1. lastspartacus
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    lastspartacus New Member

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    Sometimes 'Nation' Is Not Appropriate

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by lastspartacus, Nov 13, 2013.

    It is a simple enough question, but one that came up a few times in recent discussions over scifi writing.

    In scifi settings, many times a single government body has control over a planet, system, or dozens of star systems.

    Somehow, 'nations' no longer feels like an appropriate word to refer to these entities in general.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Republic, federation, empire, "the known worlds"...
     
  3. lastspartacus
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    lastspartacus New Member

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    Right, but what I'm looking for is something general like nation. Maybe it simply does not exist because we have not culturally ever had a need for it. But 'those nations on the eastern quadrant' doesn't really sound right in my brain, and things like 'realms' has certain connotations that may not fit anywhere but a 'Dune' environment either.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah I feel you with realms. That word evokes fantasy for me, not sci-fi. In Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand, (a perennial favorite of mine) Delany handled it by giving the "nations" names and simply calling them that (the Family & the Sygn) and these also covered huge stretches of space.
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I suppose you could just call them 'countries.'
     
  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Babylon 5 referred to their different race's territories as "sphere of influence".

    But then I used "territories" in that sentence and it made perfect sense, so I would use that.
     
  7. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure what you're looking for if Wreybies' examples didn't work for you?:confused:

    According to that definition, a nation is defined by its boundaries. If those boundaries are constantly spreading, like in space colonization, it can hardly be the unifying factor. I think it's likely that words representing union by other means would be more accurate:

    Union
    Domain
    Company
    Empire, like Wrebies said. (The British Empire comes to mind as a historical example.)
     
  8. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Your best bet would be to use, "Dominion." Not only does it sound good, but I think it is what you are looking for.
    "those dominions on the eastern quadrant...."

    courtesy of dictionary.com:
    do·min·ion
    [duh-min-yuh[​IMG][​IMG]n] control; domination.
    3.
    a territory, usually of considerable size, in which a single rulership holds sway.
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oooo. :) I like this muchly.
     
  10. lastspartacus
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    lastspartacus New Member

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    Thanks :D
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    areas
    settlements
    colonies
    outposts
    locales
    states
    provinces
    territories

    and so on................
     
  12. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I would use the word state - as in a sovereign governmental body.
     

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