"Even if you're not a huge fan of Science Fiction, you'll find a lot to enjoy ... The characters are a joy to read and that first chapter just has to be read. ... full of little surprises and some of the reveals are truly entertaining ... Baker has managed to produce a book as good as, dare I say it, Douglas Adams, and with a really good plot ... it provided me with so much enjoyment. One of the best books I've read in a long time." Phil Jones of SFCrowsnest
It has been suggested that all things enjoy a certain degree of consciousness. Even the fundamental particles that make up ice cream cones or fluffy slippers. This same school of thought says that if you arrange enough of these quasi-sentient little blobs properly you’ll end up with a dung beetle or a palaeontologist or even a central heating engineer. Something conscious but not necessarily possessing a conscience.
It’s a question of complexity, it seems. The more complex yet structured an object, the more likely it is to make that incomprehensible transition from just being a blob to being a sentient being. What the benefits are is a question that still haunts many. Consciousness definitely drags with it a lot of excess baggage. Fear, greed, lust, envy, ceramic quadrupeds ... to slap labels on just a few of those bags.
Planets would seem to be pretty good candidates for your everyday conscious entity. They are well structured but extremely complicated objects. The individual bits and bobs of an average sized planet run into billions and billions. If complication were a prerequisite for consciousness, then your average planet would easily fit the bill.
However, as no evidence has been presented to the contrary, it must be assumed that Jupe, a gigantic, orange, gaseous world swinging lazily round a medium sized, yellow sun, is happily oblivious to the appallingly indifferent void in which it exists.
Likewise, Jupe’s two moons, Edenia and Horridoa, are sadly unconscious of the magnificence of their parent planet. They can never appreciate the subtly serpentine tangerine bands or the angry brown whorls of storms, thousands of miles in diameter, raging endlessly through the turbulent atmosphere.
A shame really.
Forgoing its indifference momentarily, the universe smiled on Edenia making it by far the more attractive of the two moons. Blue and green with lots of wispy white bits. An incandescent jewel of a moon.
Horridoa, on the other hand, must have been a pretty nasty piece of work in a previous existence because Horridoa is brown-grey and ... well ... lumpy. An anaemic walnut of a moon.
Edenia is warm and cuddly and supports an immense variety of life. The most abundant life form on Edenia is a small yellow bean. The pitteth.
The pitteth is so called because when it is squeezed between the thumb and forefinger of the second most abundant life form on Edenia the pitteth goes “pitteth”.
Horridoa alternates between extremes of heat and blinding light, and cold and deepest darkness. The most abundant life form on Horridoa is a tall, hardy, razor edged grass called chawoo. The second most abundant life form on Horridoa couldn’t remember why chawoo had this name. But somehow it suited it.