Gibson City

Pioneers Landing National Park – A District of Gibson City

Size: 72 square kilometers (12 x 6 km)

Population: None (Officially)

Also colloquially known as “The Park” or “City Park”, Pioneers Landing is the site of the first settlement on Gibson, and the landing site of the colony ships “Liberty”, “Equality”, “Justice”, and “Prosperity”. After the initial settlement was established, construction of an actual city – today’s Gibson City – began nearby. Colonists were soon moved into permanent housing, and most of the first settlement was torn down.

The area of the park was scheduled for development, but a wave of nostalgia and unexpected colonial patriotism led to the introduction of a bill to designate the area as the first National Park of the planet in the year 35. As the planet offered enough unclaimed land for centuries to come, the main contention was financing the park’s maintenance, and Pioneers Landing was left as-is to reduce cost.

The park was remodeled for the 50th anniversary of humanity’s arrival on Gibson, and used for the first modern Prosperity Day celebration the same year.

Since then, Pioneers Landing went through alternating phases of neglect and restoration and modernization; usually, it receives a lot of attention for “benchmark” holidays, every 25 years. The current administration, under President Adams, has committed enough funds to keep the park in “the beautiful condition it is today; safe, clean, and enjoyable for generations to come”.

Visitors are asked to be vigilant about pickpockets and other petty criminals.

Known For:

  • Picturesque natural park, carefully restored to pristine, natural conditions while being a good representation of various terrain encountered by our Pioneer first generation settlers, and allowing easy access to all citizens. Mountainous terrain, forests, rivers, lakes, are all available within the confines of our great city.
  • Various attractions, works of art, gardens, bridges, and monuments.
  • Outdoor activities, including kayaking, kite-flying, hiking, picnics, and others. (Equipment and food available on premises.)
  • Annual Prosperity Day celebration and parades.
  • Squatter camps. These usually spring up in areas hidden from view, and the authorities will cleared them out promptly. If you encounter an illegal camp, please exercise caution and contact the park wardens’ office.

Distinguishing Features:

  • Pioneers Museum, which documents and celebrates the colonial history of Gibson, and the achievements of first generation colonists. A permanent special exhibition is dedicated to the first settlers. The museum features genuine Pioneer and Old Earth artifacts, a reconstruction of a colony ship, and a Pioneer settlement built with authentic prefab shelters. It offers guided tours, augmented reality re-enactments, and the opportunity to live “the life of a pioneer” for a day.
  • Reconstruction Pioneer settlement and other artifacts from early Gibson colonial history.
  • Augmented reality guided tours about our history.

Two Local Legends:

  • On dark nights, the ghosts of pioneer colonists that died during the early years following the initial landing haunt the park. They are generally benevolent, and are most likely to show themselves to people in danger or distress, but some are deranged and dangerous.
  • Every year, several people go missing in Pioneers Landing National Park. Of course, there is really no mystery here – the park simply has its natural dangers, like all wilderness areas do. Rumors about more sinister causes for the disappearances are entirely unfounded.

  • First published on Reddit.
  • It’s been a while since I posted about Gibson. Essentially, it’s a colony world in the Perseus Arm, cut off from Earth. The climate is entirely too tropical to be comfortable. More information about Gibson can be found in my post history, or on my Gibson City website.
  • For comparison: Pioneers Landing has an area of 17791 acres. Central Park has an area of 843 acres. South Mountain Park, in Phoenix, Arizona, with 16283 acres, is the modern-day urban park closest in size.
  • The post format follows /u/JoelS90 “Design a District” worldbuilding challenge, which I used for Paradise Shores.
  • From an in-universe perspective, these are probably part of a guidebook to Gibson City.
  • Featured image: “Central Park – New York, NY, USA”, by Giorgio Galeotti. cc-by license.
Gibson City

Gibson City’s Paradise Shores

Size: 250 square kilometers (about 50km north-south and 5km wide)

Population: 1.2 million

Paradise Shores was named after its physical beauty; the beautiful, white sand of its beaches, the sunsets, and the weather. Located in the south-western part of Gibson City, Paradise Shores is cooled by ocean currents and winds alike, giving it less unbearable climate than most of Gibson. It was first claimed in year 21, but was not developed until decades later. As Gibson City grew, Paradise Shores became popular with the new wealthy elite of the city, who sought an escape from the sprawling old city, from increased crime and pollution, but above all from the heat. Within a few years, seafront mansions and inland Skyrise towers were built. Prices skyrocketed until only the richest people on Gibson were able to afford living in Paradise Shores.

