I was at ApolloCon recently, and because I had tried to book the hotel at the last minute, I ended up in the hotel across the street where I ended up in the middle of a very different kind of convention. It was a reunion for people who immigrated to the United States from a particular village in India. I got the impression that this wasn’t something they did every year but that it was not the first such reunion either.
There were probably 300-400 villagers at the reunion, and I have to say it had a great vibe. It was like being at a giant family reunion where everyone had grown up in the same neighborhood. When we arrived on Friday, everyone was pretty casual, but most everyone – the younger generation especially – were all in the same colored t-shirts, printed up specifically for the event. Then on Saturday and Sunday, we were treated to all their finery from back home, and with the various things scheduled, they must have gone through three of four wardrobe changes each. Not even the Klingons and Star Trek miniskirts across the street could hold a candle to these folks.
So it got me thinking about the sci-fi equivalent of such a thing, and it kind of blows my mind, especially when I run the numbers. Villages in India range from perhaps 500 to 10-15,000 people, but India has a population of 1.2 billion people. I had thought at first that the sci-fi equivalent would be like having a reunion of all the Texans living on Latera. But if you scale the village size up the appropriate amount to make it the same percentage of the Earth’s entire population, it’s not a state. It’s a town of 30-50,000. It’s not Texas. It’s Pflugerville, a small suburb of Austin, Texas. So it would be like pfour hundred Pflugerville pfarmers getting together at hotel in downtown Stonefall pfor a pfestival, and I think that would be pfreaking pfantastic!
Trust me, if you lived near Pflugerville, you’d think it was pfunny.
But more than that, I think it would add some great color to your colony worlds. The only challenge to it is the large range of places our villagers could go in the great human diaspora. The villagers I ran into only had a world population six times bigger to blend into, and the US represents about four percent of that. If you include all the children of the old Republic in my sci-fi universe, there are well over a thousand worlds for our villagers to head off to.
But they might still end up clustering together. After all, if ever get to emigrate, I’d be tempted to go to the place where my brother-in-law manages the spoo smokehouse. Of course, by the time I’d have that option, I probably wouldn’t even be on Earth. My hypothetical self would be few dozen generations down the line living on some far-flung colony already. So while Stonefall might never get a huge influx of pfolk pfrom Pflugerville, it would still likely have a section down south by the docks known to the locals as Rigeltown.