Before we begin... Many of these "shorts" as I like to call them unfold on altered versions of earth. Subtle variations on the current state of humanity based on a single, monumental decision, or simply the fate of a nation who has lost its bearings, Terra (earth) is the backdrop for four of these tales. With each additional turn of page and each passing account, we find the worlds darker, the stakes higher. We begin with a simple test of love and courage in the waters of a far off ocean world, move through the razor-sharp grasslands to avoid the fiercest of predators, exchange hot lead over the skies of Alabama, watch as a man tries to keep his humanity in world with no laws, look through the eyes of an ancient architect pondering the sacred blue planet while cloaked behind a moon, share a glimpse of the future and teleportation's dark side and finally, we bask is in the glow of the ultimate retirement plan. Each of these tales is more than a simple beginning and end. They are windows into a vast storyworld that will later this year (2017) come to life in the novel, The Darkness. But not as one might think, their new life will arise as concepts and philosophies, heroes and villains, civilizations and starships. It would be difficult to see the Seven Worlds within the novel, The Darkness; rather you will feel their influence on the grandest of scales. In the end, my hope is that you feel the soil sticking to the bottom of your boots, duck from a stray round of hot lead passing by, are overcome by the dread of a world ending decision and in the end, understand these Tales from the Seven Worlds are some of the philosophical cornerstones of the coming Oortian Wars series that begins with The Darkness. I hope you choose to be part of the adventure and look forward to exploring the edge of humanities claimed territory. - Iain Richmond
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