Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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Cholmondely wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:48 pm Is there a history of humanity up to Commander Jameson of Classic Elite fame anywhere? I know of Selezen's Timeline (for Frontier) and Oolite Timeline for Oolite. I'm after something older from the pre-Frontier days when the need to synthesise Elite & Frontier was not yet born.
I don't think I've ever seen such an Elite-only history of humanity. ...But it might be possible to reconstruct such a history based upon the "INSERVICE DATEs" of the various vessels catalogued on pp. 53 - 61 of the original, 1984 (SBG38/B1) "Space Trader's Flight Training Manual", in chapter 6, "OBSERVER'S GUIDE TO SHIPS IN SERVICE".

Also, considering a comparison of which equipment have been installed on which vessels, and assuming some staged, technological advances in the development of said equipment, as well as which companies were responsible for the associated R&D, might flesh out the picture a little bit more.

Then, there are also other dates mentioned throughout the manual that might be incorporated into the history, e.g. p. 33, Missile specification: "Prototype first used in 2987, during Ineran Wars."

Considering the respective dates, it might then be possible to determine which ships were available for service, and which technology existed during the Ineran Wars, for instance.

Then... Where do those pesky and infamous generation ships fit in? ("Where indeed?" :wink: ) How far away is Earth from GalCop Chart 1? How long did it take them to get here? When did they arrive? WHERE did they arrive first? How fast did they travel? How long before they would reach their farthest destinations in GalCop Chart 1 (and elsewhere)? How do these time intervals and periods compare with ship development? When was hyperspace tech first developed? ... Hang on... Why did they leave in the first place?! ... more than 70,000 of them!!

Furthermore... considering hyperspace time dilation, due to the Hyperspace Square-Distance Time Law, how long is the average pilot's life-span really? ... So that we can get a guesstimate of when Jason Ryder, Alex's dad, was born. ...and Ben Ryder, Alex's grandfather? "Elite: The Dark Wheel", p. 47, Chapter Eight: Coda, "Alex was not yet twenty years of age, [...]." When could he possibly have been born so that Holdstock could have had sufficient time to gather research throughout Chart 1, and write his story in time for publication along with the "Space Trader's Flight Training Manual" that was released together with the Cobra Mk III (Inservice date: 3100), keeping in mind that Alex saw some Mambas (inservice date: 3110) on pp. 10, 25 and 40 - 42. Did "Elite: The Dark Wheel" necessarily HAVE to have been released together with the first Cobra Mk IIIs, though?... ? If not, why not?

...And what about that crusty old Rafe Zetter?... Where does he fit into the story, considering that he and Jason used to be partners - a long time ago? ...and that brings us to Elyssia Fields... and Henry Bell... How did Rafe en Henry know each other? ("The Virtuous Misfortune" gives us a glimpse into the answer to that one...) How, when, where did Henry die? Why is his tomb in the Tionisla Graveyard so relatively diminutive? ...and Starpilot Fleischer... - Who's he? (See p. 18) ...not to forget good ol' Patrick McGreavy... ...and that Cobra assassin from Cirag...??? "Where was Cirag, Alex wondered [on page 38]." ...and who is Craig, from "Identify, identify. This is Craig Orbit Space." (p. 42)...? :wink: ...and on, and on, and on...

...But I think the "inservice" (sic) dates is probably the best place to start. :)
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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user2357 wrote: Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:37 amWhere do those pesky and infamous generation ships fit in? ("Where indeed?" :wink: ) How far away is Earth from GalCop Chart 1? How long did it take them to get here? When did they arrive? WHERE did they arrive first? How fast did they travel? How long before they would reach their farthest destinations in GalCop Chart 1 (and elsewhere)? How do these time intervals and periods compare with ship development? When was hyperspace tech first developed? ... Hang on... Why did they leave in the first place?! ... more than 70,000 of them!!
Confused? You will be after this week's episode of Soop!
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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Cody wrote: Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:33 am Confused? You will be after this week's episode of Soop!
I'm sorry... The reference is lost on me. "Soop"? Urban Dictionary was not very helpful. Is that a podcast, or a twitch stream, or a TV series, or something similar of which I would do well to keep track? Please forgive my ignorance. :oops:

(I get the feeling that I might actually be embarrassing myself even more by just asking the question...)
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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It's a reference to Soap, which was a very funny parody of soap operas.
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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Cody wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:49 am It's a reference to Soap, which was a very funny parody of soap operas.
Ah... :) Yes, I guess the "family history" of the generation ships is rather "soapy", or "soopy". :wink:

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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

Post by Cholmondely »

user2357 wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:18 am
Cody wrote: Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:06 pm
stranger wrote: Sat Oct 23, 2021 9:46 pm... there is lot of fanfics based on classic Elite and sequels - in my personal opinion, mostly trash.
A considerable proportion of fanfic in general is trash.
Mind you, the same could be said of original fiction.
Don't know if this question is appropriate here, or not, and perhaps it's more rhetorical than anything, really, but isn't there some way that at least Robert Holdstock's original "Elite: The Dark Wheel" and Andy Redman's original "Imprint" could be improved? (IMHO, those two original works could stand some improvement, if only in spelling, punctuation, grammar and internal consistency. I, for one, would gladly read such improvements.) What would be required to accomplish such a task?
Interesting. I was just reading Jonathan Bennett on why he "translated" the texts of Hobbes. Locke & Hume into more modern English.

