A couple of weeks back we invited our community to help us create a new Unioverse planet, as part of our New World Genesis program and – wow! – they delivered.
We received more than 70 entries from Unioverse fans who submitted names for the new planet, as well as information about its star system and global conditions. Our Selection Committee, made up of Unioverse Co-Founders and Narrative Leads, pored over each entry and narrowed it down to six finalists. Over this past weekend, the finalists were presented to the Unioverse Community, which picked their favorite.
So, we are thrilled to announce the new name of the Unioverse planet is…
Let’s send out a big Servitor-sized congratulations to Luke Salvalaggio, who not only came up with the winning name but also helped bring this planet to life by creating such details as:
You can read even more about this fascinating new addition to the Unioverse on its very own Unioverse Wiki page, where Salvalaggio’s work (and credit!) will live on for the life of the Unioverse.
Now that you’ve seen how much fun worldbuilding can be, you too can get in on the action and have your work immortalized in the fabric of the Unioverse.
Now that Cebia has a name and some basic geography, it’s time to populate this planet with some living things. For this round of worldbuilding, we want you to come up with some sentient beings for Ceiba.
You can find more criteria for what we’re looking for on the New World Genesis submission page, but here’s a quick taste of what you can expect:
Is there only one sentient species on the planet? More? What are they like (appearance, habitats, behaviors, etc.)? Are different races or subspecies present? What stage of development are they in (recently sentient, evolved, space-faring, etc.)?
Think you’ve got a great idea for new lifeforms?
Step 1: Read Luke’s winning entry in the wiki to better understand some basics about Ceiba.
Step 2: Read Chapter 8 of Unioverse Origins, which will provide more details about the planet.
Step 3: Visit the official New World Genesis submission page to learn the specifics about what we’re looking for and how to enter.
Submissions will once again be read by our Selection Committee, which will winnow the entries down to a handful of finalists that the Community can vote on.
And just to make sure you don’t forget, winning entries become an official part of the Unioverse canon – so your work will be experienced by Unioverse fans all over the world!
If you’ve been following our Worldbuilding Secrets podcast (you have been following our Worldbuilding Secrets podcast, right?), then you’ve enjoyed a masterclass in storytelling and, as the name suggests, worldbuilding.
Now we want you to help us build a world. That’s right, there’s a new planet in the Unioverse, and we want you to tell us all about it. Here’s how it works and how you can get involved.
If you’ve been reading our Unioverse Origins story drops (you have been reading our Unioverse Origins story drops, right?), then you know that in the latest issue (#7) Malcolm Orion jumped to a strange new planet. Five hundred years after that initial discovery, the inhabitants of that planet now want to join the Merge.
That’s where you come in, because the Unioverse is a community-owned franchise and now we really want the Community to participate!
Each week for the next four weeks, we’ll give you two creative prompts asking for your input in what we are calling The New World Genesis Program. These will range from the simple, like naming the planet, to the more complex, like mapping its star system and describing the societal structures of its inhabitants.
We really want you to put some thought into your answers because they will be read by our co-founders Tony Harman and Wyeth Ridgway, and our narrative team of Brent Friedman, Andy Baker and Josh Viola. They’ll go over all the submissions and narrow it down to the top contenders.
Finalists will be posted to Discord where the Community will get the final vote on each prompt. And trust us, having your submission picked is more than just a feather in your cap…
The winning entries as voted by the Community will have their work entered into the official Unioverse Wiki with accompanying credit. That means your work and name will live on as long as the Unioverse exists! Talk about bragging rights…
But wait! There’s more! Winners will also get a cool print of the planet you helped create signed by Stuart Jennett, the Unioverse’s lead artist! How cool is that?!
OK. So you’re all set, what do you do now?
First thing to do is get caught up on the Unioverse story. So check out the Unioverse Story Wiki and read all the Unioverse Origin chapters.
Then join our Discord, if you haven’t already. That’s where voting will occur, and it will give you a chance to connect with other creatives and see what else has been submitted. (Plus, you can’t vote if you’re not on our Discord!)
Once you’ve done that, here’s a schedule for the first prompt:
You can find the official New World Genesis program submission form here.
So join Discord, mark your calendar, and help make the Unioverse even more amazing!
Everyone loves a good story, and, not to brag, but we have more than 25 of the best storytellers on the planet writing ours.
The Unioverse is a galaxy-spanning, sci-fi saga about an ancient technology uncovered on Mars that allows people to beam their consciousness across the universe. Suddenly, humans are connected with other worlds, other species, and to the mysterious alien presence working behind the scenes. Following in the rich traditions of works like 2001 and The Expanse, The Unioverse is already shaping up to be a modern science fiction classic.
Today, we are thrilled to release two new ways for you to get on board and delve deeper into the story of the Unioverse.
First, we have a new video featuring Brent Friedman (see above), who leads the narrative of the Unioverse explaining the broad story of the Unioverse. Brent’s a veteran storyteller who wrote for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and on hit game franchises like Call of Duty. So our story is definitely in good hands.
The video is less than four minutes and well worth your time as Brent lays out the foundations of the Unioverse. Whether you’re a hardcore fan or a total newcomer, Brent’s video will quickly and easily launch you into this amazing new world we are building. So, go! Watch the video. We’ll wait.
OK. Now that you’ve gotten a taste of the Unioverse, it’s time to go all-in. So go head on over to the Unioverse Wiki! There you’ll find an ever-growing compendium of information on all things Unioverse. Want to know what Creator Transpods do or who Sinfed Reyu is? Go to the Unioverse Wiki. Be sure to bookmark it as we’ll be adding to it on a regular basis.
