IRON - Book 1 of the Kalima Chronicles will be available from all good ebook and print retailers on the 28th October 2018
Story facts and backgroundKalima means ‘World’ in Arabic. The planet was settled by idealists from Earth seeking a world without conflict. The planet’s sun is a K-type orange star in the Gliese 167 system. Rayleigh scattering of light combined with atmospheric dust high in copper oxide, gives Kalima a pale teal-green sky. This combination of filtered orange light resulted in dark blue and black-leafed plantlife. Kalima is third planet from this sun. Gliese 167 is a cooler sun than Sol, but Kalima is closer to their sun than Earth is to Sol. Kalima’s 14 month year and its axial tilt and elliptical orbit means the southern hemisphere (the location of the colony cities) has a long spring-summer-autumn cycle and a short, 2-month winter. The northern hemisphere has larger extremes of weather and is, as yet, uninhabited. Kalima has a 6-day week and a 5-week month. 30 days per month. 14 months in a year and 422 days in a year – two days at the end of the year are not part of any month and are called Yirun and Er’run. Kalima has an active geologic past, which formed continents, volcanoes, oceans and rivers. But, until the terraforming teams arrived, Kalima was bare of life. The rocks created by the presence of life on Earth—such as marble, oils, methane, coal, chalk, limestone, or banded ironstone—do not exist on Kalima. The few iron deposits in existence are iron-sand beaches created by volcanic activity, and meteoric iron. The planet has high levels of copper and a vast desert of copper-rich soil on one of the other continents has contributed to the levels of copper oxide dust in the atmosphere, which causes the green sky. The colonists chose a lifeless planet and paid to have it Terraformed and seeded with life and complex ecological webs. Initial terraform teams were sent to Kalima on faster-than-light flip-ships, while colonists took slower sleep-ships to allow the teams sufficient time to complete the infrastructure. A hundred years after departing Earth, the first of three ships arrived, carrying twenty thousand carefully selected colonists. Mainly of Chinese, Arabic and European descent, colonists were chosen and screened for their desire to live a peaceful, agrarian existence. Kalima’s twenty-one Jun families descend from the original twenty-one Funding families who financed the expedition. Two hundred years after settlement, supply ships from old Earth ceased and colonists were obliged to be self-sufficient. Lack of iron prevented the colonists from creating a high-tech society, forcing them to live in semi-medieval conditions, although many old ideas and skills have been retained. Electricity generation through wind or water power exists in limited form. The ability to make telescopes, lenses and microscopes has not been lost and, although medical understanding of surgery, physiology and healing exists, it is limited by the lack of modern technology. Many books on old technologies have been preserved and some colonists retained information regarding warfare and weaponry—the basis of knowledge in the Weishi House. Kalima society is substantially feudal, the Jundom of Mamlakah being ruled by 21 Juns, under the leadership of the Jun First and two Jun Seconds. Melcor, to the north, and Jadid, to the south, are also feudal societies but Melcor’s society and economy is built on slavery. Shemal, northwest of Melcor, is a democracy. Languages are mixed. A version of English, borrowing many words from Arabic and Mandrin, is the dominant language in Mamlakah, the first colony site. Similarly, cultural crossovers are normal. Women and men wear robes or high-collared shirts and trous (loose trousers tied at the waist). Robes are worn indoors or while employed in non-active trades and management positions. Otherwise it is common for trous and shirts with jackets or cloaks to be worn. Women wear their hair long and loose or, if of a higher caste, long and up in elaborate hairstyles. Men in Mamlakah wear their hair long and tied back in a mawei (low ponytail or plait). Although now less fashionable, women may wear a transparent veil that covers the eyes and nose only. The veil is symbolic of mystery and high ranking rather than an indication of women’s inferiority. In Mamlakahn society, women are, basically, equal in standing to men. They may be Juns or Trade Masters in any House and are free to undertake any training and job. In any