Oh Yeah, That was a Thing

So I was originally planning on starting this sometime in the beginning of the month, but I guess since I’m only remembering it now, I’m getting around to it now.

So you’re all familiar with NaNoWriMo, if you at all follow this blog. There’s a lesser known writing month called Lexember, meant for conlangers to work on creating words for their constructed languages. Jumping off of that, I thought of another month that could use a clever pun.

So I’m starting Grammarary.

It’s like NaNo + Lexember combined into one: over the course of a month, I will write a full grammar for a constructed language.

I’m not actually gonna invent a new language for this, mostly because I have way too many that I need to properly flesh out, and creating a dedicated month to getting at least a draft of a grammar out is significant world-building help.

Dunno if I’ll actually share the language, though. Guess that depends on if the three of you that read this are interested?


NaNoWriMo 2017 Reflection

So, being a writer, of course I did NaNoWriMo.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it all the way to 50,000 words this month; rather, I only got just over 32,000 words. On the one hand, this is a little disappointing; on the other hand, this is a marked improvement over previous years — it’s more than I’ve ever written for any November since I started doing NaNoWriMo.

This year saw some interesting challenges, which I’m ascribing my lack of word count to (rather than my propensity to procrastinate, though I won’t pretend that was a factor as well). Rather than a standard piece, I wrote a fanfiction for an animated television series (okay, it was an anime); this meant having to watch the series in order to make sure I was getting scenes and dialogue right.

Which ended up being a problem when the fan in my room was roaring too loudly for me to properly hear what the characters were saying.

“But dude,” I hear you say, “why didn’t you just write somewhere else?”

A fair point. And sometimes I did, and got quite a bit of work done in other places. But doing that meant having to carve out specific time to write, which I’ve been finding really isn’t my style. I’ve been finding my style is more to write in the gaps, as it were, rather than at specific times.

Fabrication: Manifestations 1

So after a hiatus of like a month or more, I should probably get around to considering devices and creatures that would integrate biocrystal, or else be made more or less entirely of biocrystal.

So I suppose I’ll be giving a few literary sketches of what these constructs would look like. I’ve already considered some such constructs in previous posts, and I’ll probably bring those in as we continue.

The first construct I’d like to go over is a literal power plant. I’ve primarily envisoned this as a tree, though it needn’t necessarily be in that shape, rather than, say, a bush. The central trunk would probably have an exterior of stone or incolorite — really, whatever the plant could get its metaphorical hands on — in order to provide protection from predators and the elements. Further up, where the trunk splits into branches, however, this covering would become less frequent or even nonexistant, the inner strands of ianthite blooming out in fractal threads. At the end of these strands, then, would be small melanite flowers, like a fruit tree in the early spring — only if all the flowers were black, rather than some bright/warm color.

I suppose it would be a rather strange sight, black flowers blossoming from violet branches bursting out of a translucent or stoney trunk.

Within the trunk, then, would lay the heart of this creature, a knot of cerulite at the intersection of all the ianthite radiating through the tree.

I initially imagined this tree being built by people for people, but I don’t think I’d be surprised to see it in the wild. Honestly, for that it would only need a few modifications.

In the wild, then, the cerulite core would be wrapped in a coccoon of viridite — not entirely, at least not usually. On regular intervals, probably about once a year or so, or when the tree’s roots bring up more material than usual, rosete tendrils would close the coccoon and another adjacent coccoon (or, more likely, three or more adjacent coccoons), activating the viridite.

Actually, now that I think about it, the regular intervals would probably be however long it took to begin this reproductive process after the completion of the last one.

But anyway, using sand or stone collected in these extra coccoons, probably transformed by some aurantite further below the core into incolorite, the tree would construct fetal copies of its cerulite core. Rosete tendrils would then carry these out of the trunk onto the branches where, probably in a strong breeze, the natal cores would fall away into the wide world.

