Random Coriolis Thoughts

Random thoughts generated by my wandering brain on this morning’s bike ride:

The setting is super weird. Weirder than Firefly and all the Chinese influences, because at least there you can sorta-kinda extrapolate Chinese culture taking on greater global prominence even within our lifetimes. But in Coriolis it’s not Islamic culture, it’s pre-Islamic. Whyyyy?

Then I started thinking about a sci-fi future where we passed through Christianity at some point in the timeline and reverted to something pre-Christian (and IMO pre-Judaic). That’s a grab bag of course: the Romantic and Hellenic, Zoroastrianism, Gnosticm, European paganism. I mean, I dig the aesthetics of a pagan future but getting there seems just impossible.

Then again maybe we’re already on our way to reinstating some kind of fertility-slash-prosperity divinity, yeah? I mean the prosperity gospel folks call it “God” but that’s a marketing decision. They could accurately call it “Trump” and 800 years from now, we could have a whole pantheon of war gods (Blackwater) and wisdom gods (Google) and messenger gods (Facebook) and gods of health (Kaiser) and death (Armalite) and beauty (Instagram) and love (Tinder) and on and on.

But because we’re writing this wild future for a modern audience, and because it seems reasonable, we might have this pantheon but still dress it up in the rites of western Christianity, with churches and tithing and big splashy capitalistic holidays and televangelists.

Which brings me back to the Coriolis aesthetic, which is clearly culturally Islamic but dressed up in pre-Islamic art, the Ali Baba and Aladdin (yes yes, a 17th century invention) and 1001 Nights stuff. I don’t really know much about pre-Islamic rites: were there calls to prayer throughout the day? Was there tithing? Pilgrimages to holy sites? Those things all remain in this distant future setting and yet they’ve relegated Islam to a minority faith.

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0 thoughts on “Random Coriolis Thoughts”

  1. I think two of the people in our game said it was also weird because some of the artwork doesn’t jive with it being pre-Islamic as well? Something like that.

  2. In terms of some iconography and other stuff apparently some of it isn’t pre-Islamic but the setting is. They’ve used some traditional pieces from or inspired by Islam in some things…I recall Lowell saying something like that. For me, since I have nooo idea, it just seems all seems neato.

  3. Danielle borrowed Caprica from the library a few years ago without either of us having seen BSG. I couldn’t get past the cognitive dissonance of a polytheistic near future and only watched two episodes.

  4. It’s funny, as I was quite hyped about this during the Kickstarter. Then I got the big book and deck of cards and just… couldn’t. The system felt flat, compared to previous versions where it felt more integrated with the setting. The setting felt odd and uncomfortable — but not in a challenging way, just in a “this doesn’t quite jell and I’m not sure what the point of it is” way.

    So yea… It’s pretty. I’m sure folks will love it. But I just can’t make any of it work or get excited about any of it. It just feels like a creative work where they could have gone in any number of directions and made something awesome, and ended up compromising into a bland middle way that doesn’t quit cohere.

  5. Brand Robins I’m gonna play to find out.

    I have the feeling the darkness points and general mythology is hiding a maybe excellent space horror thing.

  6. What Brand Robins said applies to my thoughts. Also, maybe it’s the all-over the place art, and maybe it’s because I read the book with “player’s blinders” as a buddy wants to run it, but the flavor seemed tacked on and not fully integrated.

    That being said, as a player I’m hyped to form a group in the “Are we going to be Explorers, Colonists, Merc?” sense ANND the modular design of ships is fun.

  7. Paul Czege, if it helps, Caprica isn’t “near future”, at least not Earth’s. In the BSG universe, Earth is a mythical “lost colony”, not the source of the humans on Caprica. Caprica would know nothing of religious history or evolution on Earth.

  8. Paul Czege yeah, science fiction that’s heavily religious needs lots of heavy lifting I think. I don’t know that it’s really been done in gaming much outside of someone’s home table of Shock.

  9. No god but God by Reza Aslan is a good text that discusses the history and development of Islam, starting with a political and economic examination of pre-Islamic Arabia. It is an extremely good and extremely easy read.

    It’s how I know that there were religious pilgrimages. There were idols all over… for a while, anyway. Funny story, one clan straight up stole everyone’s religious idols and brought them to the Kaaba and charged everybody admission to get in and pray.

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