Why, you ask, am I telling you this? I'll get to that in about 5 seconds...
Fast forward a few decades, and here I am writing sci-fi post-apocalyptic, dystopian, supernatural, and psychological thrillers. It's all stuff I love to read, and I love to write. But I want to try my hand at writing something different.
[...five Mississippi] So why did I tell you what I watched on TV as a kid? Well, I was geek-a-fied (that's a word) at a young age, and I never recovered. Blend that with a 20-year active military career, and viola! I LOVE military science fiction!
"So why haven't you written any then?" you ask. Thanks! Nice segue!
Truth is, I AM writing military sci fi, and have plans for [at least] a three book series called THE HAN WARS. The first book (titled FLEET OPPOSED) is about 20% complete right now, and I'm having a blast writing it.
With any genre, an author has to do a bit of "world building"--putting together the place where you want to take your readers to for a few precious hours. With my other books, I could basically take our present-day world and tweak a few things, but with he military science fiction genre, the world building is a much more involved task. Like I said, the first book isn't even close to being complete yet, but I'd like to share some of my world building so far.
First off, though, here's the draft blurb for FLEET OPPOSED:
The Republic has known peace for nearly a century. Memories of the Han War have faded over time, with the pain and suffering of total war, and sense of shared sacrifice in the face of annihilation, both distant memories. Disagreements among member systems threaten to fracture the cohesiveness of a united Republic, but the Combined Fleet—an aging shadow of what it once was—still stands guard.
Beyond the outer reaches of Republic space, an old enemy prepares to strike. Fueled by the oppressive bitterness of defeat, the Han cultivate the seeds of dissent among those in the Republic sympathetic to their cause. To the Han Bloc, the third planet of the Sol system—the heart of the Republic and their ancestral home—is the prize, and this time they will not be denied from walking its soil as victors. The moment to act has arrived.
Aboard the Republic fleet defense cruiser RSS Repulse, Commander Jackson Flynn takes the reigns of command and quickly finds himself in the middle of a war no one expected, a war not only between the Republic and the Han Bloc, but also against the treachery within the Combined Fleet itself. As the fleet crumbles before his eyes during the opening stages of battle, Jackson Flynn knows one thing…
The Han are coming home again, with a vengeance. And his Repulse is on the line.
Sound interesting? Hope so. ;) Let's see...there's a Republic, a Combined Fleet, the RSS Repulse, and the Han Bloc...what else? Well, let's take a look, shall we?
This first picture is what I have set as my laptop's wallpaper (a motivator to keep working on the book):
As you can see, there's a bunch of menacing-looking ships coming through some sort of opening in space...and it basically depicts the book's opening scene.
So what about the Republic Combined Fleet? Like most former military, I like to gravitate toward org charts...so here's one:
Three fleets, and an order of battle. But what about the people in the fleet? Well, again being former military, I like rank structures:
A lot of military sci fi I read revolves around some sort of "Space Marines"...that's all fine and dandy, but I wanted to do something a little different:
Now that we know how the rank structure works, how about badges?
A lot of the symbolism from today's military (USAF, US Navy & USMC) is apparent in those badges, and why not? Some traditions run VERY deep, and I figured some might even survive far into the future (with a few tweaks).
Now I'm not even sure if I'm going to use anything from this next picture, but I tried to imagine what a carrier air wing might look like in the world of FLEET OPPOSED. All of the squadron patches are based on actual US Navy & USMC flying units (active and deactivated), with a little of my imagination thrown in for good measure:
Is that geeky enough for ya??? Don't worry. It gets worse. ;) Following the same basic theme, here are the rank structures & badges for the Han Bloc:
In the blurb I happened to mention CDR Jackson Flynn, the commander of the Republic Combined Fleet cruiser RSS Repulse. The story revolves around him, but there's also someone else who plays a major role: Junior Captain Sasha Dracon, commander of the Han battle cruiser Mnementh. Every ship has to have a crest, right? Of course it does:
Another thing I do when I'm writing a book is try and envision what the cover might look like. Here's a couple of raw attempts (basically something I can provide to a professional cover designer as initial ideas):
So there you have it, a little taste of the FLEET OPPOSED world I'm building. If you're a fan of the military sci fi genre, I'd be interested in what you think! Feel free to hop on over to my website & shoot me a message.
A LITTLE DISCLAIMER: Some of the images above were brazenly snatched from the internet--I'm not using any for profit, just for personal motivation only as I write the book. There, I said it. ;)