This is the WIP & Info thread for the New Haven Chronicles. Before I get to the art, I'm going to cover some of the back story that sets up the universe as well as some of the key factors which drive the plot and action of the story. If you just want cool pics, then skip to the end of this post, because this is going to take a while.
The New Haven Chronicles is a military science fiction action-drama, set in 2264. The series takes a realistic approach towards the military space opera genre and in many cases often approaches hard science fiction. For example, there are no aliens, no FTL travel, and humanity has yet to move beyond the inner asteroid field. The entire series unfolds within the inner solar system, treating the vast distances between Earth and Mars as what they truly are...vast distances.
Unfolding in space as well as on Earth, Luna, and Mars, New Haven is the story of an Alliance of Solar Corporations attempting to maintain their technological and economical superiority, while the United Nations asserts its growing independence. Humanity has been dependent on the Corporations for much of the advances beyond Luna, including the proliferation of fusion technology upon which both sides of the conflict rely heavily. However now that the UN is beginning to stand on its own, the Alliance fears losing everything it has worked so long and hard to build. But that's hardly a reason for war and both sides realize there is far more at stake than just economic independence.
During their time in space, the Alliance has developed into a free and separate society, independent of Earth and the remainder of humanity. They look down on their Earth born brethren, even though prolonged living in space has brought on a waisting degenerative illness to many within the Alliance. And now, with their lives on the line and the risk of their society dying out, the Alliance is pressing the issue of returning home on their own terms...among other goals.
The series takes its name from the artificial island, New Haven, built in the 21st century by the Pax Corporation as a corporate headquarters and location to test viable fusion technology. Located off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic, (specifically over the Flemish Cap) and now occupied by the UN, regaining control of the island is of little strategic importance for the Alliance, but remains an issue that could make or break the morale of each side.
The New Haven Chronicles begins with the book Orbital Decay, taking place more than a year into the conflict. By this time, the UN's fuel reserves are dwindling and with an Alliance blockade preventing trade with the neutral Corporations, the UN is facing a ticking clock. Time is running out and everyone knows that soon, the vast UN war machine will come grinding to a halt. All the Alliance must do is wait them out, despite those within the Alliance that want to push their superiority over the UN. As these two forces fight for control within the Alliance, the UN realizes that if drastic actions are not taken, they will soon find themselves on the bitter end of Corporate Rule.
New Haven, is foremost a military drama. I've done my best to create what I believe to be a realistic depiction of a real United Nations military force which might exist in the future. With that comes the discipline and duty that make the military what is, requiring those that serve to follow a strict code of conduct. This is my way of saying that some things we're familiar with, won't happen in New Haven. There will be no crazy accession of ranking promotions, as a mere grunt steps up to command an entire army. One person will not decide the fate of the entire conflict. People will be transfered while others will die. In many ways, I like to think of this as a sci-fi version of Band of Brothers & Generation Kill, both of which have served as heavy influences in the style and themes that I plan to convey..
Second, playing a less prominent role, though still important, is the role of technology. New Haven assumes that a number of technologies exist without the inherent dire circumstances that are often associated with them. For example, wide spread genetic manipulation and alteration is common, particularly among the Alliance. Advanced Artificial Intelligence is common as well and several Sentient AI's play a prominent role in the story, with one such AI being a main character.
In other areas, it may seem as though certain technologies have progressed very little. For example, each side makes use of laser and rail gun technology, but both technologies are plagued with strategic limitations and far from the common style of rapid firing battles we're used to seeing. There will be no scenes of ships closing to point blank range as each ship beats it's opponent mercilessly with ungodly amounts of weapons fire.
And that in part is what the first image posted below represents. Dynamic Orbital Combat. To put it briefly, ever ship orbits a planet or moon, and in doing so is distinctively guided by that orbit in terms of how their weapons can be deployed. Slowing your speed and moving into a higher orbit will extend your orbital duration and the amount of time you can engage a target. Likewise, moving into a lower orbit and increasing your speed will shorten your orbit, making it much more difficult to engage your target or be engaged by that target.
Distances are also an issue, but combating distances and their orbits is a whole separate post, which will be explained later. Needless to say, distances matter and it takes time for your weapons to get from your line of fire to the target you're shooting at. Because it takes time and many weapons are line of sight, if your enemy moves during that time, which your enemy is always doing, then you miss.
Sensors: the base sensor system for both sides is an advanced LIDAR system, couple with several other sensor specific systems to determine life signs and various other details. There is no stealth in the traditional sense. When you move, everyone sees it. Electronic Counter measures exist however, which allow both sides to use decoys, sensor shadows and silhouettes to trick LIDAR systems. So rather than hiding outright, your sensor signature may appear larger or smaller than it actually is. This is adventurous when launching large numbers of missiles, the primary means of offensive weapons in use by both sides.
Both sides use multiple independent targetable warhead missiles...like ICBMs as their primary offensive weapon. Each warhead carries a nuclear powered x-ray laser. Each side deploys various CIWS to defeat the warheads before they burn a hole in their hull.
There are no space fighters in this series. There are however UAV sensor drones deployed from ships.
Additionally, each side makes use of a vast number of unmanned vehicles, ranging from air superiority fighters down to heavy armored units and light support units.
There is more...much more that I could get into, but I don't want to try and skim over everything in one post.
My primary goal with the New Haven Chronicles, is to create a living and breathing universe, in which almost any type of story could be told. More than anything, I want this series to serve as a vehicle for telling military and technology driven science fiction, but that by no means limits what can or might be done in the future. I even envision at some point in the future, taking a page from Star Trek:TNG and after this particular conflict is over, progressing in time to some future point and beginning a new series set in this universe...perhaps war/action/drama driven, or perhaps more exploratory in nature. Who knows. It's just ideas at this point.
Anyway, as I mentioned previously, the first book in this series is title Orbital Decay, and it's my hope to have it ready for sale by the end of the year. I'm in the second draft right now and working my way through the first round of revisions. If any of this sounds interesting, then I hope you'll tune in and follow along. I think it's going to be an interesting ride.
That's a lot to get through, so here's a map. Everyone loves map. More to come soon.