Shine Cycle Précis: Space and Time (Part Two)

Space and Time is the planned eighth book in the “main line” of the Shine Cycle, following The Barbaric Dragon in chronology. Today’s post is the second part of a brief introduction to it, which I began last month.

The fifth thread of the story is the Sixth War of the Dragon, a brief conflict. The Dragon Empire again tries to quickly seize territory from its neighbors, but this plan goes badly awry, thanks largely to the actions of Renee, Mary, and Cadwallader. Instead, its attacks are foiled, and yet more territory under its dominion is liberated—most notably what becomes the independent princedom of Diamonddom.

The sixth thread begins a couple of years after the war. Gondolor, one of the brightest and most promising students in the history of the Academy, turns to Evil and travels to the Dragon Empire, where he becomes Tashere’s second-in-command. Since he was quite familiar with the inter-universal travel workings developed in the Spacetime Race, he put Tashere in touch with like-minded rulers elsewhere, and they formed an “international organization” (the name “Allied Powers of Evil and Darkness”, abbreviated “APOEAD”, has “stuck” in all my drafts and other material so far, even though it’s highly unlikely that they’d call themselves that). In response, the Shine and Wild Empire and its allies form their own formal alliance (thus far called the “Allied Powers of Good and Light,” or “APOGAL”) and a few countries that maintained a nominal neutrality form a third organization (which I’ve usually called the “Allied Powers of Neutral Entities”)

There’ll be some brief mention of what I generally refer to as “the Reignalmia incident”; I won’t go into much more detail here, as it will have its own sub-series (more on that when I finish summarizing Space and Time), but I’ll include enough description to tie those events in properly and that the Reignalmia sub-series isn’t essential to understanding this story.

The seventh thread is one of increasing tensions between the two sides of the perennial conflict. The Dragon Empire tests the resolve of the guards maintaining the military embargo of its main port, in what history calls the “Fly Confrontation” (after the name of the island on which the guards are based). After this, and further deterioration of relations, the Shine and Wild Empire and its allies close all the main gates in all the walls they built as defenses against the Dragon Empire, and guards on all the borders are increased. A little later, the Dragon Empire sends its armies to challenge some of the gates, but it backs down rather than provoking open war yet. And as the period goes on, piracy becomes an increasing problem for international and interstellar trade.

An eighth thread deals with the establishment of a group of mages under the aegis of the Imperial Palace. They aren’t quite as important here, but become pivotal later. The name for the group in my original drafts of the “outline of history” is “the Enchantresses of Then,” meeting in the “Garden of Then,” but I now wish for a better name because “enchantment” is one of the forbidden forms of applied metaphysics.

The ninth thread is the story of Greyhawk: its founding and prosperity, the destruction of its main trade route by pirates, its annexation by the Shine and Wild Empire, and the Declaration of Intolerance—a “declaration of war” on the (presumably Dragon-funded) pirates, prompted by their blight on Greyhawk’s trade in particular.

And the last thread is the arms race between the two sides that began after the treaty expired and lasted until the next war soon began. Just before the war, scientists in the Shine and Wild Empire developed an innovative spaceship called a “spider ship,” that can move at “impossibly” high speeds through space at minimal cost—but can only move along “webs,” tracks between stations made of a thin but highly durable (and elastic enough for use between stars) material, and the first spider-ship routes began to be laid.

In addition to those I mentioned above, some major characters of note in these threads include Victrix and Whitney. But I really haven’t started to think about “casting” decisions yet. Similarly, I’m early enough in the process of crafting this part of the story that I don’t have much idea of what themes I’d like to develop.

The context is, as should be obvious from several of the threads, a time of rapid scientific and technological advancement and (to a lesser extent) cultural change; the effects of the arrival of the Chosen ripple outward throughout the society and the world.

Any comments or questions about Space and Time?


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