Void Engineers: Void U

The following is a sidebar that was going to be in chapter 2 of Convention Book: Void Engineers, but was cut for space[1] — one of the many cuts that were made to bring the book from nearly 60K words to somewhere around 52K[2].

This was written by the awesome Jeremy Tidwell, who wrote the Methodology chapters of N.W.O., Progenitors, and Void Engineers, as well as spots here and there (including some of Threat Null). Note that this text was cut prior to editing and redevelopment, so it’s “as-is.” It’s not only posted with his permission, but he said he would yell at me if I left didn’t put it up somewhere.

Void U

There are currently a dozen colleges that comprise the “Void Engineer University.” The four most prestigious are:

The Tian’men Taikonaut Training Academy, Shanghai, China

This college, nestled between two technical wings at Shanghai’s oldest and most august educational institute, Jiao Tong University, is currently the largest instructional program for the Border Corps Division and the Pan Dimensional Corps. It’s massive Universal Simulation Tanks (made possible by clever Dimensional Science Procedures) give both Methodologies first-hand experience dealing with the rigors and dangers involved in excursions to the Near and Deep Universe.

The Marine Research Centre, Perth, Australia

This college is staffed and funded by the Earth Frontier Division. Its program stresses solid foundations in both marine science and undersea survival training. Currently, it boasts seven fully functional submersible vehicles and four large research habitat Constructs, housing and training two hundred Cadets per semester.

The Atrocity Archive Nexus, São Paulo, Brazil

The Neutralization Specialist Corps maintains a large information hub in downtown São Paulo, Brazil. It is hooked into information feeds coming from the NWO, mundane news outlets, and government sources from around the globe. Hundreds of Void Engineers sift through the data constantly looking for one thing; emerging information on atrocities around the world. The dead always filter out of such sites, and the NSC keeps tabs on new ones, as well as extensive archives on older ones. Their primary training academy is located here, so that they can filter new Cadets through a crash course/residency program.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, La Cañada Flintridge, California, USA

This advanced space and aeronautic research facility, perhaps the most famous in all the world, has a large Research & Executions Construct woven inside of it. They woo some of the best minds from JPL’s brain trust of students and researchers with the promise of “learning how the real science is done.” Access to a massive power grid, sprawling laboratory space, and hot and cold running government contracts is just gravy.


I hope you enjoyed that little snip! I have a couple more files of stuff we cut that might be worth posting up over the next few days. (Fun fact: it was either to cut this or to cut the medals of honor section. They were two massive boxed text bits in a part of the book that just had room for one.)

– Ryan

[1] Pun not intended, but totally kept.

[2] Before you think that means there’s 8K in content, a lot of that was me trimming fat — flavorful fat, sure — and making the book leaner. I preserved the big chunks of whole meat I had to cut.


3 Responses to Void Engineers: Void U

  1. Torakhan says:

    I’m still confused as to why if the text was already written, and going to be put into a Print-on-Demand book, or PDF, why 3 or 4 pages of extra content has to be cut these days. Simply adding another $1 to a book to include the creator’s content just seems like a no-brainer, especially for fans who want the book. I can’t really imagine many folks would say “Oh, ‘N.W.O.’ was $24, and ‘Void Engineers’ is $25, so I won’t get it because it’s $5 more with more pages.”

    Was there some other reason behind cutting already-written material from the book, other than some (what I’d have to assume is an out-dated) concept of word count = standardized book price/size? Was it a contract issue with writers that is set in stone and a line they’re not able to cross? It just baffles me.

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      This is a business. Writers, developers, and editors are contracted for word counts. As it is, the book I delivered was around 10% bigger before editing than projected.

      Resources aren’t just about page count. They’re about timelines and pre-publication resources.

      It just baffles me.

      It does to most people who haven’t worked in publishing. :)

      – Ryan

  2. DannyK says:

    I like the shout-out to Charles Stross in the Atrocity Archives. I wish we had more info about the Universal Simulation Tanks, though, they sound very cool, like the X-men’s danger room.