I get a lot of questions about the Immortal Love Universe™. Things like “when does the timeline start?”, “who lives there?”, and “how big is it?” are all common questions I get from readers. And there are a lot more.
The goal of this blog is to try to tell you a little more about the Immortal Love Universe™. This isn’t meant to be all-inclusive…it’s a big place. It’s a really big place.
One word of warning…if you haven’t read any of my works, much of this will lack context and not make any sense to you at all. For the sake of brevity, I have assumed that you are at least a little familiar with the stories now available.
The Immortal Love Universe™ is the setting for many of my books. The list includes: For the Love of Payne, Desert Heat, The Polyamorous Princess, Knights of Desire, Burning Love, and more than a dozen other works-in-progress. The difference is just when in the life of the Universe that the stories take place. In general, the Ike Payne Adventures take place about 2,000 years before the Flights of Fancy stories. The Polyamorous Princess falls just before the Ike Payne Adventures. I first used the name Immortal Love Universe™ way back in 2003.
But all of these stories take place many thousands of years after the timeline begins…and many billions of years before its end.
The Immortal Love Universe™ has two calendar systems, but they aren’t complicated to grasp. There are references in the above stories to a period called The Doom Time. This was a global nuclear war that very nearly destroyed humanity. The Doom Time ended in 2551 AD. At this point, a new calendar was started as year 0 (zero) GE (for Galactic Empire). In other words, 2551 AD and 0 GE are the same year in the Universe.
With that explained, I can tell you that the Immortal Love Universe™ in its present state starts in 1950 AD with the birth of Stuart Dayton. As detailed above, in 2551 AD/0 GE the Doom Time came to an end. The Ike Payne Adventures happen about 4,300 years after the Doom Time. The Flights of Fancy stories are another 2,000 years along in around 6,300 GE.
Right now, there are no publically available works in that 4,900 year span from 1950 AD through about 4,300 GE. They are in the works, though. There are some 3.5 million words of story waiting for me to edit and get ready for submission. In my mind, I see this huge story spanning at least twenty full novels. Some of the people you will meet and get to know better in those books you already know a little about. Jim and his four wives Janette, Marilyn, Tanya, and Paige are all there. Admirals Claire and Zach Reeves are in those stories. Some of Ike’s ancestors are there, too. Stuart and Ann Dayton are prominent as well. You’ll even learn how the simulated humans Q and Rebecca came into being and how they grew into the remarkable “people” they are in the later books. And there are literally thousands of other characters who play major parts in the Immortal Love Universe™.
Then there is the future of the Immortal Love Universe™, the timeline beyond the Flights of Fancy series. In a nutshell, the future history goes forward more than 15-billion years. Yes, I said billion. There isn’t much more than ideas in my head for that future right now.
If the Immortal Love Universe™ is big in terms of time, it is even bigger in the domain of space. As the name implies, the Immortal Love Universe™ spans the entire universe. But this concept gets a little complicated.
Really, I don’t want to get into a lesson in theoretical physics here. I don’t, but I need to tell you a little bit about the physical underpinnings of the Immortal Love Universe so you can grasp the immensity of what we’re dealing with.
Most of you are at least casually familiar with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Some of you may have an inkling of the theory of Quantum Mechanics. These two theories define the universe as we currently understand it. In loose terms, Relativity deals with things on a very large scale and Quantum Mechanics deals with the very small. When we try to combine the two theories into a single, unified view, we find they are mutually exclusive in many areas.
It is this unified theory that physics is obsessed with finding. We have a name for it: The Grand Unification Theory (or simply GUT). We know some of the things the GUT must predict and explain. So far, however, we haven’t been smart enough to find it.
A few years ago, a new idea came along called String Theory. After some growing pains and being discarded and resurrected several times, a new view came into being. This new theory was so different from the original String Theory—and from Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for that matter—that it was given a new name: M-Theory.
M-Theory is still evolving, and not all physicists accept it at all, but the fact is that it has so many of the attributes of the GUT that we know will be needed to be a true theory of everything that we can’t afford to totally dismiss the idea.
Depending on how you solve the equations, M-Theory has either ten or eleven dimensions. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter because either way allows for the concept of more than one universe.
No, not parallel universes ala so many science fiction stories from over the years. I mean real, totally isolated and unrelated universes. But the multi-dimensional nature of M-Theory also allows for us to move energy from one universe to another if we are very careful. We have to be careful because what we see as the Big Bang was the touching of two such universes. The result of such touching would be a total conversion of mass to energy. And when you convert all the mass in two entire universes into energy, the release is staggering.
