Free Stories

The stories listed here will vary over time. Many of the comments on this page refer to stories that have now been published as part of the collection Earth 2788: The Earth Girl Short Stories.

Complete Stories

EARTH 2788 Short Story – Set in the Portal Future. The title short story from the collection Earth 2788: The Earth Girl Short Stories

YEAR END 2788 Short Story – Set in the Portal Future. At the moment, this short story is only available here on the website.

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Short Story – No explanation for this one because the idea is that the reader gradually discovers who the story is about. At the moment, this short story is only available here on the website.

CHECKMATEIt’s now five years since the first advance review copies of Earth Girl headed out into the world. It’s almost ten years since I wrote my first short story. Checkmate is 2000 words of light-hearted nonsense that ended up changing my life.

Sample chapters of books

TELEPATH – The first book set in the Hive Future. First four chapters only.

REAPER – The first book set in the Game Future. First three chapters only.

SCAVENGER ALLIANCE – Set in the 25th Century Portal Future. First three chapters only.        

 

76 Responses to Free Stories

  1. carly says:

    I love the first book it was totally “zan” I was so “grazzed” to find out it was a trilogy and the 3rd one is coming out, do you plan to make a 4th one, if so I’ll be waiting I just loved the first one it’s really “amaz”
    Also love the futuristic language you use😁😁

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    • Totally zan! This particular series is definitely just a trilogy, so no book 4 currently planned, but keep following me on my website or twitter. I’m doing a set of short stories about the characters, and there may be some other related extras as well.

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      • Rachel says:

        would there be able to be more than one short story per character? Like i want to know how fian gets through his parents disapproval of him when he applies to university and how

        *spoilers*
        *spoilers*
        *spoilers*
        *spoilers*
        *spoilers*
        *spoilers*

        lolia and lolmack adjust to having thier handicapped baby and things like that.

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      • There is just one short story per character in the Earth 2788 set of short stories, but it’s possible I may write additional ones in the future. I suffer from far too much inspiration, so I currently have notes on ideas for well over twenty possible books, and even more shorter stuff. I got yet another idea for a book two hours ago, though this one was especially weird. Believe me just about anything is possible:)

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  2. Skyla says:

    This is completely zan. When will the last four stories be released?

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    • The stories are to celebrate the UK publication of Earth Flight, and one should be appearing every week or two. Any stories that turn out to be extra long, like Beta Sector 2788, may be posted in several parts. I expect all the stories should be on my website by the end of September. Follow my website and twitter feed, for news of the short stories being posted, and possibly another extra as well!

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      • Skyla says:

        Cool thanks =)

        I figured it was because of Earth Flight which I am so freaking excited for! The Book Depository sent me an email saying they were readying it for shipment and I did a happy dance =)

        I must know how this all ends.

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  3. Skyla says:

    Another question. Will these be published in book form at some point? Because that would be fantastic. That way all the Earth Girl books can sit together on my shelves and look pretty =)

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    • Interesting question. I’d have to research possibilities. An ebook of the set of short stories would be easier than physical copies, because the set would only really add up to novella length. I believe physical copies of anything that short tend to be very expensive for their length.

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      • Skyla says:

        True they do tend to be expensive if they are short. Unless they are like Cora Carmack’s novellas in her Losing It! series. They were only like $3 on Book Depository as paperbacks. I just like having all my books in a series together looking pretty and I love this series so much I’d pay the money for it =)

        But an e-Book would be cool too.

        Thanks for answering my questions.

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  4. Katy Emmot says:

    Totally, totally zan! I was feeling a bit sad at the end of the trilogy as I have really enjoyed all the books – but was totally grazzed to find the short stories on here. (I hope the authors of the two other series I read will do something similar after the final books in both come out.) I’m trying to guess who will be featured in the Kappa and Gamma stories… One question I have about the books is – what are all the Military

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    • Katy Emmot says:

      (Oops… clicked send halfway through…) What are all the Military ranks – we see most of them from Captain upwards, but does it start at that or start lower? Thank you for the three amaz books!

      Like

      • Ah this is a complicated one:)
        The Military took the names of their ranks from several different armed forces back in the days of pre-history. The core list of ranks is:-
        Cadet – Students at Academy
        Lieutenant – Academy graduate still in training
        Captain
        Major
        Commander
        Colonel
        General
        General Staff
        General Marshal (Commander-in-chief of the Military)
        There are also some specialist ranks for Medical staff, Solar Array specialists, and Planet First teams.

