Every story has a setting, even if it’s just a simple ‘London in the 80s’, or ‘New York in the 70s’, or ‘Bulgaria in the 1800s’. Those aren’t the settings I’m talking about here. No, what I’m talking about here are new worlds, whole settings developed from scratch in which to place my stories, whether those be fantasy, sci-fi, or a combination thereof. I love world building, to the point where I sometimes forget to actually write stories to go in those worlds.
If you’re interested in the worlds I create, read on. And if you really like background details and world building and lore… you could always become a patron and get access to my setting bibles, which include all the background for the worlds I create. For all my fellow lore nerds 🙂 Without further ado, these are the three main universes I’ve created in order to set more than just a single story in them (though by no means are these the only ones, just the biggest and most prominent):
Sci-fi – Aida
“Becoming an idol is a journey like no other. You start with nothing, work yourself to the bone, sweat blood and taste the bitterness of defeat until finally, after much trial and much error, you discover your first ever fan. Then… well, then your real journey begins, and this time you don’t need to walk it alone.” — Misaki Aida, stellar level top Idol.
I have two main sci-fi settings, one with a happy and upbeat feel and an optimistic tone, the other one… not so much. Aida is the happy fun time setting, where conflict revolves mostly around girls chasing their dreams of becoming idols (specifically the Japanese kind, not the American/Western kind! They’re very different things).
The world of idols in our contemporary society is pretty harsh. Long working hours, strict timetables, and even having to work while ill are all common aspects, and of course the ever-present issue of corruption and sleaze.
While I acknowledge some of those issues in Aida’s universe, the world I’m creating has more in common with the anime interpretations of idoldom; light-hearted, fun, enjoyable to engage with… but with occasional dips into serious drama when necessary.
An Idol Romance is the main story set in this universe, sci-fi-themed and initially set in the year 2176 featuring hyperspace travel, huge and successful colony worlds (primarily the titular Aida itself), and a relaxed attitude to most things.
There are several reasons for making it a far future setting, but chief among them was a desire to sidestep some real world issues so I can focus on the fun aspects of not only being an idol, but also the lesbian relationships developed throughout this particular series.
People who support on Patreon get full access to my setting bibles, but to give you a taste, I’ve put together an edited down version of Aida’s setting file. You can find it HERE. It’s a solid 3,500 words (PDF format) and should give you a decent idea of the setting without spoiling anything to do with the actual stories taking place there.
If this world sounds interesting, I have a free prequel story available HERE, a short titled Points of Departure. And the main series itself is on Amazon, with two full collections (each 5 novellas) available right now. Volumes 11-15 are slated for the new year and patrons get those as they’re written.
Sci-fi – Star Empire
“Let me tell you a secret: life ain’t fair. Never was, never will be. Chaos and entropy rule supreme, no matter how civilised we pretend to be. War, pestilence, all that good stuff? That’s the natural order of things. Sooner you realise that, the better. Life ain’t fair, it don’t play by any rulebook but its own, and it sure as hell isn’t telling you what the rules are. But sometimes, just sometimes the little guy gets to give life a black eye. Those are the moments I live for.” — Lady Arnaud, freedom fighter and entropic crusader.
I mentioned above that I have two major sci-fi settings. Well, this is the less positive one. Star Empire’s universe is one where humanity has been walking among the stars for a full millennia, and stories set there generally take place around the year 3000 or so.
Unlike Aida, with its positive overtones and fun atmosphere, the Star Empire universe is darker, grittier, and more real in a ‘humanity can be total shit at times’ sort of way. There are hundreds of populated worlds spread across a full spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy, some of them with high standards of living, others where standards fluctuate rapidly, and some worlds more akin to a cyberpunk dystopia, plus many more.
I wanted a setting where I could put smaller stories, but also larger and longer ones. Star Empire’s universe has planets dedicated to advancing humanity at all costs through genetic and cybernetic modification, but there are also purist worlds where they look upon that sort of manipulation as being against nature.
The setting is sufficiently large-scale that there can be conflicts spanning entire star systems and featuring thousands of starships, but people on the other end of the spiral arm might never hear—or care much—about it. Conversely, there have been one or two conflicts of such incredible scale that they affected everyone, and these serve to inform the setting and stories I’m writing there.
Oh, and Earth itself? Yeah, that was reduced to stellar dust during one of the aforementioned ultra conflicts. Oops.
Anyway, part of my reason for creating this setting in addition to Aida was so I could write a variety of stories in a darker world with more outright conflict. But more than that, the fact that body modification is fairly commonplace means I can also write futa stories there if I feel like it. I’m kind of anal about there being a solid reason for things like that being an aspect in my stories. Not sure why, it’s just one of those personal quirks, I guess.
So… smaller, more personal and sexy stories? That’s a check. But the setting also supports big, grand stories of space opera proportions… and I’m sure as hell intending to do at least one of those >:D
Also, this universe has some amount of dark humour and the sort of strange sci-fi humour the likes of Douglas Adams was famous for. So while it’s dark and gritty, it can also be a bit silly and odd on the humour front as well, because I like contrast.
As with Aida, I’ve put together a short and stripped down version of the setting file if you’re interested in more details, find it HERE (PDF).
Low Fantasy – Liraleth
“Adventure is a funny thing. You can spend half your life travelling to far off places, learning of new cultures and peoples, and maybe even stuffing your pockets with riches untold. But returning home, you find that adventure is really more a state of mind, and the simple act of holding your new born child in your arms is more exciting and fulfilling than any amount of gallivanting around the world.” — Akimatsu Myerscough on the birth of his daughter, Isadora.
The world of Liraleth is roughly analogous to the early 20th century era, 1930s or so. Similar levels of tech, with railways in common use, airships coming into service, and single-wing propeller aircraft not dissimilar to pre-WWII designs, though normally with pontoons for landing on water.
But unlike that era of our world, Liraleth also has magic, and is going through something akin to the industrial revolution, incorporating magic into existing technologies.
While the level of tech is similar, the world itself is quite different to our own. It’s very much a fantasy world—low fantasy, specifically, meaning no orcs or elves or similar high fantasy races. Similar to Star Empire, this is a setting I created so I could put a number of stories there.
Currently, I’m planning out what will probably be a trilogy of novels set in this universe, called Crystal Cove Chronicles, with book 1 being titled An Adventure in the Making. It’ll follow a naïve and inexperienced eighteen year old girl called Isadora as she embarks on the adventure called life. If you’ve ever played a game series called Harvest Moon or its cousin Rune Factory, imagine something like that for the initial tone of this work.
Over time, Isadora will learn more about the world of course, but we’ll also start getting into some serious conflicts when new factions and technologies are introduced. But I also have plans for at least one other series set in this world, to take place chronologically both during and after the Crystal Cove series itself.
For a sample of the setting bible, with more details of this world, click HERE (PDF).
So! Those are the main three settings I use for now. Obviously I come up with new settings for standalones whenever necessary, but these are the big ones where I’ll be writing at least a couple of big stories, because if there’s one thing I love, it’s long, interconnected stories.