One day, while feeling all retrospective-y (yes, I’m a writer), I created this map highlighting the journey of every book so far throughout the known This Corner of the Universe galaxy:
I noticed two things immediately.
- Anthe is a vortex of activity. It’s strange how galaxy-changing events seem to pass through that relatively quiet, provincial system. I guess Anthe is my November 5th, 1955. (Am I dating myself with the Back to the Future reference?)
- Loyalty to the Cause is truly an epic, far-traveling story. It spans all three territories of the major powers. It was also terrifying to write, as combat took a back seat to the escape story. I was scared it would be called “boring.” Thank God I was wrong.
As I look at the map, I see I’ve dedicated most of my time in the Brevic Republic, centering on Republic characters. It’s probably only natural given the TCOTU setting. The second most common locales visited are the corporate star systems, having offered readers a look at the Lesser Magellanic Arm (LMA) and the Coreward Corporate Zone (CCZ), plus glimpses at the Central Systems–no fancy acronym for it. The two least covered places seem to be the Hollaran Commonwealth (we’ve only seen a little of it because of Lombardi) and nearly nothing in the Solarian Federation.
This map is relevant because a concept for a story is forcing its way to the forefront of my mind and it could be set in any of the three major powers. The obvious choice is the Brevic Republic. It’s home and it’s comfortable. It also offers the best opportunities for tie-ins later. However, I wonder if a less “safe” choice might be more interesting:
- What are people from the Commonwealth really like? Is that government better/nicer to its people than the Republic? Yes, Isabella Lombardi is very much a paragon but what’s the average Hollaran like?
- What about the Federation? It’s the biggest entity in human space but I’ve written the least about it. And are citizens living in Federation systems closest to the Chetellx territory freaking out?
- Lastly, what’s the Disputed Zone like? Is it “lawless” like Reece Lochlain suggests in Confidence Game?
We’ve been to so many star systems in the TCOTU galaxy but there’s still so much left to explore. If you’ve missed Garrett Heskan’s epic journey in the original series, or the treachery brewing as the Republic pursues The Parasite Initiative, or even if a smuggling crew is more your style with Confidence Game, now’s the time to catch up while I work on our next space opera adventures. Oh, the places we’ll go…