weregamer and tara_knight kindly lent us their X-box and KOTOR and its sequel; obsessivewoman and I had fun playing the games, and they doubled as research for Rise of the Jedi. I’ve been musing on the details of 25,000-year-old galactic civilizations and the way that the galaxy can seem so similar in two different eras separated by four millennia.
In doing the research for Rise of the Jedi, I’ve been contemplating how an interstellar culture can hover around an equilibrium point of technology for 25,000 years. (The Star Wars universe isn’t the only one with long-term stable galactic culture; Asimov’s Foundation books are another galactic empire.) Living as we do in a time of technological acceleration, that kind of stability is a contrast to our daily lives. I have some plans for looking at mechanisms behind equilibrium technology levels, but first I’d like to deal with what Charlie Stross called the “turd that Vernor Vinge crapped into the punchbowl of SF writing, and now nobody wanting to take a drink can ignore it”: the Singularity.
In the Frasassi cave system in Italy, scientists have found biofilms full of sulfur-consuming bacteria that eat hydrogen sulfide and excrete sulfuric acid. These can then erode the limestone walls of caves. If you’re the sort of game master who likes to brush up on geology before sending a scenario into a cave system, this could be a useful source of inspiration. (If elves can culture trees into cities, shouldn’t dark elves be able to herd biofilms to sculpt their caves?)