THE SHARDS UNIVERSE

Real Life Origin

The concept of the Shards Universe stretches back to 1974, when I was a teenager. I'd written two short stories that had the same character; Wendy Rajmir. I used several technologies that grabbed my imagination then and were revisited in later years. Most notably was the MacDonald Phase Unit, which allowed solid objects to pass unharmed through other solid objects. (With horrifying consequences if two phased objects touched each other.) Although Wendy is slated for the Shards Universe, she has yet to make her first appearance. The MacDonald Phase Unit, however, is a critical technology from the year 2586.

The Universe got another shot in the arm around 1980, when I wrote my first Roids Cavanaugh story. Unlike Wendy Rajmir, however, Roids is active now; the wearer of the Red Iron Badge of the Martian Territorial Ranger, a man who epitomized Good and Right during the raucous years of the Martian Iron Rush.

But the Shards Universe truly came to life on December 24, 1995. That was the day I started my first novel, a four book effort entitled, not surprisingly, Shards. A work approaching 300,000 words, Shards quickly became the anchor novel of a Universe that seemingly sprang to life as I progressed into the story. Before long, I envisioned tangent short stories, detailed histories, and societies with a past. And a future.  Since all these stories would take place in the same story line and time frame, I unexpectedly had created a Universe!

It was very exciting. And  very challenging. Being an avid science fiction reader myself, I understand the importance of details. Details must be accurate, consistent, and plausible! Certainly, there is much, much more to a good story. But a good science fiction story must include the added attention to detail. And by maintaining my details across many stories, I have a cohesive, believable existence for my characters to live in and their adventures to take place. In other words, a Universe.

As of July 2004, I have nine completed novels, three work-in-progress (wip) novels, a finished novella, and over four dozen short stories. I hope to have much more in the near future. I have two novels published and contracts for eight more. So read the stories I've posted here, buy my stuff as it comes out, wish me luck, and most of all enjoy yourself!

Pete

June 27, 2002

Updated July 21, 2004


THE SHARDS UNIVERSE

 

Shards Universe - Premise

The premise of my Universe is quite simple: The continued growth of human culture and society according to the advancement of technology, the adaptation to different environs,  and the ever expanding knowledge of the universe.

The Shards Universe focuses primarily on the the human condition and the relationships we have with each other, as both individuals and as peoples. Don't worry that it will be boring, however. World War Two was also a stage for the interaction of humans as both individuals and peoples. Neither is it all blood and guts however. Very often, you'll see children making observations that reach into a deep well of  how we do and do not get along.

 

Shards Universe - Unique Traits

It's difficult to offer too many unique traits to a new universe. Getting lost in a myriad of substantial differences from real life can quickly turn into an exasperating experience for the reader. Keeping that in mind, the Shards Universe has two kind of traits: Foci Traits and Technological Traits.

Foci Traits

These are traits that are not different from reality but are different from other science fiction/fantasy universes. Here are the main ones;

1.)    We Are Alone!  That's right. In all the explored galaxy, mankind never finds intelligent life. Life, yes. And lots of it. But no sentient life. The people of the Shards Universe don't know this, so don't tell them, okay? Oh, by the way, that doesn't mean thatmankind itself doesn't have its own surprises in store. As you explore the Library, you'll soon discover two cousin races to homo sapiens; homo Marinas and homo Magicus.

2.)    When Wiener Dogs Rule!  Partly to have fun, partly to make a point, I have populated many Class M planets with plants, animals, fish and insects. Yet there is no duplication of a species. Everything is different from everything else. Except wiener dogs. There are wiener dogs on every Class M planet that mankind explores. Weird, huh?

3.)    Yes, Virginia, There is a God.  Hey, I don't pound people over the head with it, but in my opinion, we Christians have been getting the shaft, literary-wise. So as you read my stories, you will, on occasion, bump into a Christian character. Not some Bible-thumping, fire-and-brimstone nut, but a loving, honest to GOD Christian. And why not? We've got lives to live, too, you know! Sometimes they're even interesting!

4.)    Button, Button, I've Got the Thread.    Virtually every story in my universe refers to another story. There are threads woven from other threads, woven into a multi-layered tapestry. Each and every story stands on its own. But as you, the Reader, become more and more involved in my universe, you'll see how many subplots and undercurrents there are in my novels, novellas, and short stories. Even my glossary contains information not found elsewhere that contributes to multiple storylines. Happy is the Reader who learns to re-read!

