Sunday Worldbuilding – Tales of the First Setting

August 4th, 2019  |  Published in Sunday Worldbuilding, Tales of the First  |  5 Comments

I’ve wanted to do something with Supers for a long time. Now many of my stories have characters who could be superheroes – it’s mentioned as a joke in both Dragon Wars and Haventon – but here I meant the more traditional view. That gave me two choices go with a world with established superheroes and villians or a world where they are a new phenomenonnthat has crashed onto the scene. As you can tell I went with the latter as it creates yet another crisis for the people trying to keep all the plates spinning.

What do I mean by that? Well…

As you’ve probably noticed by now Tales of the First is set twenty minutes into the future and has a mildly dystopic setting.

I say mildly because (and I don’t consider this a spoiler) there’s nothing full on Hunger Gamesy happening here and there’s no evil cabal that’s pushed themselves into power (unless you consider politicians as a whole to be an evil cabal which is a whole other question). It’s just the result of me watching videos about the Bronze Age Collapse (seriously Extra History’s Broze Age Collapse Videos are so good and you should go and watch them if you are interested in ancient history) which got me thinking about systems collapse and what happens when a complex society (like ours) can’t keep all the plates spinning any more. To be fair, though, this is more of Roman Empire than Bronze Age situation… a slow crumbling rather than a sudden collapse and at a very early stage. Most of the dystopian stuff is people trying hard to keep everything together but going the wrong way about it.

So when you suddenly add people with powers into such a volatile mix what happens? I guess we are going to find out.

As to the source of the powers I don’t want to get into this too much but I will say that the Magenta Mist phenomenon is only one source of powers in this setting but it is the one that is going to force the others to show themselves.

5 Responses to “Sunday Worldbuilding – Tales of the First Setting”

  1. White Tiger says:

    I love history (as long as it’s not taught in school. Somehow that takes all the interest out of it!). It’s great hearing your thoughts and how you go about worldbuilding. Can’t wait to hear more! 😊

  2. torvawk says:


    Did you really mean this:
    Tales of the First is set twenty minutes into the future …
    or did you mean this:
    Tales of the First is set twenty years into the future …

    The first I will find surprising, the second is believable.

    • Rebecca Sutton says:

      Ah… right… “twenty minutes into the future” is figurative. It is a term for a fictional setting that is, to quote the TV Tropes page on the concept, “The Future, but not so far into it that you’d notice except for the abundance of Applied Phlebotinum. This is often a linear extrapolation of national malaise or existing crises” ( – warning TVTropes).

      So it’s significantly less than 20 years but not literally 20 minutes. In fact Wendy pinned down the year pretty closely to 2028 in part 1 when she referenced the “the meteorite that exploded over Russia about fifteen years ago” (cf Chelyabinsk meteor).

      • torvawk says:

        Ahh, sounds like what I would call alternate realities. So, your story took a different path somewhere from where today’s path leads us. In your path, something, sometime allowed for superpowers. And now, in your story (aka somewhere near 2028), they are becoming visible to the world.

        Now, I understand your future comment. I did not realize they were calling it a 20 minutes into the future thing. I like the other term they used in your link. Flash Forward. 😛 But now I understand. Thank you for explaining and providing the link. I did not know the type of story was … so well defined.

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