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What is the Ceremony Universe? TL;DR:
The Ceremony Universe is a grand, political space opera universe with huge emotions, warring houses, vast distances and incredible alternate-history technology, all bound together by a futuristic reinterpretation of Roman culture.
The Ceremony Universe is a hard science fiction alt-future universe in which I write novels.
The central conceit is that humanity, some twelve thousand years in the future, has lost thousands of years of its own history, as well as technology and cultural development from that lost time period; it has, in fact, lost track of all real history since a few years before the fall of the Roman Empire, and has re-developed its technology and culture from there, under the watchful eye of the mysterious Pantheon. The society is structured around a very rigid system of governments and ceremonies focused on making it stable enough to last for many thousands of years, so that colonists, who have to be in cryosleep for an incredibly long time to travel between the stars, don't wake up to a totally different culture and world.
The resulting culture and system of government is heavily based on the old Roman Republic (having had a restoration period where the despotisms of the Empire were largely rolled back), but with the inevitable subtle and large modifications made necessary thanks to the changing environment, technology, as well as a few distortions due to corrupted historical records and mysterious forces at work in the political sphere. There is a lot of Latin, chants, sacrifices, and prayers to the seemingly-real Gods, as well as a lot of sexism and inequality.
There are, however, a few last bastions of something that we might recognize from our own time, or from a regular science fiction novel: places like the technocratic theocracy of the Numerius Cult, on the aptly-named Numerius X.
However, although it has lost much of the technology we developed in our own "timeline" (read: in the lost part of history), this new Roman Empire has developed — in some respects at least — beyond our own capabilities. See the Technology page, but the general nutshell is that they have improved: fusion rockets, superconductors, railguns, and cryogenic technology. Generally, the main society does not innovate new technology: the Mechanicus Guild and the Priesthood, for instance, are focused largely on continuing the traditions they have and preserving their knowledge of technology, very little more. Instead, innovations generally arise from the more free worlds, and then trickle in by the black market into the main society until the Pantheon finally decides (or doesn't) to give these technologies an official blessing.
I have three series of books planned for this world:
- The Prequels: Although not strictly before the main sequence, they must take place at the same time as, or before it. They aren't central to that plotline and serve to introduce the world and tell peripheral stories in it.
- Children of Abeona: Follow Aedus, the greatest military tactician and most reviled tyrant in the Ceremony Universe, as he leads his people to dominion while also slowly losing his humanity; root for his wife, the engineer who must survive among the dangerous House of Hesychius that stands in Aedus' way.
- The Sacramentum Saga: These will be of a much broader scope than the prequels, covering more POVs, and take place much closer to the heart of the Caelum Nostrum. If CoA and the prequels are like stand-alone epic fantasy books, with four or five POVs and roughly seven hundred pages, these are doorstoppers and a trilogy to boot.
- Mercury's Wings
- Somnus Defeated
- Faunus Dethroned
- Resurrectionem Cycle: I'm not sure how many books this will be since the plot for this is barely a sketch compared to the fairly detailed stuff I have on the prequels and the Sacramentum saga, but I'm estimating it should come out as a duology. This will tell of the rise of humanity from its nadir in the long years of the Roman-Terran Empire.
For convenience, here is a dynamically updated list of pages: