The Swarm Cycle Authors Page
The Swarm Cycle is a collection of stories manufactured around a concept introduced by the Thinking Horndog positing an alien invasion and Earth's reaction. The intent is for this to be a multi-author universe similar to the wildly popular Naked In School stories. The basic concept is this:
- The Sa'arm, a race with insectoid behavior that little is known about, is sweeping across the Galaxy, occupying planets without regard to whether a civilization exists on them or not. They appear to communicate by some form of extrasensory perception; any being incapable of such communication is treated as non-sentient.
- Their projected path takes them through the heart of the Confederacy, a multi-species galactic civilization. The Confederacy's component races are all non-violent; one of the prime requirements for membership is a racial abhorrence for aggressive behavior. The Confederacy's Artificial Intelligences have been handling the interface between the realities of the natural universe and the sensibilities of the member races for nearly a million years.
- Earth, while not on the direct path of the Sa'arm expansion, is destined to become a target approximately nine years after the date of our first contact with the Confederacy. However, this is not why first contact is initiated; the reason has everything to do with our ability to resist the Sa'arm -- something Confederacy member races more or less uniformly lack.
- The Darjee are assigned duties as the liaison race and resources to be provided are limited to those of the Darjee and the AIs, as the rest of the Confederacy cannot stomach participation in anything so vulgar as combat -- even in the face of certain extinction. This limits the available resources in support of Earth's -- and, ultimately, the Confederacy's -- defense.
- Evacuation of an entire planet is beyond Darjee capability -- approximately thirty percent of the human race can be evacuated to colony worlds in a 'Diaspora'. Priority must go to prime candidates -- who MUST contribute in some manner to the defense. CAP testing is developed as a criterion for selection -- and in order to foster high birth rates and keep the whole thing from becoming a eugenics project, selectees are allowed to evacuate a number of males and females (CAP score irrelevant) commensurate with their value to the defensive effort.
There are several opportunities for the creation of short stories:
- First Contact between the Sa'arm and other races.
- Military sci-fi regarding the fight on other worlds.
- Evacuation stories (very popular already).
- Colony life.
- Cultural changes on Earth driven by the new facts of life.
- The battle for Earth
- Life in the colonies and in space as we try to turn the tide.
- How the Confederacy deals with the race that saved it -- and vice-versa.
Readers of sci-fi will see more than a little Weber and Ringo in the basic scenario. I've tried HARD not to plagarize regarding species traits, timeline, etc., and the focus is somewhat different. Beyond that, I guess it's thanks and a hat tip...
The stories "Average Joes" and "Pickup Number Eighteen" provide quite a bit of background detail from which other efforts may be based; the contributions of Jack Lipton and the Duke of Ramus have been vetted, too. If you wish to write about some area that is not really dealt with in these stories, contact me and we can discuss my general plan for the execution of various stages. I'll try not to cramp your style -- there ought to be a lot of room to maneuver here... Artie's story, for instance, isn't the REAL ending of this saga -- but it IS suggestive, so I posted it -- I'm sure there are NIS stories out there that the original author doesn't feel fit the original concept...
More info on the Sa'arm, colonization, communications and such can be found in the document behind this link, last updated 8/3/2007, where I will update things as I go along. A list of weapons and spacecraft used in this universe can be found here. Feel free to e-mail me with questions and I'll flesh things out. As I said above, much is still open...
All that said, THE Swarm reference is our NEW wiki at wiki-site.com. If you want to be a Swarm author, you need to go there and ask for access, because that's where our latest answers to questions regarding the Swarm Cycle reside.
I can't emphasize too strongly the fact that you should engage the author's group for assistance and opinions on any story lines you develop. We have a lively email list. Contact brooke at shadowgard.com to get on it.