Ferodoxis is one of the worlds I wrote in the longest, just counting years. I conceived of this place sometime in the mid-90’s, a few years after I came up with Elindu. Ferodoxis was supposed to be my signature Science Fiction world, plus magic. With stories written from the natives’ point of view—they weren’t human—I planned on highlighting some aspects of human nature that I’ve long been unhappy about.
My premier story/series from this world was supposed to be about a young female’s preparations to become the ruler of one of the last few nations left on Ferodoxis. She would actually come into power after the events of the series—which were supposed to culminate in a human invasion of her world. Of course, I had other ideas for this world, but this story was the one that I’ve always had for the world.
Then I went to Colorado and joined the Navy. When I returned to North Carolina in 2003, I was never the same. Neither was Ferodoxis. Over the next couple of years, I tried to finally make a decision about the bodily structure of the natives of Ferodoxis. I lost interest in working on the conlang I’d been developing for the nation where most of my stories occurred—a necessary step because they had concepts we don’t and thus have no words for. But the main sticking point was the physical form of the natives.
So, on and off, I worked on stories set in this world. I wrote a number of shorts, rewrote, rewrote again, and continued to continually rewrite the main story I saw for this world. I loved the MC I conceived for this story, Peikigi, and the style of her voice, in whose first person pov the story was told in. Her story turned out to be one of my most literary, in style, that I’ve ever written. And it was speculative fiction. After a while, rewriting her story took on an almost ritualistic feel for me. Unfortunately, I never made it very far beyond perhaps the middle of her first book. It just wouldn’t go.
Oh, in this was a period of a few months when I broke my mind and my writing over adding LGBT+ themes to the world,. mostly due to religious influence. There were also moments when I made the Ferodoxans more animal-like, other times when they may as well have been human, and other brief periods when they were humans. None of these permutations ever felt right for them though.
I also struggled with pronouns. An odd thing, I know. But I kept trying to decide if they’re actually male/female/bigender, or of no gender designations we understand—requiring more than two member to mate, or them being parthenogenetic in reproduction somehow—with the resultant confusion regarding pronouns. For a while, I contemplated other different uses of pronouns as well, most of which I’ve forgotten.
But I loved Peikigi, her stories, and the society she lived in.
Until, one day, I didn’t. Not as much as I had before. I realized I’d made such a mess of Ferodoxis, and particularly Peikigi’s culture, that I no longer had any idea just what I wanted to do with it. And I honestly didn’t care to figure it out. Much as I want to, I can’t even say I may one day resurrect this world in some small way.
So it’s RIP Ferodoxis.
I’m already piecing it out. So far, I’ve moved the concept I’ve long had for a society of people highly trained to be servants, bodyguards, and priests to another world, and I like what I’m doing with the concept. To be honest, I’m a little tired of the original concept, in part due to its attachment to the now-defunct Ferodoxis. I’m interested again, and adding this social group to this other world has actually helped increase my interest in the world and the story I’ve got going in it. Of course, I’m changing things around a bit, but the basics are there—they’re still highly trained servants/bodyguards/priests. But now they add color to a world that lacked detail, and that’s a good thing.
For a long time, I had in mind dismantling Ferodoxis like this. I honestly did not want to give up on it. And, in a way, I do regret doing so. But at the same time, I’m very, very happy with the decision. Ferodoxis had become a burden. By chopping it up among my various worlds as the old worldbuilding will fit, I’ll be able to enliven other worlds of mine, and the stories in them. This, I think, is only a good thing.