Monday, 26 March 2012

Glossary G - L

Gabrizan Taylor

Gabrizan is a Zandrian, with the Zandrian name of Nazaret Bagarin, sent to Terrestra to help investigate the poison cloud that plagues the planet.  When the cloud lifts spontaneously, the mission is aborted and he is called back to Zandra.
Whilst on Terrestra he meets and falls in love with Marijam Kennedy. He has the impression that his feelings for her are stronger than hers for him; he sees her as someone who is intent on having a very interesting career. In an attempt to impress her, he applies to be part of a very prestigious project. It is whilst he is attending his two day interview that he is called back to Zandra. 
He never really gets over Marijam and never has another serious relationship.
He works hard on restoring plant life to Zandra, a planet that will soon be in even more crisis, because of its dying vegetation, than Terrestra was at the time of the poison cloud.
One day, however, he meets Kaleem. He is shocked to find that he has a son. He is reconciled with Marijam and she agrees to become permanently attached to him. 


Golden Knowledge

Only elders have access to this. It is the totality of Hidden Information and then some. The Babel Prophecy is Golden Knowledge, for instance. Elders are so naturally wise and have access to so much extra wisdom that they are close to knowing the meaning of life, so normal Terrestrans believe.  

Heads of Service

These are to Terrestra 3500 what ministers are to UK government. They are elected by other members of Council. And will take on a particular role. So, there are Heads of Transport, Science and Education, for example.       

Hidden Information

This is information that is kept from the general public. Heads of Service have access to Hidden Information that pertains to the service they administer. Elders have access to all Hidden Information and also to extra information called Golden Knowledge. For instance, the Head of Transport would have known that in fact a few people did leave the planet, but the Head of Education would not. All elders would know this.
Information is hidden in order to control the population and because a little knowledge can be dangerous. Hidden Information is to Terrestra 3500 what drugs are to earth in the 21st century. Punishments for accessing or attempting to access Hidden Information are severe.
Marijam dabbles in this a little and Kaleem more so. Kaleem also gets involved with Hidden Information Pedlars.   

Hidden Information Pedlars

These are the equivalent of our drug pushers. They live underground. They try to pull others into their world. They are a criminal force. Kaleem has quite a brush with them in The Prophecy.               


As Kaleem is not able to travel to other planets, he spends some time in interactive scenes that are created with sophisticated holograms and extremely clever dataserve programmes. He learns how life on other planets amongst other cultures might be.  


The technology for this is good on Terrestra and even better on Zandra. You can go to the gym in your own home, for instance, by calling up a holoscene. A good holoscene will really make you think that you are there.
You can also project yourself somewhere else in a holoscene.  Razjosh visits Kaleem several times this way.  


Ianus is one of the Z Zoners who finds Marijam and puts her in contact with Narisja. 

Kaleem Malkendy

Also known as the Peace Child, Kaleem Kennedy and Kaleem Bagarin. However, until almost the very end of the book, he is known as Kaleem Malkendy.
We first meet him when he is sixteen years old. He is different from other young people: he is blond and has skin that tans easily at a time when white Terrestrans are pale-skinned and have dark hair, he lives in a cave apartment beneath the surface of Terrestra whilst most other families live on the surface now that the poison cloud has gone, and he has no idea who is father is at a time when family connections are well-documented. He is bullied by some of the young people in his schooling group. 
The elder Razjosh, the current Peace Child, has been watching him and sees his potential as the next Peace Child. There is also a suggestion that he might be the Peace Child who is associated with the Babel Prophecy. His mother, Maria Malkendy, also happens to own a copy of the famous picture book The Tower of Babel, written and illustrated by a well-known 21st century artist, Davina Patterson.
Razjosh provides Kaleem with a better dataserve and starts training him up as the new Peace Child. He also uses hololessons and also visits Kaleem in holoscenes. 
Kaleem becomes ill with the Starlight Racer Fever. This is extremely worrying as there has been no disease on Terrestra for over 200 years. The diastics system cannot cope with this disease, and soon it is widespread, causing several deaths and Maria to go into a coma. Whilst ill, Kaleem begins to dream about the Babel Tower and some strange children with adult faces. He continues having these dreams throughout the novel. 
Kaleem is desperate to find out about his father. Whilst Razjosh is on a Peace Child mission, and whilst all on Terrestra are confined to their homes, Kaleem leaves his apartment and starts looking at some Hidden Information. It brings him no news about his father and he only just manages to get clear of the Hidden Information pedlars.
Razjosh’s mission to get help from Zandra with the Starlight Racer Fever fails. The situation on Terrestra becomes even more desperate. Kaleem has to go and live as a spy on Zandra. All is going well until he gives himself away by mispronouncing a word.
He is put into prison. Prisons on Zandra are quite benign, though his situations is slightly uncomfortable as his is kept in isolation. However, the one human prison guard who visits him from time to time, Charlek Smithin, becomes a friend. 
Whilst in prison, Kaleem is allowed to carry on with some projects. Ironically, it is whilst he is there that he learns more about the role of the Peace Child. He suddenly has a brilliant idea about how he can persuade Terrestrans to trade with Zandrians. He and Charlek establish that Terrestra can swap Starlight Racer Fever vaccine for acorns, which Zandra desperately needs and which are plentiful on Terrestra. This can be done without any fear of spreading disease and without any need for Terrestrans to leave Terrestra.
Kaleem is allowed to discuss his ideas with the experts at the Planation Centre. He goes there with Charlek. He meets Nazaret Bagarin there. Nazaret looks like an older version of Kaleem. They manage to talk. Nazaret aka Gabrizan Taylor is indeed his father.
Kaleem successfully gets the powers that be on both Terrestra and Zandra to accept his ideas. Nazaret and Maria are reconciled. In a voice file, Marijam Kennedy aka Maria Malkendy explains the circumstances of Kaleem’s birth.
Kaleem now feels a little more secure about his identity, though he still worries about his otherness, the burden of being the Peace Child and the aggravating mystery about the Babel Prophecy. These concerns provide the basis for two further stories, Babel and Peace Child.    


