Drop City: Zoning and Ordinances

For all you interested authors and readers, here are some Drop City specifics:

Discovered and developed by an international consortium of corporations, the entire Kepler 22B solar system was designated an “Autonomous Trade Zone” at it’s founding in 2156. For the last eighty-five years of Mankind’s inter-stellar Diaspora, it has remained outside the jurisdiction of the established interplanetary Governing Bodies, and to this day remains strictly neutral space, patterned after the old Earth nation of Switzerland. This twin dynamic of independence and free enterprise has been the defining factor for the system’s inhabitants.

Officially designated Kepler 22-C, the third planet from the Kepler 22 star is an ocean world roughly 2.4 times the size of earth. With multiple small landmasses, a majority of which are located in the planet’s tropical zone, there is only one large enough to hold a Space Port with all critical ancillary facilities. This spaceport, and the surrounding urban build-up, is called Drop City; a name which now extends to the planet itself.

Far from being lawless, the Kepler 22 system has a strong central civil governing body: the Trade and Transit Authority, or TTA. Run by an Executive Board of seven members, the TTA regulates all commerce and shipping in the system. Its regulations govern every aspect of commerce, and it is responsible for all Business, Transit, Exploration and Development, Orbital, and Habitation Licenses in Kepler 22 space. The rulings of the TTA and its Board are final.

Central Enforcement, or CE, is the police and military compliment of the TTA. Responsible for keeping the peace and enforcing TTA law on all planets, habitable moons, Orbitals, and stations in system. they are a highly trained force equipped with the latest hi-tech gear.

Spreading out like a massive coral accretion, Drop City is centered around the all-important Bradbury Spaceport, with urban build-up occurring in roughly concentric circles. Each ring is named after the Danger areas of a blast radius; an old habit leftover from the early settlement days when landing accidents were more common. The Red Zone is the Spaceport itself with all its infrastructure and support facilities. A heavily industrialized zone, there are also massive storage areas arrayed to facilitate rapid shipping and receiving of off-world cargo.

The next ring is the Yellow Zone. Home to numerous businesses, banks, unions, clubs, low-rent living units, this is the most dense and populous area of Drop City. A veritable warren of concrete, steel and holo-adverts, you’ll find the neo-classic St. Joseph of Copertino Cathedral, Central Enforcement Headquarters, the massive green armor-glass Trade and Transit Authority Arcology, and the famous Le Guin Hospital. The Yellow Zone is where the street-level action is.

The next ring out, and the most narrow, is termed the Green Zone. This area is home to Drop City’s upper middle class and features hundreds of gated-communities, upper-tier schools, universities, and numerous cultural and ethnic centers. Quiet, orderly, clean, most temples and places of worship are here, along with various Corporate Campuses, NGO headquarters, and the main Central Enforcement Training Facility.

The Blue Zone is the latest area designation. While not strictly a concentric ring, the phrase refers to the outermost perimeter of Drop City environs and includes small islands, marinas, and stationary ocean platforms up to 60 km from the City Center. Home to Drop City’s affluent and influential citizens and celebrities, island estates, mega-yachts, and platform mansions are as common as they are opulent. The Blue Zone also contains the CE Shipyards, the Naval Academy, and numerous undersea research facilities.

Both Faster-Than-Light travel and Anti-Grav technology have been developed by 2156, however they remain closely guarded secrets, rarely seen or used due to the inherent dangers and massive power requirements. The possession of planetary governments and a handful of corporations, FTL and AG vessels are reserved for military and high-priority scientific ventures.

The Feed however is another matter. Every habitable planet, moon, asteroid colony and space station has its own wireless infrastructure, with citizens able to access the internet any time, night or day via a personal device called a “Charm”. Based on Sixth Sense Technology and Holo-PDAs, Charms and the Feed have radically changed how humans interact with information and each other.

Watch this for more information:

That’s all for now. Thank you for attending this Drop City Information Session.

The Drop City Co-Op

No, I’m not talking about a hippie commune in Sonoma. I’m throwing out an idea for a collaborative writing effort; a compilation of Short Stories in a common setting. Anyone read THIEVES’ WORLD when they were younger? That idea, but set in a spaceport. Put Blade Runner, Serenity, Lost and The Wire in a blender, sweeten with a dash of Babylon 5, then mash the Frappe button hard, fast and repeatedly.

Think about it: Addicts, Au Pairs, Bankers, Buskers, Cabbies, Cops, Dealers, Doormen, Prostitutes, Politicians, Smugglers, Soldiers, Terrorists, Tax Collectors… Whoever fires your imagination. The boundaries are the futuristic common setting, one submission per month of quality work not to exceed 7,500 words per, and realistic but redemptive themes. Other than that, it’s Open Season on anything. It’s a chance to exercise some writing skills, cross-pollinate with other creative types, and exorcise some characters or thoughts that have been haunting you.

So here’s my invite to you: Think about it over Christmas/New Year break. Leave a comment if you’re interested or have questions. The plan is to start January 2012 with the first postings at the end of the month. If there are a couple legit responses, we’ll hammer out the details and I’ll add a new section to the site. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Smashwords Coupon

In light of Amazon’s latest grab at a bigger market-share Kindle promotional feature, Kindle Select, with it’s 90-day minimum exclusivity demand, I’m offering the RUNNING BLACK ebook at Smashwords for 25% off until Jan. 12th, 2012. Use code KJ59L at checkout to help support me and free market competition. Thanks.