With this chapter the remainder of the main cast are introduced; the remainder of the writing is about how they face what they have got into, and who they meet on the way.
This army has been one of the most fun wargaming projects I have worked on; I have taken the time to personalise and create custom scenic bases for every miniature, bought third-party conversion parts to add to the kits to ensure none are completely stock constructions and come up with a backstory for every unit. I have tied the backstory into my other armies for the game where possible, thus the Three-Ones and the Salamandine Incident turn up…
It is also only eight models, a truly elite force!
Previous Chapter: A Few Drinks
Chapter 3 of this story is less laid back, and introduces a bit more about the sort-of familial life the characters lead. Something I wanted to get across was that in this idyllic future world the nature of a family might have changed a little, but people still remain human – and that utopias can still have conflicts on a personal level.
Previous Chapter: Something to Do
One of the constant things I found a challenge when writing Garden of Eden was writing about how it feels to listen to music; be it songs you love and know every note of, or the experience of a new album for the first time, trying to describe music in a way that gets across how you feel when you listen was something that would be central to this story of young people and their band. I hope I succeeded in some way.
What is Garden of Eden?
I have had Garden of Eden, a short young-adult science-fiction novel, sitting on my hard drive since 2014, untouched. It was the first National Novel Writing Month piece I completed.
I have decided to serialise it on this blog, posting a chapter a week to give me an incentive to revisit it and edit it with fresh eyes.
I wrote it partly as an experiment – could an interesting story be written about what is ultimately a utopian world? It was in this part inspired by the animated science-fiction series Aria, but equally by the aesthetics and countercultural, extreme-sports trappings of Eureka Seven. I was not interested in writing another war story, or a massive-scale tale of humanity’s fate, but instead a story about people – very flawed people trying to do the best they could. It seems presumptuous to cite Steinbeck in a discussion of a young-adult story about futuristic motor-racing but there is something, I think, of a desire to emulate Cannery Row in this, too.
Garden of Eden is set in the far future, in a world where society is able to live a relaxed, peaceful life. I wanted to write about families, and friendships, and the weight of expectation that people might face. At the same time, I wanted to write something comfortable and relatable despite its high-tech, alien setting. I hope I succeeded.
I wrote this piece for an online writing group I joined, with the prompt of writing about the reunion of two old friends.
At the moment I am reading The Mysteries of Udolpho and its beautiful prose voice and Radcliffe’s ability to write painterly landscapes and pastoral scenes proved a great inspiration for this piece.
Writing the background for this army took significantly longer than the more comparatively cursory unit descriptions my Northern forces received. I came into possession of the Duellist’s Handbook, Southern Republic Army List and Southern Field Guide before writing this and so decided, as is my way, that if I was going to do this it was going to be done properly.
The immediate problem came from the fact I had just bought two Fer de Lances, and the Southern Republic Army List claimed on page 146 that only “a few dozen” of these Gears were in service, and “it is a capital offence for it to be used by any other Republican unit”. Thus I had to make a few adjustments to the background and came up with the Fer de Lance Beta (which is probably not strictly fluff-accurate, but sidesteps more awkward questions).
The only other major background howler I can think of is the move away from strict 5-Gear Cadres (something that the newest edition of the game rules and my choice of unit loadouts does not make particularly easy to do thematically).
As I mentioned in my previous post, my current miniatures wargaming project is nearing completion but still has several models unfinished. As I finished a key part of the army, the Kodiak Gear pictured above, I decided it was good material for a little longer piece of backstory, detailing exactly how awkward a malfunctioning and uncalibrated mech could be for a unit…
While not all of this army is currently built, I have taken the opportunity of using a new lightbox to get some photographs of what is currently finished, and write a little background for it. As it is a significantly larger force than would ordinarily be fielded, I decided to group the models into sample units and come up with background for the pilots within to try and give a picture of how the army might function as a whole.