Sunday, May 31, 2015

Realm Explorers Part L: Visit Beinan with Laurel A Rockefeller

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name:

Laurel A. Rockefeller

Title of book and/or series:

The Peers of Beinan Series (in chronological order): 
      Goodbye A672E92 Quintus 
      The Poisoned Ground
      The Great Succession Crisis
      The Ghosts of the Past
      Princess Anyu Returns

Brief summary of the story:

Nobles and royals battle against each other for power, wealth, and prestige.  Behind the scenes an alien race secretly pulls puppet strings in a quest for revenge against one of their own reborn as a Beinarian.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:

Located in a bar-spiral galaxy on the other side of M31 Andromeda, planet Beinan is properly known as B345A15 Quartus.  Five times the size of Earth, Beinan orbits a blue-white star as its fourth planet.  A thick upper atmosphere protects Beinan from the intense heat of its sun.  On the ground, humans and animals breathe chlorine gas (called nirlar).  Beinarian plants convert toxic oxygen (called bilast) into nirlar.

The planet itself has four continents: Dong-bei, Xi-bei, Dong-nan fang, and Xi-nan fang.  The largest ocean is called “Amba Mederi.”  The weather is generally stormy with upper atmosphere hurricanes common.  From the ground stars can only be seen near the poles where the atmosphere is thin enough for starlight to penetrate.

If we were to visit Beinan as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

The capital city of Hejing is always delightful -- or rather was before Lord Yelu began his reign of terror.  The coastal city of Bira Hecen, home to house Miyoo, features many grand and ancient temples cut out from the cliffs that protect the city from the Amba Mederi Ocean.  In addition, Bira Hecen is home to Our Lady Healing Centre which terrorists famously destroyed in BE 6777.  The rebuilt healing centre is one of the top hospitals in all of Beinan.  In honour of the many healers who perished in the attack, the healing centre built a beautiful memorial garden that is a must-see.  A fountain sits at the heart of this, the names of each healer killed in the bombing lovingly inscribed into it, including that of Lady Healer Keelia of house Ten-Ar, Lord Knight Elendir’s late mother.

If you can gain permission, take a visit to the nearby Isle of Ben-Ar where you will be treated to the sights and sounds of protected wildlife.  In particular look for the sacred falco albus, the divine messengers of the goddess Abka Gahun whose temple makes the island a popular pilgrimage site.  You can recognize falco albus by their huge wingspans and snowy white feathers, though it can take a sharp eye to spot them when they are hunting.  Along the beach, look for raks, a type of crustacean that looks like a cross between a lobster and a crab.  Fishing for raks is perfectly legal and the meat is quite delicious.

If an old-world style pub is more your fare, head to the town of Luton in Dong-bei and go to the Luton Town Jiudian.  You’ll get great food, friendly service, and the chance to gossip with the locals.

What dangers should we avoid in Beinan?

These are dangerous times.  Terrorists have targeted healing centres planet-wide, especially those staffed by houses Ten-Ar and Gurun. 

In addition, visitors to the southwestern continent of Xi-Nan Fang must be careful about the air quality.  Xi-Nan Fang is home to most of the planet’s mining operations.  As a result, toxic bilast pollutes the air.  If that is not enough, radioactive argene dust and argun ore is everywhere, the inevitable product of the area’s many mining operations.

Rumour has it that Nan-li City in Xi-Nan Fang is home to the most dangerous of the terrorists.  Watch your back if you dare tread there!

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Beinan?

The Luton Town Jiudian is an excellent pub for affordable and quality dining.  The steamed rak tails and rak legs are especially well prepared.  Complete your meal with seasoned buttered bread, an assortment of cheeses, minced fruit, and berries, including kelan, nanla, and nara berries.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Beinan?

Beinarian nobles use both heritage and modern weapons including laser épée, laser crossbows, and laser spears.  Knights of Ten-Ar are known for their circling martial arts styles which resemble ba gua gongfu to Earth humans.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Beinan?

