Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Keelernomics

The last week was pretty much lost because of interviews and business trips, but it gave me a lot of time to think about writing, which is far less productive than actual writing. But it did reveal a solution to my dilemma about how to resolve the plot at the end of Book 10.

I have had to think a lot about the economics of Eventide in order for the story to be plausible. I had to wrestle with some pretty dense questions:

  1. How does trade work on a planet where people can get whatever they need out of "Magical Boxes?" Would there even be commerce under such a system? Answer: There would still be some kind of trade regime. People would still exchange materials produced outside the anything boxes, and those who possessed the anything boxes would still trade with others in distant islands who had other anything boxes.
  2. What could people in a starship possible trade with people with an Elizabethan level of technology? Especially since I establish early on that Pegasus is strapped for resources as it is. The ship has to attempt to trade in high-value finished goods and exchange these for raw materials like food and cloth. These two items are ill-fitted to the trade regime since both food and cloth can be produced by the anything boxes.
So, anyway, I've finally got the economics worked out in my head. And as soon as I finish these expense reports, I should be able to get back to serious writing. PEACE

1 comment:

Chris Meadows said...

Perhaps the people on the planet would be interested in the entertainment programs and music and such that Keeler and crew have brought from their homeworlds or collected in others since. These are things that can't be produced by "Anything Boxes" (at least, not until the Anything Boxers have samples? perhaps this would also be a chance to make analogies to the peer-to-peer bugaboo of the current "content" industries?) and would, at least for a while, be new and novel.

Perhaps that band I seem to remember playing in Eddie Roebuck's dive might even get some concert dates. :)

And likewise, perhaps Keeler and anyone else with history or stories to tell could go on the lecture circuit.

It's really just a matter of thinking about what *can't* be made with Anything Boxes and figuring out how the crew can supply it.