So, over in the worldbuilding department, thinking about the Chant of Light from Dragon Age has inspired me to do some polishing of the holy books that exist in my universe, and specifically some of the more commandment-y parts.
And then, in thinking about them, I not only came up with the opening for that particular canticle, but also translated it. So, for you conlang fans out there:
el darav naratis an-saraivar elen fe essyref apnal
- el = individual description operator
- darav = person, sophont
- naratis = tense operator, now + ongoing into the past and future, i.e. now and for all time
- an-saraivar = inverted verbized form of “judge, weigh, assess”
- elen = mass description operator
- fe = possessive referring back to first entity in sentence
- essyref = form of “create” meaning “created thing”, “creation”
- apnal = standard portmanteau of “ap nall”, i.e. “and none”, “and no-one”
Or, translating as a sentence:
“A soph is judged by its creations alone.”
“Whatever you may do at home, do not, under any circumstances, kneel. It is an insult that will kill you. Also, don’t bow any deeper than forty-five degrees, stand up straight while you talk, do look your interlocutor in the eye, even if it’s the Empress Herself, and while you ought to keep it to a respectful and formal register, speak straight out without stopping to grovel every couple of sentences.”
“And when I say ‘formal register’, I mean to say that there is no formal-register equivalent of ‘motherfucker’.”
So, I’m doing a worldbuilding exercise that is, basically, writing the TV Tropes page for your setting/novel/work-in-progress, and seeing what inspiration you come by along the way. Which is going pretty well, so far.
This example will not be included in the canonical version, but it seemed to deserve posting somewhere:
Alien Abduction: A good way to start an interstellar war. Seriously, what do you think would happen if, say, Canada started snatching people from our northern states and shoving probes up their asses?
Hint: Something involving the 82nd Airborne.
The ultimate test of a civilization’s ethics and morality is to program them into a recursively self-improving AI seed, fire it up, and still exist a year later.
We strongly recommend not attempting to pass it.
Interesting article here (via @astonwest) asking the above question. And answering in the affirmative:
I think we are. Honest. If you take a look at what we do and how we live our lives, it should be more than obvious.
Well, speaking only as an unpublished very-amateur member of the set of writers, here’s some agreement. It’s obvious, really.
I have a universe in my head. Which isn’t this one.
(By most people’s standards, that’s about one step away from institutionizable schizophrenia.)
And it has demands. To be created and explored and documented and obsessed over, and finally, essentially, to get out.
Can you be possessed by a fictional reality? Sure feels that way, sometimes.