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Interlude: News and Novels in Reiassan


October 5, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

There are several newspapers in circulation throughout Reiassan. The most well-known and widely-circulated, the Empire’s Paper, comes out of Lannamer, from the Emperor’s own press, and covers primarily nation-wide events.  It is printed weekly and delivered to all corners of the land.

Most everyday people, however, get their news from the local temples.  Although the Bitrani tend to find this sacrilegious, the Calenyena use their temples as a sort of community meeting space, including a board for bulletins and notices, informing the local priests of important events, and spending the hottest part of the day in the cool shade of the temple gardens, discussing news –  including, of course, the Lannamer paper.

There are a few trade magazines in circulation as well, often started by the older students in one of the academies as a project and then moved off-campus as the students move on to careers.  These magazines not only cover interesting innovations in the trade – new welding techniques, a new way to process the linen-like fiber used for most underclothes  – but also gossip from others in the field and some generic news.  The news in the trade magazines is, of course, biased, but it also often more honest than that coming from the Empire’s Paper, and has more interesting tidbits that don’t make any of the weekly newspapers.

Both the trade magazines and the weeklies include some serialized fiction; writing fiction is not the most high-status of skilled trades, but it does attract its proponents.

Novels are still rare, but they do exist, although most novelists begin by writing serialized fiction. Other variations of recreational reading exist, such as more gossipy news magazines that have little of any substance and art publications, which include short stories, comics, and humorous articles.

None of these are particularly cheap at this point in time and so many people, especially unskilled trades, rely on their temple boards and nothing else.


  1. Mark Mandel says:

    Nice. Obviously useful for writing or prompting demifiction. Also adds enlightenment re literature, and Bitrani attitudes.

  2. AVR says:

    What, no worthless, gossipy rags? These were among the most widely read newspapers in any period corresponding to steampunk in our world.

    • Lyn Thorne-Alder says:

      Feel free to spec out something like that! Obviously in <500 words, I won't have covered everything written on the continent.

    • thnidu says:

      You rang?

      From “The Mistake of the Machine”, one of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories, first published in 1914 or earlier:

      It happened nearly twenty years before, when he was chaplain to his co-religionists in a prison in Chicago […]

      The official selected from the papers a scrap of newspaper cutting, which he handed across to the cleric, who read it gravely. It appeared to be an extract from one of the pinkest of American Society papers, and ran as follows:

      `Society’s brightest widower is once more on the Freak Dinner stunt. All our exclusive citizens will recall the Perambulator Parade Dinner, in which Last-Trick Todd, at his palatial home at Pilgrim’s Pond, cased so many of our prominent /débutantes/ to look even younger than their years. Equally elegant and more miscellaneous and large-hearted in social outlook was Last-Trick’s show the year previous, the popular Cannibal Crush Lunch, at which the confections handed round were sarcastically moulded in the forms of human arms and legs, and during which more than one of our gayest mental gymnasts was heard offering to eat his partner. […]´

  3. thnidu says:

    A sudden pointless, oddball thought about a name I keep stumbling over, Enerenarie:
    N R N R E A

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