Welcome to the Handbook. It consists of the Encyclopedia, the Glossary, and the Timeline. They will be expanded as the story progresses.
Carnelia: A country in the Pacific Ocean.
Coordinates (Cordola): 32° 17’ North 161° 36’ East
Dimensions: 146 kilometres long by 105 kilometres wide
Official languages: English
Timezone: UTC +11
Population: 9 231 967 (2048 census)
Area: 9 590 km2
Currency: Crown (divided into 100 Circlets, or "Circs")
Independence: April 19, 1899, from the United Kingdom.
Internet TLD: .ce
The national flag was adopted in 1999, the 100th anniversary of Carnelia's independence. The flag is light blue, with a stylised bunch of cherry blossoms forming the shape of the island nation. The two petals blowing away represent the smaller Sakura and Honeysuckle islands.
The name Carnelia is derived from Carnelian, a reddish brown variant of chalcedony found naturally on the island. The first records of Carnelia's existence are in Japanese texts from the 4th century AD. The island was an outpost of the Japanese empire and originally bore the name Sakurashima (which means cherry blossom island)
In 1850, Sir Ernest Greylock, an official with the British East India Company, signed a treaty with representatives of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyoshi. He established Carnelia as a trading post and settlement, which saw rapid growth and immigration from various ethnic groups. It was later made a crown colony by Britain in 1866. The British Empire soon raised Carnelia's status to an entrepot town, due to its strategic location along busy shipping routes between the United States, Europe and China.
On April 19, 1899, Carnelia became an independent nation. During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Carnelia. It retook its former land in the Battle of Carnelia (May 18- May 25, 1942). The country was renamed Sakurashima and occupied it until August 29, 1945, when Carnelian officials repossessed the island after the Japanese surrender. Douglas Whitehall became the first Prime Minister of post-war Carnelia.
The fledgling nation faced problems including mass unemployment, housing shortages and lack of natural resources. During Douglas Whitehall's term as Prime Minister, and the term of his successor, Troy Keang, the standard of living and economic infrastructure was improved. In 1964, San Diego became Cordola's first sister city. A subsequent influx of American exchange students led to strong economic ties and cultural influences from the United States.
By the mid 1980s, Carnelia's standard of living was light years ahead of the early pre-war years. Carnelia became important trading partners with its old enemy Japan, and both economies soared skyward. In just over 2 decades Carnelia had evolved from a developing nation to an island dynamo.
In the early 90s the economic bubble burst. Carnelia continued to chug along, until the sweeping reforms of Tommy Suzuki (Prime Minister 1995 - 2005) helped pave the way for the country's recovery. In 2008, Our Times Magazine published an article on "Carnelia: The Island Miracle".
In 2017, the controversal opening of MedusaCorp in downtown Cordola led to mass riots. A period of civil unrest followed, and was exacerbated by the H1N2 flu epidemic in 2018 and the Recession of 2019. During the tenure of Masahiro Nakahito, the country tackled the economic effects of the market crash, and the high crime and anxiety over the genetics debate.
By 2023, the crisis was over. Carnelia was rewarded with the hosting of the 2025 Expo. Thanks to Carnelia's early investments in Lunar companies, the economy began to grow rapidly, and in 2041 the capital Cordola was awarded the 2048 Summer Olympic Games.
Click the map below to find Carnelia on the world stage! Note: The map was released into public domain on Wikipedia.
Cordola is the largest city in Carnelia. By 2048, it has achieved major city status, on par with London, Paris, New York or Tokyo. Its location in the Pacific and its British influence in the past has lead to a unique hybrid culture, known as the place "Where East meets West". Other nicknames include "Crown Jewel of the Pacific" or "The Big Petal" - a reference to the Sakura blossom motif on the national flag.
It is a well-planned city of 6 125 780 people, with its borders frozen to prevent sprawl. Instead, the city becomes denser towards the centre in a series of gradations, meaning a maximum of 35 minutes in travel time from any point in the city to the other.
