"Hyperspace lives up to its name, but it isn't magic. Not the way we can use it, anyway. Slamming into a space rock at non-physical speeds will kill you before you throw that lever down… perhaps literally, if you want to get all quantum philosophical about it."
— Michael 'Nomad' Ellison, Asteroids, "Where the Stone Falls"
Human beings got to the outer reaches beyond the Solar System, but once again the forces of entropy and apathy have rendered colonization a grueling, grim affair. Earth is a distant, boring dream, the Great-8 have taken all of the good planets, and the MaDCaP is the overlord 'round these parts. Part-Italian Western among the stars, but with brigands! Part-space noir, but with pests in flying saucers, the series tries to show that even in a future of blasters and bounty hunters, humanity can still be stagnant.
Static Space provides examples of:
- Absent Aliens: Technically averted, but played straight- the only intelligent race out there aside from humanity are the Aliens. Not unlike the Formics, they are unintelligible and seemingly attack humanity at random. However, they are only a threat to peripheral colonies and unescorted ships, and so seen as a random nuisance instead of an actual potential cause of extinction. Most frontier life does not revolve around their presence. For all intents and purposes, humanity is alone in the known universe.
- All Planets Are Earth-Like: Averted, in that many worlds are uninhabitable outside of domed cities or other protected colonies. A few are terraformed to some extent, but the only truly planet with a comfortable, Earth-like climate is Terra.
- Anti-Hero: Nomad, Decatur, basically every protagonist out on the frontier...
- The Asteroid Thicket: Premise of the entire series. There are huge, densely-packed asteroid fields, which the stoners (asteroid smashers) make a living from through clearing them. They're bad for hyperspace transit. The little fact that asteroid fields do not work that way in real space is handwaved away by the fact that these fields are actually artificial in origin, formed by the Aliens for unknown reasons eons ago.
- Asteroid Miners: Stoners- kinda. They make a living clearing out large asteroid fields to facilitate interstellar travel, but they don't actually harvest the minerals themselves. They also make a neat sum on the side blasting Aliens.
- Crapsack World: Subverted, in that the universe isn't all bad, the Frontier just happens to have harsher conditions than elsewhere, appropriately enough for colonies far from the Solar System. The setting overall emphasizes the bleak ennui of colonial lives, expanding outwards without any shiny vision, aimlessly settling worlds, backstabbing each other for credits, and living mundane, lonely lives. More of a World Half Empty than an outright dystopia.
- Escort Mission: Bane of any self-respecting spacer-for-hire (usually considered beneath their dignity), Kain oddly seems to be fond of them.
- Hired Guns: What loosely-governed part of the galaxy is complete without them? Scads of mercenaries make a killing on the Frontier, from non-confrontational stoners to standard space bounty hunters to high-priced corporate assassins.
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: Pirate-killers, for the specialized threat of space pirates. Targets are to be neutralized, either non-lethally or otherwise.
- Lightning Gun: Decatur's signature weapon, the Hypnos Tas. Many other p-ks and similar mercenaries use Tas(ers) as well, good for apprehending targets you want to keep alive.
- New Eden: Terra, the first (and only) fully-terraformed planet. Headquarters of the Colonial Authority, the place is nearly a pleasure planet. The Authority likes to keep its garden well-tended, going as far as having their planetary engineers sculpt the planet's oceans to closer match the geography of Earth. Unfortunately, much of the technology behind it has been sadly lost.
- Obligatory Corporate Initialism: The MADCAP (Mining and Drilling Combine and Protectorate), formerly the GAMDC (Galactic Asteroid Mining and Drilling Corporation), fulfills this trope neatly.
- Recycled In Space: Just as Firefly, which the Static Space universe (not so much Luke Rounda's original stories) draws inspiration from, is based upon the postbellum American Civil War, one of the main story arcs of The Frontier is loosely based upon the transition from the antebellum American Revolutionary War to the war itself. Subverted, of course.
- Space Is Noisy: Justified and averted. The Aural Simulation Mechanism picks up signals enabled by spatial objects, and "translates" them for human ears with synthesizers. By making space less silent, it allows pilots to avoid having to look at HUD all of the time, saving precious time during a dogfight or maneuvers through dangerous space. Not so much one of its upgrades, the ASSIST.
- Space Pirates: The Ten Thousand Nations is the generic name for the collective mass of pirate nations, descended from colonists of generation ships that arrived on the Frontier centuries before the current settlement. Inbred, uneducated, and angry, they took up the practice of attacking transport ships, wrapping themselves in elaborately-created fictional piratical traditions, and talking all funny. Though the military used to war with them, nowadays that dirty job has been left to local militias and licensed pirate-killers.
- The Empire: The Colonial Authority... sort of. Combine the lack of civvie sensibilities of the military with the nondemocratic corporate administration of the MaDCaP, and the sinister clandestine activities of Secret Ops, and you've got the Authority. On the flipside, they generally leave you alone if you're not a rebel or a criminal.
- The Syndicate: Corporate assassins typify this in look if not in origin- dressed in all black with jewelry, wearing sunglasses that only come in red or green.