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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in Shared Universe's LiveJournal:

Friday, September 2nd, 2005
5:18 am
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005
3:17 pm
Introducting "Four Square" Forbes
"There is no man more celebrated throughout the Empire than Orvald 'Four Square' Forbes"

Orvald Forbes: the very definition of a "good all rounder", hero of the Great War, hunter, prospector, spycatcher, hero of every schoolboy in Britain. There is no limit to the adventures that can be written about this man, because there was no limit to his lust for adventure.

Until around 1930, that is.

Orvald Forbes: bigot, Moselyite, quisling, enthusiastic supporter of National Socialism, Hilter's mouthpiece to the English-speaking world, always ready to tell you that the ideals he fought for in his youth are now best embodied in the Third Reich, especially in his weekly broadcasts on Reichsender Hamburg. And the clues were there in his early adventures.

Orvald Forbes: fugitive, mercenary, racketeer, running for his life from the Allies. Ended up blowing his brains out in Madrid in 1946.

Right then. Anyone want to have fun with this character?
Friday, August 12th, 2005
5:42 pm
Sorry for the lack of updates on here for the last few days, but this week I are be mostly running around screaming at my bank and trying not to lose several hundred pounds.
What do people think about some intricate family trees of fictional characters and real people? I'm thinking, for example, that Kennedy should be a descendant of Hamlet (the 'historical' Hamlet is believed to have been a Danish governor of Ireland). Since we've got our three-way wars of the roses, with Lear being a Plantagenet, and since I'd like to do some conspiracy theory stuff, it might be fun to have a few families moving through all of history, affecting it. I know the idea's been done before (by Philip Jose Farmer among others) but it could still be fun.
Shakespeare must have had a lot of inside knowledge to write such accurate plays about royalty - and didn't he look a lot like Elizabeth I? *
Doesn't Sherlock Holmes look like Julius Caesar?
The future can be predicted - but is anyone sending false information back in time to prophets?
It's just a shame we won't be able to use some characters I'd like to do some stuff with. I'm currently trying to do a respray and file off of the serial numbers on Doctor Who and Bobo The Detective Chimp because I have story ideas too good *not* to do...
Friday, August 5th, 2005
11:31 pm
Some proposals.
Hello all. I'd like to create some entirely new small countries for the project and write some basic histories / futures as my (first) contribution.
The first is based on reality - a country called Occitania between France and Italy which existed as a cultural group until recently (and could be said to still exist) - see here for the wikipedia entry on the Occitan language (known as Provençal in England). Not very adventurous, but am working on it.
The second would be a small island in the Atlantic, effectively Atlantis, somewhere north of the Azores between Ireland and Newfoundland. This is the one I haven't thought too much about, so would be open to ideas.
The third is a bit controversial and probably won't fit in with the ground rules. I'd like a small city state to have existed in a large valley in the Welsh Black Mountains for the last 800 years or so as a last vestige of the original British people. I've got this last one worked out in quite a lot of detail, but will see what everyone thinks.
5:44 pm
Can anyone remember what dates Hamlet (the real, historical one) was Governor Of Ireland?
3:16 pm
No More Heroes
Here's the original proposal for the story I'm going to be posting, No More Heroes, minus the big giveaway ending. Don't read if you don't want the story spoiled, as I'm going to try to write the full thing, but this contains most of my ideas for the period around roughly 2015 in the USA:
Some of these ideas will be radically changed in the final thing, but you can all strip-mine this for your own ideas. Note that the Freedom Fighters name would have to be changed, as I'd forgotten about the Charlton/DC comic team of the same name.
Note, when I wrote this I had *not* read Superfolks, Twilight Of The Superheroes, Kingdom Come etc...

No More HeroesCollapse )
2:13 pm
King Lear and Pagan England
So, here's what's being thrashed out about the Wars of the Roses. In the Newniverse Wars of the Roses, there were three factions. The House of Lancaster, The House of York (a branch of the Plantagenet family that has wholly adopted Christianity) and a Pagan branch of the Plantagenet family, which stays back from the acton, theoretically opposed to the Tudors, but alienated from the Christian Plantagenets. A Yorkist line of succession is established in 1461, but the rebellion of 1470 goes a bit tricky. The Lancastrians get stuffed at Tewksbury, but Edward IV is deposed or killed or something and the Pagan Plantagenets get hold of power. This new line oversees an attempt to de-Christianize England, which is moderately successful for many years. Certainly those at court only dare refer to or swear by the accepted gods. Somewhere along the line, Lear ascends to the throne. Things unravel to the end of his reign (in the 1520s) and the anti-Pagan movement begins to gain ground. But even this movement is split as some believe that a reformed Church should be established in England to better repel all traces of Paganism in England, whereas others feel that England should return to the Mother Church when Paganism inevitably falls. After Lear's death, there's a religious and political vacuum, when the dust settles, England has a Tudor king, Henry VIII (starting his reign later than he did in our world) and the Protestant vs. Catholic fun really kicks off. We can either slip in an extra Henry into the Pagan Plantagenets to keep the numbering, or we can have Henry VIII taking a non-sequential number in a fit of Napoleon III style symoblism.

