Notes from An Alien

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Tag Archives: Extraterrestrial life

Fictional Geography ~ Alien Worlds

This post is part of the Friday series: Behind The Scenes of the story Notes from An Alien.

If you want to avoid having “spoilers” intrude on your enjoyment of the book, just grab a free copy and read it before you dive deeply into this series of posts—the book is short and, deep

You can also ask Any questions about the book in Any of these Friday posts :-)

Today’s article was prompted by a post on Google Plus by John DeNardo which linked to a post on SF Signal called Love Them Landscapes: The Unique Geography of Speculative Fiction.

He begins that article with: “It’s almost a given these days, especially with fantasy books–you open up the front cover and an enormous map sprawls out before you, denoting various continents, kingdoms, murky forests, coastal ports, and all the other bits and jots composing the world.”

When I was writing Notes from An Alien, a number of people said I needed a map of the Worlds to reduce confusion since the names were so similar.

I made an executive decision and didn’t include any maps

Here’s a diagram I considered using:


The names are all hyphenated—the first name is what the people on the closest World to the star, Angi, use—the second name is what the people on the next planet out use—all the A-names are used on Anga, all the P-names are used on Purum :-)

It’s probably a bit confusing even with the diagram, eh?—all part of the alienness of the story

So, the book has no charts or maps but, before I wrote it, I created all the Worlds in a 3-D Space Simulator called Celestia.

Using Celestia, I could move around in my Star-System and get used to living there

I even packaged up all the files I used to create my Worlds so folks could use Celestia (free) and visit the Worlds of Notes from An Alien. ( Download and install Celestia then drop me a note at and I’ll send you the files and help you get them installed :-)

Now, I’ll show you the flat maps of the three primary Worlds (since they’re flat, areas at the top and bottom are distorted):







And, since Angla-Palli orbits Beli-Pallos, I’ll include a picture taken inside the Celestia Simulator, from one of the Created Worlds, of that Gas-Giant planet, with its streams of Plasma…


Now, two excerpts from the book with close-up shots of the areas mentioned…

The farming family sat in their kitchen in the hills of Beselima, forty miles from Babur, overlooking the Vesun River.
Helmos, the father, said to his wife, Murlum:
“We can’t make the quota.”
“But, we must or the children will suffer.”
The children—Nesur, twelve; Albes, six; and Iti, five—sat with intense interest in the conversation.
“Murlum, if we can’t, we can’t. So, we must find a way to transfer the children to a safer place.”
“What place? Anla, with its religious idiots?”
“No. A place on Anga. A place I’ve heard of, with a family of Harians.”
“Oh, so dump them with local rather than alien religious idiots, eh?”


Not long after the dispatch of transfer pods paused, to give ShipOne time to return to the proper place in its orbit, a single pod prepared for descent. It contained Akla, Rednaxela, and Morna.
“Morna, check Akla’s coordinates again please.”
“They are fine. We’ll be landing in a deeply forested region of what the Anlans call the Unholy Lands in a country called Ceia-Abi, 50 miles from the main city, Oaur.”
“Yes, yes, I know. Sometimes you’re too consummate in your responses.”
“Thank you, Rednaxela…”
Akla returned from his lengthy meditation and said, “The Nari in this region are anxious for my arrival.”
Rednaxela countered, “Their knowing the time of your arrival is the one part of this plan that I truly don’t understand.”
“It is simple. I told them.”
“Yes, you’ve told me you told them but communicating through plasma waves can only convey general principles and emotions—  Why am I repeating myself?”
“You are trying to convince yourself that what I have done is impossible.”
Morna chimed in with, “Detach.”

CeiaThere ya have it—Fictional Geography ~ Alien Worlds………
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
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