Low altitude shuttles are the primary form of transportation planet-wide. Mid-range shuttles operate within the B345A15 solar system, readily moving within and across all Beinarian atmospheric, aquatic, land, and intrasolar environments.  Star craft are largely small to medium sized vessels used to travel between worlds and between galaxies.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Beinan that we don’t see on Earth?

Beinan is full of many plants and animals, all of them silicon based.  On planet Beinan plants breathe in toxic bilast (oxygen) and release nirlar (chlorine gas) which is breathed in by animals of all types, including Beinarian humans.  Nanla, nara, and kelan trees grow in abundance, producing some of the tastiest fruits and berries.  Animals include losos (a type of salmon), rak (a cross between a lobster and a crab), konyn (a long haired rodent whose fur is sheared for wool), falco albus (a massive white bird of prey), and songbirds fabuku and fafiku.

Human life is not native to planet Beinan.  Beinarians arrived from their original homeworld of A672E92 Quintus nearly 7000 yen-ars ago.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Beinan?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used

Beinarians are naturally psychic though to what degree largely depends on the individual.  Members of houses Miyoo and Ten-Ar cultivate their psychic and precognitive abilities more than the other houses, particularly among the priestesses of Miyoo and the knights of Ten-Ar.  The dominate religion on Beinan, headed by the High Priestess of Miyoo, teaches reincarnation, a belief abhorrent to its monotheistic rivals in house Shem.   As a result the idea of past lives and past life memories are mainstream across Beinarian society.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Beinan?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.

Modern weapons on planet Beinan use lasers and plasma bolts such as in laser spears, laser crossbows (laser beams firing plasma bolts), and laser épées.  Low altitude and mid-range shuttles fly instead of moving on the ground. Trains run on a monorail in an advanced version of maglev technology.  Star craft are able to travel to worlds in distant galaxies, often doing so with the help of advanced alien technology. 

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Beinan.

Beinarian nobles and royals love fine food and dancing, particularly the Beinarian variant on English country dancing.  In addition martial arts, fencing, and archery remain popular across many noble houses.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Beinan as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?

There are 197.26 beinors (Beinarian days) per yen-ar (Beinarian years).  Beinors (Beinarian days) are numbered 1 to 197 or 198 in the case of a yeap yen-ar.  “Beinor 1” is the start of the Beinarian yen-ar and is typically celebrated with fireworks, feasting, and dancing.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Beinan?  Please describe what it involves.

There are two major religions on planet Beinan.  The primary religion worships a triple goddess similar to the Morrigan of ancient Britain.  The three goddesses are:  Abka Biya (goddess of the moon), Abka Gahun (goddess of birds of prey), and Banumu Hehe (goddess of Beinan the land).  The high priestess of house Miyoo heads this dominant religion where both women and men serve as priestesses and priests as equals.  In this tradition, belief is in reincarnation.  Direct, mystical experiences are the main ways that worshippers discover and understand the goddesses. Science is regarded as a sacred form of religious expression.  As you might expect, environmental stewardship is also key to belief and practice as the divine faces are manifest across nature.  Followers of the triple goddesses uphold generally liberal values, allowing worshippers to follow their own conscience on matters of marriage, child rearing, divorce, and sexuality.

The other major religion is centred in house Shem where they worship the Shemai, a male creator god similar to the one worshipped in Abrahamic religions. People are believed to be born and die only once after which they go into an eternal afterlife. Like in the Abrahamic religions, worshippers have a written scripture they use to learn about and understand the Shemai’s commands. Religious leadership is restricted to men with priests called sacerdos and the high priest called sacerdos maximus.  Psychic abilities are regarded as evil and perverse.  Values are conservative with non-marital sex, contraception, abortion, and divorce all highly discouraged.