        POTENTIAL SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT
        POTENTIAL SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT
        POTENTIAL SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT
        POTENTIAL SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT

        Actually though, your basic rank is far less important than whether you are combat Military or not. There’s a huge division in this future Military between those with true combat Military assignments, and those in medical, admin, technical specialist, and the whole host of other support positions. Only combat Military have a position in the main chain of command. Only combat Military can hold the rank of Colonel or higher.
        For example, Major Rayne Tar Cameron is in a Command Support administrational position, which is not combat Military. Captain Marlise Weldon is a fighter pilot, true combat Military with a position in the chain of command. Captain Weldon is expected to treat Major Tar Cameron with the respect due an officer of superior rank, but in a crisis Captain Weldon would be the one giving orders.
        Similarly, Major Drago Tell Dramis leads a team of fighter pilots, and is assigned as Commander Stone’s deputy in charge of all the Attack teams. He’s only a Major, but his position in the chain of command makes him about fifth in command of the Alien Contact programme.
        Maybe I should have a special page somewhere for this sort of stuff . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Katy Emmot says:

    A special page for extra snippets of info would be zan… I would love to know more about the structure of the Military (and about a million other things which I will refrain from listing). Thank you for answering my question – I’m really looking forward to the next short story!

    Like

  6. Rabea says:

    Oh can you please, please, please write another book?
    Im loving every word you were writing. I read the first book until the second arrieved, the same with the third. I am from germany and i couldnt wait for the third book to be published in german, so i bought the english one. I already read it two times. Im loving it so much i would marry it if i hadnt just married my husband ^^ In fact i mentioned Jarra it in my marrige vow.
    I think your vision of the future is so amaz. I would wish that our future can be just like you are imagine it.
    But i got a thousand quetsions left. About the Aliens and their world and the secrets it is keeping. About Jarra and Fian, if they get married or their future in general. About Dalmora and Raven, the Cassandra 2 Team. About Playdon, Drago the wohle Beta sector. Fians parents. The way things change for all earth kids. More about the other Planats and what life excist there. About Jarras frinds Meath and Ross. About everthing^^”
    Maybe you can put all the short storys in an own novelle. I would buy it the moment it appears and a second time it is publised in germany 🙂

    Like

    • I think the only possible response to this is to say I’m honoured that Jarra touched your life enough for you to mention her in your marriage vows, and wish you every happiness in your marriage. Or, as Jarra would probably phrase it, congratulations and mutual joy to both of you!

      If you’ve still got a thousand questions about the future worlds and characters of the Earth Girl trilogy, then I have a whole mass of images and events in my head from the whole history line. I’m writing the short stories to share some of those things. I’ll have to see what happens when that set of stories is complete. Keep an eye on the website, or sign up for the newsletter, for updates.

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  7. Jennifer says:

    Hi – I loved Earth Flight. I had to order it through bookdepository.com because I live in USA. It was worth the time and effort just to get the book. I actually ordered all 3 books because I liked the UK book covers better than US. I sat down and read all 3 right in a row.
    The shorts stories you have written on your site are great. I feel like I am getting a more in depth look at all the characters. I am hoping that one of stories is Playdon’s. I really liked reading about him. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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    • I’m delighted you managed to get hold of Earth Flight and loved it so much. I’ve been interested to hear from several people who’ve reread the previous two books just before reading Earth Flight. That approach seems to have worked out very well for all of them.

      Good to hear you’re enjoying the short stories giving you an extra look at the different characters. I’m afraid that technically Playdon is a Deltan by birth, and we’ve already had Fian’s story from Delta sector. However it’s possible there’ll be something featuring Playdon at some point in the future.

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      • Rachel says:

        I also live in the US and am waiting the third book to come out. Is there any estimate for when it should be available?
        Also what language is “Language” mostly made up from?

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      • There’s now a note at the end of the USA page with my current best information. https://janetedwards.com/books/books-usa-from-pyr/ You can also sign up for my newsletter to get updates when there is news on the USA release of Earth Flight, short stories, or when anything else exciting happens.

        The invention of portal travel in 2206 led to the era of United Earth. Language was legally adopted as the global common tongue in 2280. English was a significant influence on Language, but there was also input from several other major historical languages as well as Esperanto.

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    • Gail Tomlinson says:

      Jennifer, have you been back to this page since your last response? Because Playdon’s short story is up right now, and it’s a really good and interesting read. (Well, al, of the short and linger stories are if course, but I think you’ll enjoy this.)