colony, however, women are more valuable than men. Women are the bearers of the next generation and the survival of a colony depends on how quickly women can give birth and outstrip death rates. Built into the psyche of the colony is the need to protect women that has continued into today’s thinking. Weishi House came into being primarily as protection for women of childbearing age from natural hazards, though its scope expanded as the colony grew. The need for high birth rates, and genetic diversity, led to the practice of kin-children. In the early days of the colony, a couple unable to have children was a wasted pairing. Women needed to have children by several fathers in order to keep the gene-pool as diverse as possible. After seven hundred years, the population is approximately half a million. People/Places/ThingsAhmar – Red (Ahmar Mountains run down the Eastern boundary of the Mamlakah Jundom) Alzin – an aluminium-zinc alloy. Asalam – northerly seat of the Zah-Hill family. Aswad – Black (Aswad ranges run down the centre of the Mamlakah Jundum) Ceramic swords are made of zirconium dioxide Days of the week are: Ahad (one), Ithnan (two), Thalatha (three), Arba’a (four), Khamsa (five), Sitta (six) Ghadeb – ‘angry’ (Ghadeb sea to the northeast) Gharb – west (Gharb ranges run down the Western boundary of the jundom) Gunpowder = saltpetre + sulphur + charcoal Jiali – ‘home’ – Capital city of the Ma-Safra family lands Jadid – New – the Jadid Jundom lies south of Mamlakah. Kabir – big (the Kabir river runs through the middle of the kingdom and empties into Melcor’s port 700 gongli away to the east) Kalima – World. Earth-sized planet. Kuaisu River – ‘fast/rapid’ river (wraps around the eastern side of Shanzhai) Luna-Yi – red moon Luna-Er – blue-white moon Madina – capital city of Mamlakah. Palace - The Alkazar. Melcor – second kingdom to be settled – to the northeast of Madina and on the Ghadeb sea. Reached by trade on the Kabir river. Metsa – the river running through the western section of the Ma-Safra Jundom, near Newmec. It eventually joins with the Kabir just north of Madina Mianshou – end of year 2 day celebration during Yirun & Er-run. Plants are dark blue and black-leafed (absorbing different, greater range of the red spectra and reflecting less green) Seryeh River – ‘quick’ river (wraps around the western side of Shanzhai). The two rivers join and become the Kabir, just north of madina Shanzhai – seat of Jun Second Rafi Koh-Lin. Sulcrete – concrete where the binding agent is sulphur rather than lime (limestone does not exist on a planet without an organic geologic history) Yan – ‘flame’ = yanstones Yirun & Er’run – extra two days at the end of the year. Mianshou = End of year celebrations last for these two days and anything done on these days (apart from violence) is unpunishable. Zalam – slums within Madina ….. Trade Houses Artist House (purple veil/purple hat) Healer House (white veil/hat, grey robe) Jiaoji (Courtesan) House (red veil) Merchant House (green veil/green hat) Messenger House (orange) Miner House (grey hat) Trades House (brown hat/veil) Weishi House (black veil/black hat) Xintou House (gold veil, gold robe) Mistress Li …..
Jun Families Jun First Radan Zah-Hill (Wife Hanna; Son Ven) – Silver and Black. Jun Second Petar Ma-Safra (wife Leah) - silver and purple. No children. Jun Second Rafi Koh-Lin (wife Yasmin;) - silver and green. Jun third Kennor Han-Asad (daughter Farima) - gold and black (controls Madina city guards. Vassal to Zah-Hill) Jun Third Dal Lee-Hay - gold and green (vassal to Koh-Lin) Jun Third Yu-Smith - gold and purple (vassal to Ma-Safra) Jun Fourth Hassan Wen-Gates - copper and purple. Kin-brother to Jun First. (vassal to Ma-Safra) Jun Fourth Bren Gray-Saud - copper and black (vassal to Zah-Hill) Jun Fourth Qin-Turner - copper and grey (vassal to Zah-Hill) Jun Fourth Knight-Hun - copper and green (vassal to Koh-Lin) Jun Fifth Jaber-Lun - red and purple (vassal to Ma-Safra) Jun Fifth Seif-Li - red and green (vassal to Koh-Lin) Jun Fifth Zhou-Issa - red and teal (vassal to Koh-Lin) Jun Fifth Easton-Green - red and black (vassal to Zah-Hill) Jun Fifth Amoudi-Mann - red and grey (vassal to Zah-Hill) Jun Sixth Ortega-Miller - blue and black (Zah-Hill) Jun Sixth Quing-Mai - blue and grey (Zah-Hill) Jun Sixth Price-Khan - blue and green (Koh-Lin) Jun Sixth Yasif-Do - blue and teal (Koh-Lin) Jun Sixth Khoury-Ban - blue and purple (Ma-Safra) Jun Sixth Blake-Swift - blue and indigo (Ma-Safra) Johnston house - blue & green tartan …..
