Welcome to the Shards Universe!
Origin | Premise | Unique Traits
Timeline | Location | The People
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.
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 II 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.
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.
These are traits that are not different from reality but are different from other science fiction/fantasy universes. Here are the main ones:
These are, well… uh… technological traits.
I won’t go deep into the timeline here; that’s covered on its own page. Here’s a brief, brief, overview:
Birth of NAtech:
Beginning of SHARDS UNIVERSE
Prologue to Shards, anchor novel to the SHARDS UNIVERSE.
Birth of Homo Marinas race.
First documented riping.
The Hoboken Disaster:
Marks the first faster-than-light travel. Max FTL: 200.
Mars’ population is decimated and the planet abandoned.
Destruction/Rebirth of the original Puterverse.
First use of Pentrinsic Code
“Magic” is created.
Six Planets Wars
Homo Magicus race Begins.
Centaur’s Gambit, the 150 Years War:
Period of war and unrest for all mankind.
Earth ceases to exist:
No further Sol-based novels.
While a number of stories and novels take place on Earth, once past the 25th Century, because of its increasingly isolationist nature, Earth 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.
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?