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  8. obiwankentucky says:

    I liked the first book when I read it and was delighted by the second, but the third has somehow surpassed the others. I’m grazzed. 😀 But only in a good way. You’ve done a really great job of character development without making it obvious- it’s really only when I read book one again that I started to realize how much Jarra grows during the course of the trilogy.
    I enjoy all the good characters, understand several of the not-so-good ones, and really love a surprising number of them. You’ve done an amazing job. I don’t see how you could top Earth Flight, but then, I’m not a writer, and so I don’t really see how you managed to write Earth Flight itself.
    If there’s any way that you can write more books that tie into these, I’d love to read them. There’s still so many things that I’d like to learn, to see what happens next…. But I do also accept that a great book leaves the reader wanting more.
    And back to characters- every book should have at least a cameo appearance of someone like Mason Leveque…. Characters like that, with the dry humor and sparkling wit, are my favorite brand of humor.
    Thank you for sharing these stories with us, and especially thank you for the very kind gesture of sharing tidbits and stories from the characters. Those are much appreciated.

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  9. I thought I’d replied to this weeks ago, but I must have messed up saving the comment. It’s great to hear from a Mason Leveque fan. As the author, I’m not just in Jarra’s head and seeing her view of things, but also in the heads of all the other characters as well. That’s why it’s fun for me to write the short stories, showing things from their eyes for once.

    Since I suffer from an over active imagination, I have a positively frightening number of ideas for books as well as shorter stuff. Those ideas include a lot of books that would tie into the Earth Girl trilogy, as well as lot of entirely new ideas. On average I get at least one brilliant book idea every week. If only I could write them that fast!

    So, just about anything is possible for the future:)

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  10. Sarah says:

    Why is it going to take so long to get earth flight in the USA if it is already out into UK?

    Like

    • There are two different publishers working on different release schedules. I’m a UK author, and got my USA publishing offer about a year after the UK publishing offer. That means the books have been coming out in the USA correspondingly later than in the UK.

      Like

  11. Skye says:

    You can buy them at The Book Depository regardless of where you live so you could get Earth Flight now.

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  12. Curious says:

    Covers aside, are there any differences between the U.K. and the U.S. releases? For example, have the U.S. versions been Americanized – either in a major way, such as phrasing, or in a minor way, such as spelling (e.g. colour -> color)?

    Like

    • I didn’t notice any significant differences when I went through the U.S. proofs. One reader did notice one phrase in Earth Star was very slightly different in the U.S. edition. That had happened after the proof stage, presumably because the phrase is used differently in the U.S..

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      • Rachel K. says:

        What was the phrase?

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      • In Earth Star, Jarra wears a black top emblazoned in large red letters. In the original UK edition this said:- ‘I TAGGED FIAN.’ The USA edition has it as:- ‘TAGGED FIAN.’ Perhaps it’s one of those things with a different meaning in the USA from the UK.

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  13. Kristen says:

    I think your books are utterly zan!!! I really hope you decide to write a forth book! I would be completely grazzed about it! The Earth Girl series is my favorite series ever!!!

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  14. Maddi says:

    I just blew through all three books in a weekend and at the end of Earth Flight I was quite literally lying on my bed, clutching my kindle, and trying not to cry for a good half hour. I’ve rarely been as affected by a character as I have by Jarra. And your worldbuilding is extraordinary– I want a million more books in this universe. The short stories are helping the withdrawal, but I fear I’ll read them as fast as I read the books and again be left with nothing….

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  15. I’ve spent a few days trying to come up with an adequate reply to this and totally failed. All I can say is thank you. It’s always wonderful to hear from people who’ve found the books especially meaningful for them. Sadly, it’s impossible for me to write as fast as people can read, or even to keep up with the rate of my own new ideas for books, but I am working hard on something new right now.

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  16. Pingback: An amaz conclusion for a totally zan series! | Verbarian

  17. Luci says:

    Totally loved this series and am crossing my fingers in hopes of more books set in this universe. Just a few things I wanted to ask. So what did Lolia and Lolmack, as the only ones that are actually knowledgeable about Betan culture, think after Jarra’s honor ceremony? I would think that they would have noticed that she had the Tell clan prefix, yet didn’t act Betan at all. And in Colonel Torrek’s short story, Marack said that he had a particular reason to be so eager about the assignment near Earth. So does that mean the Tell clan was planning to contact Jarra when she turned 18, or that the honor ceremony would have happened even if she didn’t look up her parents’ information?

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    • Warning! This answer includes spoilers for EARTH 2788, EARTH GIRL, EARTH STAR, and EARTH FLIGHT.
      Spoilers!
      Spoilers!

      A couple of deep questions, with complicated answers.

