Constraining… or Freeing?

The Unified Republic of Stars is a storyworld in which over three hundred years of history has been pre-defined. Yeah. Three hundred years. It covers the time from before the first ship left for what would become The Republican Star Cluster to the 2338 and actually a little bit beyond. And that’s just the Age of Colonization and the Age of War. There will also be an Age of Betrayal added sometime in the near future.

So… is this constraining on authors and contributors or freeing?

A timeline of events that take place in the Unified Republic of Stars storyworld....
The Invasion of 2338 was a battle campaign launched by the Universal United Human Authority against the Unified Republic of Stars in 2338 that resulted in the occupation of the Republican Star Cluster by UUHA forces for two years. It was the single largest military action the Republic had ever been engaged in....

What this predefined history means is that some events, no matter what, are going to happen at certain dates. They will happen and they will turn out as already described in the A Short History of the Unified Republic of Stars and A History of the Age of War history books.

So it all depends, really, on how it’s looked at.

After the Battle for the Republic in 2192, many within the Republic began to believe that the war with Earth was over. And, for all intents and purposes, for them, it was. Until the year 2338, except for the intense but short skirmishes along the border zone in deep space called the 'Blue Line', there were no more invasions of the Universal United Human Authority into Republican space. But the keeping of UUHA at bay was not the only conflict the Unified Republic of Stars had to face....
The irony of the Unified Republic of Stars is that the technology which allowed for its creation was discovered on Earth. Had it not been for Lynn Monjo, a little heard of practical physicist at the University of Melbourne, the Republic, as it is known today would never have been born....

On one side, it can be limited. For instance, someone who wants to tell a story about Stewart Todd “Dutch” Warner dying during the Battle for the Republic is shit out of luck. Dutch doesn’t die then. Lot’s of people do but not him. Dutch dies at home as an old man, holding a picture of his ship in his hands. That could be seen as limiting. However, there are several periods of Dutch’s life that are either undocumented or not dramatized. A story could always be told about his adventures as a smuggler captain or as a 2169. Independence has been declared by the First Independent Congress. Millions on the colonial worlds were actually still born on Earth. What side do they take? Will they stay where they’ve built lives for themselves or will they go back to the human homeworld?

I imagine that this would be as divisive as any civil war, with family loyalties split, perhaps the parents wanting to return but the children wanting to stay. And maybe even siblings might have differing opinions. One might want nothing to do with Earth, having rarely thought of it in the past, while the other is not so ready to cut them self off from the birthplace of humanity.

The Independent Congress was a gathering of delegates from each of the worlds of the former Colonial Star Cluster to decide how to react to Earth's involvement. There were two Independent Congress', both called by Galileo Planetary Governor Ivan Boldyrev. The first is primarily known for the declaration of independence in which the worlds of the star cluster opted to sever their connection with Earth. The second was formed to address the issues raised by the First Republican Defensive and was the source of the Constitution Of The Republic, the document which, after it was ratified, began the Unified Republic of Stars....
The Battle for the Republic was a major military action that took place within the Galileo System beginning on March 17, 2192. It served to do three major things: to prove that the NOVA was a worthy investment, to cement Stewart Todd 'Dutch' Warner's reputation as one of the greatest NOVA masters, and to prove that the young Unified Republic of Stars was and would remain independent from the UUHA and Earth forces. It was the last major incursion into the Republican Star Cluster until the Invasion of 2338, 146 years later....
Living from 2134-2209, Stewart Todd 'Dutch' Warner was a major figure in the post-independence Republic, fighting in both the First and Second Republican Defensives in official capacities then going on to become one of the most celebrated NOVA commanders....

If a dozen different stories can’t be told about that, then I don’t know what could.

One of the most important rules of storytelling, as repeated almost everywhere, is to make a story personal. They often express this by saying “write what you know.” Of course, no one really wants to hear about the intricacies of keeping, say, fish. What it’s really getting at is that by writing what you know, you’re writing about something personal.

Now, if fish keeping is your thing and but you love sci-fi and want to write a story, it doesn’t have to include fish. Think about what else you know and write about that. Ever had an argument with your brother, sister, mother, or father you didn’t think you’d come back from? Fictionalize that and it’ll grab people.

The purpose of the Unified Republic of Stars storyworld is not to limit the stories being told. Rather it’s to provide a framework and common backstory to any kind of story someone might want to tell in a sci-fi setting. You can go epic, creating a good captain who gets killed in a major battle. In the history of the URS a lot of good people have died. Or you can go small and personal.

The choice is up to you.

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