When I started out with the science fiction, I had a couple of interesting characters in mind. Separate characters, living in their own worlds.
It was only later that they all got together and explained to me that they lived in the same universe. They were just spread out by time.
So I sat down the other day and figured out all the timelines.
The Science Officer series is about Javier and Suvi. And a few others.
Doyle finds Suvi thousands of years later, living in a lost temple of knowledge.
Jessica Keller (novel: Auberon) comes along about a thousand years after that.
For me, the fun of writing is the world-building aspect. Creating rich places for interesting characters to wander around in. I don’t go deep into explicit detail, but having all those words and pages of notes (LOTS of both) lets me insert tidbits of microsetting here and there as I go. And it builds up, like pearls growing slowly.
But now, I had to assemble a very long timeline, one that spanned a tremendously long amount of history, so I knew where everyone was in relationship to each other. Not that there is any time traveling in this universe, but because it’s useful for a character to be able to say that Shakespeare lived 11,000 years ago.
So I had this wonderful universe built. It filled in things, and caused me to think about some of the gaps in it and what happened. More universe building.
Then my publisher asked me what it’s called, since I am in the process of setting at least three major series in it, across the centuries.
I had no idea.
How could a single phrase cover everything from the beginnings of space flight to when the earth gets annihilated by bolide strike about midway, to the whole galaxy kinda having to reset itself when that war causes everything to collapse.
It currently runs up to the year 15,006 CE
But Suvi is the key. She knew Javier. She saved Javier’s life by flying a sensor remote during the book: Shipwreck, five thousand years prior to when Doyle rescues her. And she’ll meet Jessica eleven hundred years forward from that point when Jessica has to save her from the Fribourg Empire. Everything kind of rotates around Suvi, not because she’s a goddess, but because she was there.
She remembers being a starship named Mielikki. She will become a university orbiting Ballard in Doyle’s time. She will be there when Ballard turns from a powerhouse into a piddly little back-water in an unfashionable corner of the galaxy. She will be, in many ways, the narrator of history.
So it became clear what I needed to call this literary universe, to keep it separate from (at least) four other Science Fiction futures I plan on writing. Because they are all three very different places. And I have even worked out the little marketing logo/bug I will use to let the reader know that this is Suvi’s universe.
It will be called Alexandria Station. That is the place that Suvi will call home during Doyle’s lifetime and as well as Jessica’s.
I have other story arcs planned well before Javier (several places there, depending on my energy and time), and at least one well after Jessica.
I hope you will enjoy them all.