Ebb and flow, tidal Gravity

Having written a pair of sub-par Wanderer's Library tales sharing certain elements, I've decided to lay down the canon in stone so I can be internally consistent during the re-write.

The title is a reference to the 1976 film Network, written by Paddy Chayefsky. It describes the future as being dominated by greedy corporations with nations taking the back seat. While this has already begun to occur in reality, I've decided to bring it to its logical conclusion in a series of tales set in the twenty-fourth century. Space travel has become commonplace, Earth has been destroyed and the working class are governed by the whims of corporations.

Some corporations will be co-operatives, with each worker enjoying equal status within the company; others will be reminiscent of the likes of the Dutch East India company, with the working class being treated as chattel slaves; yet more will operate in a fashion more akin to feudal states rather than corporations, with individual planets analogous to fiefs being run by subsidiaries analogous to vassals.

Space travel within solar systems will be the domain of the systems' owners but interstellar travel will be the domain of the cartel. The cartel is a collection of corporations that each developed interstellar travel independently and conspired to control the price of interstellar travel and the areas in which each corporation within the cartel can operate. It was inspired by the Phoebus Cartel and Dune's Spacefaring Guild. The cartel member monopolising interstellar travel in the area in which the story takes place will be known as the Novak Transport Concern or NTC. The cartel only goes to war when a corporation threatens their transport monopoly, it remains a neutral party in all other wars as they provide a good source of income.

The three corporations that I intend on fleshing out at this point are "Terraforming, Exploration, Farming and Manufacturing Company" or "Tefamco", "International Agricultural Federation" or just "The Federation" for short and Coriolis Mining, a small co-operative. At the beginning of the tales, Tefamco and The Federation will be in a war for survival, with both companies fighting for total control over an entire galaxy which both lay claim to due to a drafting error in a past treaty.

The Federation will be a feudal corporation with largely independent subsidiaries administering each planet or resource. Tefamco will be a slave holding conglomerate and Coriolis Mining an openly socialist co-operative. The Federation will have the advantage in almost every aspect bar organisation, which levels the playing field in its war with Tefamco. Coriolis Mining will be a war profiteer, clearly only caring for the plight of its own workers rather than the plight of the working class in other corporations. Coriolis will primarily mine asteroid belts.

I initially want to focus on the plight of a single planet, which I have dubbed Leesti after a planet from the 1984 classic game Elite, and its occupants in the shadow of an inter-galactic war. The tales which I have thus far planned will centre on unionisation and insurrection followed by civil war.

Leesti will be a planet ideal for crop production but with few other natural resources. Its axis will be almost perpendicular to its orbital plane and the orbit will have little eccentricity which will make for extremely stable weather and a year long growing season. Its occupants will be little more than serfs and the population density incredibly low, with the only towns surrounding spaceports and railway depots. 98% of the inhabitants will be agricultural workers and the remainder will be either transport workers or members of the service industry. It will be the backbone of The Federation's food supply.

The story will initially be told from the perspectives of two POV characters, Jeremiah Lancaster and Edward Plantagenet. Those are both old English aristocratic names but it's not symbolism, I just think Lancaster and Plantagenet are pretty names. Jeremiah, as you know if you've read the dense current version, will be a transport worker who secures loads on Federation vessels. Edward will be a trade-unionist peddling a warped form of Marxism as the head of the Neo-Marxist Coalition.

Edward, unlike in the original, will be around thirty-five years old. Edward will be an ends-justify-the-means pragmatist with a keen interest in history who becomes increasingly violent as a result of his leadership of the revolutionary war effort. He will not be involved in the strike which sets the story in motion but he will be interned anyway, exposing him to Jeremiah whom he will indoctrinate into his ideology.

Jeremiah will be prone to melodrama from the outset and the death of his mother as a result of his strike will induce a tendency toward extremism as he develops a fear of her death having been in vain. Jeremiah will win popular support as a result of his leadership during the inciting strike and will be appointed as president of the fledgling socialist republic. He will primarily be abroad during Edward's war.

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