Literature: Spiral Arm

The Spiral Arm is a Space Opera series by Michael Flynn, consisting thus far of

  • The January Dancer
  • Up Jim River
  • In the Lion's Mouth
  • On the Razor's Edge

They take place in a far-future galaxy, caught between the League on one side, and the Confederacy on the other, of a starless rift, in a great game of intrigue and adventure.

The setting is further in the future of his previous Firestar series, a near future SF novel set about private space travel being financed by a female industrialist. Earth attained an advanced civilization with AI and nanotechnology, and underwent periods of successive Chinese and Indian world hegemony(known to the far future people as Zhogwo, a corruption of the Chinese term Zhonguo for Middle Kingdom and Tantamiz, a Tamil term for their language respectively).

Wormhole variants called Krasnikov tubes and sublight seedships were used for interstellar colonization and an Earth ruled interstellar empire called the Commonwealth was founded and most nations on Earth founded colonies, which were oppressed and called the "Lesser Worlds". Evidence of an ancient empire of silicon based alien life called the People of Sand and Iron was discovered and used by the Chinese and Indian regimes in the Commonwealth to justify oppressing the colony worlds as a defense measure against an alien threat.

The colony on Tau Ceti, now referred to in the contemporary language as Dao Chetty, revolted and founded a totalitarian regime called the Confederation of Centralized Worlds ruled by a secretive elite nomenklatura called Those of Name and destroyed the Commonwealth, and initiated a forced population transfer called the Cleansing against their former oppressors on Earth. The Cleansing included deliberately mixing nationalities to stifle revolt among the deportees through linguistic and cultural conflict. AI and nanotechnology were lost during this period.

Eventually, after a period of interregnum, a new interstellar age comes about with the United League of the Periphery, a series of colony worlds ruled by the Ardry monarchy and supported by their Hound secret agents in rivalry with the Confederation.

Fallen colonies exist at the edge called the Wild, with such worlds as Oram and Enjrun existing in savagery and independent planets such as Cynthia and Gladiola vying for power with the larger interstellar nations.

Worlds have formed their own cultures and ethnicities and Terrans, the deported Earth people live in segregated ghettoes on various worlds called Terran Corners. Science, much of it lost with the Cleansing, has devolved to a syncretic religion that worships Newton, Einstein, Maxwell and Schroedinger as literal gods to be prayed to and the universe is in a kind of transhuman medieval stasis.

The novels focus on intrigue between these groups, various individuals and the search for prehuman artifacts of the People of Sand and Iron.

Needs a Better Description

Tropes included in these works: