Talk:FreeRIDErs (setting)

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Old Discussion on the Future of FreeRIDErs and the Upcoming 'Earth-Zharus War' Story Arc Previously in Page Header

Are there any plans to let writers stray into the Earth-Zharus War scene? I've got a story idea or two that I'd love to set in that period, but I'm short on the context that Jon, RM and the others have in mind. That is, I don't really have any idea how you intend the war to play out. Although my idea wouldn't actually involve much in the actual frontlines/war, it would be good to have some idea of the kind of materiel and hardware and general strategy and social climate and the such, because nothing concrete seems to have actually been laid out so far for that period (or have I missed something?). Which is why I thought I'd ask your permission before getting started. If needed, I'd be more than pleased could draft out the general idea. Thanks in advance! --Wayward Coyote (talk) 18:05, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your interest here, but there's a lot of ground to cover between the present and that future in the setting before we get there. We can't guarantee that anything you'd write taking place during that period would remain canon. --Buck (talk) 19:01, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, what Jon said. Our ideas for the war are very very nebulous at this point, more possibilities than anything else. There are things we don't even know quite yet about how we're going to end "Integration", let alone what comes between that and the war. Any number of things could change between now and then. So just be patient, or else think on how to adapt your ideas to the setting's "present". —Robotech Master (talk) 23:23, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I understand. I might just follow the main series for now and wait until it hits that time period; I'm quite keen to see where it's going anyway. Or maybe I'll see what I can do with some other ideas I have lying around. Either way, though, thank you for your replies! --Wayward Coyote (talk) 07:38, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Possiblity of FreeRIDErs Cross-Over Stories

This discussion thread has been moved to Talk:Once More Into the Breach, My Friends….
— RandomDSdevel (talk) (Originally posted at 7:22 PM EST on November 4th, 2014 and last edited at approximately 5:34:30 PM EST on January 10th, 2015)

There are still replies waiting to be read over there, though, so come on down!
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 14:09, 14 November 2014 (EST)

Possibility of Stonegate Ancestry and Military Heritage?

I was wondering if I could possibly give the extended Stonegate family some ancestors, at least one of whom I'd like to use to set a precedent for Socah Gates's involvement in military affairs, starting with Once More Into the Breach, My Friend…: Carter's Last Stand??
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 17:41, 10 January 2015 (EST)

If you're wondering why I asked, then it's because I thought it'd be kinda funny if Carter Hawkinson, the character who I made up to put in a data-based, copse-sicle–like situation, decided to visit Rhianna at the FreeRIDErs' Garage before attending one or more of the classes she teaches at Roberto Martinez Memorial University in Uplift to see if he'd like her as a teacher only to be interrupted mid-conversation by Charlene McClaren when she rushes in to tell Rhi about his resurrection and its relevance to her? Imagine the look at Charlene's face when she sees him standing there talking to Rhi, especially if she'd met him earlier before she knew about his significance!
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:46, 27 February 2015 (EST)
You know, on second thought, maybe it would be better for Carter to wait until after Rhi gets back from Totalia to introduce himself to her? He could still hob-nob with Charlene, but it would probably be a good idea not to let Carter's resurrection cause too much of a stir.
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 20:01, 21 May 2015 (EDT)
Wait a minute…: Rhianna (and I think maybe Ivy, too,) will have left, but…well, the rest of the Stonegate family is still going to be on Zharus. Hmmm…this could get interesting…
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 18:24, 13 November 2015 (EST)

Pre-'Post–Oil-Age 'Dark Ages'' Political Situation?

What would you guys imagine the political situation just prior to the beginning of the post–Oil-Age 'Dark Ages' to be like? Or is it too early to dive into that yet?
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 18:08, 14 January 2015 (EST)

Are you guys still thinking about this?  — RandomDSdevel (talk) 14:37, 29 January 2015 (EST)
It's kind of important to me that you guys work on helping me figure this out for my story Carter's Last Stand?, so please let me know if you've thought about this yet and how far along you are in formulating an answer. If you'd like my input on this, then please either respond here or tell me where, if at all, you've been discussing this so that I can join in.
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:23, 27 February 2015 (EST)
As no stories have been written in this era there really hasn't been any need to into it in detail, nor are any planned for this era. This is the nature of writing fiction. If no detail is needed, no detail is written. I know what happened in broad strokes, but that's all I need. Look, calm down a bit, okay? My time is limited. And you're not exactly asking us nicely here. --Buck (talk) 21:11, 24 April 2015 (CDT)
I'm sorry we got off to such a bad start; that probably wasn't exactly the best way to ask that question, was it? Can you forgive me for being too eager to write my own story during the time period we're discussing? I didn't intend to sound like I wanted you to drop everything and dive into this; I was just afraid that you might get even more mad at me if I went out on a limb and did something timeline-breaking since I want my story to be canon, if you'll have it when it's finished. That's why I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me the few details you do have about the time just before the end of the Oil Age.
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 15:46, 25 April 2015 (EDT)

On the Nature of Qubitite

What exactly is qubitite made out of? Is it some kind of photonic molecular mesh prevented from dissipating by the presence of ordinary, baryonic matter inside? If so, then could it be synthesized in-universe and how difficult would doing so have to be in order to prevent the possibility of qubitite synthesis from being widely known by the time of the latest story in the current FreeRIDErs chronology?
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:19, 27 February 2015 (EST)

This is something we have to leave intentionally vague. The setting is more inspired by anime than hard scifi. Suffice to say that synthetic qubitite will only be introduced when we're ready, and we're far from ready. --Buck (talk) 13:26, 13 April 2015 (CDT)
Doggone it, I was going to have enough of it made available for some qubitite-based implants like the ones Jeannette Leroq has to make the reconstruction of a human being out of approximately–five-hundred-year-old records of that individual's DNA and brain state possible! Guess those involved in the project will just have to get some from a smuggler even though synthesizing the stuff would have made things a lot easier for my characters by allowing them to get around Zharus's export laws. About how far in the current chronology's future do you and the others intend to introduce synthetic Q, exactly, anyway? I was going to have somebody give a materials scientist whom he or she is friends with give him a hunk of rubidium salt or alloy that started sprouting weird blue specks on its surface after it had been lying around on a hard light surface for a while so that said materials scientist could study it and figure out exactly what it is. Obviously, tons of papers would likely come out of such efforts, but maybe their publication on Earth could be prevented or delayed by some small part of Earth's government that is actually knowledgeable and embracing of the truth behind what's going on on Zharus? And I was thinking that the procedures described by these papers would take months or even years to produce anywhere near a practical amount of qubitite so that they wouldn't really matter any more when they finally get declassified several years later because a much more efficient method of synthesizing Q had been discovered by then. My hope is that the significance and consequences of such a discovery would either turn out to be minimized in the grand scheme of things or forgotten about during the Earth-Zharus war. But I suppose the ability to synthesize qubitite would make Zharus's political situation a lot more tenuous, wouldn't it? So I guess now might not be the greatest time to let it factor into too many stories just yet.
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 17:20, 13 April 2015 (EDT)
Longer term, we have plans for a war with Earth. The exact circumstances of which are still up in the air. So, have patience. :) --Buck (talk) 23:29, 21 April 2015 (CDT)
Is this just between you, Robotech_Master, and Jetfire, or can anybody contribute some ideas to these plans? If so, then where would I go to do so?
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 17:20, 26 April 2015 (EDT)
We have a number of things that have to happen before we get there. I can see how enthusiastic about this setting you are, but Major Plot Points like this are the purview of the three of us. Once again, you'll have to be patient. --Buck (talk) 21:07, 27 April 2015 (CDT)
Roger, wilco. Guess I'll just have to rework this, then, won't I?
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 17:20, 9 June 2015 (EDT)
Unless…hmm, what are the odds that a chunk of Zharus that got blasted off by the impact that created the Dry Ocean's huge supply of qubitite in the first place could make it the fifty light years to Earth by the time I need it there? I'm assuming 'next to none' on this front, though, so I'll probably just have some character smuggle some qubitite back to Earth instead.
—&thsinsp;RandomDSdevel (talk) 18:49, 17 November 2015 (EST)

On the State of This Setting's Documentation

Hey, I've noticed that, while you've got some great pieces of in-universe documentation and source text for FreeRIDErs, it could be expanded and complimented by some documentation from the point of view of our universe. Is it okay if I help you guys with that while I'm still in the early planning stages of my project Once More Into the Breach, My Friends…?
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 19:51, 27 February 2015 (EST)

In particular, I was wondering if, once I have enough programming experience, I could put some kind of calendar program tailored solving to this setting's interstellar date problems up on GitHub so that we can start decoupling the other planets' calendars from Zharus's.
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 20:05, 21 May 2015 (EDT)
Actually, I suppose that's more like calendrical housekeeping, isn't it? I'll still do that when I get to it, but I think that what I originally meant by 'documentation' was the timeline and the background materials. I suppose that's housekeeping, too, in a way, so maybe we should just lump it all together, rename this thread 'Housekeeping Discussion,' and call it a day?
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 17:57, 9 June 2015 (EDT)

On the compilation of an eBook

Hi all. I am planning on embarking on a project of compiling and updating an eBook of the entirety of the FreeRIDErs universe. I expect this to be a reasonably large undertaking, and I would like the permission of as many of the authors involved before I begin. If you don't want your stories in the compilation, then I will be... well, I won't be happy, but I will to leave them out. I do realise that eBooks are already available for some of the stories, but I am attempting to compile as many stories as possible in a few volumes.

