Residing across the sprawling expanse of the First Unified Imperial Combine of Earth are billions upon billions of people, each of them living out their lives on one of thousands of worlds. While the Empire dictates many of the laws and social directions to which those planets must adhere, many of the colonies have their own cultural idiosyncrasies and societal mores.
The huge range of unusual names found across Imperial space, therefore, should come as no surprise.
The words are not coming easily today, and my mind is wandering. While plotting out one of the more violent and dramatic actions sequences in From Shattered Stars, I started thinking about what it would actually look like to see a squad of armed Tankers barrelling down the ramp of an Imperial lander.
In the coming fourth novel, we will see much more of Squad Four, the Tankers from Downfall Company's first platoon. These are the same guys who first popped up in List of the Dead, and who returned to assist Elm Caden in The Ravening Deep. As I worked out who would do what, and how violently they would do it, my brain wanted to put faces to the troops.
So this is what I came up with as a Dream Team in the as-yet imaginary movie version of From Shattered Stars...
It's #BiWeek from 19th to 26th September 2016, so what better time to run a feature on sexuality in the Armada Wars universe? This is a topic which has reared its head a few times in the novels so far — sometimes with great subtlety, sometimes not so much — and you will doubtless appreciate some pointers on how the culture of the Imperial Combine differs from ours with regards to love and intimacy.
Before we get started, let's take a quick moment to recognise what #BiWeek is. Simply put, it's a time for recognition and education. It aims to address the stigmas, misunderstandings, and falsehoods surrounding bisexuality, and to tackle problems such as bisexual erasure.
The biggest problem facing campaigns of this sort is that people like to believe that they "know what they know", and can't be wrong. Given the opportunity to actually look at some information, stats, and first hand accounts, many people suddenly realise that — even though they mean well — they actually hold a few quite large misconceptions.
So by all means get on and enjoy the rest of the article about a fictional universe, but please consider reading more about #BiWeek and helping to get the message out there!