The Universe of Evoke
The stories of Evoke are set ten years in the future — far enough for big global changes to begin to be
plausible, but near enough that the world is still quite familiar. The global conditions of the world of Evoke have not been explicitly explored. This is a deliberate choice. Evoke stories are intended to be modular rather than sequential, and we want to leave ourselves free to tell whatever kind of story we choose in the future, rather than tying ourselves into any particular narrative thruline. There are, however, two guiding truths about the world of Evoke that can inform your stories.
1 There exists a general state of latent collapse. Infrastructures have begun to fail and become insecure for a whole host of reasons, from age and wear, to climate change, to deliberate human action. Developed nations are, for the first time in decades, finding themselves vulnerable to the kinds of challenges we would normally associate with developing countries – food shortages, water crises, unreliable access to light and power. Rural problems are becoming urban problems, and the old ways of solving them don’t work anymore because the traditional response systems are no longer stable. To be clear, things are bad, but they’re not universally bad, and they’re not unrecognizably bad. It’s not Mad Max, and it’s not the kind of simple, one-note dystopia that figures in so many high-profile stories these days. Life as we know it has not ground to a halt, and bad things aren’t always happening everywhere, but when they do happen, they happen harder and worse than they have in the past, because we are more vulnerable than we once were. The world isn’t a wasteland, but it’s deeply stressed at many key vectors.
2 There is a converse to all these stress points, and it is where the Evoke ethos lives. It turns out that there are experts in solving just these kinds of problems, people who know how to work at local levels to create sustainable solutions. These are the very people who have been facing these problems at the local level for decades – innovators from Africa and the global South, who have found ingenious uses for technology and tools, who know the power of a tight community to effect change. These people are the foundation of the Evoke Network, and their goal is to spread their ethic of resourcefulness and creativity worldwide. They embrace DIY solutions and small-scale interventions that can be replicated at the local level. They specialize in mobilizing communities for action. They seek out new models of entrepreneurship and new opportunities. And they teach the rest of the world how to do all those
This document was developed by the first writers of Evoke and offers general guidelines on how to create your own narratives.