The Commonwealth is the SF universe in which many of my novels are set.
Wonder where you are in the story? Use this handy history to learn a little about the worlds explored in:
EPPIE Finalists: True Caderi - 2004; Wind Walker - 2004; Hoven Quest - 2008; The Meruk Episodes - 2010
EPIC Award Winner 2010: The Meruk Episodes
You can find the Commonwealth Universe at Writers Exchange.
Want to read samples of the books before buying?
The Chorillan Cycle:
The Sunsinger Chronicles: Young Adult SF
Pre-History: The Downfall
Before the Commonwealth existed, there was an expanding, multi-galaxy civilization. Known during its heyday as the Central Allied Worlds, it is now referred to by its descendants/survivors simply as "First Civ" or "First Civilization." Due to the combined effects of a too-aggressive policy of expansion, civil unrest, genetic engineering run amok, the inequality and abuse of the classes, and the categorizing of augmented humans as non-humans (and therefore a slave class), First Civ disintegrated. Or as the more blunt historians prefer to say, it self-destructed.
During this period, the Set'ri came to power, demanding the "purification" of the human genome and the destruction of all those races that did not meet the high standards set by the Set'ri and therefore did not qualify as true Humans.
Their targets included the Wrinkle Ship pilots and Khybors, people who had been affected at the genetic level by Khrystal - a semi-sentient organic crystal that repaired damaged nervous systems and allowed those "infected" with Khrystal to "reprogram" and repair their own bodies. Khybors, as they came to be called, were on the front lines of exploration and colonization because Khrystal gave them speedy healing abilities and helped them detect and sometimes even survive dangerous or deadly environments.
Coming: The Khrystal Series: Khrystal, Ambush, Fang and Claw
The period of darkness and barbarism that followed is referred to as the Downfall. Various groups of people fled First Civ, as they became endangered or more powerful people tried to have them classified as mutants or non-humans, and either sterilized or made into slaves. During this period, the Khybors gained more control over Khrystal -- and Khrystal also became easier to control, so it was no longer passed down mother to child. As Khrystal became even more deeply ingrained in the genetic structure, the talents or non-Human abilities among the Khybors changed. Just before the total destruction of the Central Allied Worlds, Khybors discovered the ability to merge with machines, and discovered the ability to move starships from one dimension to another. This was the birth of the Leapers. (See the Sunsinger book: Leap Ships)
See: Norbra's Children. Coming: Slipstream
Some groups of people managed to get hold of ships and flee to distant galaxies. Using sleeper ships, they could spend centuries in travel and no one would age. This caused problems later, when different waves of refugees landed on the same planet, and the newcomers came into conflict with those who had been there for centuries.
See: Wind Walker. Coming: Moonbirds
The planet Vidan, presumed to be the center of First Civ's government, degraded into a world filled with petty city-states, and battles fought with gunpowder and swords. Tales of traveling to the stars were considered fairy tales within only two generations of the onslaught of the Downfall. Colony worlds were abandoned to starve or die of mutated diseases. The genetically manipulated inhabitants abandoned there by their creators/masters were left to create their own way of life.
From the chaos on Vidan, a holy scholar named Kilvordi discovered the legacy of their ancestor's arrogance lived on. He and others he gathered around him were the Undying -- able to regenerate at an incredible speed. Long-lived, seemingly young forever, and impervious to all but the most devastating diseases -- only drastic injuries could kill them, such as corrosive poisons, bombs, or extensive dismemberment.
See: The Order books: Undying, Healer, Scholar, Grief, Reborn, Vision
Kilvordi and his followers put their legacy to good use, taking great risks and devoting lifetimes to regain the lost knowledge and technology of First Civ. The Church supported his efforts and established the Order of Kilvordi -- known more simply as the Order. The members of the Order keep their gift a secret and spare no effort to find others like them. They sponsored and protected various groups in the newly-emerging Commonwealth, when the fears of mutation appeared in the first few generations of starflight.
See: The Sunsinger books, especially The Lady and the Order.
Within a century, Vidan was again reaching out to the stars -- sadder and wiser, and cautious, unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the ancestors. The Commonwealth was born, reaching out to lost colonies and establishing new ones, rediscovering lost technology and how to navigate the starways. Many of the lost colonies had not only survived but thrived -- and they remembered their abandonment and the harsh generations of the Downfall. They refused to join the Commonwealth, and instead formed their own confederacy known as the Conclave. These independent planets and star systems formed a profit-based alliance where smugglers and robber barons and petty chieftains flourished.
The Commonwealth is a representational government, headed by the Commonwealth Council, which convenes on the asteroid-based complex, Centralis. The Commonwealth Upper University is also located on Centralis, and serves as the final word in scientific, medical, historical and legal matters.
The Commonwealth is protected and served by two military arms: the Fleet, which provides general transportation services, colonial support and emergency aid, as well as protection against rebels and invaders; and the Rangers, who specialize in planetary survey, pre-colonization analysis, military emergencies, disaster relief and more aggressive action against enemies of the Commonwealth in general.
Early in the fourth century of space flight, the Scout Corps formed, aided by the Spacers, the Order, and Leapers, to provide faster aid to colonies on the edge of civilization. They have full authority to act as police force, judge and jury. Aided by the Order, they are the explorers and special forces unit of the Commonwealth.
Planned future books, filling in gaps in Commonwealth history: Lin of Sunsinger, Phoenix Under Glass, Hoven War.
Updated April 27, 2012