THE WORLD OF THE HAN WARS
A MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION SERIES
Military science fiction is a new genre for me, but I love reading military sci fi (especially Marko Kloos and Jay Allan) and I've discovered writing it is a BLAST.
With any genre, an author has to do a bit of "world building"--putting together the place where you want to take your readers to for a few precious hours. With my other books, I could basically take our present-day world and tweak a few things, but with the military science fiction genre, the world building is a much more involved task. Here's some of my world building for The Han Wars.
WORLD BUILDING - THE HAN WARS
There are no faster-than-light drives or protective force shields in the world of The Han Wars; rather, ships are armored for protection, and propelled by magnetoplasma engines driven by Helium-3/Deuterium-fed fusion reactors, both technologies that are certainly plausible. Weapons are kinetic in nature (guns and guided missiles), along with shorter-range laser systems. Sensors include powerful optics and radar/LIDAR. Communications are conducted via laser and old-fashioned RF. Advanced AI systems control some automated shipboard functions. Robotic drones and nano-technology are common and used for a variety of purposes. Again, all this tech is plausible. To enable traveling over long distances, I’ve devised what are called “slip points,” naturally occurring points in normal space, discovered and mapped over time, that allow ships to quickly traverse distances measured in light years. Apart from minor things, such as artificial gravity (“artigrav”) plates and inertial dampeners, the idea of a slip point is the biggest suspension of disbelief a reader may have to make.
So where the heck are we? When I talk about the different fleet AORs (Areas of Responsibility), and how far away the Han are via the slip points, this should give you an idea.
The Republic, whose governing body is located on Earth (city of New Geneva), can best be compared to post-World War II Great Britain or France, whose far-flung colonial empires gradually fractured in the decades following the Second World War. A secessionist movement, called the Resistance, has been brewing for years throughout the Republic, comprised of those who no longer recognize the need for a united Republic in the face of a seemingly absent Han Bloc threat. The Republic leadership, however, led by President Drake Ellison, views the resistance as a traitorous movement that must be crushed.
The motto "EX UNITATE VIRES" is Latin for "FROM UNITY, STRENGTH."
REPUBLIC DEFENSE FORCES
The two major players in the Republic Defense Forces (RDF) at the beginning of The Han Wars series are the Combined Fleet and the Fleet Infantry. I'll go over each of them in more detail below.
THE SERVICE "COMMUNITIES"
Right after I started writing FLEET OPPOSED, I decided to take a break and write three prequel novellas which take a closer look at the three different service communities within the RDF--THE AVIATORS, THE INFANTRY, and THE SPACERS. In THE AVIATORS, you'll get to meet LT “Scratch” Adler (VFA-11) and LT “Tude” Mendez (VA-34) flying off of RSS Bulwark (CVA-23). In THE INFANTRY, you'll meet CPT Ricardo “Rico” Estrada and the troopers of Third Platoon, Bravo Company, 3/2 Infantry. And finally, in THE SPACERS, you'll get to know CDR Claire Fontaine, RSS Tang’s new captain, and her crew. All three eBook novellas are available as a 375-page paperback on Amazon, so you'll have a novel's-worth of reading before you start FLEET OPPOSED!
REPUBLIC THIRD FLEET
The Combined Fleet is divided into three numbered fleets; First Fleet is based on Earth’s moon, Second Fleet is based halfway between Earth and the slip points into Han space, and Third Fleet is closest to the slip points. Being former military, I like org charts...so here's one that depicts the Republic Third Fleet.
CARRIER AIR WING SIX SIX
I tried to imagine what a carrier air wing might look like in the world of FLEET OPPOSED, and this is the result. You’ll see CAW 66 & RSS Bulwark in my prequel novella THE AVIATORS. All of the squadron patches are based on actual US Navy & USMC flying units (active and deactivated), with a little of my imagination thrown in for good measure.
REPUBLIC SECOND FLEET
This is the org chart for Second Fleet. Slightly smaller than Third Fleet, and somewhat older ships.
REPUBLIC FIRST FLEET
First Fleet is smaller than the other two numbered fleets, and has the oldest ships.
1ST COMBINED INFANTRY DIVISION (ASSAULT)
You probably noticed each of the numbered fleets has an infantry division attached to it. In this example, I’m showing the org chart for the First Combined Infantry Division (Assault) attached to Third Fleet (specifically Third Platoon, B Company, 3/2 Infantry). I apologize to my Army/Marine brethren if I simplified this too much.
REPUBLIC QUALIFICATION BADGES AND INSIGNIA
“Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!” Yes, we do. ;) A lot of the symbolism from today's US military (USAF, US Navy, USMC & US Army) is apparent in these badges, and why not? Some traditions run VERY deep, and I figured some might even survive far into the future (with a few tweaks).
REPUBLIC SHIP SIZE COMPARISONS
So how big are the ships? You can tell my computer graphics skills are severely lacking, but this should give you a rough idea at how big I think the different ship types are. As far as exactly what they look like, I’ll leave that up to you to decide after reading my descriptions in the books. ;)
REPUBLIC SHIP CRESTS
I've enjoyed bringing some "current" history forward, and that includes ship crests for the four major Republic ships I've seemed to focus on during the stories: Repulse, Tang, Bulwark, and Hornet. Each of my "imaginary" crests include elements from actual US Navy & Royal Navy real ships. (Okay, sub guys, Tang was a boat. I get it.)
THE ERINYES-CLASS SUPERBATTLESHIPS
So if you've read MERGE AND ENGAGE, you got to see the first three Erinyes-class superbattleships in action. The symbol in the first three crests is some sort of astrological symbol representing the Greek Furies. The other crests are taken from Royal Navy ships. Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, and Vengeance, are "borrowed" from the four serving Royal Navy SSBNs (the Vanguard-class boomers).
THE HAN BLOC
The Han Bloc can best be described as a totalitarian governing body that values service to the state above all else. Centralized control is paramount, and individual freedom is nearly an unknown concept among the masses. The member planets are poor, having never recovered from the first war with the Republic nearly a century past. The leader of the Han Bloc, Konstantin Rajkovic, is a charismatic figure who harnessed nationalist sentiments—enflamed by the perceived harshness and unfairness of the ceasefire treaty—to enable his rise. He knows another war will keep the Bloc, and his ruling position as Directorate First, intact.
HAN POLITICAL AND MILITARY BANNERS
The Han? Wasn’t that some sort of ancient Chinese dynasty, you ask? Yes, but there’s no correlation between the two. The prologue in FLEET OPPOSED will give you an idea of exactly who—and what—the Han are. Can’t you just see these things hanging from Han buildings? I can. ;)
Because even the bad guys need some bling.
GENERAL OFFICER / FLAG OFFICER RANK COMPARISON CHART
Another term for the O7 to O10 ranks is "GO/FO."
FIELD GRADE OFFICER RANK COMPARISON CHART
Field Grade officers hold the O4 to O6 ranks.
COMPANY GRADE OFFICER RANK COMPARISON CHART
The term "Company Grade" refers to officers holding the O1 through O3 ranks.
REPUBLIC ENLISTED RANK CHART
The Republic uses a 9-level enlisted rank structure.
HAN BLOC CONSCRIPT/ENLISTED RANK CHART
Like the Republic, the Han use a 9-level structure for their conscript/enlisted ranks.
I stumbled across an AI face generator and came up with character pictures. Almost all of the faces you see below don't really exist--I typed in some general physical characteristics and then searched the results until I said, "Hey, that's him/her!" So, these are all really close to how I originally envisioned the characters of The Han Wars...