Like any good space opera series, the setting in The Compact Universe and The Amargosa Trilogy spans multiple worlds, most of them Earthlike. Earth is one, obviously, as is Mars. In an unintentional parallel to The Expanse, the two don’t like each other much. But while I, like dozens of other space opera writers, have used the UN as Earth’s government, I also created a Mars that has become as bloated and hypocritical as any large powerful nation on Earth today. Mars is known as The Citizens’ Republic of Mars, implying a socialist, though not quite communist, or maybe I should say “socialist.” The workers’ paradise doesn’t like it when you interfere with their ability to turn a profit for the proletariat. Hence, one colony going silent doesn’t concern The Compact while the loss of Mars’s own Amargosa arouses the wrath of the dome-dwellers.
But there are others. In a still-unreleased novella, five planets are referred to as “The Big Five,” of which Earth and Mars are two. These are the wealthiest and most powerful worlds in The Compact.
Tian – Chinese for “heaven,” this near twin of Earth (which a moon the size of Mercury) is where JT Austin had planned to flee in Gimme Shelter. It is humanity’s most populous planet and referred to as its “real” capital. (The capital is actually Quantonesia, a city on an artificial island in the middle of Hong Kong Harbor.) Tian is part of a system that nearly mirrors that of our own sun, with an extra planet whipping around inside where Mercury’s orbit would be. The planets all (except Tian) have Greek names to mirror those of Sol’s, four of which are actually Earthlike. Tian is the fourth planet, and Demeter, an icy world, occupies space where Ceres orbits in our own system, is also Earthlike. Tian is the wealthiest world of The Compact and the site of most of the Navy’s installations.
The Caliphate – Created for a couple of unpublished short stories, one of which I wrote to flesh out Davra (as an adult), originally, I wrote this world as an Islamic Republic without the medieval tendencies. In reality, it’s more like Malaysia or Turkey (minus Turkey’s propensity for coups every twenty years or so.) Wealthy and highly developed, their prosperity makes them highly tolerant. One of the paradoxes of a world whose religion forbids alcohol is that its wines are highly prized.
Etrusca – What I refer to in notes as “Disney” planets, where the founders tried to model their new world after some Earth culture they pine for. In this case, Etrusca is named for the forerunners of the Roman Empire, and their institutions and city names reflect a deep love of Roman history. Of course, being in The Compact means no true emperor, no blood sports, and that whole slavery thing was never really permitted. Etrusca does not appear in novellas or novels so far, but Austin and Burke save an Etruscan colony from invasion.
There are other worlds mentioned.
Thule – a mysterious world that sits above the galactic plane. It seems to be a haven for long-lived rejuvenated humans. Okada first appears here in Warped.
Bromdar – If Coruscant from Star Wars and the LA of Blade Runner ever got drunk and had a love child, it would be Bromdar. Almost completely paved over and built upon, it features cities named for large industrial firms from the present day. Austin visits the city of Krupp in Broken Skies.
Deseret – A Mormon world whose colony, Goshen, caused the civil conflict known as the Polygamy Wars. It was actually a rebellion against Deseret, which condones polygamy but takes a rather dim view of forced polygamy and the taking of very young brides. Lucius Kray refers to the rebels as “Jeffsians” after radical polygamist Warren Jeffs, currently serving time in a Federal prison for practices not too dissimilar to the radicals.
Metis – Named for the original goddess of wisdom, Metis is also the parent world of the ill-fated Gilead, which becomes Hanar under Tishla’s leadership. Metis tends toward matriarchy as most of its authority figures are female. They speak with a lilt that could be described as Celtic. One character, a Homeworld Security agent, sounds almost like a cross between Bob Marley and an angry Irish nun.