East of the Sun

Welcome to East of the Sun, my new world-building project, set on the tidally locked world of Bifrons.

Bifrons is a planet roughly the size of Earth, in a close orbit of its sun, Usil, a red dwarf star. Because of its close orbit, it is tidally-locked – one hemisphere perpetually faces the sun, the other faces away. But due to a slight orbital wobble, a small band experiences a day-night cycle that lasts the equivalent of 60 days of Earth.  While Bifrons’ thick atmosphere helps distribute heat and moisture between the hemispheres to some extent, this is a planet of two very different characters.

The Dayside: This hemisphere of Bifrons faces its sun constantly, and is bathed in perpetual light and heat. Bifrons hosts a wide variety of plant and animal life, including several species of human and near-humans.  Civilization has spread over many lands on the Dayside, especially in the more temperate lands on the border with the Nightside. The central areas of the Dayside are too hostile for life. At world’s center, the Maelstrom – a permanent storm system – ravages the land with scalding rains and violent winds.

The Nightside: This hemisphere of Bifrons faces away from the sun, and is covered by frozen oceans and a terrestrial ice sheet ten miles thick. Nothing can live here, save around the geothermal vents where the tidal stresses of Bifrons’ sun wrench the planet’s crust open.  Thus, oases of life thrive in the darkness, separated from each other by thousands of miles. The Nightside has often been viewed as a literal hell on earth for the inhabitants of Bifrons, and it is a common belief that men who cannot see the sun have no souls. Only one known civilization has been to find a foothold in this frozen wasteland: the small but fearsome Kingdom of Night, founded the descendants of traitors and bandits who took refuge around one of the volcanic rifts.

More to come soon, including regional maps, fact files, and fiction. I am currently working on a novel East of the Sun, which follows a bloodfeud between two great realms, one facing the Day, the other the Night.