Within the Daedalus Matrix, which I have lovingly crafted over the past decade or so, there are about 25 systems from which to choose the one that will be the backdrop for my epic pulp novel.
One might think that the obvious choice for a setting would be Daedalus itself, the central world of the matrix. It’s the seat of the most powerful groups in the matrix, including, I’m sure, a number of families that would fit the bill for the powerful family unit I want in the novel.
However, a problem with that idea is that Daedalus is far too broad a canvas for the sort of story I want to tell. I would be drowning in the potential riches available in this setting, and would have difficulty retaining focus on the central story. Yes, I want a powerful family to be central to the story, but I’m thinking more of a big fish in a small pond metaphor, the richest family in a small town sort of vibe.
Looking through my copious notes, the world that, on first glance, appears to offer the most promise is Belisarius. I haven’t developed any details for Belisarius yet, except for the fact that it has two steady, reliable stargate links to other worlds in the Daedalus Matrix — one outgoing, one incoming — and that it has seven unreliable links to fringe systems, three outgoing and four incoming, the most of any system in the Daedalus Matrix.
These few facts suggest a number of possibilities about the culture on Belisarius. Even though it’s a world that has been colonized for at least 600 years-standard, it may very well have something of a frontier feel to it, or at least a transitory feel. It would also have something of an exotic quality, as it is more likely than anywhere in the matrix to have travellers from other matrices entering into this one, not to mention datasphere transmissions for those periods when a stargate creates a link between Belisarius and one of the fringe systems. Simply put, Belisarius is an interstellar crossroads.
Of course, it takes only a brief reading of history to realize that crossroads, be they cities, regions or entire countries, are often incredibly dangerous places. Yes, it’s possible to earn enormous fortunes there. Likewise, it’s just as possible to lose them, and for a variety of reasons.
So, Belisarius is likely to be an enormous source of wealth, but not an entirely stable one. That makes it likely that Belisarius is a member of the Daedalus Confederation, or at least it should be. Perhaps it isn’t, and that’s one source of conflict there.
By it’s nature, Belisarius would need to be a very cosmopolitan locale. Yet, to maintain some semblance of local culture, it would also need to be, somewhat ironically, provincial. Yes, we use these foreign barbarian devils for the wealth they bring, but they are not of us, and we don’t forget who we are. This attitude works in quite well with some of the attitudes I’ve already established for the family unit.
So, Belisarius appears to be a good choice for location. Now, I just need to flesh out some of the details of this system’s history and culture.