About a month ago, I announced that I had abandoned work on Starcruiser Polaris, and that I would be writing the concept off. I even indicated that I was planning to request that the cover I had been commissioned would be altered to form an Alamo cover. Then, suddenly, all of that changed, and at long last, the series I had been wanting to write snapped into position in my head, the result of a couple of critical story breakthroughs very late one night. A couple of days ago, I finished the first in the series, 'Blood of Patriots', and am aiming to release it on July 12th. I'll be starting work on the second in the series, 'Nothing Left To Lose', next week, with a targeted launch date of August 12th. (This means that the next Alamo will be slightly delayed to September 15th from my earlier plan of September 1st, but I want to strike while the iron is hot on this one.)
Given that I've now actually finished a book in this new series, and that the draft is essentially nailed down aside from some tweaks, I think that it is finally time for me to talk about the setting, and the concept, in a little more detail than I have in the past, though naturally, I won't be providing any spoilers for the book. Just a teaser, something to provide a little more detail. For starters, this is not set in the same universe as the Battlecruiser Alamo series, but in a new setting designed for this specific plot, using a few concepts that I've been playing with for a little while. The best way to put it, perhaps, is that if Alamo is my Star Trek, Polaris is my Blake's 7.
It's the year fifty of the New Calendar, dated from the Revolution – the middle twenty-third century according to the old way of counting time. During the twenty-first century, Earth's nations coalesced, first into supranational power blocs, later into the 'Federated Nations', an alliance that theoretically held together for almost a hundred and fifty years, democracy rapidly turning into oligarchy, the 'Hundred Families', leading political, business and in a few occasions former dynastic houses taking the lead, as well as the bulk of the wealth. They launched humanity into the stars, settling worlds scattered all over local space, often involved in Byzantine politics against each other.
All that finally changed. The ordinary people grew poorer, more and more liberties were stripped, and at last, the people were pushed too far and a series of violent riots turned into a wide-scale uprising, which liberated Earth in less than two months – most of the remnant military forces switching sides, either at the beginning of the revolt or as soon as they realized who was going to win. That left the Federated Nations fleeing into space, and led to the construction of the Starcruisers, sixteen custom warships, arrayed against the old national space forces, all loyal to the Federates, fighting in a three-year civil war.
It was a stalemate, at best. Many of the colonies rebelled, and the military force was not present to suppress them, forcing the forces of the Federated Nations to withdraw, pulling to the frontier, to uncharted space. Hundreds of thousands fled Earth to the new colonies, those who feared reprisals as a new generation of Robespierres rose up, corrupting the new regime right from the beginning, though initially these acts of terror were limited. Finally, a ceasefire took effect, the Federated Nations became the Confederation of Stars, led by the Exilarchy, a collection of surviving political and military leaders, a self-appointed council that governs the Confederation to this day.
The Revolutionary leaders declared the Terrestrial People's Republic, and free elections were held for the first time in centuries. This state didn't last for long. Earth was the priority, not the colonies, and they were ignored and suppressed in a bid to keep the Terran population content. Gradually, it became clear that the freedoms that had been promised would not materialize outside cislunar space, and the result was the Uprising, a terrorist revolt that wracked Known Space for three years, finally suppressed when the rebel fleet was corned by the Republic at Ross 154.
Then came the Purge. The leadership of the Republic, fearing further revolt, arrested and killed millions, as many thrown into political prisons, more shipped to the outer colonies to replace those killed in the fighting, and the concept of free elections was locked down, the wealth of humanity increasingly absorbed by an ever-harsher security and surveillance regime. Even on Earth, rumblings began to rise about the tyranny of the leaders of the Republic, and the surviving rebels withdrew into the shadows.
Twenty years have passed, an in a bar on Titan, the rebels are about to launch a Second Revolution, pinning their hopes on a broken-down space commander and a long-lost starcruiser...Polaris...