Could you not do this yourself? Your command of English certainly looks up to it. Of course, copyright issues means that they would not sell, but could you not post them here or on the wiki?

... and ... any new insights into the myriad mysteries of the lore? What is your view of the entire HIMSN project (and of the older Galactic Navy)?

And might it make more sense to conduct this discussion here?
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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Thanks, Cmdr Cholmondely, for your reply and confidence in my meagre abilities.

Similar to Jonathan Bennett (as hyperlinked in your message above) in his analysis of texts in early modern philosophy, I believe more of us would pay closer attention to Holdstock and Redman for establishing the foundations of our lore, in stead of throwing it all down in irate frustration at the poor presentation, if said presentation could be improved.

Tbh, I have actually started an attempt at improving said texts, but... the more I got into it, the more I realised how much more there actually is to realise...

There are so many questions that require explanation, e.g. considering hyperspace time-dilation, and making some assumptions regarding Jason Ryder's age and piloting career, how old could Ben Ryder have been when he disappeared, which ships were available on the market at that time for him to salvage, and does it all even fit into the time frame since 2700 when the first Whatt and Pritney Python was launched in Inera orbit space? ...and how does Redman's opening quote to Imprint, from the 'Galactic Cooperative of Worlds' Charter, Tibionis, 2696', fit into the 2700 time frame? Moreoever, how does the settling of the Tibionis System itself fit into that time frame? Does it all even fit? ...and if not, why not? Could it just be some more, characteristic typos from the authors again? If so, how should those typos be fixed while maintaining consistency with the rest of the backstory and deeper lore? -- How could these international authors even have written so poorly in the first place? ... Are these actually questions that can even be answered at all? ...And these questions merely arise from the *opening* pages of the two texts in question!

Ultimately: do the backstories of all the lore that we believe, even make sense? Perhaps some readers would just 'confess defeat', as Bennett suggests; perhaps others would merely 'glide along the surface of the text', and declare the futility of the exercise. For myself, I have to confess, that, by all appearances, I am not really making any great headway in this quest, and the end does not seem attainable within the foreseeable future.

Besides, who in their right mind would invest the time and energy in such a daunting undertaking without the slightest prospect of compensation due to copyright?

I would, nevertheless, love to see some further, deeper discussion of the finer points of the background lore, but that would require active research, and not just merely playing the game in whatever iteration seems to be the most popular or sensationalistic at the time. However, this does not seem to be the entertainment that most commanders are after in their attempts to relax after a long day at the office.

Furthermore, you might be researching one topic while I am researching another, and a third commander is busy on something else, and, although we might all love to engage in some knowledgeable discussion, none of us would be sufficiently knowledgeable regarding each other's main topic of research at the time for the purposes of any such meaningful discussion. ...like cosmic explorers, each off in their own direction... ...or so I imagine.

Have I answered my own question regarding the futility of the entire exercise? I sincerely hope not! I dearly hope that more commanders out there would take up the cause with which you and I have burdened ourselves, and that, one day, meaningful discussion could be had between two deeply-knowledgeable commanders regarding the same topic of current interest.

Could I do this myself? ... I do not know... It certainly seems an Herculean task! ... Atm, I guess we each do the best we think we can, and, in time, perhaps, we might accomplish some small measure of progress. Holdstock certainly opened up a vast Universe for us to explore!

New insights into the myriad mysteries of the lore... 'Where [is] Cirag?' ...And what is the Official Planetary Register, and how is it related to the Galactic Gazatteer [sic] of Worlds? ...And the term(s) '(inter)galactic' still bother me, considering the supposed size of GalCop Space as opposed to the Milky Way Galaxy and the intergalactic distance to Andromeda. On the other hand, forget Cirag - where is 'Old Earth' relative to GalCop Space?! ...questions, questions, questions... :wink:

HIMSN...? I haven't read it all, but, at the moment, I am of the opinion that all references to any kind of "Navy" are all merely different terms for the same thing, which has nothing directly to do with the alternate Frontier Universe. Although I do not always adhere to Occam's Razor, I usually tend to start from there. However, there might be some finer points in the deeper lore which contradict my opinion, and then I would be more than happy to be educated. The wikipage, merely judging by the number of links to related information, does seem to present much, thorough research of multiple sources, going back to the origins, which is exactly the kind of meticulousness which I appreciate. Thank you, Cmdr Cholmondely, for your unwavering dedication to the calling! :D

Conduct away at the discussion here, by any and all means necessary and available. Thanks. :D
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

Post by Cholmondely »

user2357 wrote: Sun Oct 31, 2021 6:36 am ... instead of throwing it all down in irate frustration at the poor presentation, if said presentation could be improved.
I've yet to come across any mentions of anybody doing so. The only real critique I've seen is that of Cody - in several places on this BB. Like many, he started playing with just the game code and none of the ancillary literature. When he eventually came across the literature, some while later, it did not fit in with the gameworld he had developed in his head, and he naturally rejected it. He never mentioned the presentation, that I saw...
There are so many questions that require explanation, e.g. considering hyperspace time-dilation, and making some assumptions regarding Jason Ryder's age and piloting career, how old could Ben Ryder have been when he disappeared, which ships were available on the market at that time for him to salvage, and does it all even fit into the time frame since 2700 when the first Whatt and Pritney Python was launched in Inera orbit space? ...and how does Redman's opening quote to Imprint, from the 'Galactic Cooperative of Worlds' Charter, Tibionis, 2696', fit into the 2700 time frame? Moreoever, how does the settling of the Tibionis System itself fit into that time frame? Does it all even fit? ...and if not, why not? Could it just be some more, characteristic typos from the authors again? If so, how should those typos be fixed while maintaining consistency with the rest of the backstory and deeper lore? -- How could these international authors even have written so poorly in the first place? ... Are these actually questions that can even be answered at all? ...And these questions merely arise from the *opening* pages of the two texts in question!
I think that both Cmdr James & Disembodied had pointed out some of the issues with these issues:
Cmdr James wrote: Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:55 am
another_commander wrote: Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:12 am The km labels for waypoints and reticle targets are unfortunately hardcoded. You cannot change them with an OXP.
This one is a gem! (Editorial insert)

Ah, the km, pronounced koom (kuː ʊm) of course! An ancient unit the origins of which are long since lost. Legends tell of prehistoric origins, early scientists trying to express distance in terms of wavelengths of light and indeed some planets, most notably Teceinre, have a celebration to honour the legend which consists of pacing up and down in period costume, holding glass balls (representing ancient light sources) and using a so called "foot rule" and eyeglass to admire the wavelengths whilst reciting poetry. Claims that this was started by Teceinre marketeers as a way of selling more of their poetry have consistently been denied.
The ludicrous fractions and ratios needed to shoehorn this theory into accepted history or science are however simply not credible and most leading historians hold that it was once defined as a multiple of the average step length of aristos in Old Paris. Sadly through various reformations, rationalisations and standardisation efforts it no longer bears any meaningful relation to its origins and now used mostly by spacers as an indicator of distance generally taken to be the distance a ship would travel in one second when travelling at 0.001 LM or, less formally, half the distance a typical spacer can throw an Ou fruit at standard Isqueder gravity after a few glasses of Tibediedian Arma brandy.
Disembodied makes the point that the year dating systems are undefined, and it is perfectly possible that different systems use different chronologies. See Time for Aegidian's and then Selezen's chronological solution (based on Frontier's dating).

Just look at the debates over
a) the current BC/AD system (Julian? Gregorian? the Astronomical Calendar which introduces a year "0"? and the Present Era starting in 1950 for carbon dating)
b) the Anno Mundi system used by the Jews (AMI, AMII & AMIII - was the world created in the summer or the winter, was the first year that of the first 5 1/2 days of creation, or the creation of Adam, or when Adam reached his first birthday): see pages 14-20
c) the AUC/"ab Urbe condita" system of Ancient-ish Rome (dating the creation of Rome some 600 years before, and basing it on (i) problematic lists of Roman Republic consul-years & (ii) on the 244 year-long existence of the Roman Kingdom as presumed by Dionysius of Halicarnassus).
d) the issues with dating Ancient Egyptian history - the 5 conflicting nutshell epitomes of Manetho's Aegyptica (Leo Africanus/Eusebius in Greek (Syncellus)/Eusebius in Armenian/Eusebius in Latin/and the rather crummy Excerpta Latina Barbari - Manetho's original is long lost), the fragments of the Turin King List, the splinters of the Palermo Stone etc.
That is nowadays, looking back just a little!
New insights into the myriad mysteries of the lore... 'Where [is] Cirag?' ...And what is the Official Planetary Register, and how is it related to the Galactic Gazetteer [sic] of Worlds? ...And the term(s) '(inter)galactic' still bother me, considering the supposed size of GalCop Space as opposed to the Milky Way Galaxy and the intergalactic distance to Andromeda. On the other hand, forget Cirag - where is 'Old Earth' relative to GalCop Space?! ...questions, questions, questions... :wink:
I agree about the terminology. "Interstellar" bothers me. A lot. I'm less concerned about tying things back though. I'm quite happy with cim's history (Old Earth is off to the top of Galaxy 2). As Disembodied pointed out in his comments on species, there are issues with the species (too many different versions of each, too spread out in 8 galaxies, to really fit in with cim's arguments, but it is good enough).

