Full Handbook entry

Abstract of system data

CD -40°898 is a solitary K0 dwarf star, somewhat cooler and less luminous than Sol.

Spectral class K0 V
Luminosity 0.44 Lsol
Mass 0.83 Msol
Distance 55.72 light-years from Sol
Constellation Eridanus
Sector Central
distance from SHQ 55.7 LY
Inhabited worlds -40°898 II, Cockaigne
Total population 5.4 billion
Nearest neighbour
CD -28°1276 A, Tokugawa
22.0 LY

Planetology of CD -40°898 II

CD -40°898 II is a typical terrestrial rocky planet, slightly smaller, slightly denser, and slightly more watery than Earth was. The spread of plants from Earth has lowered the CO2 content of the atmosphere, and the planet has become a little chilly. Glaciers are forming on the polar land-masses. This state of affairs will correct itself within 1,000 to 2,000 years.

Visitors with pale complexions will need protection from direct sunlight to avoid sunburn.

Orbital radius 0.70 AU
Year length 0.637 standard years
166.21 local days
Day length 33 hours 32 minutes
1.40 standard days
Diameter 9 800 km
Relative density 1.12
Surface gravity 0.87 g
Atmosphere density
[6] Normal
[3] Small
Mean surface temperature 0 C
Average daily temperature variation ± 10.2 K
Ocean cover 80%
Incident radiation harmful
Indigenous life extinct

Social characteristics of Cockaigne

The colony Cockaigne is densely populated, with much of the population crammed into cities that are, though very well-planned and provided with ample facilities, too crowded for social health. The most salient social feature is that the society is stratified into recipients, who live on a dole provided by the Commune and wear blue; contributors, who supplement their doles with wages, salaries, and other incomes, and who wear generally sober colours; and members of the Commune, who collectively own the automatic factories, draw large incomes, and enjoy a Sybaritic lifestyle. They wear bright colours and patterns.

Date of settlement AD 2232
Character of foundation Secular utopists (Social Democrats)
Foundation number 34th
Population 5.386 billion
Population density 89 persons/km2
Settlement structure Megalopolises
Family structure

Monogamous nuclear.
Homosexual marriages receive full equivalence.
Mutual consent. Executive registration.
Judicial divorce, for cause but without penalty
Social ideals Voluptuary hedonism: "Cockaigneys" are noted for gourmandising, for erotic dalliance, and for lives of ease
Anomie: Cockaigneys feel alienated from society and social interests, uneasy, anxious, and therefore hostile. They respect no laws nor social standards. Many will commit crimes on whim, out of malice, or for trivial motivation, unless effectively deterred.
Social peculiarities 1: Marked social stratification {members (aristocrats), contributors, recipients}
2: Social segregation
3: Costume marks class/occupation, sex, availability, current social mode, time of day
4: Strict social and business etiquette
5: Sex-role equivalence
Widespread recreational drug use
7: Mild exposure taboo: genitals, buttocks, breasts
Language The dialect on Cockaigne is mildly divergent from Tau Cetian Standard

Administrative characteristics of Cockaigne

Cockaigne is an aristocratic republic with elaborate constitutional checks and balances. The franchise, political office, judicial office, and most administrative posts are restricted to (hereditary) members of the Commune (25% of the population). The result is a feeble executive and a conservative, partial legislature.

Formal name of state La Commune de la Pais de Cockaigne
Form of government unitary aristocratic republic
Head of state title
Executive Chief Commissioner
elected by Legislative Commission
out-going members of Executive Commission
five (local) years
Executive supreme executive
Executive Commission (19 members including Executive Chief Commissioner)
elected by members of the Commune (hereditary aristocrats)
Senior bureaucrats, one-term limit
15-'year' overlapping terms (6 elected every fifth (local) year)
Legislature supreme legislature
Legislative Commission (361 members)
elected by members of the Commune (hereditary aristocrats)
Members of the Commune (hereditary aristocrats). No term limit.
5-year terms
Judiciary supreme court
Judicial Commission (19 members)
Co-optation by sitting commissioners
members of appeals courts
to age 200 local years (127 standard years)
Criminal justice procedure
rights of accused
enforcement resources
peculiar laws

3 judges
unanimous to convict
weapons strictly controlled
vehicles strictly controlled
mindwipe (for "heinous" crimes)
rehabilitative incarceration

Economic characteristics of Cockaigne

The economy of Cockaigne is based on production in automated factories and extensive provision of public facilities. The factories belong to the Commune, which provides ample livings, mostly in kind, to the wards of the Commune (75% of the population) and pays lavish shares to the members of the Commune (25% of the population. The classes are hereditary. Somewhat less than half of adults (of both classes) work for wages, which are additional to their shares or doles.