Finally, this isn’t new, but we continue to drop chapters of the backstory of the Unioverse. We just released Chapter six of Malcom Orion’s journey as he navigates being the first human to have their conscious jump across the universe. Chapter six ends with a bang, so you’ll definitely want to check it out!
And, of course, after you watch the video, read the wiki and download Orion’s backstory, be sure to hop on our Discord to discuss and debate the story points with like-minded Unioverse fans!
Fun Unioverse Fact: We have a team of more than 25 world-class writers, artists and storytellers helping us craft the narrative world of the Unioverse! This franchise is shaping up to be truly epic and massive and awesome and… Well, instead of my telling you about it, you should just experience it firsthand.
For the past couple of months, over on our Discord, we’ve been dropping special Unioverse Issues that tell the origin of the Unioverse. Each issue is like a chapter, telling the story of Malcolm Orion, the first human to use the alien jump pods discovered on Mars. We follow his adventure as his consciousness is instantly transported across the universe to a massive space station where he encounters unfathomable alien technology and tries to understand the wonders — and dangers — it presents.
These issues are free to download so go enjoy them now. Then bookmark this page for future issue drops!
This post was authored by New York Times Bestselling author, Stephen Graham Jones (The Only Good Indians, My Heart is a Chainsaw). Graham Jones will also be contributing to Stories of the Reconvergence, the forthcoming Unioverse anthology of short fiction and poetry
You can tell a world—a Unioverse—is a productive storytelling space if, when you write within it, it’s just spinning off more and more story elements. Some science fiction writer from decades and decades ago, who I’m about to violently misparaphrase, said that what makes a place real for the reader isn’t the schematics and the history, the climate and the technology, the language and the look, it’s the third- or fifth-level repercussions of all that climate and language and history. Like, how in Ender’s Game, Ender’s name comes indirectly from protocols built into that culture, that era, but it’s not the first thing you guess when given those protocols. How in Altered Carbon, these re-sleeving capabilities have of course led to military units specializing in gaining control of their bodies quicker, to have a tactical advantage . . . but this also leads to methuselahs. Or, in our own world: introduce franchise horror characters, and, years later, you get Cthulhu plushies and Funko Pop Freddy Kruegers, which I’m pretty sure none of us could have ever guessed.
Drop a pebble into the pond of reality, and characters in stories will be surfing those distant, third- and fifth-level ripples for years and years.
By the time I dropped into the Unioverse, that pebble had already been dropped, and my characters were way out at the edge of the pond, riding the ripples. I’ve written for a few pre–existing properties before, and for each I usually get a bible, outlining what I can or can’t do. But, really, with work done within these pre–existing worlds, the cardinal rule is always “don’t break the place up.” This is why tie-in novels usually happen in a little narrative eddy off to the side, where A) nothing can get broken, and B) everything can reset after, such that the audience doesn’t need to engage this tie-in, but, if they do, it’s not going to mess anything up for them, either.
The Unioverse is a little different to work within, though. For a couple of reasons. The first is that, unlike nearly every other franchise and property, this one isn’t a snowball that’s been rolling for decades, picking up different, often contradictory “rules” along the way. Rather, the Unioverse has been completely thought-out all at once. In comic book terms, you could say that this is Ultimate Spider-Man, not decades of Amazing and Spectacular done by a host of writers, meant to somehow all be the same character, the same arc. In the Unioverse, there’s no retcon necessary to tell the next installment.
And? “Next” isn’t even the right word, there, which is the second reason the Unioverse is a bit different to work within. This isn’t about sequence or progression, and there’s no quest, no common goal. Rather, the Unioverse . . . it’s sort of like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, I guess? It’s a place where all the stories happen, but across time, and without relation to each other. It’s an open world, where you make your own stories. And, instead of a phonebook of a bible, there’s a wiki you can refer to when making those stories.
Trick is, though, the Unioverse’s inbuilt “rules”—not the right word, quite—aren’t bumpers making your bowling ball find the pins eventually, but rather answers to questions your story or game or adventure is probably already asking, fundaments that push you forward rather than hold you back. They’re the backdrop, they’re the physics, but, if we’re sticking with the bowling thing, then the alley, man, it’s twenty lanes wide: there’s so much room to operate.
Check out Stephen Graham Jones talking about the Unioverse on our Worldbuilding Secrets podcast!
Example: in my story “The Distance,” of course the Creator tech is inviolable—if it’s not, then the physics of the Unioverse crumble. But, since that Creator tech’s been part of things for five hundred years, I had to imagine that, first, there would be all kinds of rumors and theories about its source, its inner workings, its permeability. Second, though—and this was the fun part—I had to suspect that, while people can’t imitate it, they probably can retrofigure back from it, to try to get to some version of the same place. As in, they can see, via Creator tech, that this or that is possible, and so, with that assurance, they delve in with their own limited tech, try to accomplish something . . . if not the same, then in the same vein, anyway. Or, as close as they can get. “Sys tech,” it’s called in my story: wholly inferior to Creator tech, but at least trying to approach that same level of competence.
And then, too, my protagonist being an animal smuggler—everyone’s got their specialty—that left me with the much sought-after obligation to dream up animal after animal, from planet after planet, even down to deep-space carrion mites.
The only thing I can imagine that might be half as much as fun as dreaming up alien pets would be racehorse naming. But? With these animals, I even get to do a little of that naming, so . . . best of all possible worlds, here, yes. Or, rather, best of all Unioverses, that being the one where I can have giant, world-changing fish-worms and bird-things that spout insults.
Hope y’all like the story, but, more than that, I hope you have fun jumping all through this place. You won’t understand the circuitry—it’s Creator tech, nobody gets it—but that doesn’t mean you can’t ride it to the end of known space, and then go back, ride it out a different direction as well.
Stephen Graham Jones