Tag Archives: The People’s Order

Let’s Talk Sci-Fi Western

So I’ve been posting updates for the past few months about my upcoming sci-fi western, “The People’s Order.” I’m completely astounded by how many positive reactions I’ve received–and this is with nobody really knowing what the story is about.


I’ve gotten a lot of comments like, “Have you heard of Firefly?” OR “Have you heard of Westworld?”


The answer is: ABSOLUTELY! YES! But my story is nothing like Firefly or Westworld. Sorry if that’s disappointing to you.


Here are the similarities between those two shows and my book:

1. They take place in the future.

2. They have western motifs.

***End of similarities.


I have no intention of piggy-backing on the fame of those amazing shows. They are awesome and I don’t dare hold myself up to the same standard as them at all. I write science fiction and I’ve always enjoyed blending other genres into my stories.


So if you’re interested in hearing more about the influences that have effected the development of “The People’s Order,” I will lay them before you in the rest of this post. But if you feel tricked because it’s nothing like Firefly or Westworld, well then I’m really not sure how to console you. Sorry for the disappointment, I guess…


Anyways, the absolute first thought that began this story was wondering what a futuristic anarchist society might look like. I still wanted all the cool technology stuff that comes with being a sci-fi story, but without the all-powerful tyrant figure taking over the world.


After a bit of research into anarchy, I remembered learning about the Articles of Confederation back in high school. The British colonies had suffered under the king’s rule for generations. And then when they won the Revolutionary War, the colonists wanted to make sure that their new government didn’t have that much power over the people. So they heavily limited what the various branches were allowed to do. Although they had good intentions, the government was so severely limited that it couldn’t function at all.


I did a little more research about what it was like living under the Articles of Confederation. I’m by no means an expert, but I used some of what I read to build and establish the basic culture in “The People’s Order.”


This was when I decided to add western motifs. I wanted the story to take place a few years after the tyrant/emperor/ruler was displaced. But then the new way of doing things was way more ineffective than when there was one all-powerful person making every big decision. I thought that the technology wouldn’t be as good and that there would be a time of decay and regression. There would still be some advanced technology, but I imagined that many people who knew how to make the technology died in the revolution.


That brings me to the next piece of the story: highly-weaponized militant robots. But, again, I tried very hard not to just re-hash someone else’s story. I didn’t want Terminator robots or Star Wars droids or Futurama bots. I’m hoping that they way I portray them is unique enough to feel like I’m not copying any other sci-fi author who has robots. We’ll see. Please let me know once you’ve read “The People’s Order” if I’ve accidentally re-hashed someone else’s ideas of using mechanical beings.


The last element I will leave you with is: mercenaries that have developed a form of dissociative identity disorder as a result of their intensive conditioning and training. They each have their own unique armor and abilities. I really hope they don’t just seem like a bunch of Iron Men.


Sadly that is it for now. I am currently working on flashbacks for each POV character. I feel like the night the emperor-like character is killed really needs to be written in order to flesh out the background of the characters as well as add depth to the conflict. The flashbacks are going to take me awhile to finish and weave into the rest of the manuscript. But I’m hoping to finish and release “The People’s Order” sometime by the end of 2018.


Thank you for your patience! If you have any questions, please leave me a comment. If I get enough of them, I’ll put them together into a Q & A post.


–Amy Engle