      At the point of Jarra’s honour ceremony, Lolia and Lolmack believed she was a Military kid. They would have understood Jarra changing her surname during the honour ceremony, that’s standard for an honour child, but they would have been startled by the clan prefix. They wouldn’t really be surprised by her not acting Betan, because of two factors. Firstly, Military clans tended to have a lot of marriages to non Betans. Jarra could well have at least one non-Betan parent and have spent most of her life on Military bases away from Beta sector. Secondly, Military regulations insist officers respect local customs. So a Betan Military kid in a class of mostly Gamman students, being run under the Gamma sector moral code by a Gamma sector University, would automatically do their best to follow Gamma sector customs. Since Lolia and Lolmack belonged to a gutter clan, it would be embarrassing for them to try discussing anything Betan with Jarra, so they’d keep extremely quiet about the whole thing.

      As for your other question. The Tell clan had some strong emotions about Jarra being handed over to Hospital Earth. Once that had happened, they couldn’t contact her because they didn’t know her new name and identity. Only Hospital Earth had the information that linked their wards to their birth families, and that was kept secret until the ward requested it.

      The clan waited expectantly for Jarra to contact them when she was 14. That didn’t happen, so their only hope was that she’d contact them when she was 18 instead. An honour ceremony can’t happen without the honour child present so it was totally dependent on Jarra coming forward. Marack wanted the Earth Solar Array assignment so he and his wife could be close to Earth if Jarra contacted them. The clan assumed Jarra would contact her parents before agreeing to take part in the honour ceremony, and that Military Support would automatically call on Marrack to run the ceremony. After all, he was a suitably senior officer, the son of Jarra Tell Morrath, and assigned conveniently close to Earth.

      Things didn’t happen according to plan. Marrack was held up on a Planet First assignment. Riak Torrek had to temporarily take the Earth assignment instead. Jarra didn’t contact her parents, just told Military Support she’d go ahead with the honour ceremony. Military Support naturally called on Torrek to run the ceremony. With only a couple of hours warning, Torrek wasn’t even able to contact Marack before the ceremony happened, and had to tell him about it afterwards.

      It’s an interesting question what would have happened if Jarra hadn’t asked for her parents’ information. I suspect that once Jarra was 19, the Tell clan would have given up hope of her contacting them and taken matters into their own hands. They had no legal way to get the information on Jarra’s new identity, but I wouldn’t rule out them getting it illegally.

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  18. Gail Tomlinson says:

    I really enjoyed your Earth Girl trilogy and the short stories. I think another good story would be to write a short story focusing on the Chimera of Thetis. We get a general idea of what happened through the trilogy, but a short story of the event would be zan!

    And I had a bit of confusion over ‘grazzed’ which I am figuring means shock or surprise, because in certain context you can be grazzed positively, and in others it can be a negative experience.

    I also love the way certain words that are reasonably commonplace and acceptable today have become less acceptable at best, and swears at worst, it’s an interesting take u volvint the evolution of verbal communication.

    And as an aside, having the Deltams if your books being the most straight laced groups was a bit confusing at first because the Deltans of Star Trek (one of my first fandoms) are all touchy-freely and give offpheromones that turn other humanoids on, so it was quite a difference.

    And I’ll stop babbling now…thanks!

    Gail

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    • The bad news is there won’t be any short stories about the chimera of Thetis. The good news is that’s because I’m working on something long about the chimera of Thetis.

      You are quite correct that grazzed means deeply shocked, and you can be shocked in both good and bad ways.

      You are also correct that having a couple of our commonplace words become less acceptable in the future was a deliberate hint at the usage of words evolving. I could only hint at it though. In reality, by the 28th century words would have evolved so much that it would as be as hard for us to read Jarra’s story as to read something from the 14th century.

      It’s true that the Deltans of Jarra’s future are very different from the Deltans of Star Trek. 😀 Most of the science in Jarra’s future is an extrapolation of things that are happening now. Similarly, the names of humanity’s colony worlds are an extrapolation of the names of the planets and moons in our solar system, either using existing names or coming up with similarly classical mythology based names. That led me to use a classical naming convention for the sectors of space as well, with the obvious Alpha, Beta, Gamma etc. Other people will have used those same starting points as well, so there are probably a lot of wildly different Deltans around in various imaginary universes.

      Babbling is fine by the way 😀

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      • Gail Tomlinson says:

        Ooh, a long book about the chimera and the events in Thetis? Now you’ll have me waiting on the edge of my seat!

        I totally get what you are saying about the language, you can see it happening now, with standard English and American English. In several hundred years they’ll be as different from each other as French and English. Even in our own country, younger people (I’m 41 by the way) are using words I have to ask the meaning if, and that’s in a mere 30 or so years. So yes, in centuries, it would be Universal translator/back to the old tomes to speak or read the language Jarra and co. use.

