THE NOVA AERA COLLECTIVE
A groundbreaking achievement was reached at Arizona State University with the formation of the inaugural college campus artist collective in the Syllble community in 2023. Meet the creators and immerse yourself into The Nova Aera Universe.
Libbie Farrell is a second year Masters student in the Global Technology and Development Program at Arizona State University. She has spent her tenure at ASU exploring various topics including complex adaptive systems, environmental sovereignty, and the social impact of offline digital learning programs. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Timor-Leste from 2019-2020 working on climate change mitigation strategies with a local NGO. Some common threads through her work are participatory action, the interface of human-nature relationships, and the value of reciprocity. Outside of her academics and work, Libbie enjoys rock climbing and hiking with friends, spending time with her partner and cat, and making bread and soup.
Karishma Kasad is a queer, Zoroastrian, woman of color finishing up her Masters in counseling psychology at Arizona State University. She is excited to be a part of the project and hopes to add to the growing literature reflecting feminist, anti-capitalist, and decolonized works. Kari is also a writer interested in the development of characters and plots that resonate with those who are not traditionally written about in fiction.
Chandler Escalante is a Master of Science in Global Technology and Development student at Arizona State University. He currently works for the Sustainable Cities Network at ASU, which is going to influence the section of the book.
Dr. Jenna Hanchey has been an actress, particle physicist, Peace Corps volunteer, and afterschool-space-program teacher. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Critical/Cultural Studies and Senior Global Futures Scholar at Arizona State University. Her research looks at how speculative fiction can imagine decolonization and bring it into being. Her own speculative writing tries to support this project of creating better futures for us all. Her stories appear in Nature: Futures, Daily Science Fiction, Little Blue Marble, If There’s Anyone Left, and Martian Magazine, among other venues. She’s also a podcast and audiobook narrator, and Poetry Editor at Orion’s Belt. Having once been called a “badass fairy,” she attempts to live up to the title. For this project, she’s hoping to bring decolonial and anti-racist imaginaries into writing and narrating liberatory futures.
Madeline Henderson is earning her Master of Science in Global Technology and Development at Arizona State University. Madeline also earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Civic Education and International Studies from Arizona State University. She works as an engagement coordinator for the Center of Science and the Imagination at ASU as well as a part-time tutor for children with disabilities. She is currently co-writing a science fiction novel which includes speculative futures and worldbuilding processes for her masters thesis. She previously worked as a MEdia Arts Teacher for children in special needs education. She focused on finding more ways to incorporate creative methods of teaching children as well as inspiring her students in developing creativity and self-expression through various art forms and media.
Madeline is an artist who enjoys sketching, painting (acrylic & watercolor), and some photography. She is currently teaching herself how to create digital art through programs including Adobe Photoshop and Procreate and will be responsible for all of the digital art that will be used in her collaborative masters thesis.
Allison Hoops is a second year graduate student in the Global Technology and Development program at Arizona State University. She worked as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2019- 2020 in the beautiful Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho where she taught high school math and life skills. From 2020 to 2021 she served in Los Angeles as an Americorps VISTA Leader supporting volunteer outreach for the food banks and pantries across 8 counties in southern California. Since starting grad school she has been interning with the SolarSPELL initiative at ASU developing their monitoring and evaluation system and supporting the partnership development between SolarSPELL and Peace Corps Lesotho. Over the last couple of months she has been supporting SolarSPELL training in Lesotho and Malawi with educators and students. She is also working on a short documentary focused on the information gaps in Lesotho’s education system and how SolarSPELL can be one part of the solution to improving the quality of education in Lesotho.
Jay Yen is graduating from ASU with a Bachelor’s in Communications and a minor in Digital Culture this May 2023. Some of their work experience includes working on an educational game called HackerHero and interning at the Center for Asian Research at ASU. They are a worldbuilder who excels at character design and visuals.
Lein de León Yong is a Mexican Ph.D. student in the Media Arts and Sciences program at Arizona State University. She has an MBA in Art History focusing on film studies from Mexico’s National University, UNAM. She graduated from CUEC/ENAC-UNAM with a degree in film production, and there she shot three film theses as a Director of Photography. Lein has worked in video editing, post-production, and project development for companies such as Maz Mexico, Dinamita Post, Labo Digital, Taller de Luz, and Greenpeace Mexico. And for brands like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Televisa, and Salinas Group. She has also worked as a freelance photographer and photojournalist for Reforma and Excelsior newspapers and as a set dressing assistant for feature films.
Lein has diverse language skills, including Spanish (native), English, Mandarin Chinese (HSK 3), and French (reading comprehension). Her post-production skills include Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, AVID Media Composer, and Da Vinci Resolve.
In the year 2015, the city of Nova Aera is a technological marvel, floating high above the Earth. But beneath its shiny exterior, the city is rotting from the inside out. The ruling class, the welkins, live in luxury while the working class, the terras, are forced to live in squalor. And anyone who is found to be euterra, or gifted with magic, is hunted down and killed.
But as the city’s infrastructure begins to crumble, the welkins’ grip on power starts to slip. In 2065, a mass exodus from the city begins, as people flee to the countryside in search of a better life. But even in the wilderness, they are not safe. The welkins have sent their forces to hunt down the euterras, and anyone who is caught will be killed.
But the euterras are not going to give up without a fight. They have banded together to form a resistance, and they are determined to overthrow the welkins and create a new world where everyone is equal, regardless of their social status or magical abilities.
In 2015: as cities became polluted, extractionist corporations and dark entities thrived off of pollution, poverty, and capitalism. The government was a dying oligarchy, structured as a committee. It was not diverse, as it was mostly wealthy white men who were able to join. Some members of the government were corrupted by wealthy elites, while others were not. Companies were more powerful than the government itself. This was a society much like our own.
In 2065: people began to leave the cities in droves. They were reckoning with the way they had been living, and they were looking for ways to revive just relationships with nature and the world. The government, which had become an extreme version of its prior form, was forcing people to leave. In response, people began to advance their skills and prepare to leave. Fear, chaos, violence, and a battle for power reigned supreme. Those who left the cities faced pushback, but more and more people began to embrace their magical tendencies.
By 2115: people had successfully learned to live in harmony with nature. Some of them even attempted to return to the cities, but they were rejected because they had changed too much. The old government had completely collapsed, and a new structure had formed that included both humans and non-humans. Balance, equality, and reciprocity were now the most important pillars of government. The beings in this section had come to terms with a new stage in life, and they emphasized equality between all species, including animals, humans, and nature. They had a collective mindset, and everyone had a role to play. They were fully immersed in magic, and they used it to help them live in harmony with the world around them.
Technology/ and or Magic System
– Advanced technology systems, AI, old gods who reappear after people return to nature.
– Solar powered technology (public transportation) (CE)
– Magic still exists, but isn’t woken until people turn back to nature and the ocean.
– Magic is just technology that we haven’t discovered, have forgotten, or haven’t understood yet.
Books Published From The Nova Aera Universe