Of course, using that template, you could probably get a huge variety of biocrystal plants, all varying in their cerulite programming to form different flower shapes, different flower numbers, different heights and widths and volumes, different numbers of branches, different trunk compositions, and different methods of spreading their seeds.

On the one hand I don’t think they’d compete with plants much, since they wouldn’t benefit so much from soil, since they’d receive their “nutrients” from sand and stone, where normal plants wouldn’t grow. It would certainly make deserts and mountains more interesting on worlds with biocrystal, transforming these voids into crystal forests, to complement the biological forests in more welcoming environments. On the other hand, I’m not sure how these biocrystal plants would flourish underwater, though at least the biggest issue for any potential beings of this nature would be the lack of light at lower depths — places that would otherwise be perfect for them, wide plains teeming with silt and sand and stone. At the bare minimum, any biocrystal growing at the lowest depths would have to exchange their standard photosynthetic charge for some other force, or perhaps rely solely on heat charge.

Thoughts? Queries? Ideas?

Hopefully next week I’ll be writing about animals made of biocrystal or integrating biocrystal.

Fabrication: History #6

And we’re back! Finally not sick or over-busy.

Previously in the History sequence we’ve discussed albate, the biocrystal of appearance, rosete, about autokinesis and movement, rubrite, about allokinesis and moving other things, melanite, about sensation and perception, and aurantition, about modifying solids. This week I’d like to consider flavition, the biocrystal of hydromorphosis — that is, transforming liquids.

The primary usage I would consider, and probably one of the first applications, owing to the high practicality of it, would be water filtration. By placing clean water in an essence container input of a flavite machine, one would easily be able to create more clean water and filter out bad materials. Similarly, waste water could be transformed into clean water and detritus that could then be more efficiently be rid of, or which perhaps would itself be transformed into clean water.

Other uses would probably be the dissemination of liquid medicines, and perhaps also disseminating various drinks — though that at least would be more difficult, owing to the organic nature of many of the kinds of liquids people are wont to intake, such as alcohols and juices.

Are there any applications that you would try, were you to have a biocrystal machine that could transform one liquid into another?

Fabrication: Addendums and Additions

First off, a major change: I’ve decided to switch the names of two systems/biocrystals: albate and melanite. The primary reason for this is that I feel the magic of perception (or recception) should be black, rather than white, as black is the color of omni-absorbtion, the color of an object that absorbs all light; and the magic of the skin (being perceived) should be white, rather than black, as white is the color of omni-reflection, the color of an object that reflects all light.

Next is an idea for the use of melanite. I have discussed augmentations, particularly with rosete (and some with melanite). Theoretically, one could design melanite glasses or hearing aids. Then one could fit them to a mask or helmet, for good protection as well as good vision and perception.

I also have some considerations for color, particularly when it comes to melanite and albate. It’s certainly not uncommon for gems or crystals to be of two or more colors; in some similar manner biocrystal may vary in color. Albate certainly would widely vary in color, due to color change and camoflague and appearance being its primary purposes, but I think regardless of its color, it would always retain a white rim, a white edge, more or less. Melanite would work similarly, but with a black rim, and would perhaps also vary in color, likely depending on what the melanite senses.

Other thoughts? Don’t hesitate to comment, please.

Fabrication: Subsystem Names


Metamorpher, Pt 1, Pt 2

Origins, Pt 1, Pt 2


Corporal Functions

I’ve been trying to come up with names more manageable than “corporofabricaion” and “animofabrication.” Obviously the subsystems need far more simpler names than these. One particular option stood out to me, as, since I had desired to associate each subsystem with a particular color and to grant the biocrystal assigned to the subsystem that color, it would seem fitting to name each subsystem after its associated color.

But what colors to use, and which ones to assign to which functions? Certainly I could assign each function a color associated with that function – for example, Circulation with red and Urination with yellow – but eventually you run into functions whose colors overlap: indeed, the great majority of parts of the body are either red, orange, gray, or white. The method I’ve preferred is to line of a hierarchy of the corporal functions along the light spectrum.

