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Jan 19, 2016

Artificial Geology

a map of Rain World (source)
Jack Vance had some training in geological science and he frequently included geological details about the planets he imagined for his space adventures. I want to try to honor Vance's geological imagination by including an interesting bit of artificial geology for the planet Yrinna in my fan-fiction story The League of Yrinna.

When I realized that the pek had long ago adopted the practice of introducing zeptites into the structure of planets, I began imagining how Hemmal could have geological features that had been crafted to resemble parts of Earth. Then, pushing the idea of engineered continents to the extreme, I invented Rain World, a planet with many artificially constructed continents.

Alastor Cluster
For The League of Yrinna, I imagine that the Phari have long modified the geology of worlds located in Alastor Cluster. The impossibly tall mountains of Marune, the single continent Merlank on Trullion and the Katenary Islands on Numenes are all artificial structures. The Triskelion planetary ensemble was assembled by the Phari.

Yrinna
In Part 3 of The League of Yrinna, Glinnes and Duissane arrive on the planet Yrinna. Among the first planets in Alastor Cluster that were settled by humans, Yrinna has an unusual geology. Yrinna is located right in the middle of an asteroid belt and its surface has been shaped by many asteroid impacts. Ancient craters lie below the deep ocean.

The two dozen large land areas of Yrinna are similar to Olympus Mons of Mars. Most of these land areas are the domain of a single clan, among them the Rianle, Ambal and Gensifer clans that are all part of the League of Yrinna (an organization devoted to space piracy).

Glinnes and Duissane are sent to Yrinna in an attempt to reveal how the Phari have been making use of space pirates (starmenters) to facilitate the controlled breeding of the humans who reside on planets in Alastor Cluster.


The central cores of the volcanic shields of Yrinna rise as high as sixty miles and the heights are capped by ancient layers of carbon dioxide frost. The native Pheni prefer to nest in the ocean-side cliff faces. Humans prefer the thinner air of the basalt plains that ring the central highlands.

Next: The new X-Files; T minus 12 hours and counting.
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