These books will always hold a special place in my heart. I can remember being in 7th grade having just finished reading Stephen R. Donaldson's first Thomas Covenant trilogy and thinking, "I've got to write one of these someday." Part of that desire was so I could partake in the creative process. I was in awe at how simple words on a page could have such power. I wanted to try my own hand at it. But another part of the compulsion (that's the best word) to write was a sense that if I didn't give back to the realm of fiction that I knew I would keep taking from (i.e. reading books) then somehow, someway there might not be any books left to read. To be honest, even though I know it's completely illogical I still have that part in me. The voice in my head says, "Read the books while you can! They might go away! Better yet, appease the gods of (science) fiction by offering up your own works!"
Many years after I had that first impulse to write I sat down on my bed, opened up my laptop and typed in the first few pages of the Brief History trilogy. Planetary rebellion? A new solar system for humankind? But the colonists have been cut off from Earth for twenty years? What the hell is going on? I was both excited and confused after the first day of writing. I knew where the story was going to end and I knew where it was starting but I did not (consciously) know what was going to happen to get from point a to point b. Thankfully, the characters, plot points and settings kept on coming. When I started writing I had no idea how long the process to finish one book would be. I assumed it would take a year or so. After I finished the rough draft of Nova Sol I did some quick calculations and realized I could finish the trilogy (it was always going to be a trilogy) in less than a year. I was hooked. In the end, from that first day to putting up Altered Earth in the Kindle store the whole process took right around 15 months. So, just in case the books ever run out I know I've done my part.
The subtitle of the trilogy - A Brief History of Humankind - was inspired by two different elements. The first was the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard's work "Philosophical Fragments." This book of "fragments" is one of his longest works. He titled it "fragments" to be funny. I remember my college professor telling the class that was the kind of thing ole Soren liked to do - mess with people. That struck a chord with me. It matched what my friends and I in college did on a regular basis - mess with people. In a fun way. I even named one of the characters "Soren" in the faint hopes that someone would get the joke. No one has so far. The other element of the subtitle was the idea that science fiction as a whole is a "future history of humankind." This is not my idea. It's been out there for a while. I forget where I first came across this concept but it's stuck with me since then. So, these two details plus the fact that the phrase "a brief history of humankind" sounds cool is what lead me to choosing that for the subtitle.
All the covers for the trilogy are by Derek Murphy (http://bookcovers.creativindie.com/). He did a great job of taking my ideas and making them look awesome.