And now for someone cleverer than me to iron out the kinks.
12:58 pm
I think I'm going to use the newniverse to resurrect nomoreheroes, a comic for which I wrote a very detailed proposal (Holly read it at the time) early last year, when I was just getting back into comics in a big way - and then I realised that every other comic writer in the world had had a similar enough idea (starting with Moore's Twilight proposal and progressing from there) that it was unusable. pickled_jo did art for a few pages of it, but it essentially lost all momentum.
I think I'll revive it as prose, lose at least some of the flashbacks, and post it in sections on here...
Thursday, August 4th, 2005
5:40 pm
Basic timeline for the Newniverse
The idea here is to find a way to tell any story anyone could conceivably want to do, using the same shared-world backdrop. I think, as an initial idea, that the further away from 'Now' (currently August 2005) we get, the less like the real world it should get. Likewise the further away from the dwelling-places of the likely readers of the community we get, the less like the real world. Thus, we can invent as many new African countries as we like, because most people won't actually know that many real ones, and we can mess with the history of them as much as we want, because how many people do you know who could name the last five leaders of the Sudan? But the geography of, say, Western Europe and North America should be relatively consistent with the real world, as should their history over, roughly, the last fifty years.
This is only the REAL basics so far...

The way I see it, we have a series of civilisations that rise and fall, leaving little or no trace.:

Prehistory - Dinosaurs. Do they have a civilisation at all? That could be interesting.

The Stone Age. This happened as many people imagine it from films and TV and so on, people living in caves and hitting each other with clubs etc.

The Age Of Heroes. We have a prehistoric Heroic Fantasy setting here, with elements of both Conan type stories and more Tolkeinesque stuff going on. Dragons, Elves, Wizards, Dwarfs etc all milling around doing their thing. This goes on for several thousand years. I think that each civilisation should go through the five stages from Illuminatus! - Chaos, Order, Confusion, Bureaucracy, Aftermath. This would allow us to do both traditional heroic fantasy and Discworld style satire of the Beauraucracy stage.
Atlantis also sank around this time.

Biblical times/Egypt/Greece/Rome - again, pretty much as people imagine them. Feel free to create as many pharoahs and emperors as you want, or to mess with the timeline as much as you like.

King Arthur - this is to the Age Of Heroes as the Renaissance was to Ancient Greece in our world, and should be played as such. The Arthurian times end around the same time as Robin Hood existed, give or take a few hundred years.

The Middle Ages exist mostly as a setting for Shakespeare's plays.

The Victorian era onwards should happen more or less as it did in real life. There were more gangsters in the 1930s than in real life and superheroes started appearing then too, but in general life remained pretty much unchanged for most people. By the mid 18th century most of the more odd animals (vampires, trolls, talking gorillas and so on) had retreated to obscure parts of Eastern Europe or Africa, and people had essentially stopped believing in them.

'Now' is pretty much like now today, except that the level of technology in some ways is more advanced. Teleportation and time machines might exist, but if so they're prototypes only, most people haven't even become aware of their existence, and they don't make much difference to people's lives. There's a colony on the moon, and another on Mars, but again these don't really enter into most people's thoughts.
Superheroes exist - there have been 'mystery men' since the thirties, and a few powered heroes since the 60s. There are nothing like as many of them as there are in superhero universes, however, and while superteams exist, people wouldn't expect them to make any real difference to the world.

Roughly 20 years from 'now' we have FTL and first contact with alien intelligences. A hundred years or so from then, there is a nuclear war which devastates most of the earth. However, a few billion people by then live off Earth, and so while the Earth becomes uninhabitable for a while, except by a few roaming tribes of mutants and suchlike, it's eventually repopulated, and becomes one of the centres of the galactic Empire.

The Empire itself goes through two separate phases. In the time of growth, it's high-concept space swashbuckling, a la Flash Gordon or Buck Rodgers, with jumpsuited heroes battling evil space dictators and saving the girl. Later on, it settles down into a more sedate empire, a la the Federation in Star Trek or the empire in Foundation, except with multiple sentient species (humans, vampires, trolls etc) from Earth as well as aliens.

Eventually, the empire crumbles, humanity is reduced to almost nothing, and the Things under the sea, which have been guiding humanity for millennia through The Conspiracy (which involves every conspiracy idea ever) come out. Their breeding program has produced some very tasty meat...

There will be whole alien civilisations too, as well as beings from other planes (faerie, Heaven, Hell and so on). There is one 'true god', but that god has multiple aspects, each of which have multiple identities which can interact, thus allowing elements from any major mythology to share the same stories.

I think this probably works as a very basic outline of a history for the universe, and can be expanded on and elaborated as necessary. I don't want to be too restrictive with the very first posts ;)
5:37 pm
First post
This is a community for the creation of a shared universe in which everyone who wants to can write any stories they want (or any other kind of art).
Anyone who wants to can post any story set in or 'fact' about this universe on this community. The community moderators will decide if something is 'canon' or 'non-canon', but anyone can use elements of anything posted here in their own creative works in any way - so long as they allow the same freedom to others.
Use of characters that are trademarked or copyrighted by other people is *not allowed* and anything containing those characters will be removed, however analogues, parodies, and public domain characters are allowed. Sherlock Holmes lived in the Newniverse, but Superman didn't. However, if you want to write a story about Hyperman, the last survivor of the planet Hypron, who uses his hyper-powers to fight Rex Rufus and Mentallo, you're probably safe. We would, however, prefer something a bit more original than that.
Be warned, by posting here you are implicitly allowing anyone to do whatever they like with your concepts. They can't change anything at all about your delicate Regency comedy of manners, but they *can* write a slash-fic sequel in which your heroine has lesbian sex with a time-travelling werewolf. And if it's good enough, that will become canon too.
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