A New Review and two new interviews!

 

 

What better way to celebrate a new year (not to mention a very successful sales promotion)  than to be interviewed by some of my favorite authors and bloggers

The first was with the talented Science Fiction author and poet, Yolanda Washington, who very kindly asked me to share some of my thoughts on the future of humanity through an archaeologists eyes.

The interview (http://yiwashington.com/2013/12/17/an-archeaologists-guide-to-humanity-in-sci-fi/) was fun and had some very keen interesting questions.

The second interview was by William Bregnard who runs the absolutely fascinating Future War Stories website.  Want to know about the realities of future weapons?  Want to see some interesting discussions on different interpretations of the future military?  Future War Stories is hard to beat

For this week, he reviewed my book and included an interview at the end which asked some very adept questions about my book and my world (http://futurewarstories.blogspot.com/2014/01/fws-book-review-strings-on-shadow.html).

 

 

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Holiday Sale on Strings on a Shadow Puppet!!!

Happy Holidays!  I have decided to celebrate the 2013 Holiday season with a sale on Strings on a Shadow Puppet.  Starting on Christmas Day, Strings on a Shadow Puppet will be prices at a mere $0.99!  Then each day the price will increase slightly until its back to its eminently affordable $2.99 on the New Year Years Day!

Part military sci-fi, part space opera, and part espionage thriller, Strings on a Shadow Puppet is filled with compelling characters, dark conspiracies, and enough fast paced combat to keep any action junkie on the edge of their seat. Strings on a Shadow Puppet will keep you turning the pages until the last plot twist is revealed.

Authors and Critics agree…

Strings on a Shadow Puppet truly stands out from other Military Science Fiction. Evans kept me on the edge of my chair the whole time, through twists and turns that I didn’t see coming but enjoyed immensely.” - Jerry Oltion, Winner of the Nebula and Endeavor Awards, author of Getaway Special, Anywhere But Here, Paradise Passed, and many more

“In his first venture into military science fiction, author T.L. Evans expertly forges a brilliant tale of espionage, loyalty, political struggle, and military service, within a galactic setting a far future laced with incredible technology. Prepare yourself for an engrossing read in the Strings of a Shadow Puppet.”    - William Bregnard, Future War Stories

“I have read an astonishing sci-fi book….  Strings on a Shadow Puppet not only builds on many of the constants of Science Fiction, but it goes way beyond them.” -Charles Van Doren, author of The Lion of Cortona, A History of Knowledge, The Joy of Reading, and How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading.

“Strings on a Shadow Puppet thoughtfully questions notions of social class, democracy, and freedom, in a way that is, frankly, very timely… we all know spying is part of our world today, but what are the costs to the people living with the reality of it day in and day out? For me, this is where the author exceeds my expectations of the genre.”

- Charlie Alden Smart Girls Like Science Fiction and Paranormal Romance

Buy this thoughtful thriller now while the special price still lasts!

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Special deal on Strings on a Shadow Puppet

 

SoaSPADvert002.jpg

Starting on Christmas Day (December 25), 2013 there will be a promotional sale on the Kindle version of Strings on a Shadow Puppet!

Starting at 8AM on Christmas, you can buy the gripping novel by T.L. Evans for a mere $0.99!  But don’t dilly-dally… the next day, the price goes up, and keeps going up in small increments until New Years when it returns to its normal shelf price of $2.99!

So plan to act first thing Christmas Morning and buy more with those Amazon gift cards!

Go to Amazon Now and Plan to Purchase!

 

 

 

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A Technical Guide to the HMS Hunter

Space Operas and Military Science Fiction novels often focus on the technical aspects of the worlds they are set in.  While Strings on a Shadow Puppet certainly does this to a certain degree, there are a lot of infodumps and technobabble that I left out in favor of focusing more on the characters and other elements of the setting.  Even so, I do have an Encyclopedia Sophensis, as it were, that I work from that includes some more technical descriptions of the world.

