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setting up the scaffolding

Today has dragged on for several geological eras already, mainly because I slept in until 4 PM on Sunday and thoroughly screwed up my sleep schedule. This led to an involuntary all-nighter, during which the only thing I really accomplished was watching all but the last three episodes of Angelic Layer. At this point, I can say with total conviction: Shuko , YOU SUCK.

Before giving up and watching anime, I did skim through some of the background material I've put together for Blood Red Skies as well as the new GURPS Traveller sourcebook, Interstellar Wars, which covers the same period as the old GDW boardgame Imperium.

Not for the first time, I'm really regretting my decision to use Traveller as a tool for setting up the background of my novels. It's a hell of a lot of time-consuming work setting up the battleground in which the novel takes place, and while I suppose I could just pour in a couple of quarts of handwavium and have done with it, I know I wouldn't be happy with the results - merely because this is space opera is no excuse for doing shoddy work. Especially when the tools are right there and not all that difficult to use.

Obviously I'm not going to use Interstellar Wars as the underpinning for Blood Red Skies, because I'm not writing Traveller fanfic. Yes, there are similarities between the Universal Empire of BRS and the First Imperium/Ziru Sirka of Traveller, but the Terran Directorate and its technology are not those of the Terran Confederation, nor are my Vegans the same aliens that exist in the Traveller universe. So things have to be laid out differently, names have to be changed, and only the stars remain the same. Which means a lot of work setting up the worlds that make up the tax base that pays for the ships that my heroines are going to turn into so much radioactive gas, hurrah!

Which means that sometime in the not-too-distant future I need to sit down and either figure out a way to make Excel poop out worlds a la Traveller, or do a lot of die-rolling and table reading, because just copying the numbers from Interstellar Wars would be wrong and the numbers from Rim of Fire would be even worse.

Whoever thought designing the damn ships would be the easy part?

Well...tonight is not going to be the night I get started on that project anyway, since I need to get the bookshelves set up and some boxes unpacked so I can find where my copy of Trillion Credit Squadron went to, since that's an essential part of the plan. It strikes me that trying to assemble bookshelves in my present sleep-deprived state is a BAD idea, so I'll have at it tomorrow.