Industrial organisation Post-industrial command economy
Development hard tech:
soft tech:
GURPS TL 10 (standard)
GURPS TL 9 (mature)
Currency unit
purchasing power
exchange rate
ecu de Cockaigne = 100 centimes
1 ecu = 0.45 SVU (hamburger)
1 ecu = 0.199 crowns
GDP/head 92,500 SVU per annum
Index of equality 0.31
Spaceport size:
class 4
orbital facility



SHEP probe #340 scouted CD -40°898 in AD 2117, and discovered a single, highly salubrious, habitable planet besides the usual litter of gas giants and junk. The report reached Earth in AD 2173, by which time the rights to the probe and its discoveries belonged to Magellan Holdings PLC, a speculating firm. CD -40°898 was the 40th habitable planet reported by the SHEP program.

Migrants from Earth

Magellan Holdings sold CD -40°898 to Owen's New Harmony Stiftung (ONH), a non-profit corporation with the purpose of founding a secular utopia according to Social Democrat principles. The first shipload of pioneers was despatched in AD 2176, a second in 2179, and a third in 2183. The first shipload of general colonists was despatched in 2186. Colonisation continued as the orbit of Flinger #2 made despatches available. News of the successful landing arrived at Earth in 2288. The colony was well capitalised and meticulously planned. In just over a century ONH sent 278,000 well-educated and highly-motivated colonists to CD -40°898 II, all of whom possessed relevant professional and technical skills and shared Social Democrat ideals. It also despatched 430 billion ecu worth of generally well-chosen capital items and breeding stock.

In 2306 ONH Stiftung collapsed in bankruptcy. Social-Democrat migration to CD -40°898 ceased. But the reputation of the colony that ONH had founded was such that the liquidators were able to sell the colonisation rights and the launch options for a good price. 'Free' migrants began to trickle towards CD -40°898 from 2310. In 2388 the news arrived that the population of Cockaigne had reached 100,000 and that the society and economy seemed a success. The tickle of 'free' colonists swelled to a rush. Between 2310 and the destruction of Earth 312,500 'free settlers' shipped out to CD -40°898. Their skills, wealth, and intentions varied widely. News of the conflict they caused did not reach Earth before its destruction.

Pioneers and settlers

Kirsten Sabatini was the first human to set foot on CD -40&°898 II (3rd of October AD 2232). In accordance with their plan, the first pioneers named the colony 'Cockaigne'. They established a base camp at Venusberg, which remains the capital of the colony, and over the following three years a series of other work camps which have become major cities. Efforts to establish Terran biomes were widely successful, as CD -40&°898 II had until that time lacked land plants and multicellular animals. Grasslands and forests spread rapidly, resulting in a cooling of the climate that has not yet corrected itself.

The first general colonists arrived in AD 2255: 5,000 people bringing capital goods to establish and run a comfortable small town. Subsequent shiploads of colonists and their goods maintained a prosperous and rapidly expanding economy, which was run according to Social Democratic principles. Between immigration and natural increase the population reached 100,000 in AD 2333: the occasion was celebrated by the foundation of a University of Venusberg.

In AD 2363 a minor crisis developed consequent upon the sudden collapse of immigration. Responses varied and vacillated between an expectation that immigration would resume soon and measures aimed at self-sufficiency with existing capital. Fortunately that colony was sufficiently populous and well-established that it weathered these problems.

In AD 2367 colonisation resumed, with the arrival of a bare thousand 'free' settlers. About a third of these professed social-democrat ideals, and had made respectable efforts to bring supplies suitable to Cockaigne's needs. Another third expected (and were more-or-less well-equipped) to set up private homesteads on a suppositious free and ungoverned range. And the remainder seemed to expect that they could depend upon the society of Cockaigne without contributing to its social capital or, for that matter, exercising valuable skills. The locals grumbled, but took in the indigents. Social strain grew as 'free' immigration continued.

