Spontoon Island

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Spontoon Island is a shared universe which was created by Ken Fletcher. It exists in fanzine form (up to eleven issues as of 2008), and on the more updated website.

Contents

[edit] Setting

It takes place on an alternative Earth, where the Pacific Ocean is broken up by an unusually large amount of islands. The theme is “1930’s South Sea Island” and/or “Seaplane Adventures” and the majority of the stories take place in and around Spontoon Island located in the Spontoon Island Archipelago, in the northern Pacific.

Contributors are encouraged to use the public domain setting to create their own stories or artwork.

[edit] Back-story

The Spontoon Island Atoll is actually the rim of the caldera of a huge volcano that blew its top hundreds of years ago. In 1859, it was colonized by the British, who within the next five years began importing plantation workers from mostly countries around the Pacific.

The colony proved to be profitable only in the short-term, but by 1880, unusual crop failures accompanied by the uncertainties of shipping led to its collapse. The British began to abandon the Spontoons, leaving behind the indentured workers, who by around this time, were quite at home on the atoll and began referring to themselves as “natives”.

The natives were very aware of worldly politics, and expected that there would be some sort of war for territories and such among the various small islands when the “Euros” eventually come back. Spontoon Island declared independence in 1895, and the newly formed government looked for ways for their infant country to survive in the world.

By 1899, a branch of the trans-Pacific telegraph cable passed through the island, and the royalties were used to build island infrastructure. The government started relegating foreigners to Casino Island, as well as missions and missionaries.

During the early 1900’s, there were a series of skirmishes along the small island states that might have been encouraged by the world powers. After the Gunboat Wars in 1912, many of the island states signed a mutual protection treaty with the Rain Island Naval Syndicate (An Anarchist territory located off the west coast of the United States including Vancouver Island). Rain Island leased a base on Moon Island, as part of the protection agreement.

The 1920’s and 30’s saw tourist boats and flights regularly arriving on Spontoon Island. This was partly due to the popularity of air racing which became an annual event on the island. The other reason was that hula dance competitions had started being held publicly. The treaty with Rain Island brought reliable airplane transport and repair facilities as well as salvaging and warehousing operations.

The majority of the stories take place in this era of prosperity. Some recent stories have given more detail on the history of Rain Island and the Gunboat Wars.

[edit] The Islands

  • Spontoon Island Atoll: The Spontoon Island Atoll is made up of seven islands surrounding a central lagoon caused by a violent explosion of a huge volcano (the remnants of which are under the lagoon). Main Island is the largest island, and it is only inhabited by the natives; South Island is home to natives and Euros. There are a few hotels there and it is known for being a very quiet place to relax; Casino Island is the main Euro hangout and tourist trap. It is so named for its numerous casinos and luxury hotels, its former name was Accounting Island; Moon Island is aptly named for its crescent shape, it is the location of the seaplane tower and the navy base; Eastern Island is home to the civil seaplane base and the atoll’s only land based airport. It is also the location for the world famous Songmark Academy, where Simon Barber’s Spontoon Tales - Extracts from a Diary takes place; Meeting Island is where the Spontoonie Government (called the Althing) convenes; Sacred Island is a mysterious place that the Spontoonies take very seriously.
  • Cranium Island: Not much is known about this island except that it is a place where “mad scientists” are able to conduct their experiments sans interference from the outside world. It is believed to be a very dangerous place to live and there are rumours of monsters roaming around the island.
  • Gunboat Island: This island was inhabited until 1912, when it was bombarded by battleships during what would be later known as the Gunboat Wars. That incident, accompanied by a troop landing on nearby Spontoon Island; is not openly referred to by the natives as the memory is very unpleasant.
  • Krupmark Island: A virtual thieves’ bazaar, Krupmark Island is also deemed a very dangerous place to live, while not exactly lawless, it is very unwise to go to the island without a weapon (or two) at the ready. Fort Bob is the capital and the island is run by a committee of the top families. It is unknown exactly how many families comprise of the committee. Much of Walter Reimer’s Luck of the Dragon takes place on this island.

[edit] Fanzine

The Spontoon Island fanzine was last printed in 1993 at issue #11. Much of what was published in the fanzine has appeared on the website. In addition, Fletcher published three issues of the Spontoon Island Guidebook which contains supplemental information to complement the 'zine, such as information to help understand the Spontoon Island universe. The Guidebook could also be seen as a tool for writers and artists submitting to the fanzine.

[edit] Terms

  • Euro: Describes a non citizen resident (only on Spontoon Island!) or a visitor/tourist.
  • Spont: A derogatory Euro term for a Spontoon Island native.
  • Spontoonie:
    1. A Spontoon island native. Most natives are born from groups which settled the islands during the late 1800’s.
    2. The language of the Spontoons, it is believed to be a mishmash of Polynesian, and other languages.

[edit] Stories

Stories found on the website include:

[edit] References

  • Maps of The Spontoon Island Atoll, the Archipelago and their placement on the world map.
  • History of Spontoon Island.
  • Spontoon Island hardcopy fanzine (also mentions the Spontoon Island Guidebook)
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