That being the case, and as that I am still recovering from my operation (Hydrocodine!  Whoo hoo!)  I thought I’d post my entry for the ship that serves as the setting for much of the novel, the HMS Hunter.  Indeed, before deciding to call it Strings on a Shadow Puppet, the book had the working title of HMS Hunter for the longest time.  In the end, I thought the title I chose said more about the book than simple the name of a ship would, but still, the Hunter plays an important role in the novel, and I thought that some readers might like to see a more technical description of it, this one a bit in the style of a Janes’ Fighting Ships kind of an entry.  To that end, it is a bit long winded with a number of compound sentences (and indeed some comma splices) that are intended to make it read a bit like a technical manual. [1]

Excuses aside, here is a description of the Spectre class of reconnaissance and assault warship (e.g. The HMS Hunter, HMS Stalker, HMS Jaeger, etc.).

Spectre Class Stealth Ship -

 

HMS Hunter Operations Deck - Draft

HMS Hunter Operations Deck – Draft

The Spectre class stealth vessels are designed to be small, maneuverable and fast, but most of all, they are intended to provide a low observable platform for both space and atmospheric operations.  The hull of the Spectre is streamlined, allowing it to operate within atmospheres. The overall atmospheric maneuverability of the ship is, however, somewhat reduce in favor of its stealth capacity.  All Spectre class ships present a long, sleek profile which is roughly shaped like elongated diamond in plan, with the bows forming the longer portion of the design, and the aft being squatter in shape. However, when engaged in atmospheric operations the vessel extends its delta-shaped retractable wings from its port and starboard side, forming the more classic wedge or ‘arrow head’ shaped configuration usually shown in images of the ship. This appearance gives the vessel the infamous, bat-like appearance commonly associated with such stealth-operational atmospheric craft.

The Spectre class vessels have configurable camouflage hulls, allowing them to alter their color scheme and provide differing appearances to optic sensors. In normal operations, however, the hull is generally set to a matt-black, sensor absorptive configuration that, combined with its angular hull design, drastically reduces its sensor footprint, effectively making it invisible in space operations.  Indeed, outside of an atmosphere these ships are practically impossible to pick out even with active sensors unless they use their maneuvering engines.  Inside an atmosphere they generally considered more difficult than most any other stealth vehicle to detect.

The general layout of the Spectre class is spread across two decks.  The lower deck is the longest and widest in shape and is home to gunnery command, the four cabins that serve as crew quarters, one lounge/galley/mess for relaxation in off duty periods, central engineering where the ships drives were located, two ships holds for personal weapons and supply storage, and an armory that includes practice/shooting facilities for combat drills that utilizes holodynamic walls to provide a sense of distance and depth.[2]

HMS Hunter Draft diagram, Command Deck

HMS Hunter Draft diagram, Command Deck

The top deck normally consists of the bridge and the modular bay.  Spectre class bridge configurations are frequently described as more of a cockpit than a true bridge, as that it is relatively small.  Even so, it is designed to provide more than adequate room for a side-by-side workstation for the single pilot and nav/com combination that is recommended for effective operation of the ship in a combat environment.

Each workstation on the ship is configurable to the individual crew’s preferences, but includes i/o ports[3] for direct networked interaction between the operator and the ship, as well as a holodynamic user interface and a mechanical backup in case of prime control failure.  Most crew use some combination of the three.

The modular bay is of course designed to be fitted with a variety of modular components based upon the ships’ specific mission.  Most commonly the ships are set up with extensive sensor, navigation and communication arrays due to their frequent use as surveillance and/or ECM vessels, but a number of other modules could also be fitted in place.  These included additional weapons bay, accommodation for two more crew members, a stasis-berth module capable of carrying 16 crew/marine/passengers, and a variety of other combinations.

This was one of the bits of concept art I came up with the my book, back when it had a different working title and I was going to use a pseudonym.  As you see over the next few days, the value of a real artist is beyond the technical skill, but in vision.  The art that follows shows why you use a professional artist.

This was one of the bits of concept art I came up with the my book, back when it had a different working title and I was going to use a pseudonym. As you see over the next few days, the value of a real artist is beyond the technical skill, but in vision. The art that follows shows why you use a professional artist.

Primary access to the ship is gained through the aft personnel airlock, the rear ventral airlock (with retractable docking clamp), and/or the larger dorsal ‘baydoor’ airlock, all of which are normally covered by outer hull plating during flight.  This plating can be retracted, however, to allow for immediate access and/or drop capability.  The act of opening the dorsal bay during atmospheric flight makes the craft extremely difficult to handle and so is not recommended by the manufacturer.

The standard power sources for the Spectre class vessel is a combination of two aft mounted Hyporia Manufacturing, K-class fusion rockets with a single Prime Distributor’s Ltd HO model fusion power plant set between and above of them. The fusion rockets are generally known to require a good deal of maintenance, but if properly tended to can produce a constant high yield, frequently measured in excess of 4.67Gs, for extended periods.  These are, of course, the ship’s principle mode of high speed locomotion in extra-atmospheric operations, but the large fusion tail produced by the rockets are highly visible even to the naked eye.  As such, they are considered unsuitable to most of the ship’s stealth oriented deployments.  Additionally, they produce highly toxic radioactive output if used within atmospheric environments.

To solve the issue of low-observable locomotion the ship is also fitted with mid-yield reaction mass thrusters capable of a maximum output of 1.22G’s, and standardly used at between 0.4 and 1G of thrust.  While this is slow for many combat operations, the detectable output of this system is negligible, and reaction material can be gleamed from the waste products of gas-giant fuel skimming processes.  As a result, it is ideal for most reconnaissance operations and any stealth assault missions the ship may be asked to carry out.

For atmospheric operations a set of two Hyporia turget engines can be deployed from the ventral side of the wings, allowing reasonable atmospheric handling.  The turgets are, of course, capable of being power by the fusion reactors, and as such provided a speedy and stealthy solution to planet-side missions.

At this point one should note that the Hyporia K-Class rockets were well known for their capacity to be capable of being sealed to the outside environment and used as standard fusion generators.  While they did produce power in their unsealed rate, if used while sealed, they did not produce the fusion plume, and instead provided a useful secondary power source for the ships in question.  This allowed the HO fusion power plant to be used almost solely to power the Essar-Rosenthal drive (‘jump’).

The one shortcoming of the Hyporia engines is that while they could be turned from power-plant to fusion rocket in an instant, the reverse is not true. If used as a fusion rocket, it is required to shut down the engines for a period of no less than one hour before the outer hatches can be closed.  This is then followed by a 20 minute restart process.  Fortunately, normal operations mean that the Spectre class ships remain in stealth mode, using the Hyporia engines to power the reaction mass thrusters (or the turget engines if on lurker duty[4]) and then rapidly open the fusion rocket vents to obtain high-g accelerations while striking at their enemy. Obviously, such an attack run style of assault sacrifices the stealth ability of the ship, both during the run and for the one hour cool down period afterward.  It also strongly limits the Spectre’s capacity to operate within atmospheres rapidly after the fusion rockets have been used, though this limitation can  be somewhat overcome through use of the HO model fusion power plant. Most commanders, however, tend to prefer to keep the power plants in reserve for the Essar-Rosenthal drive when possible, and maintain their stealth capacity throughout a combat.

Despite the great importance of the power-plants and engines, it is the Essar-Rosenthal drive that most engineers considered the soul of the ship. The Spectre class ER drive is manufactured by Hammonrie-Manufacturing Inc.  Capable of high yield responses, the Omicron model ER drive is able to project a 4X field, making it capable of a 0.423 parsec jump. This makes its interstellar capability among the fastest in the Empire.[5] Thus, even considering the jump-recovery period, the Spectre class vessels are capable of travelling 3 parsecs within one week, which makes them ideal for rapid and long range scouting and reconnaissance missions.

Though initial trials encountered a series of problems with the interface between the Hyporia Fusion Rockets and the Prime Distributor’s Ltd HO model fusion power plants, these were sorted out soon after the vessel was put into operation.  Since then, the Spectre class of vessels have proven to be almost as versatile as the Phantom II’s class, but with a considerably higher degree of low-observability that has proven them to be more useful in the roles of reconnaissance and surveillance. While the limits of their low-observability configuration made them less well armed and slightly slower than other vessels of a similar tonnage, it has also made them very difficult to track and almost impossible to initially detect when rigged for silent-running. This combination of stealth capacity, significant weaponry and ability to perform long-range solo operations make the Spectre class vessels ideal for rapid strike missions, lurker patrols and missions behind enemy lines.


[1] Note, the diagrams included were pretty rough drawings that I did for my own logic before writing the book.  They do not exactly match the configuration described in the book and are not canon.  Indeed, even while writing the text, I thought to myself that these were too rectilinear, without enough odd spaces that would be necessitated by the ship configuration.  Still, it gives the reader a general idea of what I was thinking.

[2] Combined with direct feed and other virtual reality elements, these practice halls are extremely good at simulating situations such as ground based combat, boarding parties, and other personal combat environments. Ship-to-ship simulations are generally performed using the actual duty stations of the crew.

[3] Sophyan Naval protocol requires that no sensitive ship systems can be controlled through wireless communications, with the sole exception of repair robots that work through a tight system of short range Line of Sight (LOS) communications systems, except in extreme emergencies where short range radio comms may be used at the discretion of the CO and Chief Engineer.  This protocol exists in order to remove both the possibility detection through stray signals and more importantly, and the possibility of the ship systems being hacked.

[4] Lurker Duty – the act of hiding inside the atmosphere of a planetary body in wait in order to observe or attack another ship.  Normally this is reserved for operations inside of gas-giants, utilizing the denser elements of the atmosphere to hide the ship from both passive active sensor arrays.  It frequently involves the ambushing of a ship or subcraft in the process of refueling.

[5] Maximum ‘jump’ capacity is, of course, 0.62 parsecs and normal passage is 0.1428.

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A Guide to the Billanobian Hegemony

ARAGEmblemStar Trek, Star Wars and Star Lost all had early influence on my imagination,[1] but past the initial love of the spectacular, the two most influential works for my speculative fiction writing were Tolkien‘s Middle Earth series and Frank Herbert’s Dune series.[2] These works in particular, both given to me by my sister,[3] formed a corner stone in my imagination.  They taught me that imagined worlds had to have depth and a canon upon which the story was built.  Really good Sci Fi and Fantasy had to be internally logical and consistent, but not all of those details need be put into the text of the novel.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/z33-qOXOWS4] Oooh look, a gratuitous use of one of the best opening sequences ever made.  

To that end, there are lots and lots of little background details in Strings on a Shadow Puppet that are hinted at, or passed over, but never gone into.  Most of them never really will be.  Let the readers imagine it for themselves eh?  Even so, there is one topic I get asked about more than any thing else: the Billanobians.

Who are they? What are they all about? And what’s with that freakin’ dance?  Well, since I have about seventy five pages written on it, I thought I’d write a brief little summary on them, just for some fun for my readers.  Mind you boiling it down to a blog post takes away some of the complexity, so keep that in mind if things you read in the book don’t seem to quite marry up.  After all, what culture is completely consistent to itself?

The Billanobian Hegemony – An excerpt from the Encyclopedia Sophynensis

The Billanobian Hegemony is an independent state closely allied with the Sophyan Empire and is the second largest interstellar nation in ‘rediscovered space’ by volume (the Atrucan Cooperative is the second largest by population).  First founded after a cataclysmic misjump by a Colony ship during the early days of the second phase of the Great Human Diaspora, Billanobian society is a highly caste oriented society that is governed primarily by tradition and ritual.

There are between 1200 and 3000 castes within the society, depending on ones’ exact definition of caste, each with given hereditary roles that members may fulfill.  Each caste holds a certain degree of independence within its own social boundaries, with laws varying based upon caste membership, and with numerous dialects used within and between each caste, depending on whom one is engaging in conversation.[4] Each caste has given roles and professions that are open to them, with those at the higher social end having a more restrictive selection of occupational roles, all of which address levels of higher management, while those at the lower end have a wider range of occupations they may undertake, but with little authority or decision making capacity provided in each.  Many of the caste roles overlap in part with roles fulfilled by other castes, and inter-caste relationships are strictly governed by tradition and ritual.  The origins of this system are bound to the circumstances following the misjump of the original colony ship (q.v.).

Government

As implied by its name, the Billanobia is ruled by an oligarchic council selected from members of a hereditary caste based elite.  Membership in this council is restricted to representatives from each of the ruling castes, as well as plebiscite representation from the lower castes. Executive power is shared between a Triumvirate, each member of which having two votes, and a Plebian Advisor, who has three votes.  Thus, if all three Ruling Caste executives agree, their decision holds sway, but if one sides with the Plebian Advisor, the two of them hold sway.  In practice it is rare for any member of the Triumvirate to side with the Plebian Advisor.

In its original form, there was no Triumvirate or Advisor, but rather the council was overseen by a supreme executive chosen from an Imperial Elector caste by other members of that caste.  This individual would vote in the full council in cases of a tie, and would generally oversee the Legal system, but not the military.  This form of Imperial hierarchy was eliminated after the Terran Confederation one the War of Reconstitution, and established the Billanobian Protectorate.  During that period the Ruling Council was disbanded and all members of the Elector Castes were forcibly relocated throughout the new Terran Federation.  Instead, all power placed in the hands of the Earth appointed Governor.

During the War of Extinction, the Ruling Council was reintroduced in an advisory role and returned to permanent place during the Second Empire, with the Mandellan President Protector replacing the role of Emperor. When contact was lost during the subsequent Strife of the Made, executive power reverted to the Ruling Council, and since no decedents of the Imperial Elector families were left in Billanobian Space, the present Triumvirate/Plebian Advisor system was introduced.  Tradition and ritual remain strong in Billanobia, and there is a general desire to return to an Imperial system.  This can only be accomplished, however, if a member of the Billanobian Elector castes is made Grand Master of the Stars (Emperor).

Origins of Billanobian Culture

As previously noted, Billanobian culture has its origins in the Great Human Diaspora. It grew out of the descendents of a colony ship that was launched in a joint private-governmental initiative between a variety of disparate nations from the Terran continent of Asia. Some have, in fact, suggested that the true the origins to the Billanobian caste system can be found here at the start of the project, for roles in this new colony were strictly divided between Administrative, Security, Scientific Research, and Production.[5] Added to this was, of course, the Operational Crew of the ship, whose role was never intended to become part of the eventual Colony, but which was integrated into the social structure after the accident.  These work oriented divisions, combined with the large number of cultural and ethnic identities within the colonial makeup, have led many modern academics to suggest that some form of caste system was always likely to occur.

Regardless, when the colony ship had a catastrophic collapse of the Essar-Rosenthal field, a misjump occurred that left the ship hundreds of parsecs rather than the 0.14 parsecs that was the technological height of the period.[6]  The result was that the ship ended up less than one light year from a star system.[7]

[youtube=http://youtu.be/UMAi6u4Ps5A] Here is the intro to Starlost, which had some influence on ideas for cultural drift and generation ships. 

Though the jump drive was irreparable in deep space, the surviving crew and passengers converted the ship into a generation vessel and began a sixty-seven year transit to the nearest star.[8]  Though no habitable planets were present, there were enough raw materials and fuel to repair the ship and make transit to another, more hospitable planet. This repair stage took twenty-seven years in total, and was followed by a second crossing of eighty-eight years in duration.  The need for extreme rationing and strict discipline during this period of transit solidified the cultural hierarchical systems already in place. It is generally agreed that the Billanobian cultural emphasis on science and discovery is tied in part to the need to discover new ways of repairing the ship, attempts to discover habitable locations and the need to help the population to survive both the physical and mental hardships of the transit.

There is also evidence suggesting that the Great Dance had its origin in the long transit.  According to these theories, the predecessor to the Great Dance was initiated as a form of cross-cultural exchange designed to lessen cultural tensions and promote trans-professional cooperation. It is clear from surviving ship records that large social ‘get-togethers’ were held periodically throughout the transit.  These began with each culture performing traditional dances and ceremonies, followed by less formal dancing and social interactions.  Additionally, it seems the Billanobian emphasis on the arts had its origins in the transit, for records show that both the governmental authorities and the ship’s command crew ensured that resources were made available to create and perform art throughout this time.  It is believed this was done to maintain a healthy moral.

The depth of Tolkien's World building may be a bit too much for some, but I love the way he only ever uses internal references.

The depth of Tolkien’s World building may be a bit too much for some, but I love the way he only ever uses internal references.

