Archive for July 27, 2011

A Totally Sweet Announcement

July 27, 2011

Okay, after lots of hard work and about a bazillion revisions, I am totally excited to show you all…

by Patrick Tsao 2011

…our new logo! Patrick made us yet another amazing piece. I’ll be working over the next few weeks to redesign the site to incorporate its badassness.

What’s that? You’re screaming for T-shirts and coffee mugs? An iPhone case? Oh, calm down, calm down. You can have an iPhone case. There, there. And a wall clock. (And if you have any other desires, feel free to email me with suggestions, steph at astroarcane dot com!) I am told that it is possible to obtain 20% off $50+ with the code “TA0727″ but you will have to tell me if it works! I suspect from the code it’s for today only.

An Interactive Adventure

July 18, 2011

Hello space fantasy enthusiasts, I have posted the first short piece of a new adventure, “The Violet Skies of Pa’Rill.” This story, unlike previous ones, is not given to you all in one piece. Instead, it pays homage to the fine tradition of Choose Your Own Adventure novels, letting you decide what Shaula will do at every turn of the story. Don’t worry, there are plenty of gruesome death options for you to avoid or seek out, as you desire!

I will be writing only one story path at a time, and I will be using this blog post to keep track of where we are. To put in your vote for what happens next, leave us a comment on the relevant Facebook post or tweet @Astroarcane with the tag #violetskies. I won’t be taking votes by way of private messaging/email/etc, only stuff posted to FB or Twitter.

UPDATE: I will be updating on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with occasional bonus pages if I have the time. :)

I hope this is as fun for you as it is for me!

Previous story paths:

Current story path:  HOME -> DETECT -> SAVIOR -> LASER -> ROCKET -> SPARTA -> IMP -> SARGAS -> MINOTAUR -> WISDOM -> RUNE -> BEAM -> LIGHTNING -> WATCHFUL -> SHELTER -> PRAECIPULA -> RHETORIC -> QUERY -> MANA -> QUERY -> STORM -> QUERY -> DEEP -> ANSWERED -> TROUGH -> DIPLOMACY

 

Home Astronomy and How Tech Shapes Society

July 13, 2011

Got an extra $50k-500k laying around in your pocket with nothing to do with it? Why not take up home astronomy? Check out this NYT article: Adding an Extra Room for the Sky.

Photo by Michelle Litvin for The New York Times

Honestly, I’d love to have an observatory  built right into my home. Maintenance/upkeep would be a murderous expense, I’m sure, but… stargazing! Who knows, maybe by the time this author is looking to step into the real estate market, the tech will have progressed in such a way that this is actually a feasible expense.

Photo by Erik Jacobs for The New York Times

We can only hope!

Thinking about technological advances got me to start thinking about the way tech advances in Astroarcane. An interesting advantage of having two long-lived main characters (starbeings, at least when they have a home star, live for thousands of years; and Milo’s Etheral Mask should give him at least six hundred or so) is that throughout their decades or centuries of adventures we can actually see the galaxy’s society evolving and changing as runic/etc technology advances and expands.

In an upcoming story (tentatively titled “Webs”), Milo and Shaula meet a young Order of Novum wizard who has developed a new runic technique for Astral Gates. If you remember Starlegacy, Gate Rings have a huge heat output that means most of them have to be in space, or be ruinously expensive. Not to go into too much detail, the new technique will allow more surface Gates, at a more affordable cost. In other words, it’s not just the ludicrously wealthy who can have that sort of convenience anymore.

What will this mean for society as a whole? Does the galaxy get just a little bit smaller? I guess we’ll find out over the next few decades in-universe!

A Different Sort of Shooting Star

July 6, 2011

I got really excited when I read this article headline: Star Shooting Intense Water Jets Into Space Spotted By Herschel Telescope (and this article, which has more details and better science: Star Found Shooting Water “Bullets”). I mean really, a star shooting WATER into the depths of space? And look at the lovely picture!

Photo credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / R. Hurt (SSC)

And since it’s such a young (100,000 years old) star… what does this mean for our body of knowledge about the life cycle of stars themselves? About the creation of life in the galaxy? I mean, my goodness, the creation of habitable worlds!

This is such exciting astronomy that I needed to go lie down for a while.

Once I was recovered from my vapors, I started pondering what this might mean for Astroarcane. If you paid close attention in Starlegacy you realized that starbeings as a race have only existed (separate of their dryad cousins) for about two thousand years. But more and more it seems a natural evolution of purpose; as the dryads tend their Trees, a symbol of life and growth and creation, starbeings tend the stars themselves, creators of life on a stellar scale! How cool! I totally planned that!

(Several characters from Starlegacy will be appearing as supporting roles in our current writing project, The Imp Wars. So mysterious, any guesses on who?)