5.)    Didja Read the Latest "Roids Cavanaugh" Story?    You read, don't you? Silly question; you're reading this now. Hopefully, you'll become one of my readers. But we're not the only ones to read! Most everyone in the Shards Universe does, too. And a time tested favorite is H.K. Devonshire's popular Martian Territorial Ranger, the incomparable Roids Cavanaugh.  Now, thanks to the magic of the Cross-reality Literature Exchange Program, you, too, can read the many, many Roids Cavanaugh stories. Enjoy perusing the same stories that your favorite characters do. Who knows? Maybe we can  bring over the Holos one day, too!

 

Technological Traits

These are, well... uh... technological traits.

1.)    Warp Speed.... NOT!  Okay, faster-than-light (FTL) capability is a simple fact of science fiction when involving multiple star systems.  For nearly 25 centuries, the go-to FTL drive in the Shards Universe is a ball chaser. In simple terms, an FTL ship creates a micro singularity (black hole) in front of its bows, suspended in a subspace field. (Subspace: The Duct Tape of Science Fiction!) This "ball" of a singularity then pulls the ship along as the ship pushes the subspace field. Something akin to a fan on a sailboat. Shouldn't work, but - Wow! - it does. In the Shards Universe, anyway. But who really thinks that it's safe? Well, not the people in the Shards Universe. What really sucks about a ball chaser - other than the ball *groan!* - is that using a singularity close to a solar system is disastrous. Ditto with another ship. Don't worry, though. They'll figure something out. Right around the 35th Century. Until then... just be careful, okay? Getting sucked into a story is one thing. Getting literally sucked in is quite another.

2.)    You See, Earth is at the Center of the Universe...    Uh, maybe your universe, but not mine. Sure, Earth has importance in selected novels. But by the 22nd Century, things are decidedly pointing away from Earth. And there's a reason why. A dark and sinister reason. Even some of the stories that take place on Earth are not about Earth.

3.)    Okay... There's Binary, Trinary and Pentrinsic. Oh, and Septuagint Mercy and Deific Proof.    They say write what you know. Well, I know computers. That aspect of my personality comes out when I start expanding mankind's programming capability. We already know binary: A language that uses zeros and ones to program a computer. In the Shards Universe you'll also be introduced to Trinary Code, which uses zeros, ones, and twos to program a virtual computer reality known as the Puterverse. After a few more centuries, the "ultimate" code is developed: Pentrinsic Code. Comprised of zeros, ones, twos, threes, and fives, Pentrinsic code is used to program reality and ireality. (We'll get into Septuagint Mercy and Deific Proof another day. We don't want one's head to explode, now do we?)

4.)    Near Murder Most Foul.    Not all of our technological advances are for the good, sadly. Riping, is one such horrific invention. Intended originally to give meaningful life to those who did not have it - convicted murderers, clinically brain dead patients, the incurably insane - riping gave new personality to a mind with a damaged or socially unbearable traits. But who is to decide? Such a slippery slope! It was nearly a thousand years before this sin of mankind against itself was fully eradicated and paid for. Virtually every novel and story either touches on riping, through example in most cases. Debate with others in my Shards Universe: Was there any good that came from riping? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

 

Shards Universe - Timeline

I won't go deep into the timeline here; that's covered on its own page. Here's a brief, brief, overview:

1945    Birth of NATech, beginning of Shards Universe.

2026    Prologue to Shards, anchor novel to the Shards Universe.

2046    Birth of homo Marinas race

2073    First documented riping.

2245    First ball chaser: Hoboken

2389    End of the 16-year Terran/Martian Wars. Mars abandoned forever.

2679    Destruction/Rebirth of the original Puterverse.

2751    First use of Pentrinsic Code.

2965    Six Planets Wars

3040    Birth of homo Magicus race.

3190    Centaur's Gambit begins. 150 years of unrest between humans and Marks.

3353    Earth ceases to exist. Bummer.

3491    Whitey's Gift - currently last completed story in Shards Universe.

 

Shards Universe - Location

While a number of stories and novels take place on Earth, once past the 25th Century, because of its increasingly isolationist nature, loses importance in the Shards Universe. By the start of the 28th Century, the planet Coda, becomes the new "center" of the Universe. Two centuries after that, the Centaur System, home of the Marks people, shares the spotlight with Coda. As a point of reference, the Centaur System - which can be found on star charts - is some 6,500 light years from Earth.

 

Shards Universe - The People

The people. Ah, the people. Not much different than us. In fact, that's one of the unique traits about the Shards Universe; there's nothing unique about the people who live in it.

Except for the Pisces people. There's nobody like that here.

Oh, and the Marks people. I mean, obviously there's nobody like that.

Other than that, though, it could as easily be you as the star of the story. An attractive thought, huh?

Top