War World background,
from co-creator, publisher, and editor John F. Carr:
The War World series of anthologies
is a shared-world universe created
by Jerry E. Pournelle & John F. Carr
and is set in Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium/Empire of Man future history. The chronological order of
the new anthologies is: Discovery, Takeover, Jihad!, The Patriotic Wars, and The Fall of the CoDominium.
The start of Bill's storyline: Chuluun and his wife Tuya, a young couple in the Dongbei Province of China, listen to a recruiting pitch promising good jobs for miners on the planet Haven. Of Mongolian descent, Chuluun is a miner who has also participated in cultural re-enactments for fun, learning to ride and shoot. They go to Haven—where they learn that the pitch was a lie. They are locked up in an Anaconda Mining Company labor camp. However, a wily old miner has plotted a rebellion—and he wants Chuluun to lead the breakout!
The moon Haven contains the harshest environments for life among the seventy habitable planets within the CoDominium sphere. After Haven's discovery, this distant moon quickly becomes the center of a major lawsuit over its ownership. When the New Church of Universal Harmony buys the Charter, the big mining companies send their agents to find a way to muscle their way in. The Harmonies quickly find themselves on the defensive. Behind the lines, some of the biggest industrial magnates, the Bronson and DeSilva families, are pulling strings to secure rights to strip-mine Haven of its resources and mineral wealth. This battle only intensifies when shimmer stones, the most valuable gems in the known universe, are discovered on Haven. The Bureau of Relocation sees Haven, more than a year's spaceship journey from Earth, as the perfect dumping ground for political dissidents and criminals.
An excerpt from "Steppe Stone":
“I have led our people out of the camp," said Chuluun. "But you can lead them to the steppes yourself. I must find Tuya.”
“Our work is not finished," said Bataar. "We must raid the mining camp now, before the patrols gather reinforcements from Last Chance and other Anaconda mining camps. They expect us to. Now is the time to attack and take what we need.”
“You can lead them.” Chuluun lowered his voice. “I want the stone now. When I find Tuya, we will go to Last Chance before sunrise. With the stone as collateral, we will return to Earth on the next ore transport. Old man, this life on the Haven steppes is your dream, not mine. You should lead our people to the steppes, not me.”
“Ah, yes, you want the stone. Of course you do. Don’t we all?” Bataar gave him a hard look, but he slipped the loop of chain over his head and drew the steel box from his shirt. He opened it to show its contents.
Chuluun leaned down close. Again, the Shimmer Stone seemed to pulse in his vision, as it picked up the tiniest hints of reflected light from the fire behind Bataar. Chuluun took the steel box and closed it, then slipped the chain around his own neck. “So you will lead our people on this raid. And I will find Tuya.”
“I can tell you where to find her,” said Bataar. “During the confusion outside the women’s barracks, just before I mounted up, I saw her shoved back inside. The door was slammed shut again. Then we had to ride.”
“What?” Enraged, Chuluun grabbed Bataar’s broad shoulders. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Bataar shoved his hands away. “We must raid the camp now. Think of those patrols that returned and chased us away! Most of them will rest for the night, and their mounts will be waiting for us to take. You will lead us and you will free Tuya.”
“Old man, you should have told me!” Chuluun glared at his white-haired, white-bearded mentor. “All right, then, we must find as many men as we can put on horseback or muskylope. Other men will ride double so they can drive the wagons and ride the other horses we will take from the camp. We will ride fast, so any men left on foot must wait here. The wounded must wait here or they will slow us down.”
“Ah! So you will lead us on this raid? Right now?”
“Of course, you crazy old man! I will go to free Tuya.”
“Good!” Bataar gave him a grim smile. “In that case, I will tell you: I’m the one who shoved her back inside the barracks.”
“What?” Furious, Chuluun swung his fist into Bataar’s jaw, driving the old man to the ground.
Other men pushed between them. Two men lifted Bataar to his feet.
Bataar just looked into Chuluun’s eyes. “Let’s ride!”
(End of excerpt)
***Later stories follow Chuluun and Tuya as they lead the Free Tribe of the Steppes in an ongoing fight for survival in the harsh Northern Plains.***