The Hub is mine.
This project is a lifelong imagining of something between a world and a galaxy: The Hub, wheel-shaped cluster of stars explored and settled by humanity thousands of years into the future. Or possibly thousands of years in the past. Although there is a timeline in the Reference section, it must be stated that the Hub exists in a conceptual multiverse, and the Fourth Dimension flows like an overlapping spiral among the layers.
Like everything connected with humanity, the Hub is complex: Human cultures on literally thousands of worlds over millenia have sprouted in myriad directions, embracing a wide variety of values systems, social organization, economic structures, and every other institution.
But humans remain essentially the same. A few thousand years is a drop on the ocean of evolutionary time. The constant struggle between altruism and self-interest still shapes us. We retain the capacity to be heroes and villains, nonentities and extraordinary, lovers and killers, fearsome and fearful, all in the same lifespan.
The project began as a simple single story arc, a good-versus-evil space opera with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Along the way it kept sprouting offshoots. The bad guys weren’t so bad, the good guys weren’t so good. Protagonists went mute, minor characters hijacked scenes, and there were constant stops and side-journeys to discover the more about where and how everyone lives.
It’s not the final frontier, and the mission has gone on much longer than five years. The first descriptions and attempts at “chapters” started in 1997. But we are definitely exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations.
On the other hand, we are definitely not boldly going where no one has gone before. The last time the multiverse forked it, James H. Schmitz drew back the curtain. The current fork has changed– we’ve lost the fabulous psionic machines, and there’s no benevolent Psychology Service. And no intelligent aliens. No matter, we have humanity, which keeps things plenty lively.