2,000 Years After the Galactic Apocalypse, the lost colonies of humankind are trying to get their shit back together

Worlds Apart

The long, strange trip of the Pathfinder Ship Pegasus.
A throwback to when Sci-Fi was fun to read and full of big, bold, silly, wonderful heady ideas.
Also the occasional fart joke.

What It's About

For over 2,000 years, the Human Race expanded across the four quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy, leaving colonies on more than 12,000 planets. Then, in the 55th Solar Century, the entire Commonwealth of the Galaxy collapsed. Legend has it that this was because humanity pissed off a powerful alien super-race who wiped out all of the Commonwealth's most advanced worlds, leaving behind only the smallest most remote outposts.

2,000 years later, the colonies of Sapphire and Republic in the Outer Pegasus Quadrant have recovered starflight technology. Working together, they have launched the mighty Pathfinder Ship Pegasus on a 300 year mission to rediscover humanity’s lost worlds. 

Prime Commander Bill Keeler of Sapphire – a sarcastic, drunk who never expected to command a starship -- serves as Pegasus's captain. His conniving shrew of a First Officer, Goneril Lear, plots ineptly to take over the command she believes should have been hers. His Tactical Officer, Phil Redfire, likes to blow stuff up in the most artistic way possible.

Rounding out the main characters are a smokin' hot shuttle pilot, a Navigator who can see into the future, a talking cat, a less attractive shuttle pilot, a wildly unstable Artificial Intelligence, and a really smart guy who helps Keeler with "that technical stuff" since he knows nothing about how his ship works. Pegasus's crew of Sapphirean libertarians and Republicker authoritarian collectivists will have to learn to work together to accomplish their mission.

Each book takes the crew to a new and different world (often more than one). 2,000 years of social evolution have produced a wildly divergent range of civilizations. Some of them can't even be considered human anymore, even in the loosest sense of the word. (They've become, like, electric dragonflies, sapient trees, and dolphins and such.)   

Also, in the darkness between the stars, a terrifying enemy awaits. 

Author's Notes: Back the early 2000's, it was hard to find the kind of sci-fi I liked; stories with crazy situations and humor that weren't afraid to take on big ideas. The original Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy (of course), Terry Pratchett's Discworld Books, Red Dwarf ... that type of thing. Those kinds of series were fun because they took tired, played out tropes like time-travel, genetic engineering, and wizardry and put hilarious twists on them. That willingness to parody, poke, and laugh at

What Worlds Apart has always been about is me writing the kind of science fiction and adventure no one else seems to be doing any more; the kind that makes me laugh while at the same time exploring big ideas about how every society is a product of its history and environment. That, to me, was the interesting part; delving into the societies of the planets Pegasus visited and working through how they ended up the way they did.

And for all my bluster about wanting to be rich, I've made more than half the books free to download and priced the rest affordably at Amazon. I really want people to read and enjoy these stories.

What It's About

Books (The Complete Quadruple Trilogy)

Free Worlds 1 (A Worlds Apart Anthology)

Nine stories that can serve as an introduction to the Worlds Apart Universe or a continuation for those who have read the books. (It's a dessert topping *and* a floor wax). It's got a happyface cover to let you know it's fun. Also, it's free for download (not because I love you but because I am pretty sure you'll get into it enough to pay for the non-free stuff. It's the meth-dealer theory of e-book publishing). New, Improved Retcon edition available in Kindle and Paperback.

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Worlds Apart Book 01: Meridian

This is where the madness begins. 2,000 years after the fall of the Galactic Commonwealth, the remote colonies of Sapphire and Republic have recovered the technology for starflight and set out to rediscover humanity’s lost worlds. The mighty Pathfinder Ship Pegasus is launched on a 300 year mission of discovery. The first lost colony they rediscover is called Meridian, and its inhabitants seem to be transforming into weird insectoid hive creatures. (Hostile insectoid aliens = interesting {except when used in satires of militaristic fascism}). And while the landing team deals with that, the ship’s AI evolves sentience and tries to kill everybody; as AI's are wont to do.

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WA BK 02: EdenWorld

EdenWorld has beer-colored seas, amber skies, and is inhabited by griffins, minotaurs, vampires, werewolves and other fantastic creatures who have enslaved the human population. Bill Keeler and his landing party visit this strange world and are sent off along a highway paved in golden stones to meet the powerful ruler of a mythical kingdom. Along the way, they encounter a skinny, mentally deficient crop guardian, a malfunctioning robot in need of lubrication and a replacement power cell, and an anthropomorphic lion with cowardice issues.

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WA BK 03: Boadicea

On the planet Boadicea, there are 20 women for every man. So, naturally, men have no rights and are kept in guarded enclaves and brought out only for breeding purposes. Boadicea is basically a planet governed by the Women’s Studies Department at Wellesley. Their planet is also on the path of invasion from the Aurelians; the most ruthless and seductive race in the Galaxy. The crew of Pegasus must try and convince them to give up their pacifist ways and fight the Aurelians; or lose their entire planet.

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WA BK 04: Winter

Imagine you could live forever, but you have to live on a planet where its always pretty much February in Minnesota. That's what this one's about; a planet where winter last forever and no one ever dies. When First Officer Phil Redfire is accused of murdering an immortal, he must face trial under Winter’s Kafkaesque legal system; a system where the truth is irrelevant, and innocence is not a defense. Meanwhile, Prime Commander Keeler risks his life to meet with one a mad general from the Old Commonwealth who may offer clues to the greatest mysteries of the galaxy if he doesn’t lose his temper and lop off Keeler’s head with a sword first.

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WA BK 05: Aurora

Aurora is a planet whose super-strong electromagnetic field and weird biaxial rotation create constant atmospheric light displays across the whole planet. There are no countries and no nations, just "Synerplexes," amalgamations of huge corporations based on commercialized sex and violence. Culturally, it’s like Las Vegas and Florida had a meth-baby together and abandoned it on the southwest side of Chicago. Two of Aurora’s massive Synerplexes --- Megakill Armaments, Ammunition, Rockets, Recreation and Soup (MAARRS) and Supah Al-Fareek --- are on the knife's edge of total war. All it will take is a little push to spark a nuclear conflagration. And the crew of Pegasus is right in the middle with their shovin' gloves on.

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WA BK 06: Crucible

Coming to the rescue of the Pathfinder Ship Lexington Keeler, the Pathfinder Ship Pegasus comes under attack from hostile, unknown aliens. Keeler is in a decaying orbit around a devastated planet and is mere hours from smacking down on the surface. And the aliens that attacked them are waiting in ambush. Now, both ships are in peril. In the middle of the whole mess, TyroCommander Lear loses her gawdam mind and instigates a mutiny against Commander Keeler. Also, there's an animated corpse, an alien nymphomaniac, and a hostile artificial intelligence on the loose.

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WA BK 07: Yronwode

Yronwode was one of the "Iron Worlds" of the Old Commonwealth; an escape-proof planet for the galaxy's most dangerous and incorrigible criminals. When Commander Keeler and his landing team went to the planet, they didn't know about the "escape-proof" part. The planet has ingenious defenses designed to guarantee that a trip to its surface is one-way. Trapped on the planet, they find themselves caught in the endless war between the tribes of prisoners and the descendants of the missionaries that followed them to the planet to save their souls. Then, things get *really* weird. Keeler finds himself the Chieftain ("I am K-Rock") of a group of violent, primitive tribesmen whom he begins nicknaming. Eddie Roebuck becomes pontiff of the planet's main religion; which gives him supernatural powers. They're on a collision course for a violent showdown that could possibly decide the entire future of the planet.

