WARNING: Mild spoilers contained. (They are really mild, but spoilers nonetheless)
The original concept of the Dusk story was a very simple one. Before there was a title or a narrative there was an idea: A scientist is sent to colonize and study a planet hundreds of light years away on a ship traveling a large fraction of the speed of light, but while he is traveling, a faster-than-light ship is invented and sent, so that when he arrives, a very different human culture has thrived on the planet for hundreds of years.
In a Bradburian sense, the idea was intriguing, and it stayed with me for a while, so I began to think of complications that would make the ‘transition’ more dramatic–this was before considering the narrative frame, but at first, I was thinking maybe of a longish short story, maybe around 6K words.
The idea that the planet itself spun on its side and was relatively distant from its sun produced 50-year days and a need for citizens to migrate and develop dome cities, but it was the idea that the colony would not only war with Earth but defeat it, made the idea more appealing. For me, however, even if the character does not enter the story directly, I like to understand the nuances of the person behind the choices made, so I began to think of the person central to the war effort and instrumental in the victory. I wanted the motivations to be sympathetic even though what the planet does to win the war is horrific–this made the story told much more complicated (and too spoilery to write here).
The narrative was now novella to novel-sized, but it still existed within a single compartment. In crafting further reasons for the war, an idea developed that there were aspects of the new planet that related directly to prehistoric Earth that expanded into the overall conflict that exists despite humanity’s level of awareness of it. As the ultimate antagonists of the Dusk story expanded, so did the necessary narrative. What became a trilogy with the development of the overall antagonist(s), now had the ability to span all of human history, both with fictional elements within our real past, and in the invented elements in the future imagined in the trilogy.
This connection of events based on human choice while dealing with an often unseen antagonist created a universe that was less about the universe expanding outward into space and more about looking inward at the nature of humanity and how people respond to their fears, their passions, and to each other. In managing narrative details in Scrivener and Aeon Timeline, I realized that even though the epic nature of the overall narrative does involve the nature of the universe, the most definitive elements to the narrative was humanity’s ‘placement’ on the timeline and the choices made at those points.
Within this experience are three planets and an entire timeline in the past and future where, completely outside of the narrative of the trilogy, there are individualized, humanity-driven stories that can be told within the Dusk universe that, as solitary pieces, draw from the richness of the Dusk timeline and mythos. Currently, Aiwass and the seven stories in Nightfall can exist as individual narratives, but also sand to enrich or be enriched by the broader mythos, themes, and events within the narrative within the Dusk Trilogy. The overall hope is that these stories will engage those who have not read Dusk while giving faithful readers further insight into the world built around the events of the main story thread. I invite you to sample the Dusk Timeline, and I hope these characters and endeavors touch your hearts and minds as they have mine.
The new edition of Dusk will be available in paperback and Kindle May 2019