Alphistia: A project in geofiction

Alphistia is a fictional nation conceived in Tolkienian detail by Tony Skaggs. I discovered it when Tony emailed me yesterday on an unrelated topic, and I clicked the URL in his signature.

“Alphistia is mostly a ‘me, myself, and I’ project,” Tony wrote when I asked him about it, “although I’ve been surprised that since I put up a couple of youtube videos, I’ve had contacts from several language geeks (I use that word as a high honor) who have gone to the trouble to learn it a bit and write me in pretty fluent Alphistian.”

That’s right. Alphistian is a well-elaborated language, from grammar to syntax. I’m enough of a geek to use a word like “Tolkienian” advisedly, but I’d say it fits here. (I’ll confess up front that I haven’t made it through the video language lessons on YouTube.) Alphistia also has a draft constitution, a detailed geography, and an epic mythology. There’s also a manifesto that reads like a declaration of independence for left-leaning pioneers:

Alphistia would be modeled on the best ideals of the Western Englightenment: a secular society with a respect for human rights and the dignity of the individual. Politically, Alphistia would be a constitutional republic, with a democratically elected government, using a form of proportional representation. Economically, it would encourage small businesses and profit-making cooperatives. The economic system would be a sustainable, humane, and regulated capitalism.

Utopian, maybe, but if we didn’t have utopias, how would we know what we want our society to look like? Vanderse hoiven (friendly greetings), Tony.

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