The latest Theonosis novel is the zombie-horror Agape and Aghast, by Conrad Baines Talbot. (Amazon - Smashwords - Lulu (physical copy))


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Why should you contribute to Theonosis? Why should I use the Open Setting License?

Theonosis is a fantasy universe that anyone can participate in. It is infinitely customizable, so you can use it to host any creative work set in a generally "fantasy" universe. There are two experimental role-playing games designed just for use in Theonosis - Collabor and Collective, in both of which you play a god, and strive against other players for more worshipers as you fill in the world with detail and color. The more fully and interestingly you detail your ideas, through direct descriptions, or through stories, songs or poems, the more your god will gain followers.

  1. Theonosis is released under the Open Setting License, which offers a better alternative to proprietary settings, by offering you the freedom to expand and collaborate on other people's creative works, while maintaining the rights to your own work.
  2. The Open Setting License encourages the free flow of ideas. Fiction can be a powerful medium of communication, and can express important truths about the real world. By contributing your ideas about a free fictional world, you are contributing to an experimental, free-form and creative discussion about the real world that is open to everyone.
  3. Contributing your work to a group story-telling experience can help encourage you to meet writing goals and garner criticism about your work.
  4. Writing a good book, or recording a good song, is only part of the road to success. After your work is created, you will need to sell it. By placing your work within an Open Setting, you will be in a unique opportunity to attract interest in your work through other contributors to the setting. Anything that might make your own book or song more likely to find an audience, even by a small amount, could set you over the edge in the competition to get a record deal or publishing contract.
  5. Theonosis is capable of hosting virtually any story set in a fantasy setting, in any format or style, and with almost any plot. If you want to write a fantasy story, you can set it in Theonosis and publish it in another work. The more people who are interested in your work on this website, the more people that might be interested in your work in your own books, films, songs or websites. For more information on how to make any fantasy story fit into the world of Theonosis, see Authorship.
  6. Open Settings can be seen as a type of cooperative enterprise. Open Settings allows people to share their intellectual property, pooling this resource to create a communal project. Everyone who participates in the Open Setting owns a piece of it, and anyone who wants to can join in. This could be seen as similar in scope to a grocery co-op or credit union - anyone can join, pooling their buying power to obtain better deals on food or financial planning and investment.
  • But won't people steal my characters and setting ideas? If by "steal", you mean "use in their own works", then yes, possibly. If you participate in an Open Setting, you are giving up your right to control the characters and other setting elements in your work. People could, in theory, use your ideas to write something you object to. If you really don't want this to happen, you can't participate. However, if you want to succeed as an author, musician, film-maker or other creative professional, a person using your ideas in their own work is a potentially tremendous boost to your own career - the Open Setting License preserves attribution, so nobody could literally deny you credit. Any success that goes to work that uses your ideas will result in more people coming to explore other creative works in the same universe, and your own creative works will be in a unique position to profit off this newfound interest because they will be directly relevant to the successful work. In short, yes, people may "steal your ideas", which may well be the greatest possible result. We should all be so lucky as to have so great an audience that people want to "steal" our characters and settings.
  • But won't people use my work in bad ways? Sure, people could write novels using your ideas and they may do a poor job, or they may use your ideas in ways that are offensive to you. This is only likely to happen if your work becomes popular, and if your work is popular, others will be imitating your ideas poorly, and using your ideas in their own work in a manner that offends you - depending on how they do it, they may be breaking the law, but nevertheless, all popular franchises see low-quality imitators and potentially offensive fanfiction. This won't harm your economic position, just like the existence of bad Harry Potter fanfiction did not inhibit sales of J.K. Rowling's books. This means that if you write a book that becomes popular, there will likely be numerous imitators of dubious quality - this is a profoundly good thing for you, because you will have enough name recognition and and a large enough fanbase to capitalize on. If people like your work, they will trust your judgement, and you can find ways to monetize this trust, such as through writing introductions for the books you believe in, or operating a website or small press to promote books that reflect your principles. Bad work will simply be ignored and lost in a sea of similarly bad works.
  • But this isn't a truly copyleft license, is it? Debatably not. Copyleft generally means that people can re-use the work so long as any derivative is released under the same license. With the Open Setting License, you can create derivative works, such as a novel, that are not released under the same license. However, it is important to remember that the Open Setting License only applies to a setting, and the setting of any derivative work must be released under the same license. So, the setting itself is copylefted in all derivatives.
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