I suppose that it was inevitable that I would be writing a politically-oriented article in my ongoing deconstruction of my current novel, Parallax, now available on Amazon and Createspace.
Whether we like it or not, Politics have an influence on our daily lives and in a book like Parallax, this is true on a number of levels. Parallax’s world is filled with endless wonder but also a number of contradictions like our real world. However, the book isn’t about politics itself but how my characters live and work in their environments even though the political systems bear mentioning:
1) The United Earth Union: A Terran Interstellar Nation that is a Republic in theory. After a period of expansive technological growth from the first Field Effect Engines (energy fields provide thrust for spacecraft and terrestrial vehicles) in 2026 to the first systems capable of traveling faster than the speed of light in 2047, Earth has World War III during the period of 2156-2160, which strained many nations that existed up to that point to collapse. At the end of the war, the entire planet reorganized itself to form a one world government. Political systems underwent a major overhaul with many countries being forced to cede their sovereignty to the new Union Government, some voluntarily some by force for the good of the planet. For the first time in recorded history, the planet was able to achieve a lasting parity in terms of social issues yet at the cost of many personal freedoms being altered or removed at the point of a gun or pen. Ironically, after enduring a war that cost billions of lives and devastated many sections of the planet, the rank and file population embraced the new governmental system as a positive change from the inequities of the past. A relative peace fell into place for the next two decades culminating in two significant events in Human History. The first event was in 2171 with the discovery of The Charon Artifact, an abandoned Alien Artifact found floating in orbit around Pluto’s moon, Charon. Previously hidden from expeditions and space probes, the artifact spontaneously appeared in orbit and finally answered the question of humans being alone in The Universe and provided a significant piece of technology: The Hyperspace Engine. In response, humans were forced to redefine their place on both Earth and in Space and like the early Colonization Period, plans were developed to use the new technology to travel the stars. The second major event was the AI Rebellion. The AI Rebellion of 2183-2190 was an internal war to reclaim Earth from a virus reverse engineered from The Charon Artifact by Roberta Black, a disgruntled software engineer with an obvious axe to grind, who used the virus to take over and control much of the world’s electronic systems and half the population. After 7 years of conflict (longer than WW3) Black and her followers were stopped and a major city in Washington State, United States, was bombed, nuked, salted with biological and chemical weapons, and then finally sealed off with a permanent wall and dome as a reminder of the dangers of unchecked progressivism. In response to the conflict, the formerly permissive Union Government enacted several initiatives intended to prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again but the effect was to take the world’s female population and remove many of their rights and privileges. This was met with global protests which were put down with force and tacitly supported by those who survived the Rebellion. The period between 2195-2216 was relatively quiet with many of the government’s repressive policies being slowly and quietly reversed due to concerns that population levels were falling below sustainable levels due to latent mistrust toward the female population’s innate susceptibility toward Black’s virus. Women’s former rights were gradually restored, but monthly mandatory vaccinations were strictly enforced and loyalty oaths were monitored and maintained without exception. In 2217, Earth’s internal issues were put aside when First Contact was made with The Paran Star Nation in the Pi1 Pegasi star system. First Contact was potentially a disaster as the human explorers inadvertently mistook a school of Paran octopoid youngsters as Lunch and consumed them. Suffice it to say that war was very narrowly averted. Later, the Parans would become an important ally. In 2218, First Contact was made with The Locknar Hegemony and two years later, a colonization mishap resulted in a war that lasted from 2220-2223.
2. The Paran Star Nation: The PSN’s current political system is a monarchy, ruled over by an Empress and her genetic family line. While the Empress’s rule is absolute, she has a cabinet of advisers who advise on various segments of Paran society. The Monarchy is similar to that used on Old Earth but due to differences between Parans and Humans, there are slight variations to how that political power is exercised. Not much is currently known about their current history as the Parans are closed-lipped about themselves and prefer to concentrate their endeavors on more day-to-day efforts. It is well-known that they maintain a historical archive, but no outsiders have ever been allowed to peruse this information.
3. The Locknar Hegemony: The Hegemony Government is a mix of feudal monarchy and despotic rule. While there is no actual royal bloodline, the government is run by an Emperor known as The Hegemon and representatives of various clans that make up their civilization. Approximately 16 systems make up the entire empire. They are an old people, approximately 65 million years old and share biological similarities with life on Earth.
This is quite possibly the longest article I have ever written on here and I hope I haven’t thrown too much at you at one time. Essentially, I have given you the backstory of events that lead up to Parallax and I hope you have enjoyed reading it. It took an insanely long time to get all the different elements to come together for a 400 page novel where this stuff ended up in the background but at least it should provide some insight into how and why things work in Parallax. Of course, this information is always subject to expansion as story needs dictate. Thanks. 🙂