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WA BK 08: Hellfire

The Pathfinder ship Pegasus is running out of fuel. The red giant sun 200 200 Fornax has abundant reserves of Tritium fuel, controlled by the Crucial Fuels Consortium. Their last refining station is under constant assault by Solarite Space Pirates. So, the crew of Pegasus cuts a deal. They will salvage an old fuel ship from the sun's atmosphere and in return for playing decoy while the Crucial Fuel crew escapes, they can keep its load of precious fuel. Simple, right? Nah, it totally goes sideways for them. Later, some of the crew crash on a mysterious island with smoke monsters and a weird village and everybody starts acting strange. Well... strange in different ways than the usual weirdness.

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WA BK 09: Gethsemane

The planet Gethsemane is f**ked. A rogue moon has entered its system is on a collision course that will obliterate the entire world. The Gethsemanians had thirty years to prepare for this and, with some alien assistance, built a 'Gateway' to evacuate them to somewhere else. They say it's a gateway to the afterlife. (It's been said that everyone wants to go to Heaven but no one wants to die; Well, the Gethsemanians seem to have found a loophole.) Commander Keeler and TyroCommander Redfire want to go through the Gateway and see if it's for real or if it's one of those sci-fi deals with a bizarre and horrifying twist. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew struggles to evacuate the last of the planet's children; who cannot enter the Gateway. For completely deranged reasons, the surviving Government of the planet will do anything to stop them.

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WA BK 10: Eventide

Pegasus got the absolute friggin' crap kicked out of it at Gethsemane. The planet Eventide has abundant supplies, but they are controlled by the planet's corrupt ruling class. While trading goods for desperately needed supplies, Keeler accidentally trades some hardcore pornography from the planet Aurora for a shipment of corn and whisky. This transaction unwittingly initiates a kind of pornographic tulip mania among the planet's ruling class, and ultimately results in Keeler exchanging a bootleg copy of 'The Anal Annihilator versus the Red Crotch of Thunder in the Ultimate Throwdown Showdown' for control of an entire island-state."

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WA BK 11: Charlemagne

Pegasus has been chasing a beacon signal across the Orion Quadrant for the past five years, stopping to visit at a crystalline world "where the light eats people" and another colony abandoned except for a mysterious corpse. Finally, they arrive at the source of the signal, a StarLock called Charlemagne. While they've been gone, 200 years have passed and the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy has established Charlemagne as its base of operations. Also, they want to decommission Pegasus and send the crew home. Not everybody in the crew wants to go, and some of them are willing to take extreme lengths to prevent it from happening.

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WA BK 12: Earth

Pegasus arrives at Earth (or have they? Two moons? This could give rise to fan theories, if I had fans.) Somewhere in the Solar System (which was renamed the Terrastar System as part of a Rebranding effort in the 29th Century) there might possibly be a Superweapon that will utterly annihilate the Aurelians, or allow the Aurelians to utterly annihilate the human race depending on who gets to it first. Meanwhile, the crew gets to pick through the ruins of the once-proud Terran civilization. In doing so, they run across some rogue AI's who, naturally, try to kill them.

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New Improved Retcon Edition

New Improved Retcon Edition
Check It Out, My Lovelies

The All-New Retcon Edition is a very much reworked edition of the original WA Book 01 Meridian, now available from Amazon. How different is it, you might ask? Check out the thumbnails below; screen caps of random pages comparing the old and new versions. All that red text is new or deleted material. According to MS Word, there are 12,740 changes in the new version: fixed typos, tightly edited dialog, and a smattering of new jokes some of which are even funny. Try some, won't you?

