Thursday, November 11, 2010
My novel's Journey: Inventing a sport for Discovery
JK Rowling had quidditch. I have splat.
I needed a zero G ball game for the crew of Discovery--something that Sister Ann would be very good at, so it's something that takes a lot of maneuvering skill, but not necessarily a lot of strength--oh, and a stable middle ear and a strong stomach.
Last week, I came up with splat.
Splat is played in a dodecahedron in zero gravity. Four sides have goals—holes into which you toss the ballast. The holes are in the center of a side, which have magnets on a switch. The softball-sized ball carries a positive charge. The players wear suits and helmets that are positively charged and have a paddle that is also positively charged. They can use the paddles and their bodies to move the ball, but they can't touch it. They can also use their bodies and paddles to move other players. (Remember similar charges repel.)
The object of the game is two-fold: to get the ball into the goal and to be nowhere near the goal when that happens. That’s because when the ball goes through the hole, it activates the magnets on that side, which are negatively charged. If you’re too close to the side, you get stuck on the wall! Every team gets points when they make a goal and when someone on the other team gets stuck on the wall. People who vomit on the field are disqualified, and their team doesn’t get a replacement.
Still working out the details of how many on a team. I also need a good team name for the nuns on the St. Joseph of Cupertino convent. "Flying Nuns" would have been taken ages ago, so don't suggest it. :)
Who knows? Maybe they'll be playing splat in a hundred years. That would be cooler than quidditch!