Of Math, Summer, and Written Words

I’ve entered the final stage of writ­ing my tril­o­gy, with 60k planned for the third sto­ry part. When I’m done, I’m mov­ing onto my nov­el, Rjg. (One might argue that 60k is a nov­el-sized story—well, no. Not in this case. The tril­o­gy fol­lows a strange pat­tern of 26, 42, and now ~60k words.) 

I know I won’t be writ­ing series for a while after that, those are quite trou­ble­some in the sense they tend to drag on and I’m not much of a multitasker—I bare­ly have enough ener­gy to wake up and I write slow­ly. I also want to play with my atmos­phere mod­els and stand-alone sto­ries. And yes, I need a MIT­gcm mod­el for the nov­el in ques­tion. An alien panet is a fas­ci­nat­ing thing to design and sum­mer is the per­fect time to let your com­put­er do the long math while you play out­side. The tricky part here is the alien topog­ra­phy.

MIT Gen­er­al Cir­cu­la­tion Mod­el is a numer­i­cal mod­el designed for study of the atmos­phere, ocean, and cli­mate. It has the abil­i­ty to sim­u­late, using one basic algo­rithm, both atmos­pher­ic and oceano­graph­ic flows at both small and large scales. Its adjoint capa­bil­i­ty enables it to be applied to para­me­ter and state esti­ma­tion prob­lems. The non-hydro­sta­t­ic capa­bil­i­ty allows the mod­el to sim­u­late over­turn­ing and mix­ing process­es. When used in con­junc­tion with the finite vol­ume rep­re­sen­ta­tion of topog­ra­phy (known as shaved-cells or par­tial steps using the method of cut cells) the mod­el pro­vides a flex­i­ble tool for study­ing mix­ing process and dynam­i­cal inter­ac­tions with steep topog­ra­phy.

As a bonus, I have plen­ty of time to think about the novel’s cover—it’s sci­ence fic­tion, but it’s not set in space, though still being a part of the same uni­verse in which Falaha’s sto­ry takes place.

I drew some maps for Rjg before and they need more work. 

This is the world the sto­ry will take place in, one of the con­ti­nents of plan­et Dan­nan, dur­ing the peri­od of its ear­ly civ­i­liza­tions.


The blue line marks the habi­tat of the semi-nomadic Dan­na, and the red line encom­pass­es the Ynu Empire. Both humanoid species and their mul­ti­ple nations are not very friend­ly towards each oth­er, hence the clash of the cul­tures, result­ing of one big, bad war.

Anoth­er tricky part with the mod­el? The plan­et is on its side; it behaves dif­fer­ent­ly from Earth, and even from plan­ets with more mod­er­ate obliq­ui­ty. I’ve already built the plan­e­tary sys­tem and evolved it for some time to see its dynam­ics and sta­bil­i­ty. I will prob­a­bly tell more about it in the future posts.

After mod­el­ing the loca­tion might change, so it’s impor­tant. Cur­rent­ly the place lies some­where between the equa­tor and 50 degrees lat­i­tude, but I need to know more about cli­mate and atmos­phere and ocean for the plot and for each culture’s his­to­ry and devel­op­ment, and also for sketch­ing out flo­ra and fau­na. I know I need more than one model–everything is dynam­ic and changed while both species evolved into what they are now. But it would be too time-con­sum­ing, so I will have to imag­ine some things based on one mod­el that cap­tures the cur­rent state of the world in ques­tion. (Tho, depend­ing on how much time it will take, I might end up build­ing more than one mod­el after all.)

From geo­log­i­cal stand­point anoth­er inter­est­ing part of the world­build­ing here is that the sto­ry is set dur­ing the time when our uni­verse is only ~11 bil­lion years old, and that plan­et, of course, is much, much old­er than 3 bil­lion years.

There, so many things to play with, so many words to write!

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.


  1. I love your ded­i­ca­tion to accu­rate world­build­ing, and your pas­sion for sci­ence. Though I wouldn’t go to such lengths with my own research, I still think that it’s part of what makes a sto­ry come to life. Espe­cial­ly if the ele­ments you come up with play an actu­al role in the unfold­ing of sto­ry events. 🙂

    1. Thanks Vero! 🙂

      Well, I’m deal­ing with an alien world which has no con­nec­tion to Earth and humans in any way. I’m not writ­ing fan­ta­sy, so if I have the means to pro­duce accu­rate set­ting, I would go for it. I need to know the physics of the plan­et to design and play with their ear­ly tech­nol­o­gy real­is­ti­cal­ly. I also need sea­son­al wind map and (sea­son­al) ocean cur­rent map, even the most basic ones, so I don’t know yet how much resources my mod­el will con­sume.

      It’s quite an inter­est­ing expe­ri­ence, and if some­thing good comes out of this, I might even write a sci­ence paper about the mod­el. It would be a great asset for astro­bio folks. So far I’ve seen only sim­pli­fied mod­el that is sim­i­lar in idea to mine, but with­out any topog­ra­phy. Thanks to it I could devel­op a basic sketch of my plan­et. But beyond that every­thing is a wild guess.

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