About AD 2380 the rate of 'free' immigration burgeoned, and the authorities on Cockaigne became alarmed. Over the next ten years would-be homesteaders made three attempts to seize half-terraformed territories and secede. There were also disturbances made by idle and disaffected members of the indigent class and by members of the commune who resented supporting the indigents. In AD 2391 the Commune passed laws providing that citizenship should be confined to those who had made a full contribution to the capital of the Commune and their bilateral descendants. It moreover provided that all the possessions of future immigrants should be subject to compulsory donation to the social fund: if their value exceeded a pro-rate of the capital of the colony the former owner should become a member of the commune, entitled to a full share of social production and a vote in the government. Otherwise, the former owner should become a dependent and ward of the Commune, entitled to a basic living dole and to work for any wages he or she could get. Notice of this resolution was beamed to Earth, but the signal arrived after Earth was destroyed.

Until 2460 Cockaigne continued confiscating the capital of its unwelcome immigrants, admitting ever fewer and fewer to citizenship. The wards of the Commune proved prolific quite aside from their continual reinforcements. By 2455 the wards totalled 50% of the population, and the members were becoming alarmed. News of the destruction of Earth arrived at Cockaigne on the 2nd of July 2460, and was greeted with, among other emotions, relief.

Development in isolation

Cockaigne's development from AD 2460 to 300 PDT was essentially continuous. The class system dividing the members of the Commune from the wards of the Commune developed distinctions of customs and of clothing. Moreover the ward category split into recipients who depended almost entirely on state support and contributors who were self-supporting to a significant degree. Population grew from about 1,830,000 to 188,000,000, and the colony managed to bring back into use almost all the technology of Old Earth. The ward class grew from 40% to 65% of the total population, partly because of high fecundity among the recipients, partly because of occasional penal expulsions from the Commune, and partly because the children of mixed marriages were deemed to be wards.


An Eichberger ship visited CD -40°898 in 361 PDT, and found a prosperous world of 188 million population with some orbital industries. Cockaigne became a significant market, some personnel were recruited there, and occasional orbital dockyard work was let to Cockaigne. By 390 Cockaigne was producing its own interstellar ships. Cockaigne was not a significant source of pirates or conquerors, and the Commune conducted its commercial undertakings more responsibly than most. On the other hand, a virus disease endemic and harmless on Cockaigne killed 20 million people on Paradise III in 394 PDT, and a plant disease engineered to control feral pines on Vanaheim did incalculable damage to the terraforming effort on Cockaigne in 396.

Cockaigne was a lukewarm opponent of the Foundation during the early part of the Formation Wars, generally acquiescing in quarantine and contraband measures. Its goodwill dried up in 429 (when the Foundation declared a perpetual patent on the Eichberger Drive), and in 442, after the Empire claimed jurisdiction over deep space assets Cockaigne turned to force. Cockaigne built a flotilla, defeated Eichberger Foundation forces in CD -40°898, and despatched an interstellar cruiser to Beta Canum Venaticorum (for reasons that are not clear: perhaps they doubted the destruction of Mayflower). This was destroyed. A powerful flotilla under Rear-Admiral Yukio Ammersum entered CD -40°898, destroyed the Cockaigne space fleet, and seized the orbital assets of the system. Cockaigne boycotted interstellar trade until 490, but sent a delegate to the Lunar Conference, and was an original signatory of the Treaty of Luna.

Recent history

Cockaigne prospered until about 560 PDT. Then rising population and a stagnating economy gave rise to social strain.

For about sixty years after the Treaty of Luna Cockaigne generally kept pace with the technological progress of the most advanced colonies. But from 520 it began to lag behind, and from 580 or so to stagnate. Re-investment of surpluses has not kept pace with population growth, let alone provided for capital deepening. The Commune has struggled to maintain the value of doles and shares for nearly a hundred years. It has, therefore, not been in a position to duplicate public infrastructure to the extent of building new cities on greenfields sites. The developed areas of Cockaigne have, therefore, become very crowded, with consequent social problems. Since 600 PDT most of the big cities (or 'dole-towns') have displayed full-blown cases of high-density anomie. Antisocial behaviour in the cities has imposed heavy security and repair costs, and made life distinctly unpleasant for the recipients. The contributors have meanwhile built themselves safe suburbs at the edges of the dole-towns, and the members have taken to spending most of their time in 'holiday places' in the 'nature preserves', inaccessible by public transport.

