Hello again, friends! Welcome back to the A to Z Challenge. For this year’s challenge, my theme is the universe of Tomorrow News Network, my upcoming Sci-Fi adventure series. In today’s post, U is for:
“Earth-like” can be a misleading term, both in real life and in the universe of Tomorrow News Network. Lots of planets can be described as Earth-like, in one manner or another. That doesn’t necessarily mean Earthlings would be able to live there.
There are only handful of truly Earth-like planets in our galaxy—planets with oxygen/nitrogen atmospheres, planets with oceans of liquid water, planets with chlorophyll-green vegetation growing on their surfaces. And these very few planets are all the result of terraforming projects funded by the Earth Republic (or later by the Earth Empire).
Terra Nova, Terminus, Xanadu… these are some of terraforming’s greatest success stories. But terraforming technology has had one noteworthy failure: the Earth II project. What exactly went wrong on Earth II? No one knows, but in his final transmission, the Earth II colonial administrator said: “We worked to transform this planet, and the planet worked just as hard to transform us.”
As a result of linguistic corruption, the name Earth II has become Urthu. At least that is the name used by the creatures that still live there.
In The Medusa Effect, Urthu is mentioned only in passing, and that’s all the attention it gets. As the Tomorrow News Network series progresses, will Urthu turn out to be more important than a throwaway line? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I just had a really tough time picking a U-word for the A to Z Challenge, and I’ll never have anything to say about Urthu again. Who knows what the future may bring?
Next time on Tomorrow News Network: A to Z, imagine you’re sitting at home watching the news on the viewlink when the signal abruptly cuts to static.