I’m working on a short story set in the same universe as a previous short story. No big deal, authors do that all the time, right? Well… I’m somewhere north of seventy short stories to my name and I’ve only done that ONCE before. This is number two, so it’s still sort of new ground for me.
Mentally, I’ve been kicking around the idea of using this universe of mine for some more stories. It’s a take on the ‘wormholes transport ships across interstellar distances’ trope of science fiction. ‘The Craze’, as I think of my model (think cracks in the glaze of pottery type of craze, not the crazy kind of craze) transports ships farther than usual for the trope. As in, finding a Craze transit so short that you land in the same galaxy you started in is very, very rare. More often, you end up outside of the local group of galaxies.
Which is a lot of setup for this particular turn of phrase, which I enjoy because comparing intergalactic travel with small rodents that plague the lawn-conscious is nerdily fun:
The Craze, the web of faster than light transit lines that underlaid the fabric of the observable universe like gopher burrows under a lawn, made it possible for human beings to exist so incredibly far from the cradle of humankind.
In this case, our hero is visiting a world called ‘Outblack’, a world remarkable in the fact that it circles a rogue star drifting through the deeps not just between galaxies, but between galactic groups. Imagine the luscious darkness of THAT sky.