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Aquatica - A proposed series of novels

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: Aquatica - A proposed series of novels Reply with quote

____________________________________

__________________________AQUATICA

I had very extensive notes on this idea a few years ago, but I lost them. Sad

However, here's a short version, using what I can remember about the concept.

Aquatica is a planet with a global ocean which has no above-water land masses. It's teaming with alien marine lifeforms of all sizes. The novels (several) would describe the efforts of the first human explorers to investigate the ecosystem, and the growing conflict between them and the intelligent aquatic lifeforms.


____________________________________

The first novel would be about the discovery of the planet and the first manned mission to explore it. They encounter a buzzilion aquatic life forms — some of which are so large they would be mistaken at first for floating islands because the backs of the sedately floating sea giants are covered with vegetation which grow out of the layer of dead skin cells which form "top soil" on the creature's backs.

The explorers would eventually discover that the gigantic creatures are growing their own food on their backs!

Picture a scene in which the explorers wander through a dense forest on a floating island and are suddenly attacked by tentacles which spring from the ground and try to eat them and the vegetation around them!

They eventually discover that these miles-long animals only dive beneath the surface every few centuries to mate, and when they do, the complex ecosystems which have formed on their backs are washed away.

The second novel would be about the first attempts to colonize the water world by establishing man-made floating and undersea communities.








But their efforts are hampered by strange encounters with a dolphin-like animal which seem to be attacking the hi-tech machinery beneath the floating communities. These encounters turn out to be deliberate sabotage by intelligent creatures who want to drive mankind from their world.







The third novel would detail the unfortunate underwater war which takes place between mankind and the intelligent species who oppose the colonization. The dolphin-like creatures possess mental abilities which allow them to control the lower life forms of their planet, using them as non-sentient servants, and even as weapons against the invading humans.

Imagine aquatic leviathans attacking hi-tech submarines, and dolphin-warriors battling scuba-diving soldiers.






Mankind discovers that the mental abilities of the dolphin-creatures are effective to some extent on humans, driving some men mad while turning others into mind-control saboteurs.

But a few of the dolphin-creatures attempt to secretly communicate with the humans and resolve the conflict.

The fourth novel would present the final battle, in which a noble coalition of humans and dolphin-creatures would team up to prevent the human forces from eradicating the water world's intelligent species in order to colonize it, and also preventing Aquatica's indigenous life from destroying the humans.

The happy ending would involve a coalition of humans and aquatic species who unit to protect, preserve, and share the beautiful world of Aquatica.

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Feb 29, 2024 11:28 am; edited 8 times in total
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Pye-Rate
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantasy, never been done right. 2 problems never addressed; (1) weather dynamics, (2) how does an intelligent tool using species develop fire and metal processing in water?
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Pye-Rate wrote:
How does an intelligent tool-using species develop fire and metal processing in water?

Obviously they wouldn't. But that doesn't preclude them from evolving intelligence.

And creatures who are so perfectly evolved for their environment (as all marine life are) have little need for fire or tools. They don't have to struggle to survive in seasonal climate changes, they don't have to build shelters, etc, etc.

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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MetroPolly
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. This is another reason I won't be posting anything of mine again.

How can my amateur junk compare to that?

If you do get around to writing it, give us a preview.
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Pye-Rate
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud, you give the reasons why they would never evolve the kind of civilization like you envision.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pye-Rate wrote:
Bud you give the reasons why they would never evolve the kind of civilization like you envision.

I never said the marine creatures on Aquatic had anything like the kind civilization you're envisioning.

Read my description again, Pye-rate. You're making unfounded assumptions based on preconceived ideas.

I just said they had telepathy, and that they battled the humans. I never said they had weapons or tools. Bear in mind that all the pictures above are borrowed from the internet just to add a little pizazz to the post. Anything you see in the pictures that conflicts with the text should be disregarded.

