In The Beginning
The Unified Republic of Stars was an idea I, Colin Andrew Ferm, had a few years ago that blew up into the huge, if not overwhelming project you read here today.
It began as a metaphor.
Actually, it began as a thought.
No… really it began as a conversation in a bar.
In the run up to the Iraq war, some asshole in my local watering hole began bragging about how we’ve kicked the shit out of (almost) anyone we’ve gone up again. Sure, we lost to those gooks over in Vietnam but then they didn’t play fair, did they? We stomped on a little bit of Germany. We dropped the big one on Japan, twice. We showed those Koreans a thing or two (although given the way we left things and the current state of things, I think that point’s highly debatable also). We kicked us some commie Ruskie ass. Well, not literally… but is the Soviet Union still around? And, of course, we tossed out those damn Brits and made them sorry for their trouble.
He was, of course, forgetting about the War of 1812 when they burned down the White House. But it would have defeated his point. I mean, foreign soldiers on American territory? Point was, we rock when it comes to fighting wars.
Me being me, and having had a few bourbons by this point, felt the need to point out that our history of fighting wars was far more spotty than he might have liked to believe. Hell, we’re not even really good at fighting ourselves. How many people died in the Civil War?
But the main thing that really has always worked in our favor, really, isn’t that we’re really great at fighting wars, it’s that we’re an ocean away from almost everyone who’d want to make trouble for us. We haven’t been kicked around and involved in one sort of conflict or another for our entire history. We can basically choose the wars we get involved in. It’s the ocean. And the ocean is the reason, the real reason we won our independence.
Some people, honest people, will say it’s the French. They’re wrong. I mean, yes, the French helped us mightily. And for that, so long as we still enjoy our form of government and don’t wish to return to the bossom of England, we should forever thank them for their help. But the real truth is, it was the ocean.
Three thousand miles of rough seas can play havoc on trying to keep some colonies on the leash. Especially when they start angling towards independence. It wasn’t like the English had a huge standing army on North America. Yes, they sent generals over from time to time when the French or the Indians began getting worked up. But most of those guys in the red coats? Americans.
So they have to send an army over.
Then what happens?
They have to keep sending armies over. And all their weapons. And their horses. And bring communications. And send new leadership when the guys that are there aren’t getting the job done. And reinforcements when those guys lost an army or two.
The Americans? Shit… They had new kids reaching size enough to hold a musket every day. And most of the people around them liked them, so they were getting cooperation from the locals when they marched through. They could sit and wait. It was their land, after all.
An ocean. It was the difference that Ireland didn’t have.
Which brings me to this. I write fiction. I read history but I don’t want to write in the past. I want to write in the future.
It’s a big world, the planet Earth is. But as we all know, it’s getting smaller every day. An ocean just doesn’t mean what it used to. Those bomber strikes in Afghanistan? They’re launched from Colorado. So I can’t set a story on Earth. Not this kind of story.
But we’re in an another ocean. Space. And I love science-fiction.
I love spaceships, and laser pistols, and all the other things that go with it. Well… I don’t love aliens because… I’ll get to that in a minute.
So space it was.
The Unified Republic of Stars is a new republic. They start out as colonies on planets in a made up cluster of reasonably close stars about eight light years from Earth. It takes about thirty days to get to the nearest one. So, yes, there is faster than light travel. But it’s an ocean that has to be crossed. And these colonies don’t want to be colonies any longer.
What This Is
This wiki is a collection of all the background I put together to make this world come alive. It’s my “bible” as they say in the TV world. I’d been playing around with the idea for a while of publishing it and seeing where it goes but the real credit for pushing me to do it goes to my friend Mark Harris. He watched me put it all together and, though he called me crazy many, many times, he insisted that it was something that should be shared.
Beginning January 31st, 2011, I’ve made the wiki editable by all registered users. I want to open this up and make everyone feel as though they can add to the story. Additions will be moderated to ensure that everything sticks with the overall story but that’s just to ensure that new information doesn’t significantly affect stories written with older information. All information is published under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license for sharing and reuse.
One thing this site will not be, and that is “kid friendly.” I welcome people under the age of 18 (with parental consent, of course) who are interested in the complex lives of complex people but no punches will be pulled here. This isn’t Star Trek, good people die here, frequently and badly. The “morals” of this world are not ours. Many things happen that wouldn’t in our own world. But this is a good thing. How can we consider where we are ourselves if not by considering how it might otherwise be?