The Worm Within – novel #1 of The Chronicles of Future Earth
A man will come. A man with a future long dead. And he will change the world utterly.
In the Post-Historical Age, everything that can be known has been known long ago, and then forgotten. Even history itself has ceased, as the light of humanity wanes into stagnation and extinction.
All that is left is prophecy.
In the Autarchal Palace of the ancient city of Korudav, Lord Jakai Tellisan is uneasy. Something is rotten in the Venerable Autocracy of Sakara, oldest of the Springtide Civilizations. After fifteen millennia, an ancient foe seems poised once again to destroy the lands of humankind, and yet the Avatar of the God-Emperor does nothing. And now there are rumors of ancient things stirring in the rusted tunnels beneath his timeworn domain — ancient things from a time when humans ruled the cosmos in glory.
A man has come. A man who remembers a time before history began. But is he a force for good, and hope for a bright future, or will he bring the fossilized ways of the Venerable Autocracy crashing down in flames and chaos?
The forces of destiny gather. Is this the last flicker of the light before the death of humankind? Or can humanity itself rise to this last great challenge—and save its future from the Worm Within?
A week or so ago Chaosium Inc announced my new novel, The Worm Within, the first novel in my Chronicles of Future Earth setting. Although I’ve already written several RPG products for Chronicles, this is the first time the far future science-fantasy setting will appear in fiction. It’s a very exciting moment for me – I’ve been wanting to tell the story of the Springtide Civilizations for a long time, and now at last I have the chance…
The first written incarnation of The Chronicles of Future Earth began some thirteen years ago, back in 1999, when I first sat down to write up a setting for the then-new 3rd edition of Dungeons and Dragons. It was an idea I’d been playing with since childhood – a dream of the farthest future of our species, when the aeons of glory and interstellar majesty are behind us, and the dotage of humankind has begun. Since then, it has undergone many mutations, and an awful lot of expansion, and now finds itself a setting for Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying RPG, where it truly feels at home. It’s a world of the far, far future, faded yet glorious, alien yet familiar, filled with melancholy, wistfulness, and wonder; a world of flying machines so old no one understands them, bizarre creatures and hominids mutated or genetically engineered in forgotten prehistory, and mind-numbing sorceries bestowed by incomprehensible transdimensional gods. And secrets of a terrible past, returning to life…
Alongside the creation of the Chronicles setting, a story has been building – a story of the unimaginably distant destiny of the human race. Elements of that story are built into the RPG setting, and more will be revealed in future RPG books in the line, where you’ll be able to play through your own story of the far future post-history of humankind.
But I’m delighted to have the opportunity to tell that story as I want to tell it, too – in the novels of The Chronicles of Future Earth. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing experiences and thoughts from writing the first novel, and snippets of the book itself. I hope you’ll come along…
The Worm Within will be published by Chaosium, Inc, in 2013.