I will be giving full credit to the appropriate authors, and expect my own tiny, infinitesimally small contribution to this amazing universe that you have created to be noted by a small footnote at the start of the book that says "Compiled and Edited by F.L. Dragon".

I expect it to be completed within a month or two, maybe four if I get held up, as there is a lot of story to go through, proof-read to get any mistakes that may have been missed, and to make sure the formatting is consistent. I will also be doing this on my own, although any help would be appreciated. After completion, I expect to maintain the compilation on a monthly to bimonthly basis. This may be adjusted later to a quarterly update, but it will still be available and maintained.

Finally, I don't expect to make any monetary units from this project. At all. Zero Dollars.

And so, I humbly ask your permission to begin work on this project. I will be more than happy to provide progress updates every now and then, and I hope to complete it to your satisfaction.

Thank you for your time and consideration. --F.L. Dragon (talk) 08:22, 8 April 2015 (CDT)

You know, some of the stories in this setting already have e-book versions; I can't remember exactly which ones they are, but I do recall that those that do have a notice at the top. Could this help you with your project? Anyway, I think it's cool that you're compiling all of the FreeRDIErs stories into one collection. I do, however, have one thought about this effort: wouldn't it be a lot easier to create an automated solution to do this for you rather than updating it manually?
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 16:12, 9 April 2015 (EDT)
I do realise that, but they are: 1) all in separate e-books, and 2) not the Director's Cut versions. I think. I haven't actually looked at them, to be honest. Also, to create an e-book, all you need is the text, so going to pre-existing e-books that may or may not let you copy the text, depending on what software you use to read them, is not very helpful. Although seeing how the formatting is done in them might give me a standard to aim towards.
Setting up an automated process for it... It can be semi-automated, but I'd still need to go through and make sure that all of the formatting is correct and consistent, and start it. Compare, for example, Aloha, by Jetfire, and Marshals, by JonBuck with Robotech_Master, paying attention to the dates given in story. In Aloha, they are bolded, while they are italicised in Marshals. It is very difficult to account for small things like that in the formatting, and so it is preferable to do it manually.
Also, automation isn't that simple. When a new story is posted, I would still need to put the text into a word processor, make sure it is formatted properly in the word processor, give it another go-over for spelling and punctuation errors, use file conversion tools to convert the file into an e-book file, and then make sure that the file conversion tools didn't mangle the formatting, before giving it another go over for anything I missed, and then going back to step 2 if there is something I missed. And then send a version back to the author without the spelling mistakes. This process can only be reliably done by a human, and trying to automate it... well, I think the strip at shows what I'm talking about. I'd end up spending more time working on the automation than I'd save by using the automation.
Once the bulk of the work is done (got all pre-existing stories in the e-book), then it might only take me as long as it takes me to read the story to fix any new stories up and get them fully formatted. That is, if it doesn't get to me all mangled, badly formatted, and/or full of spelling and punctuation errors. And if I get to read it at the same time, well, bonus! So, no automation, although I would create a few templates to help reduce the time spent on it.
Still, by the end of it all, I think I might end up reading each story however many times anyway, so win-win! :P
--F.L. Dragon (talk) 21:45, 9 April 2015 (CDT)
Ah, of course! Maybe you could put your work up in a central place — say, either here on Shfiti or maybe in a repository hosted somewhere like GitHub — so that others could contribute if they wanted and when they had the time? I've been thinking about going back through the stories and proofreading them anyway, so I'll probably chip in some work even though I'm currently working on my own mini-arc of stories at the moment since those are still just in the early planning/brainstorming/writing stages. Anyway, good luck, and I'll probably see you around!
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 12:59, 12 April 2015 (EDT)
Actually, the only works with Directors Cut versions so far do have e-books. The e-books of "Deserted" and "Merging Traffic" both incorporate the DirCut revisions, and the DirCut version of the original "FreeRIDErs" is incorporated along with the DirCuts of the chapters of "Integration" we have done so far as an "Integration" e-book, which will grow as we crank out more DirCuts. We haven't really had time to focus on that lately, because the next Totalia story has been kicking our asses for months now. But we're almost done with that, and should be able to bang out a few more after that (we hope).
Also, I question the necessity of a FreeRIDErs e-book that collects everything. People only read one story at a time, after all. A single e-book with all the stories in it could be kind of large and unwieldy, like the 75 megabyte version of all 15 Wheel of Time e-books that was included with last year's Hugo Nominations packet. For now, if you wanted to e-bookerize things, it would probably be best if you concentrated on creating single e-books of stories that don't have them yet, like all of Jetfire's stuff—though I'd suggest getting permission from him first, since that's only polite.
