From the Latin inter, (between), and regis, (king): between kings. In Tirdian British history 1649-1660. In Hibernian history 1941-2001.
The Interregnum, an Irish Christian Science fiction series by Rick Sutcliffe, is set on one or more alternate earths of the Timestream, a spatio-temporal medium linking several earths with different histories. Most of the action in this series takes place on Hibernia (Ortho earth) during the years 1941-2001 (the interregnum between James' deposition and a possible restoration). The purpose is to entertain and to provoke the reader to think about ethical and social decision making.
In 1941 a cabal of noble families manipulated by the racist MacCarthy clan deposes the as yet uncrowned James IV from the throne of Tara, mistress of Hibernia and ruler of the Federation of worlds (Hibernia and Babylon). They succeed in banning the royal family from the throne for sixty years. James and his cousins obscure his identity and go into exile, there to counter the MacCarthys' schemes and prepare the way for a later generation to reclaim the throne. The multi-volume series The Interregnum is the story of those years, as James and his descendents scramble first to survive and then to re-shape Ortho's corrupt society in the face of Clan MacCarthy's high-tech plots.
In a sufficiently hi-tech society, it is not difficult for numerous people to gather into their hands the means to destroy all life on earth. Hibernia hosts such a society. There, the industrial revolution took place centuries before that on Terra (Tirdia, or Prime--our earth) and such questions have vexed the combative Irish ever since. How can such a society ensure its survival?
Hibernia has a strong (Christian) moral code, to which most people subscribe, if for no other than pragmatic reasons. Certain technology is banned, and wars must be fought by hand combat. Of course, humankind being fallen on all the earths, some people cheat against the ban. A strong police force, here directed by the Irish noble houses, is supposed to be the answer. If they go bad, the High King of Tara provides a final check. Can he do so without his crown, without a power base at Tara, and without allies except in the remotest parts of the kingdom? Indeed, which of the four cousins is the king? If the MacCarthys can discover that, his life may not be worth much. Meanwhile, they'll settle for wiping out every royal they can, in hopes of keeping any of them from claiming the throne they covet for themselves.
The first volume of The Interregnum, The Peace, published June 2000 in a variety of E-book formats, was nominated by the publisher for the prestigious Frankfurt award, and received glowing reviews, including one in Analog magazine. It was a best seller with Bookmice, but the company collapsed when its new owner left town owing authors and others substantial sums of money. In December 2003, The Peace was republished in a slightly different form by Writers Exchange ePublishing (December 2002).
The second volume of The Interregnum, The Friends, was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in June 2003 and was named the best Science fiction novel of 2003 by the EPIC 2004 award. A third volume, The Exile, was also published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in July 2003 and was a finalist for the EPPIE in Science fiction.
The fourth and fifth volumes of The Interregnum, The General, and, The Nexus, were published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in March and April of 2006 and are available from them and their retailers in a variety of formats.
The sixth volumes of The Interregnum, The Builder, was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in March 2012 and is available from them and their retailers.
These books are written as story cycles. That is, each has three to four interwoven plots that follow different characters during different periods of The Interregnum. Periodically the plots are drawn together or cross one another, and eventually all roads lead to Tara in 2001 when a king may once again take the throne (provided civil war can be averted). To assist the reader in following the story lines, each book comes with a list of characters and a description of the worlds of the Timestream. Additional resource materials (maps and building plans) may be provided as time permits.
For the reader who wishes to sample the writing before ordering, a plot synopsis and the first few chapters (one from each subplot) are available on this site by clicking on the appropriate book cover and following the links.
In addition, an anthology of Canadian eAuthors published by ceAuthors and is available here FREE. It includes a story from The Exile.
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