As my regular readers know, my JANUS PARADISI series takes place in an open-source sci-fi universe. A what?

Essentially, a group of authors agreed on the backstory and main features of a time and place where all action will occur, then write their own stories within those parameters.

These stories can be from any sub genre (hard sci-fi, space opera, fantasy, romance, whatever), as long as they stick to the overall parameters, such as planet names and environments, technology, history, and so on. They can use other writers’ characters (with permission), usually giving them walk-on parts, or referring to great events in other writer’s stories.

Other writers who were not part of that startup team can contribute stories, as long as they refer to “the Bible”, a reference manual including the original parameters and key details of everyone else’s stories, to avoid conflict and inconsistencies. This is called “sticking to canon.”

Every writer submits the completed story to the ‘canonistas’, who check for consistency with “the Bible”, all published stories, and any still seeking approval.

Once approved, the story is awarded the “Paradisi Chronicles” logo and it is added to the community.

An anthology of such short stories hit Amazon’s #1 spot in 2016 (cover image to your right). I’d delighted to say my story, Final Flight, was included.

I joined the party late and was two-thirds of the way through part one of my JANUS PARADISI trilogy, when Cheri Lasota published Paradisi Escape, set on the same spaceship and at the same time as mine. Oops!

Cheri’s story featured conflict between the SS Challenge‘s senior officers. Mine featured Special Ops combat troops stealing a ride. There was no way our stories’ events would not impinge on each other. Rewrite time!

So began a deeper collaboration between us to work out how this would pan out, with my main plot lines appearing in her stories and hers in mine.

I am really pleased with the way this worked out. Sure, there were divergences of plot direction, characterization issues, and foreshadowings that might appear meaningless out of their original setting. We ironed-out all the issues: we made it work. My part three is due out in winter 2017 and Cheri’s part three in 2018.

To explore all the Paradisi Chronicles’ published stories, click here.


There are two new, must-buy additions to the universe…

Mei Lin Yu, a shy studious young woman from a Founding Family, and Silence, a fierce snowcat running with outlaws, shouldn’t have anything in common. But on New Eden, a world where the native Ddaerans have psychic abilities, a world ruled by the Founders who fled a dying Earth…anything is possible.

When Mei Lin is forced out of the comfortable refuge of Mynyddamore and confronted with a secret from the past that is very much alive, will she be able to save herself and Silence to gain the trust of a man who has no reason to trust anyone from a Founding Family?

Under Two Moons, a science fiction action adventure novel, is the sequel to Between Mountain and Sea.

On the planet Ddaera, under the ill-omened light of double moons, Seren stands at the precipice of destruction.

Using only her psychokinesis and earthtouch skills, Seren is destined to face a prophesied meteor alone, but she knows in her heart she hasn’t the strength to withstand such power. Yet there is one other willing to stand with her if she would let him: Idris.

But Idris has been experimenting in secret, and Seren knows his life-saving skill was born out of the deaths of those dear to her. Should she accept his help? And even if she does, will it be enough to save her people before it’s too late?

Whatever you’re reading, enjoy!


  1. Ah ha! This explains it. I have met Cheri Lasota and when her book showed up, I was confused, knowing about your books. What a cool idea, but it must cause a lot of collaboration to get things right. I’ll have to check them out.

    Best of luck with the new adventures.


    1. It was a fascinating project, especially for a new writer like me. We co-wrote outlines for future stories and focused on our own characters’ experiences within that framework in our own novels. My trilogy’s third book, JANUS ARRIVAL, got even more “co-operative” as I also had to incorporate features from other authors’ published works. There was technology from three authors, planetary geography and creatures from another, with yet more creatures, geography, culture and key universe-significant events from the shared canon. All the other authors were really really supportive and I’m happy that the result fitted neatly into existing canon (or the canonistas wouldn’t have let me publish!)

      I’m branching out into 1950’s noir for my next novel, but I’ll be back with a sequel to the Janus adventures next year.


  2. Andy: Should I change my regulations? I figured you just used a template…actually I forgot where I got it until you mentioned it. They all sounded similar, but I don’t want you upset. I can’t afford the court fees.


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