Dearest Gentle Reader, here’s all blog posts and research I did for the Tinkered Starsong books. There was a lot of background work for this series, so I hope you enjoy all the behind the scenes insight.
Tinkered Starsong DVD Extras!
- Pronunciation Guide for the Tinkered Starsong Books + Alien Linguistics (no, literally)
- I have lots of pins and other fun stuff related to this universe, series, and the individual Starsong books on the Tinkered Stars Pinterest board here (includes Crudrat & 5th Gender). You can see there is a sub board for each book.
- The Kpop series of blog posts
- 10 Great Kpop Singers & Why They’re Inspiring – which characters are informed by which singers IRL? Includes the Divine Kpop Playlist (BTS, GOT7, BTOB)
- 10 Songs Behind the Tinkered Starsong Series – the specific music that informed these books plus playlists and more!
- My 90 Year Old Dad Likes Kpop & This Says Something About Living Long & Joyfully
Behind the Science & Magic – Researching the Future
A long time ago now, Gentle Reader, when I was typing away at the second chapter of what would become Divinity 36 I was asked about my current work in progress.
This is what I said about it at the time:
So with these things in mind, here’s a chronicle of some of the research I did for this series… (SPOILER ALERT, all research by its nature contains spoilers, so it’s better to read this AFTER you read the trilogy. Unless you like spoilers, of course.)
Aliens with skin that color-morphs to music
While I couldn’t directly investigate this (because, you know the aliens are my own invention and don’t actually exist) I did look into stuff in conjunction with processing of one sense perception as another.
- The language of colors
- Color meets motion interfaces as media art installations (of the kind portrayed in Color Rush)
- Similarly, permanent museum sensory experiences like those at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA
- Male to female reproduction ratios in humans, in the past, high status individuals, and in bird breeding (chicken, duck, goose). (believe me it jives with the subject)
- Gender throughout lifespans (I encountered this AFTER I finished writing the whole series but it’s oddly prescient to one of the core concepts of book 2)
Entertainment industry taking over the galaxy
Again, obviously, different from life right now, but I do feel like Kpop is kind of taking over the music industry while K-dramas carve out market share from Hollywood live action (much as anime did from Disney decades ago). So I got absorbed into various new fandoms, training systems, beauty standards, reality survival shows, and more.
- All In The Mind podcast: Hacking humans – social engineering and the power of influence
- Freakonomics Radio podcast: 521. I’m Your Biggest Fan! – unsurprisingly mostly about sports teams since that’s where the research is focused, but a lot of the conclusions can be applied to something like Kpop fandoms or Harry Potter houses or personality tests
- Alie Ward’s Ologies podcast – Fanthropology (FANDOM) with Meredith Levine
- Hallyu or The Korean Wave (한류) – a cultural phenomenon in which the global popularity of South Korean popular culture has dramatically risen since the 1990s. (Goes the other way too, though: TikTok’s expansion into South Korea via Kpop)
- Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast – BTS & More: A Guide To K-Pop
- Watched a couple reality TV style contests built around Kpop: like Kingdom Legendary Wars & I-land and later Peak Time & Boys Planet & Queendom Puzzle for insight into how creation (dance, song) and practices are as well as character motivation (why do these kids want to be famous?)
- I talk about band of brothers as a trope (as well as found family – sports teams, military, capers, rockstars), group art euphoria as a religious experience, and more with Dan & Kitty of the Everyday Novelist on this episode: Nanogang Bangs On: Day 10 – Feedback on Sports
- Watched Imitation and a few other Kdramas featuring Kpop behind the scenes from S Korea
- Here’s a playlist featuring songs key to the evolution of Kpop as a musical genre (and here it is on Spotify) I’m linking YouTube and the music videos and not just the music itself because the art form has such important visual elements.
- This Unwoman interview (YouTube) talks music, mixing, solo production, and more. Unwoman is a friend whose cello (Stephanie) and I have shared a room on multiple occasions as, indeed have she and I on one very memorable travel whammy.
- Art as an instrument of political resistance and peace: Orange Alternative and the podcast from 99% Invisible where I learned about this.
- BTS leader RM Appointed As Public Relations Ambassador for the Ministry of National Defense – Kpop & soft power in action
- Here’s my Tinkered Starsong playlist for all three books in the series. Sometimes I chose the song for the sound and feel, sometimes the visual elements, sometimes the lyrics. You can guess which with each chapter if you like.
Refugee recruited to the cause
Through accident of a Crudrat connection (previous book set in this part of the Tinkered Stars galaxy) the main character of Divinity 36 is a refugee.
- For galactic bureaucracy reasons I needed to know how refugees were classified and treated here on Earth, so I found this article on Different Types of Refugees: Why They Flee.
- Since stateless doesn’t work on a galactic level I had to invent a new term. You’ll have to read Divinity 36 to learn what I came up with.
- Yes Phex’s running and associated tricks/abilities are an adapted version of parkour. I used parkour videos and information sites when writing Crudrat (a decade ago), and since Phex also started out as a crudrat I gave him a similar skill set to Maura.
- Up First: “Mo” for Mohammed podcast interview.
- Hidden Brain podcast: Watch Your Mouth – How language shapes our perspective on life.
- All In The Mind podcast: The dark side of fame and what it does to the brain
- Dunbar’s Number and the cognitive capacity for intimacy in relationships.