Available from Amazon KDP

Exceedingly Detailed Background Stuff

12 Books, 9 short stories, dozens of worlds, hundreds of characters.... Worlds Apart represents a vast and diverse universe. (Actually, nine universes) and so me and some of the fans set up this here Worlds Apart Wiki with all kinds of background information. It's also where most of the RetConning happens, and also contains some integrated background stories, such as:

  • Each book has its own entry (like this one for example), which includes explanations of the inside jokes, obscure references, and other details that went into the writing. 
  • Both minor and major characters get background stories, like the colorful history of Tolkien Xerox, a character who appears in exactly one brief scene in the first part of Book 1. (And a cameo in Book 09.)  
  • The History of the Second Aurelian War, which is a huge background event in the second half of the series.
  • You can read up on the other pathfinder ships mentioned in the series and see how their missions worked out.
  • All that futuristic technology, how does it work?
  • Is Trajan Lear ... you know? Well his biography will most definitely not answer that question.
  • Do you really want to know the names of every ship in the Fleet of Orion and the names of their officers? Okayfine.
Seriously, if you wanted to, you could fall down that Wikihole. There's at least another book's worth of background content up there. 

Eventually, I hope to have more entries than the Wiki for Little House on the Prairie:
Exceedingly Detailed Background Stuff

Who Wrote This Wonderful Garbage?

Who Wrote This Wonderful Garbage?
Same guy who did the website, because I have to do literally effing everything around here.

Author Bio: 

I live in the Midwest. I have three sons. I like football, hockey, and cats. I got kicked out of the LDS church, so I bought a church of my own. I would like to be rich but not famous.

Contact Info:
You can email me through this website, especially if you own a major publishing business or want to buy the movie rights and make me rich.

Free Worlds

Free Worlds

Free Worlds is a collection of shorter stories set within the Worlds Apart Universe. So, you could read these stories and if you think, "These are pretty good," then you could try the books. Or, if you've read the books, you could look at the Anthology as part of nerded-out "Expanded Universe," or something like "bonus tracks" on a 1980's music CD.

Download For Free in Kindle Format
Download For Free in PDF Format 

Old Rehashed Stories

  • 'Fiddler's Green' - The crew of the pathfinder ship Pegasus gets more than they bargained for when they crash-land on the planet Fiddler's Green and must negotiate with the planet's strange inhabitants for a "Spaceship Deswampificator" to raise their sunken spaceship.
  • 'Independence' - The crew of Pegasus get more than they bargained for when they get stuck in a weird zone of inexplicable madness following a routine visit to the planet Independence.

Shiny New Stories (Because They Grow the Brand) 

  • "Cotopaxi" – The crew of Pegasus get more than they bargained for when they explore an ancient space station in search of parts for their damaged ship. For it seems the entity inhabiting the space station has a way of defending itself from intruders that is so bizarre that none who survive will ever speak of it again.
  • "Alpha Priori" – The survey ship Astra Cartographer’s mission is to discover and exploit ancient Commonwealth technologies for the Keeler Trust and Companies, but the crew gets more than they bargained for when they visit an abandoned research base in the ring system of an artificial planet.
  • "Triton Lyra" – Eccentric interstellar trillionaire Bernadette Keeler takes her ambitious new assistant on a journey to the remote and hostile Triton Lyra system, but the business deal turns out to be more than they bargained for.
  • "Cherchez La Femme" – Young Goneril Lear’s first exo-planetary mission turns out to be more or less what she bargained for.

New "Expanded Universe" Stories 

  • "Pioneers" – How did the human race breed fast enough to colonize an entire galaxy in just 2000 years? This is how. Most of the people get what they bargained for except the poor saps in the colony ships. 
  • "Electra IV" – When the Commonwealth of the Galaxy collapsed, a lot of struggling colonies died with it which was probably not what they bargained for. This is the story of one of them.

Bonus Story

  • "Captain Hepburn Has Some Ideas" -- Katrain Hepburn is the captain of the Fast Attack Corvette Augustana. She crashes a meeting of fleet commanders to bargain for an array of strategies to defeat the Aurelians that would only work in an alternative narrative universe where "we only get one shot at this" is a legitimate tactical assessment. (This was cut from Worlds Apart Book 12. It was sort of a cute little character piece, but it sidelined the narrative flow and didn’t add much to the overall arc.)