As I continue work on my next novel, Pathfinder, I feel it’s only natural to begin the process of introducing my devoted dreamers to the series of stories that may ultimately become my life’s work. This will be the first of a series of posts welcoming my readers to the universe I’ve created for the series, which I’ve dubbed the “Dotiverse”.
Pathfinder begins nearly fifty years after the end of the Pacific War: a devastating conflict between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Initially a limited, conventional war, in the late 2030s the war went nuclear, resulting in the near total destruction of both nations. In the wake of the conflict, vast tracts of Earth’s surface were left irradiated to the point of being uninhabitable, and the resultant collapse of global infrastructure led to widespread death from starvation and disease. The collapse also opened the door for a global pandemic of the Bern Virus: a heavily-mutated strain of airborne hemorrhagic fever that killed untold millions. All told, by the war’s official end in the mid-2040s, nearly 1.1 billion people were dead.
Though it sounds bleak, by the 2090s the wave of global unity in the wake of war has led all nations to unite under a common banner. The United Nations of Earth, successor to the United Nations, is now the ruling body of mankind, seated at a capital in Bonn, Germany.
In the aftermath of the Pacific War, once-developing nations rose to prominence to fill the global power vacuum left by the fall of the United States and the PRC. By 2094, a united Europe and India have emerged as the new global superpowers, with Brazil, Kenya, South Africa and Japan also enjoying significant global prominence. India has supplanted the US as the primary influence on global culture; Bollywood is now the center of the global film industry, curry has replaced American cuisine as the ubiquitous world cuisine, and most pop music is recorded in both English and Hindi.
Amidst widespread nuclear devastation, many have fled Earth, disenfranchised, seeking safe haven aboard the growing number of wheeled space stations crowding Earth’s orbit. Some have gone yet further, settling at Curiousity Base and the Carson geohabs on Mars.
By 2094, to facilitate ongoing deep space exploration and colonization efforts (and to relieve overcrowding on Earth’s orbiting stations), the Earth Space Administration has begun construction of a series of six new space stations: the Stanford Series, the first station of which, Stanford 1, is already compete.
While efforts to explore and colonize the moons of the outer planets are underway under the Poseidon Programme, the focus of ESA’s exploration efforts is the Pathfinder Programme: an audacious effort to launch a manned mission to a Class 5 (Earth-like) planet before the turn of the century.
This first installment of the series will focus on the exploits of the crew of Pathfinder 7: the first manned mission to an extrasolar planet.