        I absolutely love the way you name the sectors and planets, and love the logic you are using by building on established naming conventions. I also really love how you have the differences in the sectors, how something seen as chaste on Earth could be seen as totally scandalous in Delta sector. I’m guessing that it causes all sorts of trouble when those who are not in the know (or forget) do something commonplace in their Spector and it gets frowned on elsewhere.

        And on that note, I recall reading either in one of the main books or at the end of the 8 short story e-book that it was mentioned hat things like holding hands and kissing are frowned on outside of marriage. Would that mean that on a Deltan world a married couple could hold hands or do a brief lip-kiss in public, or is it they could do that in private, but PDA’s in public no matter the marital status is seen as decadent?

        And that was something else I forgot to mention. The immune-system thing is actually of interest to me personally, as I’m waiting to find out if my immune system is TOO efficient and attacking my body’s tissues (Grave’s disease. So far so good the thyroid has been kicked into base by medication, we now need to see if it’s gonna STAY there.)

        The question is about the negative attitudes towards the Handicapped. Is it just because they can’t travel into space, or is it because they can’t travel into space *because they are ‘ILL’* in a world where it seems that pretty much all other illnesses/conditions are treated? Is it a bit how it was with HIV/AIDS, lots of fear and misconceptions, and rumours (such as the fallacy that HIV was a ‘gay person’s illness’)? Is it fear of the unknown/untreatable, or plain ignorance? Or maybe a bit of everything?

        Sorry it took so long to reply, I wasn’t even sure if this had posted, and got no email to let me know you had replied. Maybe I should check my spam filter to make sure my email hasn’t chucked it in the trash.

        Thanks for your lovely reply,

        Gail.

        Like

      • Indeed, interstellar travellers can get into a lot of trouble by following their home culture rules on the wrong planet. Although Deltan worlds are generally sexually conservative, the specific rules about things like public marital kissing vary from world to world. Interstellar travellers should always scan safety and cultural information for the particular planet they are visiting BEFORE exiting its Off-world.

        In Jarra’s future, the negative attitudes towards the Handicapped are partly due to the lack of understanding of what triggers the condition and the superstitions around it. Basically though, they just mirror the attitudes some people have towards those with disabilities in our current society. Rather than go round ranting about my own experiences with a disabling illness, and those of people I know with a variety of problems, I wrote Jarra’s story and let her do the ranting for me.

        My sympathies with your misbehaving immune system. I hope your medication for Graves disease keeps your condition stable. I’ve a few immune/allergy problems myself, which inspired the idea for Jarra’s condition. Like Jarra, I had a doctor tell me that only one in a thousand people had this problem!

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    • Conuly says:

      I totally get what you are saying about the language, you can see it happening now, with standard English and American English. In several hundred years they’ll be as different from each other as French and English.

      Maybe, maybe not. Nobody’s really sure what the long-term effects of mass media on regional dialects is going to be. There’s definite concern that worldwide Englishes are going to coalesce into one final form… but there’s also some evidence that regional dialects are stronger than ever.

      Like

  19. Monique says:

    Thank you for the New Years Present. It was awesome. I was kinda hoping it would carry on to the 1st meeting.

    Well I read the series 5 times last year. Think I might break that record this year… 😀

    Like

    • Continuing the story to the first meeting would have been interesting, but also a lot longer. I don’t think I’d have finished it in time for New Year’s Day!

      Reading the series 5 times is impressive. I’ll be interested to hear if you do break the record this year. Hopefully there’ll be some extra pieces for you to read during the year as well 😀

      Like

    • Rachel says:

      I think I win. I probably read every story over and over again at least 5 times a month.

      Like

  20. Emma says:

    So Fian never would have met Jarra if his dad hadn’t been such a jerk. huh.

    Like

  21. Alina says:

    So what’s the story on Paul, Helena, and Kairos? And how did Jarra’s grandmother die?

    Also, just wondering, are there (or will there be) any audiobooks of the Earth Girl trilogy?

    Like

    • Agh, sorry but I think both those questions fall into the area of things I might write more about in future, so any answers would be potential spoilers. For the moment, I’d better settle for just saying that Jarra’s grandmother died in the incident Riak Torrek mentions in Kappa Sector 2788.

      I believe the Library of Congress are currently working on making audiobooks of the trilogy, but those would only be for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

      Like

      • Gail Tomlinson says:

        I was reading about Jarra’s betrothal again, (your books are very re-readable) and was wondering about the story in Paul, Helsna and Kairos myself. Short story one day, maybe ? ( as you’ve said you might write about t in the future, I can hope, right?)

        And after looking at your quick synopsis of your next book set in a different universe to Jarra’s, I like the idea. I have read a trilogy with a similar system of allocating people depending on their talents but in that one the main character cheats to become a “hive Queen”. I love stories about telepathy and actually once dreamed of a character who sees details of crimes in her dreams and uses them to help solve them, and your idea is pretty close, and sounds exciting so now I’m getting all excited. And I’ve downloaded Frintier and will be reading it once ai’m finished here. Guess who won’t be getting much sleep today? (it’s just gone twenty to one in the morning here in London UK as I write. )

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      • I’m happy that a lot of people say they enjoy rereading the books and picking up extra details. Yes, the Paul, Helena and Kairos story is on the list of things I don’t give information on because I may write more about them one day.

        Obviously I’m also avoiding giving too much detail on the first Hive Mind book at the moment. I don’t want to accidentally give spoilers before it’s even released. Jarra was deeply affected by her upbringing and her society’s attitudes to the Handicapped. She became the person she was because she was an Earth Girl. Amber is very different person because she’s the product of a very different future society, but I hope people will enjoy reading about her story and her world.

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  22. Veronica says:

    I think a trilogy about Tellon Blaze would be awesome! I continue to be deeply impressed by how detailed Jarra’s world is, and would enjoy spending as much time in it as you allow us.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. kairi341 says:

    I had a thought while rereading earth flight. How do the norm kids of the handicapped realize they themselves aren’t handicapped. Is there a test or something?

    Like

    • Yes, there is a test. It’s not mentioned directly in the trilogy because Jarra is naturally focused on her own situation, but babies born on Earth with either one or two Handicapped parents are portalled to Adonis for a few minutes within the first week of birth. The medical reason for that is that they have a significantly higher risk of having the immune system problem, and it’s far safer to test for it in controlled conditions with medical staff standing by than to discover it by accident. However the reason it’s done so young is also because Hospital Earth want to know as soon as possible whether a baby should be treated as a norm or not. As is mentioned in the trilogy, the norm children of Handicapped parents get special treatment, commuting to schools in Alpha sector worlds to aid their assimilation into ‘real society.’

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gail Tomlinson says:

        I also recall you mentioning in one of the books that babies born off works generally survive long enough to be portalled back to Earth because antibodies from the mother’s immune system help the babies. As I recall the maternal immune units in the baby’s blood last for about 3 months, so it makes sense to get them through a portal (and back again if need be) as close to birth as is practicable (at least if Mum is a norm) so the baby can still get that benefit from mum if the baby is Handicapped itself.

        Like

      • Yes, that’s right. In fact, my head was thinking of that when I typed my answer but my fingers obviously weren’t keeping up because they’ve missed it out. Thank you for adding it.

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  24. Conuly says:

    Last time I was here – well “here” being another place I could leave comments – I made a whole bunch of random questions and now I think I’m about to do it again, if you don’t mind 🙂

    1. Hospital Earth runs three school systems, as you said. What if parents who came to Earth to be with their child want to send their non-Handicapped child to the same school as their sibling? (Perhaps they feel it’s too stigmatizing to their kids or they really like the teachers or their child is super interested in history and wants to join the history club which is there or something.) Is that possible? Is homeschooling an option for any parents?

    2. What happens if a Handicapped child being raised by their parents is orphaned (or the parents are abusive or imprisoned or whatever) and nobody else is willing or able to care for them? Do they suddenly get shunted into the dormitory situation, even if they’re, like, twelve years old?

    3. I know adoption exists in-universe, because it comes up in the first book. Is it possible for an infertile couple on Earth to *adopt* one of the Handicapped babies that would otherwise go to a Nursery? That would surely reduce the load on the staff there, wouldn’t it?

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    • I’m happy to answer questions except where I’m worried something could be a spoiler for future stories 🙂 Sometimes an answer would be different during different time periods. I’ll give the answers to your questions as they would be when Jarra was at Next Step.

      1) Hospital Earth would think it horrendously damaging to subject the non-Handicapped child to attending the same school as their sibling, with potential consequences for their social and mental development. There would the possibility of charging the parents with child abuse. Homeschooling would be acceptable, so long as the non-Handicapped child had regular social contact with other non-Handicapped children of their own age and occasional trips off world.
      2) Hospital Earth is a vast, bureaucratic, and totally inflexible organization. The child would be dumped into the dormitory situation.
      3) Due to the advanced medicine available, such as full body regrowth tanks and rejuvenation treatments, there are ways to deal with virtually any infertility issues though people are advised to have their children before the age of 55 in women and 65 in men. If someone wanted to adopt a Handicapped baby in addition to their own children, the request would be refused for legal reasons. (I mentioned that Hospital Earth is vast, bureaucratic, and totally inflexible.) Hospital Earth would suggest they work in a Nursery unit instead.