It is a city which prides itself on its monolithic attractions - it boasts the soon to be built 1001 m Pinnacle, a 2.5 km long cable stayed bridge, a massive maglev network with tracks up to 83 m above the ground, a 166 m high rollercoaster and a 140 m high statue of an Angel located on an island across from the city. It also has restored treasures such as the Cordola Art Museum (1886), the Cordola Central Station (1912), the Cordola Stock Exchange (1926) and the Art-Deco styled King Tower (1934). which was the tallest building in the country for almost 40 years.
Cordola is pronounced Core-DOE-lah.
The city has a friendly rivalry with Castilla, the second largest city in Carnelia. In 2027, the 600 m high Castilla Tower was completed, standing 63 m higher than the Crown Tower in Cordola. Ads for the observation deck read: "We don't mean to look down on you, Cordola, but. . . " In 2040, when Cordola Cougars won the NeliaBowl against the Castilla Hornets, a giant banner was displayed on Cordola's stadium reading, "We don't mean to own you Castilla, but. . .". Cordola latest checkmate will be the 1001 m Pinnacle, which will be almost double the height of the Castilla Tower.
Map of Cordola correct to January 2048
In 2012, the MoonBase mission was launched, a joint effort of several space agencies funded by multi-billion-dollar aerospace, construction and robotics companies. A 200 square metre base was completed in 2014, housing five astronauts. They began to excavate using robots underground in anticipation of future expansion. The astronauts were rotated in fortnight long shifts, and by 2020, more than 100 people had been on the moon.
Around the turn of the 20s, there was a strong interest in Lunar Tourism, and in order to boost funds for the colony, brief 4 day-stays in the base were sold, going at 2 million dollar a ticket. Passengers were initially launched from Cape Canaveral in the United States, and then later from Narita Spaceport in Japan and Pudong Space Link in China.
In 2018, charismatic entrepreneur Ali Hassan Al-Fulani had poured billions of dollars into Project Daudaeus, with the aim to build the world's first lunar resort. He sent a crew of engineers and construction workers in March of 2019 to begin building his hotel. After nine years of delays and cost blow-outs, he had built 45 luxury hotel suites, a swimming pool, and a small lunar observatory. The Daudaeus Hotel opened officially on March 13 of that year.
Lunar mining was carried out in the nearby mountains, yielding Helium-3 and other precious materials. In 2033 the first manufactured computers and robots were being exported to Earth, produced in factories located near the Daudaeus hotel. In 2036, a breakthrough in both nanotechnology and fusion power led to major worldwide interest in Lunar imports. A small government was formed in 2039 to deal with the resources trade. Estelle Hannaford, a politician with a doctorate in Lunar Studies, is appointed President.
By 2043, a significant proportion of the Lunar population consisted of retirees, who enjoyed great freedom of movement and health-benefits in the low surface gravity. A few were even laid to rest in the local cemetary, located in the deepest bowels of Daudaeus.
The Hotel Daudaeus continued to expanded downwards, equivalent to a 50 storey building buried underground. Widespread flooding and the loss of Venice the previous decade led to the push for all countries to adopt fusion power. Developing and poor countries were now making up the bulk of pollution, upsetting the industrialised countries that had spent so many years and money switching to eco-friendly technologies.
This put the onus on Luna, and when many politicians critisised the government for not exporting enough Helium 2, calls were made for countries to take over and mine their helium directly, bypassing Luna import duties. Estelle's attempts to drive out this illegal "poaching" of minerals and the thoughtless vandalising of the lunar surface by gung-ho explorers gained her much attention in the press. She was dubbed "The Queen of the Moon" by Our Times in the August 15, 2046 issue.
A frustrated group of Lunar politicians, led by Estelle, considered declaring independence. On July 20th, Estelle made the announcement, recorded in her office and transmitted around the world: the Moon is now a country, and she is the First President of the Lunar Republic. Many countries laughed it off, but when Estelle threatens to stop the nanotech/fusion exports, they begrudgingly accepted Lunar's sovereignty. It became the first country not part of Earth. As of 2048, it is still not recognised as a country by more than half of Earth's sovereign nations.
