Monday, January 28, 2013

Antiquitypunk: Modern-like Technology Created During Ancient Times

Schisms (Red World)Our guest blogger is V.A. Jeffrey author of several books including Schisms (Red World)
Now that I’ve gotten the first story of this trilogy out of the way I wanted to revisit the idea of antiquitypunk: modern-like technology created during ancient times. However antiquitypunk is really a veneer over the actual story’s concepts. The real concepts run deeper and explore issues of Right and Wrong, religion, valor and forthrightness versus hypocrisy and corruption, belief and the role of technology. I’ve found a way to add this idea into the fabric of the story and I will explore it further in the next two books. One of the huge influences on the story is Frank Herbert’s Dune and in that book one of the major issues brought up in the saga is the problem of technology. How it is abused and eventually banned by society through the Butlerian Jihad:
Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man’s mind.”
Thou shalt not disfigure the soul.”
The ban is nearly fanatically religious in nature. I wrote a similar concept in my own book, where the story takes place after the fall of the great kingdom of Hybron and the destruction of its capital. Hybron under the Red Kings was technologically advanced while still retaining many ancient, traditional ways. After the Destruction, tech is banned for the terrible problems imposed on society, resulting from greed and power and I plan to explore this time in Hybron’s history further.
In a time of water wheels, sundials and water clocks and uses of animals for transportation how do you explain surgery, cyborgs, star stations, giant floating air machines and genetic mutations of animals and humans such as animal-human hybrids? What would these things look like and how would they work? During the height of Hybron’s glory people and animals are eventually used and abused by these experiments and some try to use the air machines as a means for military weaponry, like spreading toxic poisons or dusts in the air over enemy lands. These things contribute to the ban on advanced tech in certain lands on the planet.
I think it brings up the question: how do we use technology in a way that does not abuse one’s fellow? Difficult since in real life technology is often used to abuse or harm others as well as help them. How does society deal with it? i suppose the core question is the nature of Man himself. Anything can be used to corrupt and harm others if the ones using it have ill intent. Motivations of the heart, I suppose, are the real issue and how technology is used comes out of that soup.
There will be an important plot point that is related to one of the themes in the story that surrounds this very idea and it has to do with the kinds of people forced to serve in certain kinds of slavery. Slavery is another issue in the books that I will be tackling because it is closely tied with the problem of technology use in the story.
Anyway, please forgive the rambling. I am thinking out loud here.

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