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The Crider Chronicles
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-279-8
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 478 Pages
Published: August 2005

Total Readers: 19

From inside the flap

The nations of humanity thought they were alone in the Galaxy. They were wrong, and now humanity faces a threat greater than all the wars in all their history.

From the mountains of Idaho to the depths of space comes Mike Crider, the one man who might just be able to save them. Through guerilla battles in the deep woods, canyons and prairies of the wilderness world Forest, through the struggle to set up a new interstellar government, through the battles of the first Galactic War, the Crider family overcomes the forces of the hostile Grugell Empire to emerge as the Galaxy’s Founding Family.

The Crider Chronicles is the first of four books in the Galactic Confederation series.

The Crider Chronicles (Excerpt)

Earth, 2130

The history of the First Confederation in fact goes back almost a hundred years prior to the formal beginning of the Confederate government. In 2130, a young French-English scientist named Hiram Eugene was working at the Institut National de Physique Nucl?aire et de Physique des Particules in France. The Institut was doing pioneering work in anti-matter and string/counterstring physics, but it took the imagination and creative urge of young Gellar to take the work to the next level.

Gellar inhabited an Earth in transition, not long after the Third World War. The United States remained the planet’s primary power, having retained an almost two-century primacy in economic and military might. Sub-Saharan Africa had been devastated by brush wars and plague, China’s population was recovering from the Chinese Civil War and Russia was once again emerging as an economic power following huge oil and power metal finds in Siberia.

Europe was still recovering from the Third World War, but France -- now a state in the European community -- was becoming a center of physics research, mostly aimed at exploring alternative energy sources for a world rapidly running short of resources.

Gellar’s invention would very quickly change everything.

Morris/Handel, "A History of the First Galactic Confederacy," University Publications, 2804CE

Following are selected excerpts from Morris/Handel, "A History of the First Galactic Confederacy," University Publications, 2804CE and selected news media from the Pre-Galactic era.

Morris/Handel: 2041-2044, the Third World War

While the international tensions that led up to the Third World War are generally accepted to have begun with the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the base causes of the conflict began long before. Decades of instability in the oil-rich Persian Gulf nations along with a persistent religious fanaticism rooted in the area had given rise to a number of extremist/terror groups dedicated to spreading chaos through the region and early in the twenty-first century, around the world.

Following the September 11th attack, the United States -- by then Earth’s only major military power -- reacted swiftly, invading and crushing the southwest Asian nation of Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban government had provided resources and refuge to the group behind the September 11th attacks. The overthrow of the Taliban, followed two years later by the demise of Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, started a democratization trend in the Middle East that spread to Saudi Arabia and Syria in the next twenty years. Democratization did not, however, spread past those four nations until after the Third World War.

July 14th, 2041 saw another major terrorist attack, this time in Paris. The Bastille Day bombing attacks killed over 4,800 Parisians and destroyed the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumph, along with several newer buildings and landmarks. The European Union, then a reluctant partner in the west’s attempts to democratize the Middle East, promptly voted to authorize sending EU forces to Iran, the nation that sponsored the Bastille Day attacks. August 14th, 2041, when elements of the US 1st Marine division, 82nd Airborne division and the EU’s1st Parachute division landed in Iran, is generally accepted as the first day of the Third World War.

Transcribed from Fox News International netcast, December 9th, 2044:

"Thank you, Lisa. It’s an exciting moment here in Brussels, where the leaders of the Allied Powers are gathered along with the leaders of the defeated Central Alliance, to sign this historic treaty. Details of the treaty have not yet been released, but one source confirms that one clause stipulates free, open, internationally monitored elections in the Central Alliance nations are to take place within one year. Just entering the hall now, we can see the President of the European Union, the President of the Russian Republic and the President of the United States ?"

Morris/Handel: Peebles Mining Corporation, Earth

The Third World War drained not only the defeated Central Alliance, but also the victorious Allied Powers. While Earth’s population was still increasing in the developed and developing nations, ongoing brush wars and plague in Africa and the aftermath of the war in the Middle East had rendered much of those regions uninhabitable and their resources inaccessible. Ever-expanding technology however, was making new sources for vital materials economically feasible for the first time.

At least three private corporations were involved in the first wave of exploration into the Sol system. Peebles Mining Corporation was the largest of these. Peebles financed almost one-half of the first International Orbital Station and shipyard and from there and their bases on Luna, ran mining operations to Mars, the asteroid belt and as far out as the Jovian satellites.

The key to the economic feasibility of off-planet mining lay in Peebles? construction of the first of Earth’s five Skyhooks. The Quito Skyhook was a carbon-fiber tower, based on a mountain in the Andes and tethered to a captured asteroid in geosynchronous orbit. The Skyhook Station enabled Peebles? huge mining ships to offload their cargoes into barges that descended to low Earth orbit. The barges then docked at the station, where refined ores and mineral products were lowered to the surface by magnetic freight car.

Still, Earth’s population continued to grow and advancing technology made the demand for resources ever greater. By the beginning of the twenty-second century, Earth’s demand for mineral resources was fast approaching a crisis level.

Associated Press, Denver, Colorado, USA, September 23, 2136

A privately owned space ship, designed here in Denver and built with great secrecy in a closed dock on the International Orbital Station, now promises to change the way humanity looks at the universe.

The Lever du Soleil departed the Station fourteen days ago and was observed accelerating at an unprecedented rate; Luna City Tracking and Traffic control reported that the ship was accelerating at a logarithmic rate.

"It was impossible -- at least we thought it was impossible," said Andrea Martins, the senior Duty Controller at Luna City who was on watch at the time. "No known drive system can accelerate a big ship like that -- not chemical rockets, not ion drives, not reaction motors. And there was almost no drive signature. We didn?t have any idea what was happening."

The world found out what was happening this morning, when the Lever du Soleil returned to the International Orbital Station from the Alpha Centauri system. The crew of the ship brought back over a terabyte of data from the Alpha system that revealed the existence of three rocky planets in the habitable zone. While all three planets are barren and sterile, one of them shows signs of great mineral resources.

The question is now one of economics. Will Gellar Systems Enterprises, the Lever du Soleil’s builders, be producing more ships? Or will the design be licensed to other shipbuilders?

In either case, the entire economic picture of the Sol system has just been irretrievably altered.

Morris/Handel: Gellar Star Drive

If one man can be named as having had the most significant effect on human history in the modern era, that man would be Hiram Eugene Gellar, inventor of the Gellar Star Drive. The Gellar Drive made interstellar flight not only possible, but also practical and launched mankind on its greatest era of exploration and discovery. The stage was now set for humanity’s expansion into what was to be the first Galactic culture.