If the only people who want to explore space are science fiction fans, what happens when they do?In the first decade of the 21st Century
, a miracle substance
appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Handwavium had properties that defied the known laws of physics, and could bring the impossible within reach of the ordinary person: space-capable flying cars, subtle and obvious modifications of the human body, even create new life from dead matter.
Scientists studied it. Governments feared it. The rest of the world didnít care all that much. Science fiction fandom saw handwavium as the key to making their fantasies reality, and took advantage. Fans founded the Crystal Cities of Venus, the topless towers of Helium on Mars, the bottled city of Kandor on the Moon, built farms in the sky and sailed beyond the edge of the solar system to the near stars.
Itís a brand-new Space Age, and the people who want to go are the ones leading the pack.
Welcome to Fenspace, an online shared universe writing project. The wiki can be found here
, and the main forums for the project are here
.(Intro text from the Fenspace website used with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 Unported License.)
This shared universe contains examples of:
- Applied Phlebotinum: The handwavium and associated technologies.
- Baleful Polymorph: Used by the Boskonians (a criminal faction) to create catgirl slaves.
- Casual Interplanetary Travel: Up to Eleven thanks to Handwavium. Vehicles that travel at less than 5% of the speed of light are considered unusually slow in this setting.
- Cat Girl: All of them used to be human, and the change wasn't always voluntary.
- Fandom: Fensapce is populated primarily by science fiction, fantasy, and anime fans of one stripe or another, many of whom have banded together into loose factions. If it's a piece of speculative fiction, there's probably a fen somewhere who lives his or her life by it.
- Defictionalization: In-universe. Star Wars fans have formed the Galactic Republic, Trekkies the Federation, Magical Girl fans the Crystal Millenium, and several others. This includes various pieces of technology.
- Fantastic Drug: Thionite.
- Floating Continent: Unreal Estate, chunks of land that have been handwaved to be mobile. The most famous is the Island, which was formerly a piece of Nigerian countryside.
- The Crystal Cities of Venus also qualify.
- Flying Car: This is a common form of transport for the Fen. In space, no less.
- Instant A.I., Just Add Handwavium: Handwaved computers develop into A.I. with disturbing frequency.
- Orbital Bombardment: See that entry about Casual Interplanetary Travel above? The writing community are acutely aware of the Fridge Horror that sets in when you think about what would happen if two tons of home-built spaceship hit Earth's surface doing a measurable fraction of lightspeed. A couple of stories have been written about preventing this from happening.
- Precursors: Evidence of at least one, possibly two, ancient alien races has been discovered. Nobody knows where they are now.
- Space Navy: Most of the bigger factions have something like one. The Crystal Millenium Kingdom shakes things up a bit with the Sailors Armed Militia; one of the Senshi's founding members was a Coast Guard brat and stuck to what she knew when they decided to set one up.