Okay. Some explination.
Several years ago I came up with an idea for a TV series. (Where is it written that all our dreams must be small ones?) The working title for it is Never Surrender. (Click here for an explination.) It is supposed to be a realistic, sci-fi, war drama following the crew of the Human Republic Heavy Cruiser, George S. Patton Jr. The extreme oversimplification is that it is WWII in the Pacific set amongst the stars against Space Nazis. (I do plan to make it better than that sounds.) Anyway, to help me flesh out this Human Republic Universe; the aliens, the technology, the planets, etc., I started writing short stories. The point of having the flag next to these stories on my Published Works page is so people can quickly tell which stories are connected in this universe.
This is a work in progress, but eventually I’ll get around to making up a list of planets, major “historical” figures and all kinds of stuff like that.
This is a timeline listing all of the stories (and novel) I’m working on and their status. The “published” and “accepted” I feel are self-explanatory. “Finished” stories are ones that I am in the process of submitting to various magazines. Hopefully, they will soon be moved over to “accepted” and then “published.” Stories listed as “writing” are stories that could be half-finished or are just a title with a plot and maybe some scribbled notes in a notebook. Then there are ?? stories. These are the ones where I have an idea or a setting, but I don’t have a story, yet. Give me time.
2033“In the Blink of an Eye” (writing)
2034“Collateral Damage” (published)
2059“Tough Questions” (finished)
2060“Small Step” (published)
2071“Not My World” (published)
2075“The More Things Change” (finished)
2079“Desert of Stars” (writing)
2083“Some Things Never Change” (published)
2100“From the Past, to the Future” (published)
2101Beginning of Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.) (writing)
2105“To Live on in Unexpected Ways” (published)
2106“The Kingdom of Beer” (published)
2110“Classics Never Go Out of Style” (published)
2110“Day 366” (published)
2119“To Keep Flying” (writing)
2120“Distant Fields” (published)
2132Ending of Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.)
2132“An RI World” (published, but no longer online)
215?“The Fruits of Piracy” (finished)
215??? (“The Fruits of Piracy” Sequel)
2167“Always With Us” (published)
22??“Duty, or Honor” (writing)
The following stories are set during Never Surrender.
22??“How Many” (published)
22??“Serve, or Die” (writing)
22??“The Least We Could Do” (published)
22??“Standing Tall” (writing)
This is a listing of (so far) all the aliens in my universe. Eventually, I’ll make separate pages for them, but for now I’ll just list the stories they are in and what role they play. I think the notes after the stories are rather self-explanatory, and tell whether the aliens “appear” in the story and have speaking roles, are only “mentioned,” or if we only know about them through their “artifacts.”
“Tough Questions” (mentioned)
“Tough Questions” (mentioned), “Standing Tall” (appear?)
“The Cube Builders”
Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.) (artifact), “Enigma” (artifact)
Appear in all stories.
Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.) (appear), “Enigma” (appear), “An RI World” (mentioned), “The Fruits of Piracy” (appear), “Starrise” (appear), “Mutiny” (appear)
“Tough Questions” (mentioned), “Rise” (mentioned), Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.) (appear), “Starrise” (mentioned), “Duty, or Honor” (appear), “Options” (mentioned)
“Hello” (appear), “Freelancers” (mentioned), “Tough Questions” (appear), “Desert of Stars” (appear), “Rise” (mentioned), “Exodus” (mentioned), Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.) (appear), “Enigma” (mentioned), “Always With Us” (appear), “Starrise” (mentioned), “How Many” (mentioned), “Options” (mentioned), “Standing Tall” (appear)
“Tough Questions” (mentioned), “Exodus” (mentioned)
Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.) (artifacts)
“How Many” (mentioned, as “the aliens”), “Serve, or Die” (appear), “Options” (mentioned), “Mutiny” (mentioned)
As Yet Unnamed Slave Race
“Standing Tall” (appear)
Three unnamed “Stone-age” species
“Tough Questions” (mentioned)
Four extinct civilizations
“Tough Questions” (mentioned)
One of the problems with writing a bunch of stand-alone short stories all set in the same universe is that you tend to repeat yourself. You can spend a great deal of time in one story explaining the history, culture, appearance of an alien species. That’s okay. But what about when those aliens show up again in another story? Do you repeat all of that or just hope that the readers have already read the first story, some of which haven’t been published yet? My solution – for now – is to put just enough information in the stories so they make sense, and put more detailed explanations here.
The Pentans are amphibious (though they prefer the water) pentapi; think octopi minus three. They were helped into sentience by the Cetans, and have become methodical explorers of the galaxy. They developed tunneling technology to cross interstellar distances and made contact with the Lumens and humans.
Each of their five arms end in two long “fingers.” Their skins are generally bluish, but they change color according to their emotions: green for confusion, scarlet speckles for laughter. Their language sounds very similar to the whistles and squeaks of dolphins, but that is only a result of both being aquatic, or mostly aquatic. Before making contact with humans, they studied us for several decades. During that time they developed a translation program. One of the biggest problems was names. For example, one of their common names is derived from a description of how seaweed sways in a weak current. How do you translate that into human? Their solution was to just take a list of common Pentan names and match them – at random – to a list of common human names. Thus, the swaying seaweed name becomes John.
You can go to my Published Works page, My Homepage, or you can check out the MySpace page I set up for this.