As my regular readers here are no doubt aware, earlier this week I released A Looming Shadow, book 2 in the Galaxy Ascendant series. I first talked about it a while back in relation to the space opera genre. But now that there is more than one book out, I think it’s an appropriate time to more directly talk about the Galaxy Ascendant.
So, what is the Galaxy Ascendant?
The Galaxy Ascendant is not just the name of series that began with A Greater Duty; it is the name of what I plan to be an expansive, persistent space opera setting in which I will write stories for a good long time.
The galaxy is a very big place, and there is always something new to discover. To build anything, you must start from the bottom, then work your way upward and outward.
One thing I have learned from my favorite sci-fi and space opera universes is the fine balance between setting up an expansive setting and properly utilizing the setting for the purposes of the story. For example, Star Wars has set up a massive, massive galactic setting. However, this is not taken advantage of, with most stories simply revolving around the same basic things that the audience knows from the original films (this is especially true in the post-Disney purchase canon.) On the other hand, the Star Trek franchise has taken a far more limited look at the galaxy (in part due to the emphasis the early series had on exploration, but also due to the fairly tight focus on the Federation), but because of this, in the canon works, we do not know a whole lot about species and civilizations beyond the Humans, Vulcans, and Klingons. Where Star Wars squanders a vast, established setting, Star Trek has, in my opinion, failed to expand its galaxy enough.
The Mass Effect franchise took a more balanced approach to this, with a, shall we say, less ambitious galactic setting, but one that by no means felt unexplored, and it didn’t have an overly narrow focus on a few things. The trgedy with Mass Effect is simply poor storytelling, which seems to have, for now, at least, killed the franchise.
I believe I have been able to learn from these three franchises that I have loved, and which have greatly inspired me, taking what they did well while working to avoid making the same mistakes.
In A Greater Duty, the story takes place in a section of the galaxy largely controlled by the Galactic Alliance, a union of numerous species and star systems that totals about a third of the galaxy. As the series progresses, however, we will learn more about what else the galaxy has to offer, and beyond this initial series, there will be more, awesome things to discover out there.
My goal is for the Galaxy Ascendant to become a rich, cool, creative, and fun universe in which all manner of stories will be told, from sweeping ethics to smaller stories of exploration, adventure, romance, survival, and more. Always building on what came before, while not being a slave to it. Only be doing this can I give my galaxy to grow and ascend to new horizons, and I hope that you will join me there. I’m just getting started.
Check out A Greater Duty, as well as A Looming Shadow, book 2 in the Galaxy Ascendant series over on Amazon, and if you sign up for my mailing list, you will get, in addition to a free sci-fi novelette, regular free short fiction set in the Galaxy Ascendant universe.