Defictionalization: My terrific taste for metafiction aside, this also happens in-world, quite a bit. Most notable, perhaps, is the incident (see: Stranger Than Fiction) in which the protagonist species from the virtuality game (novel, InVid, watchvid, and slinky) An Ending Not In Fire, the temísi, arthál, and zal!en were created as real, self-perpetuating species, given homeworlds, and thus acquired existence, but that’s just the far end of a long curve. Meris Vinithos-ith-Vinithinios went farther than most, but the galaxy’s full of very wealthy people with plenty of money and time to spend on making their fantasies real, and no particular reason not to.
“It is ridiculous, and near-slanderous, to suggest that ‘free trader’ is synonymous with ‘smuggler’! Why, I can guarantee that over fifty percent of voyages made by our members involve no illicit or even borderline-illicit cargoes at all.”
“You’re counting the inward legs separately, aren’t you?”
“That’s beside the point!”
– an exchange with Ethly min Rathill, Starfall Arc Free Merchant Confraternity
Defcon Five: Three of these systems, actually. The Admiralty has its “strategic condition” levels, in both global and theater senses, ranging from Six (“all is peaceful, quiet, tranquil, and frankly boring”) to One (“full-blown war, or, if this is the global level, galactic armageddon”).
Likewise, the Emergency Management Authority has its “civil emergency states” on a matching scale, where Six is “everything’s working just like it should, no trouble”, and One is “did anyone get the number of that asteroid?”; and the Imperial Security Executive has its “exceptional security alertness” scale, colloquially known as the “recommended paranoia level”, which runs Blue, White, Amber, Red, Violet, Black, where Blue is “nothing to see here” and Black is “total shitstorm, kill anything vaguely suspicious on sight, apologize later”.
Deface of the Moon: Monuments are by far the commonest type of this; with small moons, even, sometimes, although far more common are things like carved mountains. (The minor range to the “east” of Calmirie is the classic example, slowly being carved one mountain at a time into likenesses of particularly notable Imperial Couples, starting with Alphas I and Seledíë III and working on down.)
But it’s not like people with big guns and attitude problems haven’t played this one pretty straight, too…
Decorative Apostrophe: They’re not decorative. Nor are the other accents. The acute indicates a long vowel; the diaeresis indicates, as it does in other languages, that two vowels are pronounced separately, and an apostrophe, found trailing a vowel with a diaeresis, indicates that that vowel is both long and pronounced separately, except that my current software doesn’t let me put both an acute and a diaeresis on the same letter. (Also, “!” is pronounced <click>.)
Something which I need to solve before I get to publishing anything that uses one of those words, belike.
Decade Dissonance: Played fully straight. The gaps in the Associated Worlds are full of backward “Forgotten Worlds” and “Unemerged”, who either are undeveloped enough to not have anything anyone wants, or who managed – after reaching non-worldbound status – to squander whatever cultural capital they had without bootstrapping themselves to meaningful star nation status.
Some of them hope fervently that one of the Great Powers will find some reason to take an interest in them one of these days, and thereby kick-start some sort of progress in their vicinity. Others spend their days hoping that none of the Great Powers ever do, because it’s uncomfortable to be on the field when the giants dance.
Well, I was going to write something about the nature of evil and all that for today, seeing as this is post number 666, but honestly, I couldn’t think of anything suitable. Which may or may not have something to do with my plague of the day, which I suppose is quite evil.
Anyway – see Little Darknesses.