What is the political or government structure in Beinan?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

Beinan is ruled by a feudal constitutional monarchy based on medieval, renaissance, and modern England and Scotland.  The Great Council of Beinan serves as the lawmaking branch of government with delegates from all of the noble houses represented; excluding the non-noble houses of Plover, Skeinera, and Croften making these houses a form of under class.   Executive and supreme judicial powers are vested in the monarchy.  Kings and queens rule with the consent of the Great Council and, in theory, can be overthrown at any time if they abuse their power.  In practice, government corruption runs rampant enabling absolute despots like King Gareth I (The Poisoned Ground) free rein to do as they please.

Dynastic change is achieved by votes of the Great Council.  As dynastic change is usually contested (often by force of arms) by the outgoing noble house, the Great Council rarely votes in favour of it.

Most of the Peers of Beinan Series focuses on the Gurun dynasty which reigned the longest in the Beinarian Era.  The Legacy of Princess Anlei begins with Queen Isabelle and her consort Prince Bevin, a knight of Ten-Ar.  The last Gurun monarch in the trilogy is Queen Constance the Kind who is eventually overthrown by the murderous Lord Yelu in The Great Revolution.  Queen Constance’s daughter Princess Anyu escapes at the end of “The Ghosts of the Past” with her exile, return to Beinan, and fight against Lord Yelu’s tyranny being told in the series’ final book, “Princess Anyu Returns.”

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

The Peers of Beinan Series follows in the Star Trek tradition of offering thought provoking explorations of social issues. 

In particular the Poisoned Ground was ripped from the headlines with its look at the effects of strip mining on local communities.  In this novella government corruption and corporate greed come together to endanger the population of the southwestern city of Nan-li, consciously ignoring safety measures designed to protect the city.  In part two of the Poisoned Ground I look at rape and domestic violence with a special message to women.

In the Legacy of Princess Anlei Trilogy I look at how in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology might be abused for political purposes if we are not careful to put in place strong ethical standards.

Finally I explore the question of terrorism and religion in the Ghosts of the Past, reflecting on my own 9/11 experiences living just five to ten miles from the World Trade Center at the time.

Author Autobiography:

Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, author-historian Laurel A. Rockefeller has written over a dozen book titles since August 2012 including The Peers of Beinan science fiction series, American Stories, the Legendary Women of World History biography series, and her latest passion: the My First Cockatiel Series. 

A literary author with a cosy fireside narrative style, Ms. Rockefeller’s books come to life in audio editions narrated by Mr. Richard Mann on Audible and UK Audible.

A devoted animal lover, Ms. Rockefeller is owned by her two beautiful cockatiels, both of whom will be moving with her to England following approval of her UK residency visa.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?

Find these and other Peers of Beinan Series books on Amazon:

      The Great Succession Crisis in English and Chinese for kindle and in paperback;
      The Ghosts of the Past for kindle and in paperback;
      Princess Anyu Returns for kindle and in paperback;
      Good-bye A672E92 Quintus for kindle and in paperback;
      The Poisoned Ground for kindle and in paperback.

The entire series is also available on Smashwords in your choice of formats and on ibookstore.

Enjoy the Legendary Women of World History Series on Amazon:

      Boudicca:  Britain’s Queen of the Iceni for kindle in English and in Chinese, plus paperback, and Audible edition;
      Catherine de Valois for kindle, in paperback, and on Audible;
      Mary Queen of the Scots for kindle and in paperback.

Enjoy the entire Legendary Women of World History Series on Smashwords in your choice of formats.

UK residents:  come out to Southcart Books in Walsall and discover the Peers of Beinan and Legendary Women of World History Series from the comfort of their cosy reading room or head to their Amazon store.

Where can readers connect with you online? 

Skype:  peersofbeinan

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Beinan.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the fantasy world of Aerisia, in Realm Explorers Part LI!
-Annie Douglass Lima


David Glenn said...

Wow. This is some serious world building

Mary Hill said...

Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays. Be sure to check out your pin and like it repin it. :)