The second star system to be encountered, Billanobia, was found to have two planets in the Goldilocks zone capable of sustaining life.  One already had indigenous, non-intelligent life, while the other required more substantial terraforming.  The ship landed its population on the first, and set up atmosphere plants on the second.  For over 100 years life continued under much hardship, with food scarcities and harsh conditions.

It is clear that early in the Colonization Period the Great Dance was formalized. Held as large Potlatch gatherings, the annual Dance emphasized the unity of Billanobian culture despite the disparate origins. It is clear that each cultural ethnic group had begun to alter their own traditional dances, and it is known that the first holistic dance was held at this time – with each individual dancer coming together and touching of dancer with every other dancer as a sign of unity combined with individuality.

Dune also has a huge background, but what I love the best about it was that Herbert never showed more than he had to... until his son decided to do the prequel thing...

Dune also has a huge background, but what I love the best about it was that Herbert never showed more than he had to… until his son decided to do the prequel thing…

Whether the Dance helped to create the caste system, or if the caste system began to be represented in the Dance is a matter of much debate.  Most Billanobian Historians believe it was dialectic, but either way, by the point the second planet in the system Hope, was ready for the first inhabitants, the hereditary caste system was already in place, and the progenitor of the system of Electors had developed.

Even before the second planet in the system, Hope, was colonized, the Billanobians had begun building new starships and exploring the surrounding space.  This was done both out of the hope of re-establishing contact with Terran space, and from the need to discover if any alien threats lay nearby.  Instead of threats, however, the Billanobians found that nearby sentient aliens were considerably less advanced on a technological level, with few even having entered into an equivalent of a Neolithic age, and none having entered an early industrial level of technology.

As a result, when contact was made, the Billanobians ‘took the aliens under their wing’ and created protector states which regulated flow of technology in a manner to help ensure the new races maintained their own cultural identities.

Wing as I do about George R. R. Martin from time to time, his internal world logic is superb.

Wing as I do about George R. R. Martin from time to time, his internal world logic is superb.

The continued emphasis on scientific discovery, the desire to once more contact Earth, and the openness with which Billanobians accepted alien concepts and ideas are all thought to have added to Billanobian technology.  Indeed, it is thought these are all reasons why they were able to develop a 0.28 parsec capable Essar-Rosenthal field far in advance of their Terran counterparts.

 

Recontact

Eventually, Billanobian explorers did encounter the far edge of Terran space.  An initial period of jubilation occurred with a large number of delegations sent back and forth between the two human states.  By this point, Billanobian territory was well over three times that of the Terran Confederation, and a great deal of cultural drift had occurred between the two states.

Quickly, the now highly democratic Terran Confederation came to have concerns about the extremely hereditary and hierarchical nature of the Billanobian Empire, while the tradition bound Billanobians were somewhat taken aback by the ‘chaotic’ and individualistic nature of the various more ‘Terran’ cultures they came across. They were also somewhat disgusted by the attempts of Terran based cultures to culturally assimilate the sentient aliens they had encountered.  To that end, it is now sometimes seen as ironic that the Billanobians who were so open to alien cultures were intolerant of different human cultures, while the Terran Confederation was open to any number of human cultural differences (except hereditary hierarchies), but forced alien civilizations to adapt to human cultural standards.

The Wars of Reconstitution

Within twenty years a state of war existed between the two human states.  Initially the Billanobians won almost every engagement, and those planets conquered had Billanobian culture enforced upon them.  Almost half of Terran space was taken before the Terrans adapted, at which point a three generation long conflict began.  Eventually, the Terrans won. Some say this was due to the rigid caste system and strict adherence to tradition of the Billanobians, others note that the cultural diversity and lack of centralized economic structure of the Terrans was the cause.  Regardless, the Terrans eventually overran Billanobian space, forced the Imperial Electors to disperse and resettle on the other side of the Corridor, and placed a Military Governor in charge of the core Billanobian regions.[9]

This strict external rule was relaxed during the War of Extinction,[10] when military forces could no longer be spared to occupy a human population, particularly once all humans realized that they faced total annihilation of the Graast were not overcome.  It was only through a combined concerted effort by all humans (and indeed the numerous subjugated alien sophants) that the Graast were able to be defeated.  Even this required the creation of the ‘Made,’ the genetically enhanced populations that many believe include, but are not limited to, the Mandellans.

