The Galactic Series is a short-story Space Opera series that differs somewhat in that it is not set in our galaxy, instead being set in a pair of colliding galaxies in the Virgo Supercluster. Around two million A.D., two galaxy-spanning civilisations, the Shango Federation and the Qareen Confederacy, from each of the original galaxies, found themselves coming directly into regular contact in the "Intersection Zone", the region of space where the two galaxies are joined; as a result, their mutual suspicion boiled over into the Intersection Wars, a series of five wars which caused immense destruction on both sides and shifted the balance of power in the galaxy.
Yet after this, there are still immense issues to overcome. The truce negotiated by both sides was an awkward one, and both sides have to cope with the pressures of maintaining such large and coherent political bodies - terrorism, separatist movements and reactionary campaigns are not uncommon. Furthermore, looming over all of them is the immense presence of the Dharan Republic, a race of aliens who are, in comparison, gods, and not always of the benevolent kind.
Note that this is, on the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness, very soft indeed: a 1, maybe a 0.
The stories generally provide examples of:
- Absent Aliens: Inverted - humans are largely absent, barring some occurrences of time travel and the gift of the "human database".
- Aliens Speaking English: justified as the Shango and Qareen languages are... unorthodox, to say the least.
- All Nations Are Superpowers: averted - the Shango and Qareen are powerful in their area of space, but across the Universe as a whole, there are even more powerful forces.
- All Theories Are True: it's possible to build hollow planets, flat planets, and fire alkahest at enemy spaceships.
- Alternative Calendar:
- Big Dumb Object: Darkworlds, Spaceplanes.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: although travelling across one of the galaxies can take less than an hour, a month, or several years, depending on whose technology you use.
- The Federation: subverted slightly, in that the Shango are not necessarily more peaceful or more moral than their opposites.
- Five Races: kinda. The Shango, Qareen, Stoppan and Bhoot inhabit the galaxy; the Dharans have colonies in the galaxy, although exactly where is uncertain, and the human race hangs over the scene as a historical presence, which really makes it four-and-two races.
- Human Aliens
- Humans Are Special: maybe.
- The Milky Way Is the Only Way: averted very much with the Dharans. Justified somewhat for the Shango and Qareen, who would take at least a century to reach the Milky Way itself; very justified with the Stoppan and Bhoot.
- No Transhumanism Allowed: largely with the Shango; with the Qareen, it's a case of some transhumanism allowed, much of it to do with neural improvement.
- The Neutral Zone: averted - there's nothing stopping the Qareen and Shango from fighting over the Intersection Zone again (although it's largely known where they stand on that).
- Numbered Homeworld: the Stoppan label their planets "Res 1", "Res 2" etc.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: the Representative People's Democratic Socialist Commonwealth Republic of the Bhoot People may well qualify.
- Skeleton Government: naturally; given that the Shango and the Qareen are both post-scarcity societies, they don't need a lot of functions, such as a Treasury or a Business Department.
- Space Friction: averted.
- Space Is an Ocean: averted. Space is... a rail network?
- Space Opera
- Standard Sci-Fi History: partially averted; it's not known exactly what happened to humanity at all. Other races are in the Empire stage, although it would appear that the decline just hasn't happened for some.
- Star Scraper: on the Shango's Darkworlds, there are towers reaching a hundred kilometres in height, and the forces acting on them at the top (or even in the middle) are not the same as at the bottom.
- Universal Universe Time: semi-averted, in that various civilisations use civilisation-wide calendars as well as local ones.
Particular stories provide examples of:
- Crisis of Faith
- Cyber Space: "Gathering Apart".
- First Contact
- Serious Business: "The Sport of Presidents" - a huge controversy over a cup game, which apparently has galaxy-spanning implications.