_________________
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A truly thought provoking concept on a par with Haldeman's THE FOREVER WAR as far as being a moral and sociographic statement.

Colonization in the case of supplanting an indigenous intelligent species is reprehensible, immoral and just not nice. However, it is the history of our species and the main reason for our survival. (So far, anyway!)

Humankind could be looked at as a cancer spreading out from the Earth to infect the universe. Perhaps that's why the speed of light cannot be surpassed, it slows down the spread of the malignancy of intelligence and may just be a real proof for the existence of God!

Anyway.....Great potential for story telling here...Go for it !!!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Thanks, Gord! Very Happy

In defense of the humans in this story, they weren't aware that some of the Aquatican life forms were sentient (no evidence of civilization, no attempt to communicate) so they weren't deliberately trying to steal their home.

You know, the way we did with the Native Americans. Sad

The humans only learn that the Aquaticans are intelligent when they begin to sabotage the machinery of the undersea habitats being built, and when the dolphin-like creatures use their telepathic abilities to influence and harm the humans.

As I mentioned above, "the fourth novel would present the final battle, in which a noble coalition of humans and dolphin-creatures would team up to prevent the human forces from eradicating the water world's intelligent species in order to colonize it."

Now that I think about it, that last part is not really a good description of how I'd write the novels. It would be presented more like a conflict between two very different species who aren't making the needed effort communicate, compromise, and cooperate.

The Aquaticans quite naturally don't want any humans on their planet at all, no matter how willing the humans might be to respect the environment and cooperate with the inhabitants.

The humans, on the other hand, have every intention of protecting this unique ecosystem and all its life forms. They consider the planet to be both a treasure trove of scientific information and place of unsurpassed beauty.

In that sense, Aquatic is very different from Avatar. Both the humans and the marine creatures love the planet. The humans are willing to share it. The Aquaticans, however, are not.

Your comment, Gord, has given me a new idea that I think will really improve the story! Very Happy

I can't actually justify the human's "invasion" of the planet, regardless of their benign intentions . . . unless I add an element to the story that involves an environmental threat to the ecosystem which the humans can deal with . . . but the Aquaticans can not!

The threat would be something the humans learn about after they've studied the planet for several months, during which time the Aquaticans fight against the humans and reveal themselves to be a threat because of their telepathic abilities. Very Happy

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_______________________________________

Bud, I thought this article might be of interest to you in light of your discussion on "intelligence" in other possible extraterrestial species.
_______________________________________


Stone ‘tools’ may not have been made by human ancestors, research finds

by Jeffrey Phillips

When did a human-like mind first emerge, setting its owner on a path distinct to that of other apes?

We paleoanthropologists have long looked to tool use as the marker — particularly the appearance of a cutting tool known as a flake.

It now seems we were wrong.

Recent research published in Nature by a team led by Tomos Proffitt at the University of Oxford shows that capuchin monkeys regularly produce sharp-edged flakes indistinguishable from those made by early hominins.

Could these South American simians be taking the same first steps that eventually delivered the spanner, wheel and smartphone? As it turns out, no. The flakes are produced by accident when the monkeys smash rocks together. Nonetheless, the capuchins have thrown a spanner in the works for archaeologists.

Since the flakes they make are not tools at all, we can no longer assume the flakes found in the archaeological record are tools either.

We know that monkeys can make tools of other kinds, of course. Ever since British primatologist Jane Goodall's pioneering work in the 1960s, we have known our chimpanzee cousins use tools to shell nuts and to fish for termites.

Nor is tool use confined to primates. Other mammals, birds, snails, octopuses and even insects all turn out to be tool wielders. In fact, back in the 19th century an American husband and wife team, Elizabeth and George Peckham, first documented tool use outside human beings. They observed wasps hammering dirt with pebbles to build their burrows.

Nevertheless, the one tool we've never seen in any animal's kit is the flake. One of archaeology's most famous couples, Louis and Mary Leakey, first found flakes in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. The artefacts are associated with Homo habilis, an early human ancestor who lived close to 2 million years ago. H. habilis made the flakes, it was believed, by selecting a piece of rock — called a core — and using a stone hammer to strike off a thin wedge. The resultant edge, sharp as surgical steel, enabled H. habilis to butcher animals. Telltale cut marks on ancient bones attested to their use as ancient tools.

Archaeologists argued that making a flake required sophisticated mental machinery such as the ability to plan and an understanding of the physical properties of raw materials. This was coupled with uniquely human hand-eye co-ordination that, for instance, allows us to thread cotton through the eye of a needle.

Flake making was also thought to be associated with the beginnings of language, since to develop such a sophisticated technology implied individuals who could communicate and collaborate, pass on knowledge and create culture.

Now it seems that flakes per se may not represent what we thought they did. Capuchins pound rocks together to crack them open and lick the powdered quartz, probably to access dietary minerals. The process sends flakes flying in every direction. But the monkeys don't use the flakes as tools; they just leave them lying about.

So what these clever monkeys show us is that, if we find ancient flakes, we can no longer assume they were a tool made by a human ancestor.

The discovery of flakes at the Lomekwi archeological site in Kenya, which dates to 3.3 million years ago, led researchers to propose in 2015 that early humans appeared about 700,000 years earlier than previously thought. Now, however, without other evidence, such as cut marks on bones, we can no longer assume the flakes are evidence of a human presence.

One thing is clear: the capuchins have forced us to set the bar higher. A flake alone is not enough. The hunt now begins to find a new kind of artefact that is quintessentially human in its style of manufacture and use as a tool. Perhaps something like the hand axe that we see with Homo erectus much later, 1.6 million years ago.

https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/stone-tools-may-not-have-been-made-by-human-ancestors-research-finds?hl=1&noRedirect=1
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2024 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

One problem with the idea of intelligent aquatic creatures is the fact they'd need something similar to hands in order to do the things necessary to build an undersea civilization. However, if some of the species have evolved both intelligence and a common language, they could work together.

For example, if one-or-more species actually have evolved hand-like appendages, they could assist the other species by constructing the objects necessary. And if their method of communication is telepathic, this collaboration would be far more efficient than mankind's methods.

In other words, some species would be architects, while other species are the construction workers. Very Happy

On that note, Gord and Pye-rate also brought up interesting questions relevant to my story idea.

Under what circumstance are "tools" really needed on an all-water world?

I'm not suggesting that the Aguaticans on my all-ocean planet will need tools the same as we do. But the fact that they live in such a very different environment than ours means the challenges they face in their efforts to survive and advance are not the same as ours.

For example, aquatic life forms don't have to deal with changes in seasonal temperatures. They don't have to worry about inclement weather.

The don't have to invent better means of transportation than simply walking. They can literally "fly" over any terrain on the ocean floor.

They're all surrounded by an abundance of food, and they can literally eat anything that swims by! Shocked

They have no need for physical structures like houses which protect them from dangerous weather or drastic temperature changes. The same is true for roads. And they don't need to "clear the land" for cultivation.

In short, their need to develop technology is based on an environment so different from ours that almost none of the rules which apply to our technology can be applied to theirs.

I underlined the word "almost" for a reason. I'll leave it you folks to figure out which rules DO apply to both them and us.

Wait . . . Shocked

Oh, what the hell. Here's a few areas I'm sure you've already thought of.

High speed transportation - If an aquatican needs to get somewhere faster than it can swim, it requires a fast submarine, the way we use buses and commercial airlines.






Long range communication - Obviously these guys will need cell phones!

Medical facilities - Everybody gets sick or injured from time to time . . . even fish! These guys will need clinics and hospitals on the ocean floor!

No, wait . . . mobile hospitals in big submarines which cruise around to the areas where they're needed the most! Very Happy






Wow, see how much fun it is to come up ideas for Aquatica? Very Happy
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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