Welcome to the Compact Universe Newsletter. What is the Compact Universe?
The Compact Universe is space opera, but it's not. It's a bold look at humanity's future, but it's not a retread of Star Trek
. It's everything Robert Heinlein wanted to do, only it's not a pale rewrite of Starship Troopers
. It's Game of Thrones
meets Battlestar Galactica
with a little bit of X Files
thrown in for good measure.
The first novella is The First One's Free
, which sets the events of the series in motion. We are introduced to a humanoid race called the Gelt, who have similar problems to humans: Growing food for an exploding population, finding usable planets, friction with alien species. A familiar looking alien named Marq claims an ugly brown root will solve all their problems. Meanwhile, a planetary minister finds himself in hot water when nuclear weapons disappear from a planet he's arranged to give to a troublesome local cult. Now his only hope to clear himself is that same cult, who worships Marilyn Monroe as a goddess.
Learn more about or buy The First One's Free here
The second novella, Gimme Shelter, brings the action to Amargosa, a distant human colony. JT Austin runs away from his rich mother hoping to rich Tian, humanity's most populous and sophisticated world. Detoured to Amargosa, he finds himself living on a farm, under the suspicion of a local constable, and in the sights of a farmer's daughter who finds him "exotic." Meanwhile, Lucius Kray, a local constable, craves a return to his glory days in the recent Polygamy Wars. Instead, he finds himself keeping the peace for local farmers on Amargosa. So when Marcus Leitman shows up wanting Kray to turn a blind eye to an unlicensed GMO crop, Kray sees an opportunity to form his own militia. And Leitman is all too happy to supply the arms if it gets him what he wants.
Learn more about or buy Gimme Shelter here
As a thank you for subscribing to this newsletter, I'm offering you "Headspace," a short story that takes place in the Compact Universe, though not on the same worlds as The First One's Free and Gimme Shelter, though it parallels both stories. "Headspace" is a tale of Rafe, a grad student who violates humanity's long-standing taboo against "smart" artificial intelligence all to impress a girl. You can download "Headspace" for free in Kindle, epub, or PDF format.
Thank you and enjoy!
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