Finding employment in Paradise Shores is seen by many as equivalent to winning a lottery ticket.

In the past two decades, the municipal administration of Paradise Shores has attempted to make the district more accessible, if not for homeowners, at least for artists and corporate middle management. It also revived street festivals and introduced subsidies for bars, clubs, and other entertainment venues.

Known for:

  • Extravagant life styles of the locals, bordering on – and often crossing into – decadence.
  • Some of the best, most spectacular, and often non-stop, parties on the planet. If you can get invited.
  • Street festivals, bars, and similar venues. Invitations not required, but beware the prices.
  • Beautiful sunsets and beach life.

Distinguishing features:

  • Agreeable climate.
  • Beautiful, sandy beaches.
  • White, blue, and gold color scheme dominates the district.
  • Mansions and Skyrise towers that are designed to be works of art; no two are alike.

Two Local Legends:

  • It is said that pretty much any desire or vice, no matter how immoral or illegal, is catered for at some party or another. The colonial government looks the other way due to the wealth and influence of those involved.
  • Some of the most extravagant and refined events are rumored to be hosted by the wealthiest, and perhaps most secretive, AI on Gibson, Solomon. His personal Skyrise features wonders ranging from robotic, gold-plated fish floating in the air of the cathedral-like lobby, to a floor-sized physical miniature animated model of a landscape on which the human development from cave-men to modernity happens over the course of an evening. Of course, some people claim that Solomon does not even exist.

  • First published on Reddit, as a response to JoelS90’s “Design a District” challenge.
Gibson City

Prosperity Day

PROSPERITY DAY IS FAST APPROACHING, and this year’s festivities are special indeed. Not only do we mark the 200th anniversary of our colony, of our world; we also celebrate the birth of our one hundred millionth citizen. More after these messages.

Commercial: In an emergency, every minute counts. Lifebeat Medical Services guarantees a response time of just five minutes anywhere in Gibson City. Our Emergency Response Units include trained medical staff as well as state of the art telepresence technology, cryosuspension tanks, and armed security specialists to make sure no obstacle stands between our medical staff and your survival. Lifebeat Medical Services. You Can Trust Us With Your Life.

Commercial: By day, I am a lawyer. – I am an office drone. – I work on the southern district housing project. – I defend criminals. It’s tiring. – I push numbers from one file to the next. Makes my brain hurt. – I command a horde of robots. It’s… not as exciting as it sounds. – But at night, I am a necromancer. I bring villains to justice! – I slay dragons. – I still command robots… to take over the world! Now, that’s exciting. – Void Productions Virtual Reality Entertainment. Your World. Your Reality.

OUR ANCESTORS left Earth during the Great Exodus, a few years after the Stardrive was invented and made manned interstellar expeditions possible. But our ancestors were not just desperate refugees, trying to leave a polluted, chaotic world behind. They were daring, brave explorers. The members of “Colonial Expedition 762” opted not to aim for a safe, near-Earth star system. They decided to aim for the Perseus Arm, a voyage of about seven thousand lightyears. As they entered their cryosleep tanks, none of them knew if they would ever arrive.

Historic Fact: The six ships of “Colonial Expedition 762”, informally dubbed “Perseus Pioneers”, were named “Liberty”, “Equality”, “Justice”, “Freedom”, “Prosperity”, and “Mercy”. The “Mercy” was lost en route, presumably due to an engine failure.

But five of the six colony ships did arrive. The AI coordinating the flotilla, dubbed “Fleet Command”, began a search pattern for a suitable world. It found Gibson and awoke the human crew from cryosleep.

Historic Fact: The biggest challenge Colony Expedition 762 faced was the possibility of equipment failure. Even reliable technology breaks down eventually, and the trip to the Perseus Arm was projected to take over a thousand years. In the end, the ships were equipped with a state-of-the-art AI command infrastructure which used robots and drones to maintain the ships. Every fifty years or so the flotilla would stop at a star, mine what resources were needed, and continued on its journey, all without ever waking a single human.

THE PLANET they had discovered was very much like earth. It was almost the same size and had the same gravity. It was a lot warmer, and 85% of its surface was covered by water. The land surface was mostly covered by lush, dense forests, some steppes, and some deserts. Two tiny moonlets orbited the world. Fleet Command, an avid reader of human literature, had dubbed it Gibson. The human crew agreed with Fleet Command that Gibson was likely the best candidate they would find, and the decision to land was mode.

