Sword and Spaceship #sf

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.”

“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.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Author: Amelia

A mild-mannered professor of computer science in real-life, I remove my glasses in the evening to become, well, a mild-mannered author in my alternate reality. I mostly write sweet romantic fiction, although with an occasional science-fiction or paranormal angle thrown in. I have interests in history, mathematics (D'oh), and cryptography. I'm also something of an Anglophile, and know that country pretty well. In addition to writing, research, and more writing, I volunteer with the scouts. I'm something of a nature-nut, enjoying long walks in the country with almost ultra-light gear, boating, and identifying wildlife.

23 thoughts on “Sword and Spaceship #sf”

    1. There’s a version of Harry Potter in Scots. It’s not completely simple to understand (Scots is a different, but highly related language), but that coods hae worked tay . Thank you.

  1. I can see this (and love it!). It’s interesting to have watched in just 15 years how curry has become increasingly popular in the UK.

    I sense some of this fits a bit also with how English became a unifying language in India. Or how (without much scientific realism at all) Joss Whedon created the Chinese Space Western: Firefly.

    1. I renjoyed reading this also the backstory.and the explanation for the Scots dialect. As a Brit, I’m not oen hundred per cent in agreement over the curry – sure it’s popular over here, but so is Itlian, Asian and Tex Mex! I tend to think our Fish and Chips (Fries) is really still our ‘national dish’ but then, what do I know – I’m Welsh! 🙂

      1. There was a contest a couple of years ago – just before the olympics? where it was voted as the most representative dish. That said, fish and chips is one of my favourites (With a pint). Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *