Today’s post really exposes the difficulty with the world I’m creating. With such a wide variety of places pushed to the extreme, how can it be narrowed down?
The Actuator represents such a large scale change in the world that it would be necessary to analyze these elements locally for every single genre bubble. Certainly in a cold, Nordic bubble, the solstices would be holidays again with sacrificial wine blessed and poured out on the earth. Their culture and food would flow from the imagined reality of the Machine Monk responsible for the neo-Viking land.
In many realms, harvest holidays would become much greater in significance. The food and drink, highly localized after such a great fracturing, would become specific to local foods again. Nobody would benefit from the once global market. Many places would again be reduced to barter and trade until some kind of local system stabilizes.
Some things would be universally recognized, however. Even though various locales would certainly celebrate differently, nobody would ever forget the day of great change. Only a handful of people would know what really happened. For the vast majority of the world, their local aberration would be a huge upset. Time would be calculated from that point forward. Whether as a day of celebration or mourning, the anniversary of the great actuation would never fail to be remembered.
The culture unique to this book is that of the Machine Monks. Coming from three distinct houses with very different missions, they all have one thing in common. All Machine Monks are dedicated to the idea of perfectly sculpting their mind, through discipline, to understand all facets of a single governing idea. This single mindedness, hinged on the machine validating it, is the ultimate experiment in mental power. As a group, Machine Monks would have few peers. Being isolated in their obsessions, the part of their lives they share with each other would be the passion for one ruling idea. Thus, their culture would be to connect and support one another in the difficult quest of self-control. Like a group of martial arts masters with all different disciplines, the commonalities are exaggerated to fill the need for human connection.
The base, organized around their strange purpose, was designed to instill them with confidence. Like rock-stars and divas, their every whim (within the mission) was catered to. Thus, when a chance to use the machine unhindered arrived, they didn’t think twice about the staggering consequences they would inflict on billions of people.
Now go get the book! You can find it on my Actuator page.