ISF-Allion Universe series

This is part of the revamp of those stories in that loosely-related series. The stories themselves will remain untouched, but a few sites have upgraded to larger size requirements for covers, and I want to redo the covers of the existing works in this series to give a feeling of uniformity. Hence the small blue and white logo, which I will also enter as series name. All these stories, novellas and soon-to-be novel can be read independently. I’ll go through and redo the covers one by one.


Words and worlds: about my SF fiction worlds

The marshes of Barresh seen from the direction of the great esscarpment, as in Watcher’s Web.

As I heard today that my novella The Shattered World Within will be published in Giganotosaurus (and I’m extremely happy about his; last year they snatched two Nebula nominations out of twelve stories published, so it’s a well-read magazine), I made some comments about relationships between this novella and published work. Facebook and Twitter are not the most ideal venues to explain those things, so here we go.

In my Science Fiction worlds, I use (not exclusively, but rather a lot) two different worlds. One, I refer to as “the space opera world”. It has, space opera-like, different types of humans who have evolved like Darwin’s finches, and we–the humans we’re familiar with–are only a small branch. In this world, there is FTL travel, which is a network of custom-made wormholes, a network that relies on technology and politics outside the control of Earth humans.

This is the world I’ve used in Shattered World, but also in The Far Horizon and Watcher’s Web. Shattered World is set about 100 years in the past, Watcher’s Web in the present, and the novel Ambassador (Ticonderoga Publications 2013) is set about 200 years into the future. Due to the Darwin-finch effect, it is a rich world, with many different corners that don’t need to (and often don’t) overlap. But you may recognise some names. Barresh (where most of Watcher’s Web is set) is the locality of the above picture-doodle in Bryce–although the buildings need to be lower. Other names will we Asto, the Coldi people, Aghyr, and Miran, or Hedron, the locality of Shattered World, although it doesn’t yet have a name in the story.

The other world is the one I call the ISF/Allion world. This world has one human starting point (Earth), and spends a lot of time without FTL travel. It is developed eventually, but it’s not easy, as in space opera. In this world, Allion Aerospace Ltd was a company that boldly went… er, no… boldly bought the ISS off the various contributing nations when they wanted to let it infall and developed it commercially.

(Seriously, I made this up before all this GFC and private space flight business started)

They built a self-sustaining habitat, supplying the station from their base in Indonesia. They scouted workers amongst brilliant postgrad students at western universities, disgruntled by their lack of prospects in their home countries, and their inability to secure a working visa for their home countries. By far the majority of their recruits are women.
They also put the first human (Chandra Lee–non-white, non-male, non-American) on Mars, started a settlement there, and the company became fully space-based.

The rest of the–more traditional–world has been playing catchup since, and both Allion and the official, government-sanctioned International Space Force have made mistakes, fought skirmishes and one all-out war.

This world is limited to hard SF. It encompasses a much narrower range of environments and stories, and most stories fit after the other (although you can read them as stand-alones). There are also a lot of short stories in this world, such as Trassi Udang (Belong), Poor Man’s Travel (Anywhere but Earth), and Charlotte’s Army. All of these are seen from ISF perspective. His Name In Lights: a novella is from Allion perspective. Watch out for a longer work, tentatively called Shifting Reality, that follows where Poor Man’s Travel left off, and involves Ari from Trassi Udang when he is four years older.

Oof, I don’t think I would have fitted all of that in 140-character Twitter posts.

Image of the day is a witness

I decided to put my ISF/Allion stories up online whenever I can. With the story The Rebelliousness of Trassi Udang (which was published in the Belong anthology), I had intended to wait until Poor Man’s Travel (Anywhere But Earth), which follows it, comes out of contract, but the consensus seems to be that it’s better to publish single stories.

So. I needed an image. Hey-ho! An opportunity to do some messing about with 3D programs.

So here we see Ari ducking behind a corner while Tash gets beaten up.

If you’re interested, here is the link. It’s free for the time being.

If you’re interested, the other stories in this progression of short stories are (Characters):

ISF line:
Prototype (Charlotte West, Kali Landau) – published in MBrane SF
Charlotte’s Army (Charlotte West, Kali Landau, Aiden Landau)

ISF/immigrant line:
Luminescence (Hadie Kessler, Paul Ormerod) – Martian Wave
Trassi Udang (Ari Suleiman Rudiyanto, Tash Landau) – Belong
Poor Man’s Travel (Jas Grimshaw, Ari’s cousin Rina Hermann Rudiyanto, Paul Ormerod) – Anywhere But Earth
Novel – title not fixed – immediately following the above story (Ari’s cousin Melati, Ari, Tash, Jas Grimshaw, Paul Ormerod

Allion line:
His Name In Lights
novel TBA