Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.
I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy (which is problematic as even the authorities disagree about what it was really like).
It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers and into the book.
In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland continues this week.
“Tradition,” Jamie said, “That and the accident.”
“It’s a legend, but I was told as a wee bairn that all the books and films but the ones about the highlands were deleted, accidentally,” he winked, “on the first belt colony.”
“And by the time it was remedied, everyone spoke Scots; I heard the story.” Terry glanced at Jamie, “You’re mostly what, Chinese? Odd for a highlander.”
“The auld homeland’s muckle big lass,” Jamie winked, again, “Na stop tha’ frachtin and hurry it.”
“It could have been worse,” Terry sighed, “A Russian ship; vodka and potatoes for breakfast.”
“Or one from Texas, nae whiskey,” Jamie replied; Terry’s parents lived in Austin, “Do y’need a hand wit’ that?”
“Please,” Terry winced, “My arm.”
“Bruised but not broken; ye’ll need to see the Crank about that before tomorrow’s practice.”
Jamie explains in this bit the origin of the Scottish tradition in space. Outlander has a lot to answer for in this story.
Seriously, if we survive to make it into space, cultures and ethnicities will get a bit mixed up. Jamie, for example is “mostly Chinese” (his surname is McYu in the current working version), but speaks Scots with the best of them because he comes from a belter family and that is his cultural tradition (though maybe he’ll make or have moon cakes). Still I would think that some aspects of nationality and tradition will survive.
Operationally this mixture allows me to be sloppy with my Scots and insert it for color without worrying too much about accuracy.
You can see some of this in the UK, where curry is now a (or the) national dish of England. Thirty or forty years ago it was a fringe food, eaten by poor college and graduate students, one step ahead of the food inspectors, at dodgy Indian restaurants. It was something of an object of fun (see Dwarf, red, Lister’s food preferences), and now it’s an object of pride.
I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.