However, this yields its own problems. I’ve already discussed using light as problematic, due to the inclusion of tetrachromatic beings, so I ought to design the colors with that in mind, with some, perhaps, reaching into the ultraviolet or infrared zones.

On the other hand, color isn’t light, so perhaps assigning a spot on the light spectrum is a bad idea.

Alternatively, and a little more complexly, I could assign each function, and thus each type of biocrystal, a particular mineral or element; it appears that generally crystals gain their color from the minerals in them, so it would make sense to expand that to the biocrystal.

In working this out, I imagine I’m going to have to create a table or something of all the associations of each subsystem; but I imagine as well that those who lived in such a world where Fabrication existed would do the same, perhaps even assigning particular systems virtues or personality characteristics (I’m of course also thinking of Stormlight Archive, which also has crystal-based systems, though here certainly the characteristics associated with each subsystem would be far more subjective than in Sanderson’s epic fantasy).

Thoughts on which sort of approach you prefer? Please comment or message me. I’ll of course be thinking about these things over the next week, but I do put these up on the internet so that I can get some thoughts outside my own head.

Fabrication: Corporal Functions


The Metamorpher, Part 2

Origins, Part 2


Ultimately, I decided to go with the Corporal Functions supersystem. (Surely no one, especially anyone who read the title, saw that coming.) On the one hand, eleven subsystems are far more manageable than the twenty or more that the Sensation supersystem would have required; on the other hand, I feel it’s far more universal than the Light supersystem would have allowed – particularly in a universe where I intend on having tetrochromatic creatures running around.

I based my list of corporal functions off of this list, which has eleven total functions:

  1. The Nervous System
  2. The Digestive System
  3. The Circulatory System
  4. The Respiratory System
  5. The Muscular/Skeletal System
  6. The Integumentary System
  7. The Urinary System
  8. The Reproductive System
  9. The Endocrine System
  10. The Immune System
  11. The Vestibulary System

This is a wordy list, so I’ll be referring to these by their function, rather than by the name of the system as a whole. Alternatively, I could refer to them by the name of the magic subsystem, but I have yet to design individual systems for each function, and I probably need to find less syllable-intensive names than “corporofabrication,” “aurofabrication,” and “aquafabrication.” But I digress.

I have split these eleven functions into three classes, based on general similarities between them.

1. Digestion
2. Respiration
3. Urination
4. Reproduction

1. Muscle/Skeleton
2. Integument
3. Immunity
4. Vestibule

1. Nerves
2. Circulation
3. Endocrines

I have yet to determine how these classes correspond to functions of the magic. So far I’ve only really thought out the Transformation class. Here each individual system corresponds to a type of matter and a quality of a substance.

Digestion corresponds to transformation of solid matter and temperature. This is the corporofabrication system, more or less.

Urination corresponds to transformation of liquid matter and friction (perhaps – we’ll see about the friction aspect). I’ve taken to calling this system aquafabrication, but, again, I’ll be needing simpler names.

Respiration corresponds to transformation of gaseous matter and pressure. I think I might either have this govern all matter that’s more energized than liquid (that is, gas, plasma, states of matter above that), but the alternative is that matter that hot just can’t be acted on using magic, which, upon reflection, I’m okay with. I’ve been calling this aurofabrication.

Reproduction is the odd one out of the bunch. I’ve had it correspond to the transformation of the soul. Given the highly unscientific nature of that sort of thing, I’m not sure how that would actually work out. But, on the other hand, I intend this to be the hardest, most complex, difficult system out of all eleven (baring maybe nerves, maybe), so I’m okay with not being sure just yet how it would work. Furthermore, this system would allow the manipulation of life: giving life, giving intelligence, creating life, etc. I’ve had the idea of some kind of sapient biocrystal supercomputer, and this would be the system that would allow its creation.

But enough about reproduction, or animofabrication. Next week I’d like to go into the other seven systems I haven’t covered here.

Thanks for reading! Don’t hesitate to like, comment, subscribe, or whatever else it is people do with these things.