It’s election day here in the U.S.A, which has a lot of people’s focus honing in on politics and anticipating the end of the ever-so-loathed election-year ads on television.
In the realm of speculative fiction, politics has often played a major role in some beloved stories. Sometimes the political intrigue is overt and the main conflict, while at other times it is merely a set-piece to give flavor.
As a writer it’s important to take into account what kind of political system you want to have running in your story-world as the political makeup is an extension of the culture and will have a large impact on how your characters see their world.
For instance how different would your hero look at the world were he in a society of feudalism as opposed to a theocracy? What if he was from a socialistic society vs. a unashamedly capitalist one?
In Starfire I went with a pseudo-capitalist, militaristic Empire for my hero’s homeland. One built on a loose caste system where your birth order determined where you started out in life. With Starfire being more of an action/adventure story out in the wilds of the northern continent, the political intrigues never really came to the forefront, but rather just danced around the edges providing some points of conflict and motivations for the characters. Thus driving the decisions that the main character, Rathe, had to wrestle with in deciding what fate he chose to embrace.
What political systems have stood out to you in your readings?
And if you’re in the U.S. today, make sure you go vote.