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:
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.”— Aida Misaki, stellar 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 American Idols! They’re very different things).
The world of idols today is pretty harsh. Long working hours, strict timetables, and even having to work while ill are all common aspects. While I acknowledge those issues in Aida, 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.
Aida is a sci-fi-themed universe initially set in the year 2176 and featuring hyperspace travel, huge and successful colony worlds (primarily the titular Aida itself), and a relaxed attitude. 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 the book series.
People who support Lilycoven on Patreon get full access to my setting bibles, but to give you a taste I’ve put together a free and edited down version of Aida’s setting file. You can find it HERE. It’s a solid 3500 words 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 the first 9 chapters of Aida Book 1 available for free on Amazon in a short novelette called Points of Departure. Grab it HERE. Or you can get the complete first book, titled Dreaming of the Stars—all 54 chapters and 100,000 words of it—for FREE by signing up to my mailing list. Or you can buy it for the princely sum of 99p/99c if you prefer, but free is probably better.
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.”— Unknown Speaker
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
Right now, the main story that introduces the setting itself and will serve as the launching point for everything else is a book called Forsaken: The Journey Home. Think of it kind of like a futuristic retelling of The Mysterious Island, but with lesbian girls lost on an alien world full of mystery.
I’m in the process of writing that now, but if you’d like a sneak peak at the opening 8 chapters—which comprise the first major act and introduces the 8 main girls—just sign up to my mailing list if you haven’t already; you’ll get this as part of the content I give away to anyone who signs up 🙂 This story is non-ero and goes under the Yuna Celeste name, but I might write a sexy follow-up story one day.
Beyond Forsaken, I also have plans for an erotic space adventure (possibly including some futa) featuring an all-female crew of a salvage vessel which specialises in finding ancient treasures, lost ships, black box recorders, and even the occasional lost person… or persons. There’ll be a degree of overlap between some of these stories as well, with events in one being referenced in another. I like my universes to feel lived-in 😉
Another planned work will be set in a high-end fleet academy for starship officers and crew where students are taught in a neutral setting. There’ll be characters from opposing worlds having to learn to live and study together, illicit relationships that could destabilise entire regions if they were discovered… and all of this will lead neatly into a new story with a very different tone but the same characters.
Fantasy – Crystal Cove / 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 Crystal Cove, called 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, Crystal Cove’s world also has magic, and is going through something akin to the industrial revolution, incorporating magic into existing technologies. This is generally known simply as Magitech.
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 here, called—appropriately enough—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 after the Crystal Cove series itself. And probably another story after that one, too.
If you’ve ever heard of or played the Trails/Legend of Heroes series of games, imagine something similar to that; a large, interconnected world spanning whole continents and featuring stories of different people, sometimes seen from two opposing sides’ points of view.
So! Those are the main three settings I use for now. Obviously I come up with new settings for stand-alones 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.