it's weird... i had the same experience as you - kinda "c'mon - there's loads a women - well there's a few - well there's one, that one time..." and the more i looked the less i found! (i'm not saying there are none at all but - Few, very few)

Quote:

*sigh* With a full seven seasons we'd know for sure...


sobs.

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