It is occurring to me that my various factions in the Sublight universe are starting to look like Homages/Parodies of established authors in Science Fiction. And that was part accident, part hat tip. But I feel like I need to be much more explicit about my intent, and direct my creativity a little. Basically, as I fill out this world, I'm going to make sure that everyone who has inspired me gets a little in-joke, name drop, or culture-of-the-week.
Let it be known that Krasnovia is my personal shrine to Robert Heinlein. The history of Krasnovia, the lunar colonies, the Jovian moons, and Saturn moons, are a deliberate mashing together of my two favorite books from him:
Krasnovia is specially made to play the role of the Klingon Empire to ISTO's United Federation of Planets
Also: Art Wallace, Robert Hamner, Gene L. Coon, Marc Daniels
ISTO heavily is (inspired by | making fun of) the UFOP from the Star Trek franchise. Particularly as presented in Star Trek, the Next Generation. Their existence completely untethered from a major celestial body I have stolen from Bentusi of the Homeworld franchise.
Specific episodes of Star Trek that I'm incorporating into my canon:
Assignment: Earth in particular inspired the character if Ishmael and his side-kick-cat Bastet. This entire universe is set in an alternate universe to ours, but for a twist I imagine that that our Universe is the evil one where Spock wears a Goatee.
ISTOs fascination with ships, ships, ships and drive to expand into the stars on hard-science rocket power is drawn from my memories of reading Arthur C. Clarke. You will see events from the history of 2001: a Space Odyssey sprinkled in my own world's history. There is also a ship named Discovery that also has its crew killed by a rampant AI while on a top secret mission. The idea of harvesting passing comets for fuel and maintaining gravity by constantly accelerating are also drawn from the various books I've read of his. I'm going to credit 2061, the third book in the series, as the biggest influence. I am also stealing his concept of aliens with completely ineffable motives and a long sense of time.
You can't have a world full of ethical dilemmas with AI and not credit Isaac Asimov. There are also nods to his Foundation series in the long-range plans of both factions to seed the nearby stars with humanity to preserve civilization. My later books will have entire libraries of blueprints, technology guides, literature, and educational material stockpiled away because every Interstellar vessel is really a life-pod for civilization. There is also a sense of awe in how people can plan for events that will happen thousands of years after they themselves are long gone, and probably forgotten.
While Asimov by be inspirational for the intellectual side of my writings, Douglas Adams inspired its snarky heart. Everything I write I hope to instill the same subversive charm that he managed to pull off almost effortlessly. The narration style, the sense that there are not a lot of people who really know what they hell they are doing, and that those that do are the scariest most terrible sociopaths you can ever hope to avoid come directly from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The magic system spells I steal pretty shamelessly from Dungeons and Dragons. Though I do have my own (and fundamentally different) system that holds them all together. They have done such a good job of creating balanced, yet wonderful magic that I always ask myself: before I invent something, did D&D do it better already?
The Cirocal (the semi-affiliated pirate worlds) are a splash if Irish/Russian/Italian/Japanese/Chinese mob, and a splash of Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.
ISTO culture is very much my answer to the the Belters society in Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck's The Expanse. Which I have to admit, I've only seen the TV adaptation, and bought the role playing game. I haven't read the book. And as much as I disagree with the choices they made in their world-building, it is down to style, not substance. My style is snarky and subversive. Theirs is grim-dark and horror. We both strive for hard-magic, and a decent stab at realistic rocket science.
I should also point out that I was heavily influenced by the world building of Abraham and Franck, because Sublight also started as a Role Playing Game. And it was hearing that their book and TV series also started that way gave me hope when I had done a lot of world building for a game that I could never get the technology to play nice with.
I also should mention John Scalzi. I love his writing and his Old Man's War was so much fun it got me back into reading science fiction as an adult. His concept that adventures aren't just for teenagers kind of permeates in the cultures of Sublight. It is no coincidence they the median age of the Paul Cézanne's population is "nearly or only just" retired. The process of imprinting specialists is also inspired by a central mechanism in his Old Man's series of books.
Finally, I can't say enough kind words about Brandon Sanderson. As of this writing I still haven't read any of his books. But from his youtube channel, I have learned so much about world building, plot structure, and character development.