The United States signed a historic free-trade agreement with Luna, which the aim to supply its gigantic fusion plants in California, Texas and New York with Helium-3. The US signing was followed by Japan and Carnelia.
The Lunar Republic: The first and only country not located on the Earth.
Capital: Daudaeus (population 4540, 2048 census)
Official languages: English
Founding: February 9, 2012 (the start of the moon base mission)
Independence: July 20, 2047 (78 years after the first moon landing)
Population: The "permanent" population (short/long term staff/permanent residents) is 4540. The total population fluctuates, of course. In 2047 the peak total population was 13 149 and the low was 6127.
Internet TLD: .ln (Due to the 3-4 second time delay for communication between the Moon and Earth, emails and recorded messages are used rather than chat programs or webcams)
Leader: First President Estelle Hannaford (born 1998) Elected 2047, currently serving her first term in office.
The national flag was adopted in 2047. The crescent depicts the moon, with three stars in the middle of the flag. The top right corner is occupied by a cluster of stylised Galaxies, indicating the hope and promise of our future colonising the Milky Way and beyond.
In the late 10s, petrol driven cars began to be displaced by hydrogen vehicles in the industralised countries. Developing and poor countries kept their petrol cars, unable to afford the new technology. GPS and sophisticated software allowed auto-driving, allowing the passengers to relax and read, watch TV or make phone calls.
Manual driving is still legal, but tightly controlled. Periodic breath testing by the car itself has lead to a dramatic decrease in car fatalities of over 85 percent over 25 years.
In the early 30s, development of electromagnetic vehicles allowed traffic to "glide" over specially designed roads, with no contact between the ground and the car. Due to the expense of replacing the old road networks, large countries such as the United States decided not to implement this scheme. Instead, small, compact nations such as Carnelia, were able to rebuild their roads in a relatively short amount of time.
By 2045, practically all citizens of Carnelia had switched to GlideCars. It was also one of the few nations to legalise SkyCars, with specially designed skyway zones mapped out with holographic signs. In case of an emergency, a giant parachute will deploy, and as a last resort, SafetyFoam is sprayed around the passengers to lessen the impact.
The clothing industry was revolutionised in the late 20s by the arrival of Memory and Digital Cloth. Basically, Memory Cloth has robotic tendrils and nano-fibres that stiffen or loosen, allowing clothing to change shape or size (to a degree). This also allows adventurous shapes and textures in clothing. For example, the ribbon-like pants that Amy wears in Chapter 6 (Simulcra 1) is prevented from tangling or slipping down by the Memory Cloth. In this chapter, the Digital Cloth that make up Amy's top has special optic fibres reading signals from a microchip, allowing different images, even animations on clothing.
In the 40s, summer hats became fashionable, especially by females. Baseball caps, so common around the term of the millenium, had gone out of style. Animated clothes were seen as hip and chic. It was a sign of wealth, as Digital Cloth cost almost double that of cheaper synthetic fibers. Large collars punctured by holes, or Jetsons-style "moon collars" are popular for men. Shoelaces have long disappeared, replaced by Memory Buckles.
In winter, elbow length gloves are popular for females. Large boots and puffy jackets are popular for men.
By 2040s the youth of the world were using an eclectic group of slang words derived from diverse sources such as genetics, space travel and holotube shows. Some notable ones:
Rampant: Excellent, great, amazing. Used in Chapter 8
(oh) Splice: Used to express empathy, or glee over a good rebuttal.
Prostate: Affectionate term between adolescent males.
Ahoy: Casual greeting Used in Chapter 11
Savvy: Used to confirm agreement or understanding. Used in Chapter 11
Pollox: Idiot Used in Chapter 15
Scramble: A big mess, or hopeless situation
Clamp it: Shut up
Knot up: A fight, or a heavy argument.