System Data: Binary (G1V, M2V Distant Companion); 12 Planets and 2 Asteroid Belts.

Gibson Planetary Data: Orbit 1.03 AU from G1V primary. 2 Moonlets. Orbit 375 Days. Rotation 20h. Atmosphere Pressure 0.96, Oxygen-Nitrogen. Avg Temperature 306K. 85% Water.

IN THE EARLY DAYS life on the new world was harsh. Even with their training, most colonists were not well prepared for life on a virgin planet. They lived in prefab houses and slogged through the mud. They cleared forests and established agriculture and built up even the most basic infrastructure. Local predators were unfamiliar with humans, and were thus not afraid of the colonists. Diseases swept through the colony. But the colony grew and prospered. The ships were dismantled for parts, and the original shanty town grew into The City – what we now call Gibson City. The original landing site is preserved as Pioneers’ Landing; the epicenter of Prosperity Day celebration.

Commercial: Visit Pioneers’ Museum, at Pioneers’ Landing! Unrivalled collection of Pioneer and Old Earth artifacts. Genuine reconstruction of colony ship cryo bay and command deck. Watch the original landing via Augmented Reality, or be part of the Pioneers themselves in our VR simulation, courtesy of Void Productions. Or join the historic reenactment of “Life of the Pioneers” – live in authentic prefab shelters like a pioneer!

TODAY our colony has grown to one hundred million citizens. Gibson City’s skyrise complexes glitter in the sun, rivaling Paris, Dubai, Tokyo, New York or any other Old Earth city in size and beauty. Our economy is growing, and everybody lives in comfort, even wealth as people on Old Earth would have defined it. Most people remain in Gibson City, but millions live in the outposts and secondary cities all over the planet. Our affluence allows each and every citizen to receive proper healthcare, education, and a comfortable existence without any pressure to join the workforce.

Gibson is governed by a democratically elected government, with fundamental human rights enshrined in our Charter. President Adams, in his third term, is supported by a cabinet of ministers and an Advisory Council. There is no parliament, issues are debated and voted on electronically by all citizens of Gibson, making ours perhaps the most direct democracy in human history.

Pirate Broadcast: …wonder if they really believe this nonsense. Yeah, we get to vote, but they get to tally the votes, so what can we do about it? If you don’t own any Shares or happen to be one of the Crew, you have no voice. And with the government’s inhumane breeding programs, there are never enough jobs to go around. Growth at any price, a new herd of consumers for a new world. Adams and his cronies never set foot outside their shiny skyrises – it’s easy to ignore blood on the asphalt from three hundred levels up. (connection lost)

…would not have been possible without the sacrifices and hard work of the Pioneers, and ordinary citizens like you.

News Item: The preparations for Prosperity Day were marred today as unknown terrorists attacked several civilian facilities in Gibson City. Speaking as he visited the Henry David Thoreau Highschool to assess the carnage, President Adams vowed to bring those responsible to justice. “There is no place on this planet these barbarians can hide to escape our just retribution!”

Prosperity Day Schedule

0500National Anthem played by the Gibson City Philharmonic Orchestra.
0505Speech by President Adams.
0530“Landing of the Liberty”. Pioneers’ Landing National Park. Augmented Reality landing of the first colony ship. Accompanied by modern interpretation of Old Earth music.
0600Parade of the Pioneers. Marching band of the Gibson City Police Department, Gibson Civil Defense Administration, and local schools.
0800Minute of Silence for First Settlers. Speech by surviving Pioneers and First Generation colonists.
0900Open Air concert begins.
0915Fly-over of Colonial Space and Air Force flying aces.
0930Speech by Chairman of the Advisory Council.
0955Introduction of our 100,000,000th Citizen.
1000Picnic at Pioneers’ Landing opens.
1100Tales of Old Earth contest. Short stories about the Cradle of Mankind. Read by authors.
1300Reading of Colonial Charter by President Adams. Reaffirmation of Presidential Vow. Recitation of Pledge of Allegiance by President, Cabinet members, and Advisory Council.
1500Gibson City Mariners – Heinlein Academy friendly match begins.
1700Fireworks display.
1900End of Festivities.
PROSPERITY DAY SCHEDULE. Please join in person or via VR link.

This is my first draft for Gibson, a colony world cut off from contact with the rest of humankind. There are a bunch of assumptions I tried to put into this in-universe piece without spelling them out explicitly.