- What Is a Bildungsroman? (Definition, History & 6 Examples)
1890s Aesthetic Movement
- Human genetic code (as opposed to hominin and alien) – my aliens are genetically different enough from humans because of somaform (planetfall human genome terraformed to adapt to alternate worlds and environments) that they are no longer procreativity compatible with homo sapiens and considered a different species.
Connections between beauty, love, fanaticism, & obsession
- Social identity theory – “Social identity is the portion of a person’s self-concept that is derived from their perceived membership in a relevant social group (e.g., political party, sports team, music group fandom) and is motivated by both a need to self-enhance and reduce feelings of uncertainty (Hogg, 2006, 2007, 2012).” ~ Jessica Tomory for The Inquisitive Mind (source)
- Imaginary friends and real-world consequences: parasocial relationships (YouTube video)
- The Retrospectors – Today In History podcast: A Deadly Day At The Races – Half of Constantinople burns due to chariot hooligans. Byzantine Empire in crisis because of sports fanatics. “Chariot racing was a dangerous and violent sport at the best of times, but on 13th January, 532, a hooligan-led protest at the Hippodrome of Constantinople – known as ‘the Nika rebellion’ – ultimately lead to over 30,000 deaths and the destruction of half the City.”
- No Stupid Questions podcast: 41 – Why Are We So Attracted to Fame?
- Before Beatlemania, There Was Lisztomania (YouTube video)
- Are you “fan” enough? The role of identity in media fandoms
- Tinhat fandom (assessed concepts like: dissociative, skinship, RPF fanfic)
- Toxic fandom and threats to identity (possessiveness, entitlement, and a feeling of superiority)
- Parasocial reliance by Tamar Herman
- All In The Mind podcast – Screaming fans & overzealous stans
- Celebrities murdered by their own fans (the murderers are mostly male and use guns)
- Sasaeng Fans (mostly female age 13-22) & The WORST Things Sasaengs Ever Sent To Idols (YouTube) & Craziest Things Sasaengs Do To Kpop Idols (YouTube)
- The Future of K-Pop Scares Me
- 3 (Korean American) Kpop idols talk about Fandom Slang & Fan Culture in Kpop (both YouTube)
- K-pop Idol Jo Kwon – Drag Queen, Body Builder & everything in between
- Choiceology podcast: Fan Fictions – How can feeling connected to someone who is essentially a stranger impact your decision-making?
- Parasocial relationships in East Asia: A look into obsession (YouTube)
- Authors & Parasocial Relationships
Funniest typo of the series? (Dome 6)
“much as he too was a refugee and an excel like Phex, that he still had tethers to his home”
“much as he too was a refugee and an exile like Phex, that he still had tethers to his home”
Comment from Beta: I’m amused to think of Phex as an excel spreadsheet now!
Me too. Me too.
Behind the Scenes – Journey to Publication & Release
- Official announcement & cover reveal: Gail has a new book! Divinity 36 What does the cover art remind you of?
- Divinity 36: Blurb & Pitch & Your Questions Answered
- Sample That Tasty Book! Divinity 36 whole first chapter.
- Release day announcement and special extras: Divinity 36 & New Sci-fi Series from Gail Carriger!
- From Afar: New LGBTQ+ science fiction releases (Divinity 36 is the first on this list!)
- Demigod 12 Cover Art Discussion – what’s important about the 2nd book cover in a series?
- In which Miss Gail Invents a Tea! Deep Blue Abyss AKA Space Oolong
- In the launch video Q&A for Dome 6
YouTube & Spotify Playlists
I have quite a few playlists relating to the Tinkered Starsong series
- Here’s a specifically designed playlist for the Tinkered Starsong trilogy on YouTube
- Here’s a massive playlist of Kpop songs that I found particularly interesting on YouTube for some reason or another, and here it is on Spotify
- Here’s a playlist of Tinkered Stars research
More Special Extras for Tinkered Starsong!
I invented a tea to go with Divinity 36! Divini-tea – heh heh
Seep for 3 minutes. The butterfly pea turns it bright blue (and, to my pallet, doesn’t seem to affect flavor that much). This will match the cover of Divinity 36 perfectly and feels very scifi.
Adding milk will not change the color, but adding lemon will turn it purple, and it will match the cover of Demigod 12.
(I used this teapot.)
I talk all about the tea process, invention, working with them, and things you can do with this tea here: Miss Gail Invents a Tea! Deep Blue Abyss AKA Space Oolong
Yours (destined to be killed researching something questionable),
Find my books
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BOOK DE JOUR!
Divinity 36: Tinkered Starsong Book 1
The aliens are coming for us and they want our voices.
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger brings you a gloriously warm and unique scifi about the power of art, celebrity, and found family.
Gail’s Daily Tea Party
Tisane of Nifty
This is a favorite purse of mine, I just got it online from a random internet vendor. I took a risk because I loved it so much.
The mum’s cute kitten Dips, author in training?
The last book in the TInkered STarsong series finds its home on The Shelf of Achievement
Fun Quotes From These Books
I chat about interesting bits of research and things I have learned, found interesting and made me happy every month in my newsletter the Chirrup. If you want more stuff from me like this, but bite sized. Sign up here:DEMIGOD 12, DIVINITY 36, DOME 6