Skewed: Suspicious, something not quite right.
(going) Nova: Losing ones temper, especially in public. Used in Chapter 13
Glossary Updated March 29, 2007
The popular name for a part of Carnelian history which lasted
approximately from 2017 to 2022. It was a period of economic hardship,
terrorism, high crime and
environmental disaster. The Unrest era which was part of a larger
worldwide crisis which lasted from 2016 to 2025.
Carnelia's economy had recovered substantially and celebrated by
hosting the World's Fair that year. By 2030, the year Jeff, Marcy, Amy
and Nigel were born, things were improving. In 2035 The Cordola Tribune
ran a feature story on the recovery, saying that "a new renaissance is
beginning." This term, New Renaissance, has become the name for my
comic characters' generation.
Notable events include:
By 2025 Carnelia's economy had recovered substantially and celebrated by hosting the World's Fair that year. By 2030, the year Jeff, Marcy, Amy and Nigel were born, things were improving. In 2035 The Cordola Tribune ran a feature story on the recovery, saying that "a new renaissance is beginning." This term, New Renaissance, has become the name for my comic characters' generation.
Carnelian Diva: A holovision singing program, scheduled to begin on May 25th, 2048 on Channel Pi. It was initially marketed as Cordola Diva, as it was the brainchild of a local Cordolan hv station, but quickly renamed Carnelian Diva. The contest is open to all females aged 16 to 30. Auditions will be held in the three Carnelian cities of Cordola, Castilla and Cephra. If successful, an all male version, named Carnelian Crooner, is scheduled for the end of the year.
Miyama: One of the largest audio-visual electronics and robotics company in the world, founded December 20, 2008. The CEO is Toyo Miyama (born 1983), the richest man in the world. The company produces consumer electronics such as holotubes, cameras, mobile phones, computers and domestic robots. Revenue in 2047 was 200 billion crowns. It is the most profitable and largest division of the larger and recently formed Miyama Industries, which also produces pharmaceuticals, automobiles and aircraft.
Toyo Miyama: Born April 30, 1983, he is currently the richest man in the world. He opened an electronics store in Nagoya, Japan in 2008. In the Teenies he developed the Virtua Scribe, and in 2023 he developed a new efficient model of Holotube and made his fortune. In the next few years he delved into robotics and automobiles. By the late 30s it had become the largest electronics company in the world. In 2047, he was Our Times’ Person of the Year, not only for his far-reaching influence but also for his work in improving sanitary conditions and medicine in less fortunate countries.
Virtua Scribe: Essential equipment for students, consisting of SmartPaper in a frame with advanced memory chips. It has television, music, news updates and note-taking capacity. Transferring files is simple, you just hold the two Scribes together and slide the icon across the joint. It was invented by a young Toyo Miyama and led to his fortune. You may notice the Miyama company logo many times throughout the series.
Lakesha Primrose: A legendary Carnelian raised American singer. Born in Los Angeles, USA on February 17, 1996. She moved with her family to Castilla, Cordola at age 11. Her career in music began in 2015 with her song “One last look”. Her most famous song, “Our Souls are One”, was released in 2019. In 2024 she moved to San Diego, California. By the late 20s she was a superstar, playing at the opening of the Olympics Games, and winning a Grammy in 2024 for Best Song. In the 30s she matured as an artist and released renowned covers of classic Noughties songs. On November 2, 2041, she was shot and killed outside her apartment by a deranged "admirer" who turned later turned the gun on herself. The news shocked and saddened the world.
Daudaeus: Pronounced: “Daw-DAY-us”. The first permanent human settlement on the moon, with a population of 4540. It was established in 2012 with a small colony at Mare Nectaris. After much debate independence was declared in 2047. The Moon was officially renamed Luna and was added to the United Nations as a fully independent country. By the late 40s the burgeoning tourist industry rivals that of Las Vegas or Hawaii, although the cost of travel is still outside the reach of most middle class citizens. It has become a magnet for retirees and the wealthy due the lack of personal income tax.