Mandrin Numbers and distances and times Yi – one (Luna-Yi = first moon – reddish) Er – two (Luna-Er = second moon – silver) San - three Si - four wu - five Liu - six Qi - seven Ba - eight ….. Chi – approx 33.33cm Zhang – approx 3.33m Gongli – kilometre ….. Months: Yiyue – first month of the lunar year (1st month of spring) Eryue – second (spring 2) Sanyue – 3rd (spring 3) Siyue – 4th (summer 1) Wuyue – 5th (summer 2) Liuyue – 6th (summer 3 Qiyue – 7th (summer 4) Bayue – 8th (summer 5) Jiuyue – 9th (summer 6) Shiyue – 10th (autumn) Shiyiyue – 11th (autumn) Shi’eryue – 12th (autumn) Shisanyue – 13th (winter1) Shisiyue – 14th (winter2) ….. Words: ading – antiseptic/disinfectant Bai - to pay respect / worship / visit / salute Bei – flower bud Bi – coin Che-ma – cart horse Chuizi – a hammer-strike Erheyi – two-in-one Feihua – nonsense, rubbish. Gangzhi – made of steel Gongren - worker Gu – archaic - legendary venomous insect / to poison / to bewitch / to drive to insanity / to harm by witchcraft / intestinal parasite Hepan – river plains hunli - wedding Huoche – wagon/truck/van Jiali - Home (name of Ma-Safra city) Nari – double-edged sword Jiaoji – courtesan Jin - gold Jinbi – gold coin jiu – rice wine/liquor/alcohol Jun - monarch/lord/gentleman/ruler Junren – soldier/serviceman/military personnel Kuaisu – fast/rapid Kui - Chief/head/outstanding/stalwart/exceptional Lanse – blue (lancha tea) Lanhua - orchid Lu – deer Luotuo – camel Manxing – slow poison Mawei – ponytail mayao – anaesthetic Mianshou - to avoid suffering / to prevent / to protect against (damage) / immunity (from prosecution) / freedom (from pain, damage etc) / exempt from punishment Molian – to temper oneself/ to steel oneself/ self-discipline/ endurance Nai – mother Quan - dog Rong – salamander Runiu – dairy cattle Shangwei – captain (military rank) Shanzhai – fortified hill village/mountain stronghold Shenshi – my lord Shi - is / are / am / yes / to be Shifu – teacher Shunu – my lady Song – sponge (cake) Tiebi – iron coin Tongbi – copper coin Watu – poison frog toxin Weishi - guardian/defender xiao – similar to/resembling (ie: xiao-cat) Xintou – thoughts/heart/mind Xiongshou – assassin Xue – blood xun – herb ya-zheng - correct (literary) / upright / (hon.) Please point out my shortcomings. / I await your esteemed corrections. Yan – flame Yinbi – silver coin Yongbing – mercenary/hired gun Zhi – to stop/prohibit Zitan – red sandalwood Zuoce – left side ….. Insults/swearing Chouhuo - bitch diyu – hell/underworld Feihua – nonsense / rubbish / superfluous words / You don't say! / No kidding! gaisi – damn it! gouri - lit. fucked or spawned by a dog / contemptible / lousy, fucking hundan – scoundrel/bastard/hoodlum/wretch huo-zui – living hell/suffering/hardship jian-gui – curse it/to hell with it Jiba – penis (vulgar) Jiche – pain in the ass/damn!/crap! qusi – go to hell/drop dead salai – make a scene/raise hell shazi – idiot/fool Wasai – exclamation to express amazement/wow! zhen-shide - Really! (interj. of annoyance or frustration) ….. Rabic ….. Days: Ahad (one), Ithnan (two), Thalatha (three), Arba’a (four), Khamsa (five), Sitta (six) Ahad (one), Ithnan (two), thalatha (three), Arba’a (four), Khamsa (five), Sitta (six) Ahmar – Red (Ahmar Mountains run down the Eastern boundary of the kingdom) Al Mamlakah – the kingdom Alcazar – from Al-qasr – fort, castle, palace alem'erekh – fight Aswad – Black (Aswad ranges run down the centre of the kingdom) Badiya – desert Dafdae - frog Gharb – west (Gharb ranges run down the Western boundary of the jundom) Herq – burn Heryeq - fire Iblis - Devil Istilqa – sleep Jabal – Mountain Jadid – New (name for the southern jundom) Jiyl – generation. Kabir – big (the Kabir river runs through the middle of the kingdom and empties into Melcor’s port 700 gongli away to the northeast) Kalima – World Khiba – tent Madina – City Malik – King Mamlakah – the kingdom Menzel - home Mhareb – warrior/fighter Mumit - deadly Selb – Steel, betterment, loin, crucifixion sery'eh – Quick (Seryeh River to northwest of Shanzhai) Tabib – doctor Zalam - Darkness Zinzana – cell/prison ….. Insults/swearing Hamagi (hamag = plural) – uncivilised, barbaric Haraami – thief Hmar – jackass Jahim - hell Kaddaab – liar Kalb – dog Kalet – filthy street bastard Khara – shit! (frustration) Saafil – base;loathsome Waa faqri – damn! Wisix – dirty/filthy (morally) Zift – Idiot