Cosmotheoros by Huygens

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Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby Coronoides » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:56 am

The quote for this sub-forum is from this book. Written in 1698 Huygen's book has been incredibly influential in science and science fiction.
I have actually read it. It proceeds through deductive logic to speculate about what the worlds of the solar system might be like. The language, even in some translations, is a little odd for a modern reader but well worth persevering. Remember this is before Darwin and before the concept of deep time as we know it. The worlds of our solar system are assumed to be inhabitable and inhabited. Taking inspiration from this you could make a version of our real solar system for Spelljammer. Perhaps the HR AD&D historical series (Vikings, Celts etc) could be used to flesh out the Earth.

So anyone else's read it?
Anyone too lazy to read it want me to tell them more?
Anyone have ways to use ideas from this book?

Here's a link: https://github.com/thriveth/cosmotheoros
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Re: Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby Sturm » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:26 am

Really interesting, I want to read it, but do not know when I will actually have the time to do so. I'll try anyway :)
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Re: Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby Big Mac » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:23 pm

Coronoides wrote:The quote for this sub-forum is from this book. Written in 1698 Huygen's book has been incredibly influential in science and science fiction.
I have actually read it. It proceeds through deductive logic to speculate about what the worlds of the solar system might be like. The language, even in some translations, is a little odd for a modern reader but well worth persevering. Remember this is before Darwin and before the concept of deep time as we know it. The worlds of our solar system are assumed to be inhabitable and inhabited. Taking inspiration from this you could make a version of our real solar system for Spelljammer. Perhaps the HR AD&D historical series (Vikings, Celts etc) could be used to flesh out the Earth.


Ah. So that's where Ashtagon got that quote from.

Coronoides wrote:So anyone else's read it?


I don't think I've heard of this before. (Or if I did I forgot about it.)

Jeff Grubb based Spelljammer on real-world discounted scientific and philosophical concepts. It's one of the reasons why I've always thought it fitted in well with things like legends of dragons and monsters.

I wonder if Jeff Grubb used Cosmotheoros to build any of the parts of Spelljammer.

Coronoides wrote:Anyone too lazy to read it want me to tell them more?


It's actually a bit tricky to read this, not because of the archaic English, but because of the typesetting. I think I might struggle with this a bit.

Perhaps we could do a "Let's Read" thing and go through this book together. :idea:

Coronoides wrote:Anyone have ways to use ideas from this book?


The Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set includes four planetary systems:
  • Greyspace (based on Greyhawk),
  • Krynnspace (based on Dragonlance),
  • Realmspace (based on Forgotten Realms) and
  • Earth System

I've always thought that fourth system was really only any good for working out the feel of the other three planetary systems in terms we understand. But your idea of making a version of our own Solar System from this book is a valid way to go.

I believe there have been a few attempts, in the SJ community to make an Earth/Terra/Sol system, but doing something based on the ideas of Huygens could be fun. (Maybe that is even what one of the previous attempts was all about.)
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Re: Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby jimflory » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:42 pm

A "Legendary Earth" system could be an amazing sandbox. One could easily take an approach very similar to the Hercules/Xena/Million Spin Off TV Shows with this. Not an Earth that conforms to a specific historical period, but an Earth in which some/most/all the ancient Legends co-exist to some degree; Atlantis could still be above the waves (and a hell of a Spelljammer home base culture!), dragons still roam about in the wild places, Gods and their worshipers struggle for dominance as cultures mix and meld, Native Americans fear and respect the Thunder Bird, while Central American serpent demand sacrifice, etc., etc., etc.
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Re: Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby GMWestermeyer » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:52 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Perhaps we could do a "Let's Read" thing and go through this book together. :idea:


I'd be up for that. :)
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Re: Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby Big Mac » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:20 am

jimflory wrote:Not an Earth that conforms to a specific historical period, but an Earth in which some/most/all the ancient Legends co-exist to some degree; Atlantis could still be above the waves (and a hell of a Spelljammer home base culture!), dragons still roam about in the wild places, Gods and their worshipers struggle for dominance as cultures mix and meld, Native Americans fear and respect the Thunder Bird, while Central American serpent demand sacrifice, etc., etc., etc.


Legendary Earth locations would be a great idea.

I have previously thought that it might be fun to "lock down" the Solar System, as it was known, back when Jeff Grubb wrote the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set, but reverting to legendary locations would make for more of a fantasy feel.

You would probably also want to put places like Hy Brasil in there. :)
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Re: Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby Lord Torath » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:31 am

Is not "Mystaraspace" pretty darn similar to Earth's solar system? That's what I recall seeing somewhere.
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Re: Cosmotheoros by Huygens

Postby Sturm » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:39 am

Lord Torath wrote:Is not "Mystaraspace" pretty darn similar to Earth's solar system? That's what I recall seeing somewhere.


Yes it was described so by Frank Mentzer originally and fans followed his description mostly, see Threshold issue #15 Mystaraspace for details : http://pandius.com/Threshold_15.pdf
Main differences are Damocles, a planet in the asteroid belt, supposed to explode at some point or be destroyed already, and the last planet bigger than Pluto and his satellites.
The description of individual planets inhabitants however is all fan work so probably very different from Huygens ideas.
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