Just under one million people have visited Luna since the first moon landing in 1969.
The light given off by landing strips and navigational signs is too feeble to be seen from Earth. As a symbolic gesture, there is a ring of powerful lights 800 m south of Daudaeus. Viewed from Earth during a crescent moon, they appear as a single pinpoint of light.
Cordola: The capital of Carnelia, seat of the federal government, centre of commerce, bustling transport hub and an active entertainment destination. Sister cities: Seattle, Nagoya, and Daudaeus. Population: 8 215 780 (metro area) Pronounced: “Core-DOE-la”. Known as “The Heart of Carnelia or “The Big Petal” Its twin landmarks are the giant statue on Angel Island and the Crescent Bridge.
Holotube: 3D Holographic television. It fully replaced television in 2020. Its workings are very technical, but a simplified explanation is that magnetic fields contain a gaseous form of nanoparticles which reflect light. The same technology is used in watches and billboards.
AGMI: “As God made it” – term used for people who refuse to eat genetically modified food. Often derogatory.
Eye-D: Identification used on all transportation networks, at educational institutions, at work and for entry to private homes. Iris scanning with an accuracy of between 99.93 and 99.97 percent. To prevent “eye-jackings” elevated stress patterns lock out the user from entry.
Nautilus: Large shell shaped aircraft that is used by the military and the police. It is 9 metres wide and 21 metres tall. Its top speed is 500 kilometres per hour. It first entered service in 2029.
Simulcra: Pronounced "si-MULL-cra". Virtual reality recreational program. Version 3 uses a neural link helmet, a world first. Research and development commenced in 2019 and the simulation debuted in 2029. There are three sections– BackTrak -You can travel back in time to 7 different time periods, exquisitively researched. In the second section, called eIncarnation, you can live as a historical figure, (Caesar, Mozart, Einstein) and morphMe, where you can experience life as an animal.
Smart Card: Used for purchases instead of paper currency, in use since 2017. The Cordola Crown is a fully electronic currency. The notes and coins were withdrawn from circulation in 2017. The card itself has a touchscreen that instantly brings up a driver's license, organiser or notepad.
Cordola University: Popularly known as "Cordola U", Cordola University was formed in 2012 with the merging of The University of Cordola (founded 1866) and Greylock University (founded 1889), with modern buildings springing up from the grounds of the former. All five of the main characters attend Cordola U.
Crown: The currency of Carnelia. The Crown (CRN) is divided into 100 equal Circlets (nicknamed “Circs”) On December 14, 2017, with the completion of the Smart Card initiative, the currency became fully electronic. Series 2014 was the final round of notes and coins produced. In 2048, on average, it costs 36 CRN for a regular sized fast food meal. In 2006, it would have cost 6 CRN.
The Belt: Slang for The Asteroid Belt, where cheaply manufactured products are made. Production on various asteroids began in 2039. There are about 300 miners and staff in the Belt. No independence or sovereignty has yet been declared or proposed for the asteroid settlements.
The Cordola Pinnacle: A 1001 m / 3284 ft skyscraper planned for Cordola, Carnelia. It will be, by far, the tallest building in Carnelia, but I remain coy on whether it will be the world's tallest building in 2048. Upon completion it will become a stunning symbol of Carnelia's economic success and a major tourist attraction. It will boast 90 floors of offices, 65 floors of apartments and 58 floors of hotel rooms. With the addition of 30 floors of mechanical equipment and elevator machine rooms, it brings the floor count to a staggering 243. To solve transportation crowding, in addition to double decker elevators in the core, 20 elevators will run on external tracks running up two faces of the building, giving breathtaking views to the occupants. With almost all construction carried out by robots, the Cordola Pinnacle is scheduled to open in June 2049. When Marcy and Jeff visit the site in Chapter 4 it is already 18 stories high. You will see the tower rise in the background of city shots throughout the series, so keep your eyes peeled!
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