After the War, Lu-Yi Mbuna Ryppavitch Melnosse Mandella was declared President of the Terran Federation, permanently re-established the Billanobian Ruling Council who immediately declared him Regent Grand-Protector of the Stars.[11]  Soon, the Federation was reconstituted as the Confederated Human Empire, and more popularly called the Second Empire.  Though arts, the economy and science flourished during this period, it lasted only one generation before the Mandellans and others began infighting and the Strife of the Made began.

The wars and conflicts that so defined the Strife left Billanobia greatly untouched, though the economic collapse did  have its effects.  Billanobia, like many other cultures, withdrew from external conflict, focused on itself and a return to its cultural traditions and while it did not expand in technology, territory or economy, it did survive the long dark that followed.  When the growing Sophyan Confederation Republic reestablished contact, they found a society much like that of the Original Billanobian Empire still intact.

The SCR had its roots both in Terran and Billanobian cultures, and as such, the two societies quickly found common ground.  Both economic and military cooperation grew and cultural exchanges soon occurred.  Many hierarchs from one nation soon established hierarch status in the other, for Sophyans this was done by establishing decent from Billanobian hierarch castes, and for Billanobians this was done through meritocratic accomplishments.

When the Hon. Drusilla Rheathena Aureleus of the House of Aureleus, Matriarch-Magestrate of Sophyos, and eventual President of the SCR, married the war hero Alexandro  Pleiades, a sophyan citizen who was a direct descendent of one of the Billanobian Elector castes, a growing movement toward formal re-unification was initiated in both states.  This was aided when Lord Pleiades took part in the performance of one of the minor tributary dances of the Great Dance that was performed at their wedding, and brought his new wife into the mix in what was deemed by all to be a traditionally acceptable manner.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/hdjL8WXjlGI] and here we have one of the intro to Star Trek, which still forms one of the most important elements of my Speculative Fiction world view. 

When their son, the Right Hon. Lord Octavius Pleiades was made Emperor, the movement for unification grew all the more, and was further strengthened by his participation in the Great Dance itself, performed on Billanobia.

[1] They were, after all, some of the earliest speculative fiction stories I came across, particularly Star Trek and Star Lost.

[2] Oh, yes there were dozens of other tales put in there, but as far as reading speculative fiction, these books were some of the first one’s I read.  In part this was because my elementary school library had almost no science fiction at all (actually, it also had no Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew or almost anything else a kid would want to read.

[3] Well, Fellowship of the Ring and Dune.  I had picked up The Hobbit on my own when I was in fifth or sixth grade, and all the sequel books to each series on my own as well.

[4] To that end, there is variation enough with the Billanobian caste language that some linguists argue that Billanobian is not a single language but a variety of languages tied together by a series of petite pois and pidgin languages. Others argue the linking dialects form a solid enough bridge that the variations should indeed be considered dialects.

[5] With Production including such disparate categories as Agriculture, Manufacturing, Native Resource Development and some levels of administration.

[6] Indeed, this was fortunate since most such misjumps result in large scale explosion or dispersal on a quantum level.

[7] This again was quite lucky, as that the misjump occurred on the second jump in the ships’ transit and as such, it still had the bulk of its fuel. Those few other ships that have survived such collapses of the Essar-Rosenthal field been found from similar failures are either far too far from any star system to make a journey or if in anyway close to a star, without enough fuel to make the transit.

[8] Named Doomfall.

[9] The ‘Terrans’ also underwent significant change after this period, reconstituting themselves as the Terran Federation, with a more centralized government.

[10] The war with the Graast, the first and to date only Alien race that not only had equal technological development, but superior technology.  Indeed, many areas of Graast technology still confound us.  Though apparently extremely caring to their own kind, the Graast were inherently incapable of empathizing with species other than there own, and saw all intelligent species as a threat that must be destroyed.

[11] Only direct descendents of the Elector castes could actually be declared Grand Protector (Emperor).

 

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Cataclysmic Failure and reboot

Greetings and welcome to the Author pages of T.L. Evans.  We recently experienced a cataclysmic failure due to WordPress’s latest updates, so this is a serious do over attempt.  I will repost some of what I had before, but really view this as a new start.  Huzzah!  Wish me luck

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