Or, “What is Going On?”
A question was recently asked about the latest Alien Anthropology post, concerning the M’tait and the connection between them and the events set in motion in The Fall of Valdek. That, plus the fact that The Defense of Provenia doesn’t feature any of the characters from The Fall of Valdek, led to this post.
How To Tell A Galaxy-Spanning Epic?
I wrote before on this blog about a sense of scale in space opera. Some do it better than others. I decided early on in the planning phase that there were going to be multiple arcs throughout this series, since one set of characters wouldn’t necessarily be able to see every facet of a true, galaxy-spanning war (or the forces that have set it in motion). There are three to start; Erekan Scalas is the main character for one, Gaumarus Pell for another, and the third has yet to be introduced.
Where I took a chance was introducing each arc in its own independent novel.
It’s a Big Galaxy
Some space operas have aggravated the author by making everything revolve around a small group of people, constantly going back and forth between the same couple of planets. Especially when considering the sheer distances involved (which, as has been pointed out, is why there has not been a single, sprawling interstellar empire that has survived, as of the beginning of The Fall of Valdek), that just doesn’t seem likely.
I wanted to get a real sense of scale with The Unity Wars, and so the reader who sticks with it will see vast distances and many worlds. Massive forces have been set in motion, and the characters of each arc will only be getting small pieces of the puzzle, putting more together as events unfold…and, eventually, as they cross paths.
Something A Bit Different
While there are definitely influences from Star Wars, don’t think of The Unity Wars as Star Wars. Think of it more like Babylon 5, where there was a larger story told across 110 episodes. (No, I’m not saying there will be 110 books. But there will be quite a few, by the time the whole thing is over.) It probably won’t get to Perry Rhodan levels, but that series (which has been going strong in Germany, weekly, since 1961) is a good benchmark for what can be done with epic print science fiction.
So, if you’re still on the fence, I hope you’ll join me, dear reader. Come and find adventure and war among the stars.