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I’m immensely proud to announce that the Star Empire has a brand new series, and it launches today! Scandal is the first title in the Scions of the Star Empire series!
About the Scions
Meet the Scions…
The children of Landfall’s powerful nobility have all the wealth and privilege of their family status, but there’s only one thing that will give them true freedom–the title of Scion. The only way to earn it is by carefully managing the social influence markets that rank them according to their accomplishments. At the exclusive Landfall Cultural Academy, the heirs compete to elevate their status high enough for the Cultural Trust to grant them the title and the freedom to make their own way. And scandal works just as well as scholarship.
Princess Ione Ra, daughter of the Emperor of the Torch worlds, knows this intimately. Ever since age twelve, she’s been locked in social combat with the gossip journalists, the holo-razzi, and the millions of eyes that watch her every move. After ten years, she’s no stranger to turning that gossip to her own ends in the Probabilities markets, where potential outcomes and futures are bid on for credits. She’s carefully crafted a public image that feeds the worst assumptions of the gossip rags, and has no apologies about it. Her friends–even her choice of boyfriend–are all managed to maximize her Social Capital.
But no one lives in the Spires of the sprawling city-planet of Landfall without keeping their share of secrets. For Ione’s arm-candy boyfriend Den Hades, the less the gossips think of him, the better. But time is running out for Den–without managing his own SoCap to a level that would grant him the title of Scion, he’ll never be free of his domineering father’s ambitions. But not all scandals are engineered, and this one might just start something that can’t be stopped…
I’ve always been mildly fascinated by celebrity gossip. When your net worth hinges so keenly on your reputation, and the number of people talking about you by the minute can add or subtract zeroes from your paycheck to the left of the decimal, then your reputation surely becomes an asset to be managed, just like your appearance and your place in the line for the red carpet. Then a few years ago, social media went from being something fun you did for amusement to the place where you made your friends, formed your opinions, and got your news. Seemingly overnight, the internets went from ordinary people doing random things going viral, to a carefully-deconstructed notion of what made something viral, and with it came valuation. Suddenly, Instagram seemed to be throwing money at people based on how many likes they got, and I got to wondering what a like- and share-based economy would look like if it were baked into certain strata of society, and the idea of the world of Scions gelled. So if you’re in the mood for something a little Gossip Girl, but a little Bladerunner, too, check out Scandal!