Portal Future Questions

I get a lot of questions about the Portal Future timeline and its worlds – which is definitely wonderful! – but it’s getting hard to keep up with them. There’s also the problem that I get variations of the same question in comments on different website pages as well as through my contact form.

I thought I’d experiment with a new system, where all the questions are gathered together so everyone can see the answers. If you have a question that’s specifically about details of the Portal Future, please post it as a comment on this page. Just have one question, or a very closely related group of two or three questions, per comment please. That way if I’m short of time, I can pick out a few of the questions that I think will interest most people.

As always, the answer to many questions will be that it’s a spoiler for future books. In the case where something is a spoiler for an existing published book, I may try giving the book/chapter reference. I’ll just have to experiment to see what works best.

14 Responses to Portal Future Questions

  1. Ann says:

    As we now know that the Tell Clan Council was/is very worried about Jarra being angry at being abandoned by them, did they send Drago to make first contact with her in Earth Star because he is charming and therefore going to make a good impression?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course they did. 🙂 In fact, both the Tell clan council and Colonel Torrek sent Drago in, giving him detailed and extremely contradictory orders about what to say, which he mostly ignored!

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  2. Kitty says:

    What exactly are the weighted zonal nets that Leveque uses for his threat assessments?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I imagine the weighted zonal nets as being a 28th-century method of assessing all the possible outcomes of a specific event weighted for the probability of the outcome happening, and they are normally depicted in a visual form. You could think of that visual form as performing an equivalent function to a pie chart, but the visual depiction of a weighted zonal net is far more complicated, with the probability zones repeatedly dividing as they head out from the inciting event.

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  3. An says:

    Since “Academy” is listed with the Alpha sector planets, does it have a representative in Parliament of Planets or should it be considered a “Sector Neutral” planet? Since it is headquarters for the Cross Sector Military should it really be considered an Alpha Sector specialist planet?

    Also; people at the Portal Future discussion forum have a few questions about Academy, so I thought I would ask them at the same time. 😁

    First, is the entire planet used or after terra forming, was one continent designated as inhabitable?

    And if yes, the entire planet is used –
    How do time zones work on Academy, given that it seems that the entire planet is used?

    Related: How do the Year End calculations work on Academy, and more broadly, on the Special Use planets (i.e.: do they have to roll over to Year Day before the Capital planet of the sector they are in changes to the new Year Day?)
    Thank you!

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    • Spoilers! The good news is that you won’t have a long wait for answers, because the spoilers are for some details in the first draft of my next release, Sol 2781. It’s possible that a few of those details get eliminated in the revision stage, but some of them should make it through.

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    • Tempest says:

      Under ‘Fun extras’ there is a ‘Planets in the Portal Future’ selection. Under Alpha, Academy is listed as a planet. It is italicized. This is also the case for Winter the list of planets for Gamma sector. This leads me to believe it’s a specialized planet and thus does not have a representative in Parliament of Planets. Could go more into why I believe it does not have a representative but it’s all speculation.

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  4. Alice says:

    I had a discussion yesterday about sector dialects and it made me curious enough to post a question. The only actual question is “How do sector dialects work, actually?”, the rest of this is speculation/explanation and probably doesn’t need to be read.
    If newer sector’s dialects are closer to Language, would Jarra be better able to understand, say, Epsilon dialect than the ‘incomprehensibly strong” Betan dialect on a newzie in Earth Flight? How is a dialect strong, anyway? Is it something to do with speed, or accents? How different are sector dialects to Language anyway? In Earth Prime I believe Fian and Drago say “sic semper fidelis” and “ad finem fidelis”, if that’s Betan dialect it seems pretty different, and I imagine it has some different words and grammar for describing relationships. Also, I can kind of see Beta sector having a Roman/Grecian ish dialect, and newer sectors coming up with their own dialects, but how did Alpha sector end up with a single dialect with how different the planets are? Does each sector have only one dialect, or is that an oversimplification by Jarra? How often are sector dialects even used? Do words in sector dialects have any relationship with sector stereotypes, or is that more of a slang thing? The Military don’t have a dialect, but do they have specific jargon or slang?

    On the subject of language/Language, are you ‘translating’ the in-universe novels from Language into English, since Blaze couldn’t exactly read a sign in English? Or is it assumed to be a perfect translation?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sector dialects are the words and phrases used in that sector that aren’t part of the standard common Language. The more of these words and phrases, the stronger the dialect. Epsilon sector has only had time to develop a few of these, so Jarra would definitely find Epsilon sector dialect easier to understand than the very strong Betan dialect.

      Betan dialect includes a variety of things such as ancient Roman and Greek phrases, old swear words and sexual references no longer acceptable in other sectors, and newly developed words that are more useful in Betan culture than in other sectors. For example, words for describing complex genetic relationships between clan members, and different types of triad relationships.

      You’re right about Jarra oversimplifying things where she has little personal knowledge or interest. As well as a sector having its own dialect that would be generally understood on all its worlds, most established planets will have a few dialect words of their own. That’s especially noticeable on worlds in Alpha sector, particularly on some of the more insular or distinctive worlds. Visitors to somewhere like Hecate might suspect its citizens of deliberately making it hard for other Alphans to understand them. And they’d be right.

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    • On your related question about language/Language, I am generally speaking ‘translating’ the in-universe novels.

      As mentioned in the Scavenger series, Thaddeus Carmichael Wallam-Crane imposed what was supposed to be an entirely new common Language on humanity, but he was naturally biased in favour of the language he spoke themselves. Since he was born and spent most of his life in London, common Language ended up including a lot of words from the English spoken in London around 2250.

      That means I’m effectively translating the novels FROM an evolved version of a common Language that was originally heavily influenced by the English spoken in London around 2250 INTO the English spoken in London now. Some of the future slang/profanities/dialect terms either aren’t translated at all or appear as an equivalently mangled version of current English. There is an oddity where Dalmore quotes from a common Language translation of a poem by Lewis Carroll. I quote from the actual poem, though in reality there’d be some inaccuracies.

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  5. Emma says:

    I’ve been curious for a long time about how you pronounce some of the names.
    Amelie: I’ve said AM-uh-lee, AM-il-lee and AM-eh-lee.
    Levque: Lev-ee-QUE and La-VEEK.
    Finally Emili (From the Hive Mind Future): IM-il-lee, em-i-LYE
    Or maybe Amelie and Emili are both spelling of Emily?

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  6. Alice says:

    I can’t remember seeing any of the characters drink water-it’s always frujit or fizzup. Is there a reason for this, or have I maybe just missed some mentions?

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    • There isn’t anything more significant than the characters’ individual tastes. There are a couple of points where the characters specifically drink water, and they’d do it at other times as well, but most of the mentions of drinks are at meal times where they are more likely to have specific drinks. Fian grew up with the healthy drink options favoured by his father. but doesn’t mind joining Jarra in drinking Fizzup as a bit of a rebellion. Jarra grew up in Next Step, where Fizzup was the most luxurious drink option, but she’s progressing on to frujit when she gets the chance. Frujit comes both as full-strength mixtures of fruit juice and diluted with water. Dalmora drinks tea, Krath is addicted to coffee. Amalie grew up on a frontier world drinking water flavoured with a dash of berry juice, so Fizzup was a new experience.

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