Graphic Novel Illustrators, Concept Artists, Writers and General Sci-Fi Nerds Wanted!
- Uprising -
Revolution isn’t pretty
What it is:
Uprising is an original Science Fiction universe, and can generally refer to any story set therein. It’s also the name of the project to create said universe. Uprising is intended to be an immersive, exciting universe for people to explore, both by reading and watching, and by creating their own stories. The core project will produce a graphic novel intended to generate interest for the idea, and eventually compile a detailed Wiki containing the mythology, technology and institutions/individuals of the universe, to allow fans to create their own content. The ultimate goal (for now) of the Uprising Project is to create a pitch for a TV show centered around the creation of one of the major factions in the universe. For now, however, the focus will be on the novel. Should that be successful, the Project will use Kickstarter funding generated from interest in the novel and universe to hire additional members to create content, fund the Project, and generally move towards pitching and produce the TV show. Uprising is intended to be a detailed, immersive universe with a wide mythology and a focus on thought-provoking, epic storytelling, breakneck Sci-Fi action, and dynamic, well-developed characters.
While not strictly Hard Sci-Fi, Uprising is committed to sticking as close to the bounds of reality as possible, while still providing an entertaining experience. Some “impossible” technologies, such as faster than light travel, will be incorporated, as necessary for storytelling, and some technologies will be stretched, such as hyper-efficient batteries or fuel cells. The goal is to produce a universe that, while it may be highly improbable at times (from a hard science perspective), is believable (or at least, able to provoke willing suspension of disbelief), and not ridiculous. Alien species will be treated similarly; while their evolution may seem improbable at times, it will always be biologically possible, and logical in the context of their homeworld. In essence, the aim is to keep breaks from reality (or probability) minimal, and acceptable as necessary from a storytelling point of view. Additionally, significant effort will be made to construct the universe and story so as to explain and justify as many of the necessary tropes as possible, such as predominant use of the English language, or the majority of alien species being bipedal and vaguely humanoid.
An important facet of the Project will be the emphasis on providing as much information about the universe as possible, laying the groundwork for people to expand on it, and willingness to work with any fan community which may develop, providing a pathway for uniquely good fan works to become canon. Uprising is designed to be a constantly expanding and developing universe, based on collaboration and cooperation. It will, to a degree, be open source: the Project will provide the means for people to expand on original Project content, but will ultimately retain the ability to decide what is and is not canon. The Project will choose their membership, and be open to new members who show significant interest in Uprising, and ability to contribute to it. In effect, the Project core membership will serve as the admins and moderators of the Uprising universe.
Uprising’s main storyline takes place several centuries in the future, in a universe where Humanity has become ascendant, conquering most of the Galaxy thanks to advanced technology and limitless avarice. Following the development of practical interstellar travel based on a modified Alcubbierre Drive, a Second Space Race began. The ancient Earth nations of Russia, China and America, as well as the European Union, rushed to the stars in an attempt to claim as much territory as possible. Unfortunately, they overextended themselves, and by the end of Humanity’s first century of interstellar exploration, private corporations established to exploit the resources of the Galaxy had become more powerful than the governments that spawned them. Exactly when remains unclear, but eventually private interests decided that governments were no longer necessary, and sparked a series of events leading to the first interstellar war. Who fired the first shot is unknown, but by the end of the conflict, a corporate alliance known as the Amalgamated Systems Protectorate emerged victorious.
Without any governments to limit them, and no other group powerful enough to rival them, the ten corporations of the Protectorate proceeded to bring all of the known Galaxy under their control, wiping out governments and rivals alike. Corporate entities who agreed to abide by the Protectorate Protocol were spared, but any attempt at the creation of government or rule of law was crushed without exception. Centuries passed, and technology and science stagnated, as companies discovered that it was easier to screw over customers and remarket the same thing over and over than to develop new technologies. Intellectualism crumbled and disappeared, as the Protectorate ruthlessly eradicated anyone who resisted or objected to their total domination over the Galactic market. Culture collapsed into an empty, viral mass of celebrity worship and brand domination. Music and Art became an endless series of stale rehashing of old ideas. In short, Humanity was stuck in an endless loop of dead culture, empty wealth and mindless commercialism.
In an effort to distract the population by providing them with cheap products and a false enemy to focus on, Xenosapients were demonized and persecuted, turned against each other and reduced to violence and poverty, stuck in their own cycle that left them angry and powerless, easy to exploit and blinded to the reality of their situation. In a society with no real laws, where no one has rights, economic power or physical force was a person’s only defense. And if the unwritten rules of that society prevented you from acquiring wealth and economic influence, you had neither voice, nor defense.
Society, both Human and Xeno, has locked itself into a path of constant violence and infighting. Minor corporations battle for domination of markets, Xeno gang wars tear apart the slums and backcountries of every civilized world, and the Protectorate is constantly engaged in putting down rioting Xenos or rival corporations. Hardly a unified entity, the Protectorate itself is continuously infighting, with various factions and interests vying for control and influence. And there are hordes of companies eager to profit from this constant fighting. Defense contractors and Private Military Corporations are among the most powerful entities in civilized space, fueling and feeding off the chaos and violence around them. Conflict between Defense industry giants is endemic, with military-industrial alliances rising and falling in the face of the dog-eat-dog world of market share competition. Throughout it all, the Big Ten, the founding members of the Protectorate, maintain some degree of control, restricting the scale of conflict and ensuring that they will always dominate a plurality of the Galactic market. Worlds within the Protectorate’s core sphere of influence are the most stable, and the safest, though that is not to say that they are immune to urban violence and crime.
Our Graphic Novel, and eventual show, is set on one of these worlds, a planet named Kovat near the edge of the Inner Ring. Originally settled by the Russians, Kovat is one of the largest producers of military hardware and software in the Galaxy, a forgeworld whose massive factories and sprawling industrial parks pour out a nearly unlimited supply of killing power to feed the Galaxy’s insatiable appetite for conflict. Kovat is also home to the largest Xenosapient population in the Inner Ring, a necessity to support the level of industrial output the planet prides itself on. Wealthy Human industrialists and corporate staff populate the inner cities, while Xenosapient laborers and disenfranchised Humans are trapped in the massive slums that surround the world’s industrial heartlands. The story of Uprising is the story of subversives, people who seek to disrupt this system, this cycle, for whatever purpose. As the main storyline opens, the Galaxy is posed on the edge, within inches of a massive series of revolutions and wars on a scale as yet unheard of. All it will take is a few sparks to send the Galaxy into an inferno of revolution. This is the story of those sparks, and the people who seek to put them out.
What I’m Looking for:
Creative, intelligent and dedicated people willing to form the core of the Uprising Project. Specifically, skilled artists to draw the initial graphic novel, creative writers to craft its story arch, and concept artists, science buffs and general nerds to dream up the technology, vehicles, weapons and species to populate it with. People with skill in programing and web development are also welcome, to create the forum that will serve as the hub of the project, and the wiki that will allow its expansion.
Just as the Uprising Universe is continuously expanding, so is the Uprising Project. All that is required to join is the ability to contribute to the project, and the willingness and dedication to stick to it. I admit, it is ambitious, and I can’t guarantee any profit or glory, but if you never take that one step forward, you’ll never get anywhere. What I can say, is that everyone who contributes to the Project will receive credit for it, and a chance to embark on whatever journey it takes us on.
If you’re at all interested in participating in the Uprising Project, please send me a note, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!