Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

an alternate history pulpy retro-sci-fi space opera planetary romance. It's throttled up rocket packs burning radium on the long blast to the farthest reaches of the Solar System. It's hunting thunder lizards in the upland jungles of Venus. It's battling Ancient Martian killing machines piloted by the Deutsche Marserkorps across the baking red deserts of Mars. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/rocket-age-2/
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SilverShoggoth
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Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by SilverShoggoth » Mon May 02, 2016 10:21 pm

Given early Sci Fi was in pretty full swing by the time the Eagle landed on Mars, does anyone have any theories on how the opening up of the solar system has changed the genre? Going further, what do the natives of other planets think of earthling speculation? Did H.P. Lovecraft write about Europans in a last story before he died? Have any Martians read Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series?

This is completely a speculation thread; I'm just curious to see if anyone has experimented with it and where they've taken it.

Razorwing
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Re: Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by Razorwing » Tue May 03, 2016 12:24 am

Both writers were alive at the corresponding time that Rocket Age takes place (though it is possible that H.P. Lovecraft has recently died... perhaps a Europan conspiracy to eliminate him for some reason?), it is very possible that their stories could have a an interesting impact on the setting.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series seems to reflect Martian culture surprisingly well... though this is likely because it was the inspiration for the Martian culture in the setting. Still... perhaps in this timeline his stories are published after contact with Martians and is using the stories to introduce Martian culture to the masses on Earth in an entertaining (though not entirely accurate way). It is even possible that he is living some of these adventures himself... or at least getting inspiration for them by living on Mars and then (slightly or severely) fictionalizing the stories for the folks back home (not unlike what some war correspondents did around this time). Given the timeline, he could be producing a story for publication every few months (maybe 2 a year), making him one of the most prolific writers of the time. Of course, it is also possible that he could also be psychic and has been visiting Mars astrally (or been in contact with a Martian psychic doing so) to learn about Martian culture and write his books before anyone had been to Mars... probably the only plausible explanation for how his stories are so close to what things are like on Mars (or were like before Earth nations began getting involved). Both possibilities could present some very intriguing possibilities for adventures with this writer.

As for what the other sophonts think of these (and other writer's) imaginings of life in the Solar System... well, it would depend on how their species is generally portrayed. It is possible that the Europans (or merely an individual or faction) was upset with H.P. Lovecraft and had him killed... to convince other writers not to write about them (or to write favorably about them). As for Mr. Burroughs... as I said, his writings are surprisingly close to what Martian culture is like... or was like at one point... which could be seen as good or bad by the Martians... depending on the individuals involved.

I have to admit that it has been some time since I read any of the books... so my opinion is going off of what I remember and what I can find on the internet about them (I don't have copies of their works at the moment)... so I could be wrong on some details (especially about the similarities of the Martian culture to Burroughs' books). Still... it should be enough to come up with some entertaining stories. :D
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NozzDogg47
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Re: Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by NozzDogg47 » Thu May 05, 2016 1:25 pm

I definitely like the idea Burroughs was psychic, but I'd love it if maybe gold ol' HP was too...

It's not really gonna be Science Fiction anymore, is it. It's either just fiction, or if the author is making stuff up then speculative. The culture shift on Earth must be intense.

I'd kinda like to meet Burroughs and find out whether he's reworking his novels, starting a new series altogether, or using gifts he never knew he had for other purposes.

Off topic I know, but has anyone experimented with the Narnia plot hook yet?

Razorwing
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Re: Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by Razorwing » Thu May 05, 2016 7:38 pm

To be honest, in my games I would probably make HP Lovecraft psychic, while Burroughs is traveling Mars and fictionalizing his adventures (and not psychic). This would give me a good reason for having the Europans assassinate Lovecraft (maybe he learned something they don't want anyone knowing?)... and it would be fun for my players to find out that after traveling with Burroghs for a few weeks, their adventure is now in print... and nothing like what actually happened.
There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.

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NozzDogg47
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Re: Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by NozzDogg47 » Fri May 06, 2016 3:53 am

True. I'm kind of still left wondering whether Burroughs would have rewritten his earlier works to fit reality better, or simply casually ignored them.

Razorwing
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Re: Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by Razorwing » Sat May 07, 2016 11:16 pm

You have to remember that the people present in the setting don't quite match up with their real world counterparts. Yes, Tesla was alive in 1931 in our reality, but he was 74 years old... a little too old to be blasting off in a rocket to Mars, yes? The same is true of a lot of other noted humans in the books... they are slightly out of time in the setting compared to where they would be in our timeline.

With this, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that Burroughs may not have published his first Barsoom novel until after travel to Mars was possible... all the better to get first hand information on Mars by actually going there. Perhaps the adventures of his main character is just a fictionalization of his own adventures on Mars... with the life of those in his books better reflecting the Mars of Rocket Age (as opposed to the Mars of the Barsoom series we are familiar with).

There is only a continuity problem between his writing and the Mars of the setting if you decide there is... it is perfectly reasonable to say there isn't because (what ever reason you come up with). Rocket Age is a speculative setting... not a historical one. People, places and events don't have to line up perfectly with our reality.
There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.

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NozzDogg47
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Re: Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by NozzDogg47 » Wed May 11, 2016 12:13 pm

True.

I suppose that means I can age up Christopher Lee a few years and include him in an adventure...

DavetheLost
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Re: Sci-Fi in Rocket Age

Post by DavetheLost » Sat May 14, 2016 9:43 am

I would think that ERB in the Rocket Age better reflects how things are in the game world in his writings.

Ass for HPL and the Europans, I really like that idea, consider it nicked.

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