In 602 PDT the Legislative Commission introduced a number of reforms aimed at addressing the problem of population growth. Essentially, these amounted to ending the free provision of certain medical benefits such as gene-selection of offspring and reducing both the shares of members and the doles of recipients under the age of sixteen, which had until then been at the full adult rates. These reforms were bitterly resented by the recipients, and provoked the formation of a formal protest organisation, the Organisation for the Peaceful Liberation of Cockaigne (OPLOC). OPLOC produced a violent splinter offshoot ODLOC (Organisation for the Democratic Liberation of Cockaigne). ODLOC has been stamped out twice by the Special Counterterrorist Taskforce (Cockaigne's political police) and once by Imperial marshals (because of terrorist attacks), but it seems to be able to rear new heads as long as the public can remember an acronym.

In 623 PDT Juliet Jovovich, then Executive Chief Commissioner, proposed a raft of reforms that amounted to reducing shares by 10% and doles by 1% in order to fund an increase in re-investment (to be divided equally between productive capacity and public infrastructure). Three years later an emasculated version of the bill passed the Legislative Commission, imposing a 1% cut in both doles and shares, and imposing a 10% income tax on wages and private incomes (excluding off-world-sourced income). This provoked a general stike by contributors, and was withdrawn. By which time Jovovich's term had expired. The government talks continually about the urgent need for reform, and takes no concrete steps.

Current situation

Approximately 70% of contributors have joined a general strike in an attempt to pressure the government into extending
the franchise to contributors at least. The government is resisting for fear that a more representative government must eventually rob the members to pay shares to all voters. Member volunteers are attempting to keep services running, but picket lines make this difficult, beside which they lack expertise.

Mobs of recipients have taken to the streets to support the extension of the franchise to all Cockaigneys, to demand complete equality for all (abolishing the member / recipient distinction), and to protest the interruption of services in the strike.

Government offices, police stations, and many key workplaces are surrounded by pickets, as are the Imperial enclave and the spaceport. There have been reports of riots, looting, and some lynchings. The government has instructed the prefects (chief regional officials) to form and arm militias of members to keep the peace and secure the Commune. In some areas striking police have siezed armouries to prevent the prefects from arming the militias.

The Social Engineering Advisory Service estimates that a revolution on Cockaigne would result in the deaths of 10%–35% of the population with one year.

Imperial assessment

Situation On the verge of revolution
Problems Crowding
High-density anomie: The strain of crowding has eroded social standards and values. People feel aliened from society and social interests, insecure, anxious, and correspondingly hostile.
Crime: Widespread vandalism, occasional riot, crimes of sheer malice, and weakly-motivated theft, robbery, assault, mayhem, and even murder. These exacerbate anxiety and insecurity, and thus feed anomie.
Social discord: Conflict over the extension of the franchise and the division of the Commune's profits
Political paralysis
Economic stagnation
Occasional terrorism (political and society targets)
Assets Wealth
Adequate minerals
Supervised space industries
Attitude Sullen
Imperial presence Class 4 orbital spaceport Brest
Class 4 residence with a short regiment of marines guards
2 heavy cruisers
8 destroyers
24 system defence boats
Moderate-sized programs of the Economic Advisory Service, the Social Engineering Advisory Service, the Public Education Service, and the Political Department
Notes • About 25% of the population are members of the Commune
• About 35% are contributors
• About 40% are recipients
Wards' doles are paid in kind (an apartment with food synthesiser, clothing issues, free medical care &c.), enforcing aspects of social uniformity.
Member's shares are paid in cash.
• 13% of the GDP of Cockaigne is spent providing doles. The adult dole costs 14,300 SVU.
• 33% of the GDP of Cockaigne is distributed as shares to the members.
• The adult share is about eight times the adult dole. Payment in cash allows wide choice and saving, which increases the perceived value of the share.
Recipients may be recognised by blue clothing,
Contributors by sober colours: black, oxblood, maroon, purple, navy, bottle green, puce etc.,
Members by brilliant colours, patterns, embroidery….
Cautions • Many Cockaigneys respect no laws or social standards. Imperial servants should beware of physical violence, rape, robbery, theft, and vandalism where restraint is not enforced.
• Imperial servants are reminded that Imperial policy is that political fate of Cockaigne is up to the locals. The Empire would deplore bloodshed, but has no position on a revolution per se
EMERGENCY Revolutionary violence on Cockaigne is imminent. Imperial servants should remain in safe places and stand by for possible evacuation.
All outside work is suspended.
bad publicity
It may occur that the best way to minimise bloodshed in the coming revolution on Cockaigne will be to effect a rapid victory for one side or other. But haphazard attempts by various officers to bring about a quick victory for different sides would prolong the fighting and increase the death toll. Therefore, only the Resident is empowered to authorise any attempt to shorten any civil war by favouring one side.