OK, I’m done with the physics lesson now.
All of this leads to the fact that the Immortal Love Universe™ is actually made up of many different universes. Not only does it cover our universe, but several others at the same time.
I told you the Immortal Love Universe™ is really big.
Almost all of the technology in the Immortal Love Universe™ is based on M-Theory. That’s why Boone and the other ships can travel faster than light, the cosmic speed limit imposed by Relativity and implied by Quantum Mechanics. This is also how the transporters work. I could go on, but I’ll end up in another physics lesson, and neither you nor I want that to happen.
Some aspects of the Immortal Love Universe™ have been borrowed from stories by authors I consider to be my betters in the realm of hard science fiction. Some of these borrowed facets are in the form of various aliens. In several stories, I mention “Bandersnatch”, a creature created by Larry Niven. There are others that avid readers of hard SF will recognize.
One big thing I borrowed for the Immortal Love Universe™ is a creation of—in my opinion—the Master…in his stories of the Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov created a science he called “Psychohistory”. Using psychohistory, Hari Sheldon was able to predict the fall of the galactic empire and saw a way to save humanity from many thousands of years of chaos. Many characters in the Immortal Love Universe™—mostly Stuart and Ann Dayton, Marilyn, and Tanya—use psychohistory to understand, guide, and to a large degree control the Immortal Love Universe™.
Other things are borrowed from various aspects of more mundane life. Throughout the history of the Immortal Love Universe™ the Masons and Eastern Star play a role. Several of today’s major religions including Catholicism, Islam, Later Day Saints (once again calling themselves Mormons), and others all play a role. And then there is the music…
The one question I get asked most often by readers, editors, and publishers alike is why the nightclubs on the ships in the Immortal Love Universe™ all play music from the mid-twentieth century. The answer is actually pretty simple: Stuart Dayton designed and built many of the ships, and he was born in 1950 AD. He grew up with the early days of rock and roll, and he still likes the music, despite being more than 4,000 years old.
Once we get past all of the time, space, technology, science, secret societies, religions, and music, we are left with the main underlying current of the Immortal Love Universe™…
While hinted at in the stories now available, the personification of the love in the universe can be found between Jim and Marilyn. It’s often mentioned that of his four wives, Marilyn is Jim’s favorite. Janette, Tanya, and Paige all know this, as does almost everyone else around them. There is a special link between these two, and it shows. I wish I could tell you that this was something I, as the author, planned from the beginning, but I can’t. It just sort of happened that way.
My characters often become so real that they do what they want to do, not what I tell them to do.
The relationship between Jim, Marilyn, Janette, Paige, and Tanya is the foundation of the polyamory that runs through the Immortal Love Universe™. I have always hated the term “ménage” when applied to romance. In my own mind, ménage is simple three (or more) way sex. I much prefer polyamory because this—again in my mind—means a loving, devoted, and caring relationship between more than two people. And note that gender has no value in this equation. Jim has four wives. In The Polyamorous Princess, Allison has two husbands. So what? The key is that Jim and his wives all love each other. Allie and her husbands all love each other. And as always, sex is a part of that love. The gender doesn’t matter.
Every so often, someone will pester me to document all of the details of the Immortal Love Universe™. I have actually started that project several times only to give up after a while. The idea these well-meaning people have is that I could make this document available to other authors as a framework for them to write their own stories within. This is not a new idea, however. Larry Niven has done this with his Known Space Universe in the form of the Man-Kzin Wars series. I don’t know how much money he makes off the licensing fees, but I suspect it’s not bad.
The problem for me with the Immortal Love Universe™ is that it’s so bloody big. I have more than 200,000 pages of notes on the place and people and society. No one else can even begin to understand my random thoughts there and make any sense of them at all. I seriously doubt I will live long enough to get all of that into something that another could read and understand.
In other words, there will probably never be such a document.
So there you have it…a brief outline of the Immortal Love Universe™.
In the current Ike Payne Adventures and Flights of Fancy series, there are three books now in the pipe at various stages of completion. I have rough notes on five more right now. I’m sure more will come to me.
As I mentioned above, the early history will probably be another twenty or more novels, and what I have now ends about 1,000 years before Ike Payne is born. That means there is plenty more to tell about that period. And I haven’t really thought about what happens in the billions of years after Flights of Fancy other than the very end of the Immortal Love Universe™.
Now all I have to do is actually get the time to write them.