1. Jacob Rausch

    Jacob Rausch New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    3

    The Spanish Armada's Defeat and England's Rise told as a Space Opera

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Jacob Rausch, Sep 2, 2017.

    I'm just had an fine idea for a retro-futuristic Space Opera. The story of how Queen Elizabeth came to be irreconcilably at odds with the Spanish Empire, and how that "Invincible" Armada was sent, and how it was spectacularly defeated seemed to fit well the epic mold. Instead of a monarchical ruler, Elizabeth can be the President of Earth. That fits better for Raygun Gothic. In either case she is dignified and just, firm in resolution and dedicated to the good of her people.

    Francis Drake and his crew will still be in this as Privateers, stealing ships of an alien empire which serves as the dominant power of this setting and primary antagonist. Although motivated by profit, he is not without scruples and a romance between his character and Madam President would not be out of place.

    I would like advice on how to craft a setting that harkens back to the actual historical events while also being fit for a retro-futuristic space opera.
     
  2. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2015
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    200
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    I grew up along the coast in Northern Ireland, a few miles from where the Girona sank and her treasure later recovered.

    It's been a while but as I recall, the weather and severely inaccurate maps were the main cause for the loss of Armada ships, rather than battle. The English did chase the Spanish up the East coast of England but this was more a harrying action than full-on engagement.
     
    jannert likes this.
  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    15,692
    Likes Received:
    21,668
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    I think if you know the context and reasons they did
    so historically, you could just give it a futuristic spin
    on the old conflict. Since plenty of them were naval
    battles, it would not be too hard to translate the combat
    of using broadside cannons in space warfare.

    So technically you could just reenact those events, but
    with a Sci-fi spin on it.

    Good luck. :superagree:
     
    matwoolf likes this.
  4. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6,434
    Likes Received:
    9,158
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Get yourself a swashbuckling account to inspire. Read by night and write by day. I like Drake so I might copy you :)
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    15,692
    Likes Received:
    21,668
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    The Count of Matwoolf :D
     
    matwoolf likes this.
  6. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    1,370
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    One of Fred Saberhagen's Berserker stories was inspired/modeled after the navel Battle of Lepanto that occurred in 1571 between Christians and Muslims. Even the historic ship types have a futuristic counterpart.
     
  7. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,428
    Likes Received:
    1,988
    So that'll be how Henry VIII divorced himself from Katherine of Aragon, then...

    With a side-order of Liz' older half-sister failing to give the King of Spain the heir he desired when she was Queen of England, and he the Regent...
     
  8. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    171
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Also, the Honor Harrington series by David Weber.
     
  9. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    2,396
    Likes Received:
    2,019
    Before you get too deep into this as a concept there's something you really need to remember. England lost the war the Spanish Armada was part of. And Britain tried to do the exact same thing to Spain not long after and met with much the same kind of calamitous results and the Anglo-Spanish war ground on until Spain eventually won.

    Don't get me wrong, it's ok to take this kind of inspiration but I'd probably suggest telling your own story based on that inspiration rather than just re-telling what really happened. That gives you the latitude to tell a 'heroic' version of the Armada story and then go in your own direction with whatever you want happening in this new setting. The 'heroic' story about Francis Drake is a cool story to take cues from for a sci-fi universe but I think you'd do better to take these kind of big set pieces from history and then come up with your own plot that they fit into. That way no-one knows who wins the war (important for tension) and you can build this epic conflict on your own terms with your own points of emphasis and interest and take the characters wherever you want to take them.

    I definitely feel that history is much better used as a jumping off point than as a framework. History is never as compelling as you might hope that it is. For example; the 'heroic' version of the defeat of Napoleon was that Welling beat him in Spain (and never lost a battle) and his genius was critical to the fall of Napoleon. The truth? Eh, not so much. Napoleon over reached itself into Russia and lost huge amounts of men, and then the third iteration of allies was brought together (the sixth coalition to try and counter revolutionary France) and France was finally fighting out numbered and broadly speaking he was beaten by the Prussians, with Russian and Austrians making up the numbers. Wellington was a great general, but he was fighting on a very minor front of the war. Same in World War 2. The heroic story focuses on D-Day and so forth but seven out of eight German casualties were incurred fighting the Russians. D-Day helped but the Russians really won the war.

    So tell your own story, borrow from history for cool ideas but only don't just tell the same story in a new setting.
     
    Stormburn likes this.

Share This Page