A Galactic Scale

Last post I talked about some of the setting in my story and about thinking up new setting.  This is all well and good, but I figured I better define some more of the universe that Star Catcher is set in.  And from now on in this post, not sure about others, I am going to refer to this universe as Jayko’s universe and his story as Jayko’s story, as that’s who it’s about!

In my last post about Jayko, I mentioned that I redefined his character and this implies that I had a different Jayko for a while before I started writing on Star Catcher.  This is quite true!  I had a different model for him and his story was set in a slightly different universe, well, galaxy if you want to get technical, then the one in Star Catcher, which is also a different galaxy from ours.  There is no Sol System in that galaxy, but there is a Sol System and an Earth, they were just lost a reeeeeeaaaaalllly long time ago.  That’s a different story though.

If you can’t tell by now, I’ve had this whole thing planned out in my head for quite a while now and I’m only starting to revisit it and make changes.  As I said, the Star Catcher galaxy is different from the former Jayko galaxy.  I should say it’s the latest iteration in a long line of similar galaxies that have changed throughout the years.  Now, I am a huge Star Wars fan!  And if you’ve read a number of books from the Star Wars universe, you’ll see that in some of them are galaxy maps depicting where the relative planets and trade routes are, different sectors and regions and whatnot.  As a fan an a writer I always thought it would be cool to have map of the galaxy in my own stories.  Being that little bit of an artist that I am, I tried to sketch out where I thought everything was in the galaxy.  I did this once, twice, three or four times as my story changed and progressed in mind and I came up with new ideas that needed to fit into this galaxy.

What I learned from these different iterations of this galaxy map is that it is really hard to draw a believable spiral galaxy on paper using only pencils.  Then I tired to create one on the computer using Photoshop.  That was even more difficult and I gave up on that one after a long while.  This map would just have to exist in my head.

And is still does as of today.  But with my revising of Jayko’s character and my starting on Star Catcher I needed to revise the galaxy that they lived in too.  And for the most part I did just that!  I didn’t create a map, nor did I describe in great detail where they were in the galaxy except for calling the area where they traveled the fringe (I tired several other names for the “edge of known space” in the past, but this one is the one that really is the best).  In my creation of these maps I’d named all these sectors of space and whatnot, but space is so huge and a galaxy so large, that the sectors and regions were just not really nameable.  So I settled on a few star clusters and some general regions of space.

So far I’m starting with a group of star systems somewhere on the spiral arm of the galaxy that they are in called the core worlds or the main colonies.  These are the original colonies of humans and dekk (one of the alien species in the story) in this galaxy.  From there the two species explored outward, establishing what is called the outer worlds where a couple of new species were found on some of the habitable planets.  After that expansion and exploration becomes harder the farther out they go as there is more space to map and thus expansion slows down.  This area becomes known as the fringe and is mostly uncharted and lawless.  The fringe is massive and spans many different star clusters and nebulae with systems and worlds, inhabited or otherwise.  This is an approximate three percent of the galaxy that has been explored and most of that is empty space and star systems with no planets.

The story of Star Catcher takes place solely on the fringe of known space where quite a few new colonies are starting to pop up as corporations from the core worlds and the different governments push outward.  Jayko’s home-world is technically beyond the fringe and one of the farthest planets out that is a shorter distance from his home than most others on the fringe is Sundast.  These planets I’ve placed on the side of the fringe that is father out on the spiral arm where there is little more than empty space beyond for quite a long ways.

One thing out of all the galaxy maps that I have created that has stayed the same is the location of Jayko’s home planet.  It is located on the edge of the galaxy more or less where on one ventures so thus it keep being forgotten.  I didn’t say totally say this in the Star Catcher, I just said it was beyond the fringe, but I like the fact that it is as it would make for a nice jumping off point for a portal to the Milky Way Galaxy and Earth, a portal that has not been operational for millennia and has been lost to time, forgotten by humanity.  Why it has been forgotten, I have yet to figure out.  But I know that for an advanced technology like that to be forgotten something catastrophic would have had to happen to set civilization back by hundreds of years.  Intriguing?  Yes?  No?  I want to expand upon it in the future, but first I have to work on this story.

Another thing that hasn’t changed throughout these maps is that the world where the central government (made up more or less solely of humans and dekk) is located.  It’s always been at the center (of the galaxy or the different sectors depending on which map you look at) and I have always named Alpha Prime.  Whether I am going to keep this name for the planet or not, is something I am working on and will decide when I bring it up in any future stories.

I think that’s pretty much it… for now.  Wow!  That helped solidify where my characters are in their universe, well, for me at least.  I still described it pretty vaguely enough to make it slightly confusing.  If so, I am always happy to answer any questions!  And if I think of anything more, I’ll definitely post it.  Cheers!

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