Superverse in Brief: Article 6
Worlds as Characters
Every story must have a sound environment that sets the stage for the core characters to experience their present. In the case of the Citadel 7 Superverse, that means environments of endless worlds and dimensions. No matter how short or long a story, without that the story can never come truly to life.
Yes, the characters are a point of empathy for the observing audience, but it’s often forgotten that an environment can be a character too. In fact, in my series, several characters are inextricably dovetailed as both separate from and an aspect of environment. What passes for Sci Fi in today’s world, particularly soft sci fi, in my mind blurs many boundaries and is lazy publishing. In some cases, what passes for sci fi today borders on the absurd now and might as well be thrown into Speculative fiction. Audiences are being asked to swallow a lot today, and it’s not based on story content either.
Citadel 7 environments are worlds and dimensions with personalities unique to each one so the observer is fully immersed. Immersion is part of the reason our audio book titles, now on the horizon, are so important to that story experience. More than just weather patterns or light and shadow of interchanging space-time, Citadel 7 environments are alive. They speak to the characters, influence their decisions, breathe with them, and often against them. Like many characters, environments in Citadel 7 push those around them to their limits and beyond. Space is not just deathly cold, it speaks to both reader and character through its crushing silence and immensity. The treacherous alpine terrains on planet Tora are riddled with warnings, beauty and un-forgiveness. If a character fails to heed their influence consequences can be dire. In short environments are characters, just abstract.
For a reader to be immersed in any story where the character first appears, its actually the environment that sets that stage. In the opening first lines, the environment sets the substrate for first point of empathy and hook for the reader. Without it, the character’s plight means nothing suspending them in some nebulous unidentifiable void. Think about it. Consider the characters in say, Harry Potter, Jim Butcher’s Skin Game, Hemingway’s – Old Man and the Sea, or Steven King’s – It, in different environments. Then you’ll realize why environments are characters too and why you love the books you do so much.
For those who like a thriller environment, try Citadel 7’s “Dead End“.