Apart from that, I suppose I wouldn't have any objection to an e-book of everything, provided that the stories were presented in publication order insofar as is possible. It just seems less useful right now than having individual e-books of everything.
Robotech Master (talk) 01:14, 15 April 2015 (CDT)
Yeah, when I suggested this, I didn't think of how unwieldy it could be. I do still want to create a collection of the stories, but it is now more likely to be in the form of multiple e-books. The original plan was to split everything into different volumes, maybe 3 or 4, but even then it would still be a bit big. A quick word count of Jetfire's work up to All Spark Bulletin got a word count of over 180'000. This might not be a door-stopper, but it is still a decent length, and is only a fraction of the total writing, and more recent works (like the Totalia series) are probably longer than that in their own right. So, the aim now will be to create an e-book of each story that doesn't already have one, and compiling them in the one location for easy access. I may still decide to combine some stories that are in the same arc but one or some of the stories is a bit shorter (like the Foxed duology), with the author's permission of course. I'll probably try to make each e-book at least 40'000 words in length, which is about the size of a small novel, or a large novella. This will mean I may combine a few of the early Aloha stories, if I get Jetfire's permission, as Aloha on its own is only about 11'000 words.
I'll probably keep the standard of formatting similar to the pre-existing e-books, so I'll definitely look at them. I probably should have gone through them before suggesting stuff, though. GitHub does look like a good place to store everything, and it would allow me to make revisions reasonably easily, as well as create to-do lists for any broken formatting and spelling errors. Still, I'll look into it a bit more before coming to a final decision.
So, I guess I'm still waiting on permission from Jetfire, Fibio, HawlSera, Kris, and Claude LeChat, assuming that you speak for JonBuck as well, Robotech_Master. I am also curious as to the status and canonicity of Oddoneout's two stories that are sitting in the Category page, but not in the setting page, as well as Jetfire's Rescue 911, in the same situation.
--F.L. Dragon (talk) 15:52, 15 April 2015 (CDT)
You know, now that I think about it, GitHub might actually not be the best place to store the results of this project. After all, we already have a version-control system on-wiki in the form of edit tracking, right? I'd be perfectly fine with using that instead if it weren't for the permissions issues inherent in the fact that a lot of the FreeRIDErs universe's stories are hosted on their authors' Shifti user pages, but I think this problem could be solved if we got something like the 'FlaggedRevs' extension set up here on Shifti and we moved all of the stories into the 'Article' namespace. Then all we'd need is something like one of the page-exporting extensions listed here, and then we'd automatically be in business. Or maybe we could still use GitHub, but only as a way to store automated dumps of individual stories to different formats (or maybe even an automated compilation?) Anyway, that's what I've come to realize.
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 18:57, 13 November 2015 (EST)
Oh my, I'm so sorry for the late answer. Wasn't watching this page 8 months ago. For what it's worth, I thought of something similar in the past: that it would be fun to have the various stories bundled in a logical series of volumes. Say, "Zharus" would contain Deserted, Merging Traffic and FreeRIDErs; "Integration" would contain the eponymous novel. (Yes I know, it wasn't conceived as a novel, but it came out as one.) "Tales of Alpha Camp" would have Second-Hand Lioness, Wolves in the Fold 1+2 and Young Guns; "Law of the Desert" would group the various Marshal stories plus the Bartertown stories, and so on. Of course, this is just a tentative grouping, but I think it would make sense. And by the way, my own Alpha Camp trilogy is now collected into a nice e-book, complete with cover art, that I might upload somewhere at some point. But if anyone wants to make their own anthology, be my guest. I like having readers.
-- Claude LeChat (talk) 02:17, 11 December 2015 (CST)

Good Location for Shared FreeRIDErs Projects?

Hey, I just wanted to know if there might be a good location on Shifti from which to share incomplete FreeRIDErs projects with other users. I've got some stuff that I'm working on with Fahzyr in my user space, but I want him to be able to edit it, too. Should I just move this content out of my user space and into a new page on Shifti, or should such content be categorized/filed under this setting page? — RandomDSdevel (talk) 14:16, 30 April 2015 (EDT)

FreeRIDErs Theme Song!

I was inspired to start writing a theme song, so now I guess we'll be ready if the series ever becomes a TV show, not that that'll happen in our lifetimes or anything. Anyway, I hope you guys like what I've got so far, and I'll see what I can do about adding/uploading the tune to Shifti. (I'd do it sooner rather than later if my sister's synthesizer keyboard were closer to the computer; then maybe the MIDI-to-USB cable would reach!)
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 15:01, 5 May 2015 (EDT)