Anyway, let’s return to our sheep. Ought I to change the name Flat Black?
On one hand, it’s no longer particularly apt, if indeed it ever was. When I am called on to explain it the explanation comes out as something that doesn’t matter at all to anyone except a few of my friends from thirty years ago, and it refers to things such as Tonio Loewald’s ForeScene that are obscure to most readers.
On the other hand there is perhaps a tiny modicum of brand recognition. Re-branding is usually a mistake.
If I were to change it, what might I change it to? There was some talk once that it might be ForeScene: the Thousand-year Raj. But that would provoke argument, and though I could defend it I don’t want to have to. Besides, I think the title ought to draw attention to the colonies rather than the Empire. Let’s try to think of a title that either describes the setting (a thousand planets of mankind) or the adventures (rationalised planetary romances).
Anything about there being a thousand worlds, planets, suns, or cultures clashes with something or other and fail to distinguish.
“Diaspora” is taken. How about “Fragments of Earth” or “Smithereens of Earth”? Do they place too much emphasis on Earth, which is not a surviving feature of the setting? “The Orphan Worlds” might be good. But does it suggest something more like the Age of Isolation and fail to suit the era in which such a sense of abandonment or loss has faded?
“Scatterlings” might be suitable. It denotes the typically peripatetic and homeless characters who might be PCs, while suggesting the colonies scattered in space.
The SF RPG setting
for rationalised planetary romance
The setting is not a whole cluster or arm, besides that suggesting more emphasis on spacey concerns than I want. So the only way to resonate with one of the Vance settings would be to evoke the Gaean Reach. “The Terran Reach”? “The Tellurian Reach”? Too direct, I think. But “Reach” is an excellent word, seeming to be a cognate of “Reich” and “raj”.
The Human Reach
SF RPG setting
for rationalised planetary romances
I have added a poll to the opening post.