Friday, May 17, 2019

OWS CyCon 2019 #Sci World Building with SE Zbasnik

Welcome to another fantastic stop in our World-building Showcase blog hop! On this stop, were highlighting a story where the world changes or ends as we know it, but you can find a full list of authors and topics on the OWS Cycon website. Let’s dive in!

Find out More About the World of POWER by Science Fiction Writer 
SE Zbasnik During OWS CyCon 2019

Welcome SE Zbasnik!


1.    Before we dive in to the nitty gritty, what is POWER’s story about?

Jaya Foster creates portals from across the globe. It sounds impressive, but in a world where mailmen spit fire and secretaries cover their bodies in granite it’s not. With a yellow jewel embedded in her forehead, Jaya’s stranded on her people’s side of the city. Across the scar are the Blues, a division of completely different powers. For that reason, society cut in half. Most go their whole lives without meeting a different gem, but Jaya’s job keeps her in contact with the others.

When a bizarre murder lands in her lap, Jaya teams up with Riktuo Fujita, a dashing Blue. Terrorist bombings, assassination attempts, and more threatens their every step. Yet, even with every brush with death, Jaya can’t stop flirting with Rikuto nor can he seem to stop brushing his hand against hers. If the murderer doesn’t get to her first, the Council of 100 will.

2.    Did you invent any new slang or terminology during your world-building process?

As I wanted to establish that this is a world that takes place far into the future after a major disaster created rampant superhero powers, I used my own slang to help. Police are called Collars as in the early days they were required to wear collars that regulated their powers, treating them like bulldogs. People refer to the glowing red gaps in the earth’s crust scattered across the world as “scars” without a second thought. Powers themselves have their own official nomenclature while also getting given slang as well to show how humans have had them for a long time.

3.    What kinds of climates do your characters experience? Do they see a lot of change or is it always the same? Has your world always had this kind of climate, or has it changed over time?

It’s only hinted at in the first book, but the world’s been upended. There’s a glowing sea so hot only a handful of people with powers can visit it. The north is stripped clean of nearly all topsoil, rendering the forests destitute and ash regularly falls like snow. About the only truly livable spots left are a utopian meadowland in the middle of the continent that few ever see.

4.    Is there any kind of faith system in your world? Did you draw inspiration from any real cultures, living or dead?

My main character isn’t religious, but there’s a hint to people worshipping a man who united the warring tribes that humanity fractured into after the great cataclysmic event. That’s the predominant religion, but some of the original traces of old faiths still remain even if their way of worshipping has changed.

5.    Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about your world-ending event and how it led to the world of your story? Was it a distant event or does it happen as part of your tale?

My setting is so far removed from what rocked the earth to its core that no one remembers it to the point some honestly believe that humans were always gifted superpowers. Whatever happened obliterated nearly all records, and as humanity picked back up the pieces, it was lost to time. Some people are finally beginning to explore the scars, but they’re so dangerous most researchers wind up suffering from tumors and other cancers.

Your Process:

6.    When you build a world, what is your process like? Do you do a lot of research upfront, wing it completely, or something in between?

I’m a little of both. I’ll try and do some research before writing, sometimes I just make things up while in the moment and check it later. Others I’ll rely on my own historical studies and swipe a things from that. Human nature is best studied by looking at history, and humans guide society’s direction and the world at large.

7.    How central is the setting of your story to the story itself? Is it more of an interesting backdrop, or is it integral to the events of the story?

It begins as a backdrop, but as the story unfurls it drives home the deep division between not only the city itself but humanity as a whole. Due to whatever caused this new world, humans are dividing themselves down jewel color lines and across the scar itself. It’s also used to show the eternal division between the haves and have nots, as many of the poor must live near the scar regardless of its dangers.

8.    When helping the reader get to know the world you built, what techniques do you use? Do you tend to be upfront about things, or keep the reader in the dark and feed them only bits at a time?

I’m very much a crumb here and there writer. Often, I’ll keep ideas of the world entirely to myself and never show much less explain. Such as the fact humanity has no idea why people have powers. Not once do I mention that to keep the mystery of nature alive.

9.    How much of a role does realism and hard scientific fact play in your world-building? Do you strive for 100% accuracy, or do you leave room for the fantastical and unexplainable in your world?

Well, since this one involves people being able to control rocks with their mind and open portals across the world there’s not much science involved. Though, I do have fun in setting limitations upon the powers. Everyone one has some drawbacks, an outside force that can seriously drain their skill, and something they must consume to power their skill as well. Such as those who create portals use their own body heat, so they must stay warm or risk hypothermia. Or ones that control earth and rocks, if they don’t eat a lot of minerals, their skill will leech the minerals from their bones. That level of detail is both fun and highly important as it gives clear rules to what can and cannot be done by the super powered.

10.  Do you have any specialized training or background from your real lifethat has informed your world-building?

My background is genetics, which is why I try to avoid ‘we gave them an extra chromosome’ excuses as much as possible. If anything, I prefer to fall back on the Frankenstein explanation as much as possible. How did he reanimate a corpse? He’d rather not talk about it thanks, there’s more important plot to get to.

Where can people find you on the web? 

 My OWS CyCon Booth — stop by to take a fun quiz to figure out which Power you’d get.

You can also find me here on social media:
              Author Website -          Dwarves in Space Website
              Facebook -            Twitter  -          Mailing List

For more stops on our End of the World World-building Showcase, visit the tour page on the OWS CyCon website. You can also find more great Sci Fi authors and books on our main Sci Fi event page.

1 comment:

  1. I write books set in the world after the zombie apocalypse, and I also enjoy setting up the rules of my Universe. I sometimes annoy my critique partners because they want me to do something related to the zombie virus to up the tension in a scene and I'm like, can't do it, violates the rules of my Universe. Which makes them nuts, but I hate when authors/t.v. shows do that. T.V. shows are the worst violators, I find, usually as their show is jumping the shark.