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      • Conuly says:

        Inflexible is right 🙂

        I hope this isn’t spoilery – is there any chance any of this will be reconsidered after the events of the last book, now that they aren’t the be-all and end-all of the government?

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      • I would expect there to be a lot of changes 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Conuly says:

        Finishing up a re-read, got just a few more questions. Honestly, they pop into my head. This is by no means a criticism, I never have questions about the meh books. (You can tell how much I love a book by how very much I pick it apart. There are people who are convinced I hate Harry Potter because of my rather vehement opinions on the Weasley family and the Hogwarts curriculum. Nothing is further from the truth! But don’t ask my opinion on Molly Weasley if you don’t want me to rant your ear off.)

        1. You are aware that NYC – by which I presume we both mean Manhattan – has *two* major rivers, yes? (And any number of streams and kills and so on that have mostly been buried in the present-day, which btw is why the subway floods so much. And more rivers and streams and kills in the outer boroughs, of course.)

        2. We know what Jarra’s friends think of Fian, more or less, but what do his friends think of her?

        3. What the heck happened at Gymir and those other places?

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      • It’s fine, I have several readers who ask these sort of questions, and I recognise it means they are very deep into the books and the future universe.

        I’ll answer the first question last for a reason. Anyone with their own satisfying vision of the geographical setting for EARTH GIRL, shouldn’t read the answer to that question. New York is really just a huge expanse of ruins by then, so I don’t want to lay down the law on how others should picture it.

        2. I assume you’re asking what Fian’s two schoolfriends from Asgard think of Jarra. Since they are in a different Foundation class, on a different dig site, having different days holiday, meeting in person is difficult. During the events in EARTH GIRL they only hear about Jarra when Fian calls them to chat. They don’t actually meet Jarra in person until after they’ve seen the coverage of the rescue and medal presentation on Earth Rolling News. This is possibly part of the reason why they can see why Fian is attracted to Jarra but find her a little terrifying. Mind you, by the end of the trilogy, they’re finding Fian a little terrifying too. Incidentally, Fian has Raven, Keon and Krath supporting him at the betrothal ceremony rather than involving his old friends because both the thought of bombs and appearing on a live broadcast to most of humanity scares them to death.

        3. Sorry, details of either Gymir and Persephone would be potential spoilers because they are on the list of things I may write about one day.

        1. Again, anyone with their own satisfying vision of the geographical setting for EARTH GIRL, shouldn’t read the answer to this question. Yes, I am aware that there is a chaos lot of water round Manhattan in assorted rivers etc, and I’m even aware of some of the current fishing spots. However New York Main covers a far bigger area than just Manhattan.

        EARTH GIRL is told from Jarra’s viewpoint in a future where even country names are long out of use. In her future, New York went through some radical changes between our time and the late twenty fourth century, with some of the focus shifting from Manhattan to the Union City area. It was then abandoned for four centuries. I don’t attempt to pin down the locations within New York very much, because Jarra wouldn’t be using twenty-first century place names. If she knew any place names in New York at all, they’d be twenty-fourth century ones, but in any of Earth’s ruined cities the archaeologists use sectors, subdivided into grid squares, and further narrowed down with sensor readings to precisely locate where they’re excavating and where they’ve found stasis boxes.

        My personal image is that in 2789 New York Main is a huge irregularly shaped area covering most of the five boroughs as well as a large area on the New Jersey/Union City side of the Hudson River. New York Fringe is an outer large swathe. There are sizeable areas effectively missed out of both New York Fringe and New York Main, because they aren’t interesting enough to be worth dealing with extensive flooding or other major hazards. Apologies if I’ve got any of this muddled. I’m writing this from memory, and I have three different versions of New York in my head. The current one, the late twenty-fourth century one, and the 2789 one. There’s a risk of me referring to a landmark that won’t get built for the next couple of centuries.

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  25. Gail Tomlinson says:

    It’s the dialect words that will be much of the difference. With the Internet around, so do believe the divergence will be much slower, but American dialect words have already began developing. (I’m British, for clarification. ‘We’ = most British.
    In Britain we talk about nappies. In America, diapers.
    We have taps. Americans have faucets.
    We Brits have pavements. In America they are called “sidewalks.”
    In the UK a purse is a small pouch or container for money. In America and Canada, what they call a purse, Brits call a handbag.

    Add accents (long ‘a’ vs short,so phonetically, Brits say tomaato versus the American ‘tomaato’ vs tomayto, vaase versus ‘vayse’,) that could complicate even further. And when you get Ito the written, there are differences if spelling. ‘Colour’ vs ‘color’ ‘sulphur’ vs ‘sulfer’ I actually know a lady in America whose daughter’s work was marked down in school in her science class for writing ‘sulphur’ instead of ‘sulfer’, when she pointed out both are acceptable in the scientific community and that the ‘ph’ spelling was the Engish spelling, he told her that ‘we write and speak American, not English’ and her work was left with the marking down for spelling.

    Perhaps they are similar enough they they will eventually converge rather than diverge, and maybe the Internet will have an affect on that. However, I doubt either of us will be around to find out which it will be when it occurs.

    Gail.

    Like

    • In Jarra’s future timeline there’s the complicating factor that a common tongue – Language – was imposed on the whole of humanity during the century of United Earth. There are still laws imposing the use of Language in Jarra’s time.

      “Beta Sector Daily went back to its studio, where two people started babbling away in incomprehensibly strong Betan dialect, openly defying all the rules about newzie channels only using standard Language.”

      Like

      • Gail Tomlinson says:

        That’s another interesting question (sorry, I get this a lot.) Is Language still a ‘living’ language with new words being created and used (like English) or is it rigidly kept pretty much the same as it was when imposed?

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      • Yes, Language is still a living language with new words being created/officially accepted when they become in widespread usage across the sectors. The goal wasn’t to impose an unchanging language, just a common language for the whole of humanity.

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  26. Zarqa Malik says:

    I’m re-reading the series for the millionth time and this occurred to me. This question is a little random and I apologize if it has been answered somewhere and I just missed it, but I am very curious. We learn that General lost both his triad marriage partners while on duty so Jarra’s parents especially had her to be an Honor child for her grandmother, but what about her other grandfather? Why is there no Honor child to honor him? The only reason I can think of is that the family decide not to risk another pregnancy after Jarra being born handicapped, but I feel like that would be a disrespectful reason since having an Honor child is very important.

    Like

    • No, I don’t think this one has been answered elsewhere. There were several children of the triad marriage, including Jarra’s father, Marack. It was agreed that two different branches of the family would each have one of the Honour Children. So Jarra has a cousin in the Tell clan who is the Honour Child for her other grandfather.

      Like

      • Zarqa Malik says:

        That makes so much sense. I know that Military families tend to have several children close in age, but we never really meet any of Jarra’s relatives that I had always assumed that her father had been an only child. It would be so interesting to learn more about relationships in the Tell Clan and Beta Sector culture in future books.

        Like

      • I expect to do some novellas following on from the Hera 2781 story that are from Drago’s viewpoint and are likely to include odd details on that. I’m afraid I can’t take the option of putting Jarra’s family tree on my website, because that would give away a huge spoiler for future books.

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  27. Gail Tomlinson says:

    Just rereading one of the books and noticed a mention of Green time which originated in Europe. This is a corruption/contraction of Greenwich Mean time, I assume? Another indication of lingual shift?

    Gail.

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    • It is. Colony worlds are chosen to have a day length similar to that of Earth because humans don’t adapt well to things like 90 hour days, but they’re never exactly the same. Therefore, each colony world has its own local time, and the date drifts away from that of Earth during the year until Year Day when everyone starts again at January 1st. Obviously a common time system was needed for things like interstellar portal schedules. Greenwich Mean Time was naturally extended to become interstellar standard Greenwich Mean Time, and later contracted to become interstellar standard Green Time.

      We don’t get a lecture on this in the trilogy, because Jarra’s original lack of interest in things interstellar means she hasn’t yet discovered the history behind interstellar standard Green Time. Once she does, Jarra will tell everyone about it at interminable length, and Issette will stick her fingers in her ears and sing the latest song by Zen Arrath until she shuts up.

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  28. Janelle says:

    I love you books so much! I read your whole series in a matter of a week. I just found out you have a few more books, so I will be rushing to the store to find the next ones. I have just a few questions for you. How did you come up with such an amazing setting? and also, did you base your characters off people or come up with them all on your own?

    Thanks, Janelle

    Like

    • Hi Janelle, It’s always great to hear from someone who loves the books. The idea for the setting of the Earth Girl trilogy started with thoughts about how technology and changes in society can affect what is or isn’t a disability. The example I was specifically thinking about was dyslexia, which wasn’t a problem until reading and writing became a key part of everyone’s lives. There was also the factor that I was recovering from a long illness at the time. I hadn’t been able to leave the house, and I found myself writing about a girl who couldn’t leave this planet.

      Every single one of my characters is completely imaginary. They walk into my mind, often totally uninvited. In the case of Jarra, she stomped all over my brain cells, screaming her story at me. I had to write Earth Girl to shut her up 🙂

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  29. Mikkel says:

    Do you plan more books about jarra and the time after book 3

    Like

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