War Stories: SARATOGA (Firefly/Serenity)

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Email: saratoga+owner@warstories.groups.io
URL: https://warstories.groups.io/g/saratoga
Type: Military Science Fiction
Last-Update: 2020Feb12
Keywords: free, open-ended, email, human, space, historical, rpg, abstract



1.1 What is this, exactly? This is a Firefly-Serenity Historic SIM Group called WAR STORIES. As with all things, to fully define what this is we must break its general description down to its base elements.

1.1.a Firefly-Serenity. Firefly is a television series created by Joss Whedon that ran for a single season of 14 episodes. It introduced us to a world steeped in both science-fiction and westerns, with a sprinkling of Victorian and Chinese flavors, and a smattering of horror for good measure. A setting that was a unique blend of old and new, driven by the drama of an underdog cast of characters-each unique and interesting-just trying to make it day by day. Serenity is the movie that followed after fan support of the canceled series reached critical mass. It was an epic tale on which our favorite ne'r-do-wells embarked, ending with poignant changes within their worlds and themselves.

----- Firefly and Serenity are ©Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox, 2002-2020, all rights reserved. WAR STORIES is a non-profit, amateur organization wanting only to continue and contribute to the entertainment that Firefly and Serenity brings us. -----

1.1.b Historic. Literature would label this a "period piece" or "historical fiction". As the name suggests, "WAR STORIES" is set during the Unification War, a five-year span of civil war between the core-world Alliance and the rimward Independents, that started eleven years before the first episode of the Firefly series. Through stories and flashbacks in a precious few episodes (Serenity, The Message, and the titular War Stories), we see how different some of the characters were back then, and get a glimpse of the events that changed them, for better or worse. Here, we seek to explore similar themes in military science-fiction; the ways in which the trials and tribulations of extraordinary circumstances define us. As the Chinese curse goes, "may you live in interesting times."

1.1.c Simulation. A "simulation", or SIM, in this context describes a kind of freeform play-by-(e)mail (PbEM) roleplaying game (RPG). "Players" create their character and simulate the world and events described in their chosen genre (from books, television series, movies, or other media). Using email and sometimes other internet communication, these players co-author stories in an interactive structure. "Creative writing in a social environment," is the preferred description. Whether parts of the story are written as solo segments, or joint events between two or more players, the story unfolds as all participants craft both drama, plot twists, and their individual character development. It is important to note that while similar projects lean towards the "player" and "game" terminology, WAR STORIES prefers to use "writer" and "plot" to encourage the thought processes involved in story structure, character development, and literature in general. We are not "gamers" that win anything according to a set of rules, we are co-authors that create simply to entertain.

1.1.d Group. Beginning as a single, small SIM on a Firefly-class spaceship called SARATOGA, this project has the lofty goal of adding more SIMs of creative writers to tell their own adventures in different spaceships-and perhaps even Independent Army squads and Alliance teams. By including more SIMs with the WAR STORIES framework, we can not only further expand and explore the Unification War era, but offer writers the possibility of taking their character to different units and lend their experiences to both enrich and be enriched by other collections of characters driven by outstanding writers.

1.2 Structure. It's important to note that while the writing process is freeform, and we want to encourage creativity, there is still some structure to give all participants some common expectations both between all writers, and from the group and SIM leadership. From the process of posting your writing, to the promotion of characters, we wanted to give some general guidance so that everyone knows what to expect and can focus on writing and creating. That structure is the focus of this document.


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Greg Lindahl