Wandering Fortunes chapter 6: Friends of a Feather, and the story cover!

Yes! We finally have the cover for Wandering Fortunes, and it looks amazing! First, the new chapter can be read here. And for the cover…

Drawn by my talented friend Daimyo-Koikoi, we have our protagonists here, plus a couple shadows… And, of course, Top is being mischievous.

I can finally replace that drawing of Top I’d been using as a placeholder. Also as a reminder, my Patreon has chapters go up early for patrons. Chapter 7 will go up in mid-June. They even got to see the cover early!

Character Profile for Alden

The character profile for Alden is now available to read. He’s basically the protagonist of Wandering Fortunes, being the focus character in pretty much twice as many chapters as the other main characters. He’s also a bookworm. Yaaay. This means is is guaranteed relatable because you are also reading at the same time. This is how relatability works right. Relatable and other related words are actual words right.

In other CCC news, I’ve spent the last week working hard on Darmenzi and I’m only 60% through editing from the editor’s notes. Still I should finish in a few days and then spend a week reading through it for a final scan and if things go according to plan this book will be released in April or May so the Nottle Crystal series is almost complete in final book form yaaay! FINALLY, THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THE CHAPTERS I POSTED OVER THE LAST COUPLE YEARS WILL HAPPEN FOR REAL. For a certain definition of “real”.

Also, don’t forget my Patreon, where $3+ patrons this very day get to read chapter 3 of Wandering Fortunes. Everyone else has to wait a couple more weeks.

Finally, I have CCCalling cards now. This is not really something of interest for the internet but LOOK AT THEM

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Wandering Fortunes: details on the new Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos setting

On January 1st I will post the prog first chapter of Wandering Fortunes, my third book. While the fist two books, Slubes and Darmenzi, focused on some slubes from the planet Mintop, Wandering Fortunes focuses on the two neighboring planets of Zhop and Derantu. This means an entirely new setting, cast of characters, and species, but still in the same universe and right next door to Mintop anyway.

Right now Zhop and Derantu are only briefly mentioned by name in the about page for the CCC. As new chapters of Wandering Fortunes are released, new character, species, and location profiles will be added. It’s finally happening. The information sections on this website have only had about a third of the CCC. Now the full picture will begin to form.

Ha ha ha, just kidding, it’s not even close to a full picture. But for the main setting, Mintop, Zhop, and Derantu is a large portion of that.

Mintop is actually the least advanced of the three planets, and the focus was on a small village on a small island where technology is generally clay. We did see Interpolis, a big city of tall buildings and cleeple, but it’s nothing compared to Zhop and Derantu. Robots are actually a pretty common sight in the major population centers, the weapons they have makes the Mallet Blaster that Zeth gave Numer look like a toy, and vehicles that makes Zeth’s Transpide look like a starter vehicle in a video game are everywhere.

In the major cities and countries, anyway. Wandering Fortunes starts out at pretty much the Zhop equivalent to Nottle. It is basically like the sticks here on Earth. And just around the riverbend over that hill there is a tribe of mages with robes and masks and they do dark magic and, oh geeze, listen, these guys are figgin dangerous, do not go messing with them.

Well, actually, that’s the very first thing we do in this book. Science and technology is everywhere, and magic lies underneath. Science fiction-fantasy.

Zhop is a cold planet, the furthest inhabited one from the solar system’s sun. (In contrast, Mintop is the closest inhabited planet to the sun.) Most of the forests on the planet are sparse, and outside the forest is even sparser. It’s mostly drab, gray tundra when there are any plants at all, and it’s all one supercontinent surrounded by ocean. Most of Zhop is occupied by tiny, oft-squabbling kingdoms, but everything is under the thumb of the Zhopian Guard, a planet-wide police force and military that exists to keep the peace. It’s headquartered at the planet’s capital, New Zhopolis, near the northern pole, where tall, dark buildings and advanced technology rules. Civilization here is highly developed and technological. Self-powered vehicles are the expensive norm. Robots are commonplace assistants. However, few realize the magic that hovers everywhere and in everyone, and monsters lurk everywhere, some greatly disguised.

Derantu is between Zhop and Mintop, and is the most highly advanced of the three. Lots of technology on Zhop was taken and adapted from Derantu. Simple robotic assistants are commonplace and are becoming more advanced all the time. They’re totally stealing your jobs. Unlike Zhop, Derantu has individual countries without an overarching controlling organization, though there has been a loose coalition of countries for centuries. Two countries in particular have been enemies since nearly their founding, and what strikes everyone as odd is that the main species of these kingdoms were also found on Zhop. Derantu is a vibrantly-colored planet with bright colors everywhere you look, but the planet is less peaceful than it first looks and old grudges are hidden under the cheery colors everywhere.

Between these two and Mintop lies the Planet Peacemaking Power, an organization designed to balance the three planets’ powers and to solve crises. This was mentioned briefly in Darmenzi.

And through all these highly-advanced, technology-filled worlds of science and machines, one beach ball comes to life. Magic is real here. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. It doesn’t care. If you can think it, it is already here.

January will bring both the first chapter and a new character profile, and then nothing will make sense ever again. But in a good way! More to come.

Time in the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos

One of the complicated things I’ve found I have to do for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos is time. Just time in general. It doesn’t make much sense for all three main planets to have the same year and day cycle, so it could be a completely different part of the year on one planet, or day. Sure, on just one planet it can be 3:00 at one place and 19:00 on the other, but here is a situation where it can be 21:00 on one planet and the other two don’t even have this time.

To ease confusion where one planet may have more days than another, I calculated day and year length to be roughly equal among all the planets. This is also roughly equal to the length on Earth. Isn’t nature weird and not at all being manipulated by someone who can’t be bothered to deal with this sort of stuff??

The other side of time shenaginags is that I’ve never really bothered to figure out when exactly events take place. This is no problem for Slubes and Darmenzi, which only happen over a 5-day span, but the third novel will take place well over a year, so if those events have to be referenced it would pay to know exactly when things happen.

Speaking of referenced, in Darmenzi there was a scene where Numer is watching television and hears the line, “… announcement today by New Zhopolis snowble governor Christen that they would set aside a portion of the public building renovations budget to form a new district to create housing for the homeless…” A reference to the third novel, but since writing that I’ve changed the timeline so this novel happens a year earlier, so that line will no longer work. I had to change it, but first I would need to figure out what was going on in the third novel at the time to see if I could fit another future reference in.

So aside from creating an actual calendar for these planets, I need to determine exactly what days all the events take place.

Once upon a time I had the ability to be bored.