(Aunt) Kayla

Kayla is the sister of Louish Kennedy and therefore the aunt of Marijam. She has constantly tried to instil some fashion sense into Marijam – and failed. Marijam still prefers dull grey ripon tunics.    


Lana Gylson

Lana is the line-manager of Tulla Watkins. She knows much about the poison cloud on Terrestra. Kaleem is so taken aback by this that he pronounces a word that Zandra and Terrestra share the Terrestran way. Shortly after that, Kaleem is arrested and is charged with being a spy.



Lorretta is the android guide who shows Kaleem around during his hololesson on Tarantet. 


Laguna Bar

This is found deep within the cave system. However, it has a skylight that connects to the surface through a system of mirrors, a little like a periscope. It is such an iconic meeting place that it stays open even after the poison cloud has shifted.
Marijam and Gabrizan met in this bar the night the poison cloud lifted. 


London Harbour

This is the biggest town in the A Zone (see Normal Zones). Most Heads of Services and even most ordinary Council Members opt to live here as they can more easily get to the meets, even though most of the time, of course, they work form home. 
It has the name “harbour” because in the days when Terrestrans still travelled, most of the spaceships, including the big supercraft departed from here.        


Louish Kennedy

Louish is the permanent attachment of Frazier Kennedy and mother of Marijam. She is full of fun and very glamorous. She stops Frazier from taking life too seriously and is a good contrast to her rather serious daughter.   

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

More of my Glossary from Babel

Danielle Thomas

Danielle is the very young Head of Science. (See Heads of Service). She discovers that the disease that hits Terrestra is a mutation of the old Starlight Racer Fever. She accompanies Razjosh on the failed mission to Zandra.
She is very serious, and terrified of space travel.      



A dataserve in 3500 is to Terrestra what a computer is to 21st century Earth. It is, of course, much more sophisticated and interacts with other systems. It is voice controlled and there is rarely any Wordext on them.
When Kaleem gets a new one he is able to set its voice to sound like his own.
On Zandra the dataserves are so clever that they seem to be able to read their owners’ minds.  

Davina Patterson

Davina Patterson was a talented artist who produced several books in the 21st Century. Most of them were picture books about Bible stories, and myths and legends from ancient Terrestran cultures. Her books are characterised by their rich illustrations containing many shades of blue, silver and gold. The books became collectors’ items. By 3500 most of them have disappeared.    

Detran Malthus

This is the alias that Kaleem uses on Zandra.



Every Terrestran household is fitted with a diastics system. Terrestrans monitor themselves on it at least every other day. They simply touch a control pad and the system is able to detect if there is any threat of illness or disease in the body. It then administers a drink that rectifies any potential problem.
An alarm sounds if someone fails to monitor themselves or if the system cannot cope with the problems.
Kaleem manages to make the alarm sound several times.
However, the system works so well that there is a real danger of overpopulation – especially as Terrestrans refuse to communicate with others. Therefore, switch-off has been brought in. 



Elders are elected to the Counsel and are the supreme form of government. They have the power to veto what Heads of Service decide, though they usually just rubber stamp these decisions. They are generally men and women of over 65. Often, they have had a long career as a Head of Service.
The voting system is ritualistic, a little like the way we elect the Pope. Only Heads of Service and other elders may vote for an Elder. The one exception is the Peace Child elder who may only be selected by the current Peace Child. This is because the position is onerous and requires a long apprenticeship.
Elders have access to both Hidden Information and Golden Knowledge.


Erik Svenson

Erik is a close friend of Stuart Davidson. They both bully Kaleem because he looks different. 


These are the ruling forces on Zandra. A Zandrian executive has more power than a Terrestran Head of Service, but less power than a Terrestran Elder. They are a little like ministers in our own government. Unlike on Terrestra, or even in our own world, there is no Upper House like our House of Lords or the Counsel of Elders on Terrestra.  Zandra also has ordinary members of its parliament, so executives are a little like our ministers.
They often have quite quirky areas of responsibility e.g. Marek Ransen is the Executive for Language and Story.

Executive Palace

This is where all the Zandrian Executives have their high-level meetings, celebrations and formal occasions. They do not live there as Terrestran elders live and work at the Citadel.    


Although more widely learnt than Wordtext, Figurescript is not understood by most humans. Scientists and mathematicians learn it. It is the language of maths, including the symbols that we know. Most intelligent beings understand mathematics in a visual way – e.g. fractions look like slices of cake.


Frank is one of the Z Zoners who finds Marijam and puts her in contact with Narisja.

Frazier Kennedy

Frazier Kennedy is the charismatic Head of Education. (See Heads of Service). He has a great sense of humour though is not to be trifled with; he expects the best of everybody, including his family. However, he really cares for everyone around him. He is an excellent public speaker and very conscientious about his job.
He is angry when Gabrizan disappears and devastated when his daughter Marijam also leaves a short time later. Nevertheless, he continues to be a good Head of Education.    
He is naturally delighted to welcome Kaleem back to Terrestra, both as his grandson and as the Peace Child. He and Louish are also overjoyed to be reconciled with Marijam.   

Frega juice

This is the alcoholic drink available on Zandra. Kaleem finds it much more enjoyable than Terrestra’s nectar. Both drinks are sometimes made stronger or weaker by the authorities.