I would have thought that the OPR & the GGW have the same source, so would both leave out all the other worlds. More importantly, until our game developers come up with a way of overriding the hardcoding of 8 galaxies with 256 worlds in each, it will remain irrelevant, no?
HIMSN...? I haven't read it all, but, at the moment, I am of the opinion that all references to any kind of "Navy" are all merely different terms for the same thing, which has nothing directly to do with the alternate Frontier Universe. Although I do not always adhere to Occam's Razor, I usually tend to start from there. However, there might be some finer points in the deeper lore which contradict my opinion, and then I would be more than happy to be educated.
From what I've been able to ascertain, HIMSN was an attempt by the more purist brigade to come up with a "Galactic Navy" which corresponded rather better with what one saw and read about in Classic Elite lore.
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

Post by Cody »

In Holdstock's defence, I don't think sci-fi was really his forte - he was much more of a fantasy author.
I also suspect that TDW was written in a rush, to get it included in the game by the release date.

I still think TDW is a load of old codswallop though. Perhaps the fact that I was in my thirties and had already read a lot of serious sci-fi when I came to read TDW had some bearing on my opinion of it. As an afterthought... Elite: Legacy was also a load of old codswallop!
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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Yup. Nope. Maybe. I still got nothing. ;p ...still working on it, though.
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

Post by Cholmondely »

user2357 wrote: Sun Oct 31, 2021 6:36 am There are so many questions that require explanation, e.g. considering hyperspace time-dilation, and making some assumptions regarding Jason Ryder's age and piloting career, how old could Ben Ryder have been when he disappeared, which ships were available on the market at that time for him to salvage, and does it all even fit into the time frame since 2700 when the first Whatt and Pritney Python was launched in Inera orbit space? ...and how does Redman's opening quote to Imprint, from the 'Galactic Cooperative of Worlds' Charter, Tibionis, 2696', fit into the 2700 time frame? Moreoever, how does the settling of the Tibionis System itself fit into that time frame? Does it all even fit? ...and if not, why not? Could it just be some more, characteristic typos from the authors again? If so, how should those typos be fixed while maintaining consistency with the rest of the backstory and deeper lore? -- How could these international authors even have written so poorly in the first place? ... Are these actually questions that can even be answered at all? ...And these questions merely arise from the *opening* pages of the two texts in question!
Just a thought.

My old school's library had a folio edition of Sherlock Holmes with a commentary containing notes, maps etc. Maybe it would make more sense to think along those lines, rather than a rewrite?

(i) Annotated Sherlock Holmes by William Baring Gould
Image

You could have four commentaries running side-by side: one for classic Elite, one for Oolite, one for the Frontier-brigade, and one for the newest incarnation of E:D!

(ii) Glossators on Roman Law (I think! Decretals, at any rate...).
Image


(ii) Medieval Rabbis on Genesis
Image

You could add in, for example, screen shots of Lave as it appears in each of the four games!
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Re: Metafiction: Dialogues on the Lore of Xlite

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Yes, Cmdr Cholmondely, I agree -- commentary is definitely also required. Footnotes and appendices would probably be the very least -- but especially, please, at least an indication of typographical corrections, perhaps like the Jewish Rabbis did: leaving some trace/record of the original, for comparison purposes, perhaps.

I would, however, suggest, since the whole franchise started with BBC Elite in 1984, that any person(s) who (undertake)s such a project, at least also (start)s at that point, consolidating the foundations first before attempting to begin to make sense of later developments such as FE2, FFE and E:D. (Perhaps Steven Eisler/Robert Holdstock's 1980 "The Alien World, the Complete Illustrated Guide" should also be included in the research, if only for the purposes of exhaustion, to indicate that, although it apparently contains terms such as "Oisir-Raxxla" and "The Dark Wheel", it might not be directly related...?) I am of the opinion that it should perhaps rather be attempted to interpret the later iterations relative to, and in terms of the more original works first, as much as possible -- after the originals, and their direct descendants (Elite A, ArcElite, NES Elite, Elite Plus, TNK, Oolite, etc.), have been analysed and consolidated completely. ...if any kind of consistency is ever to be achieved.

:)
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