The Viridian System series has three books, The Perihelix, Curved Space to Corsair, and the last in the series, Zanzibar’s Rings.
There are also a number of related stories featuring Big Pete and the Swede, and other characters or places in the Viridian System’s universe.
How it started
The short story that started it all off was a piece of flash fiction called Paradisio. The challenge for the piece was to do a mash-up of two films, and I got Casablanca and Star Wars. Some refugees from the Imperium were after some free passes anyhere in the Galaxy that had somehow fallen into the hands of a bar owner in Paradisio – named Rick, of course.
Next came the Orichalcum Library – that was the title I got at random, and I had to look up what orichalcum was. Some orichalcum miners, in from the asteroid belt, were old fashioned enough to want real books, and they asked Zito – who runs a bar on Pleasant Valley that seems remarkably like Rick’s at times – if he could lend them some. Zito managed to get some from someone who had taken them in exchange for food from some refugees from Paradisio with free passes anywhere in the Galaxy…
Then these orichalcum miners got names, Big Pete and the Swede, and they had some more adventures, often surreal. Various properties of the asteroid belt were revealed on the way, like if you get too close, all your power dies. Pete has a solar sail he can unfurl to help pull them out of danger when that happens. One year they caught a passing angel – or was that the one with Father Christmas and his reindeer? I forget the detail. Christmas features continue here, so you’ll get the idea!
The Viridian System Sampler
Some of these short stories were collected into the first version of The Viridian System Sampler, as a taster for the series. The aim is to have a new edition every now and then, with newer stories (or possibly prequels) that I think represent the best of the bunch.
New flash fiction starring Pete and the Swede appears here or on Jemima’s blog. Some were written for the A2Z challenge; in 2015 mostly developments after book 1, in 2016 and later they are a mix of developments, backstory and side events.
A selection of eight stories appears in the Sampler, and I change them from time to time. You can get a new batch free of charge when an updated edition comes out. Register for amendments on your preferred supplier—with Smashwords you get automatic access to all editions after the one you originally bought (including bought for nothing).
Note that Amazon doesn’t like things like the Sampler if the original stories are still on the web, so some of the stories below may disappear if they get published in collections.
Snowflakes and Shivers
Three of the short stories from the Viridian System are now published in one of Jemima’s short story collections – a series called Unexpected Twisty Tales. Snowflakes and Shivers: Heart-warming and Toe-curling Seasonal Tales, is a festive edition, with stories featuring many of Jemima’s favourite characters, including Pete, Lars, Dolores and Maggie.
These are the titles, although they have now been removed from this site and Jemima’s blog, to help comply with Amazon’s strict rules on reprints.
- An Orichalcum Christmas
- Heaven’s Inkwell
- Christmas in Spacedock
Short stories on the web
It’s always worth checking the Short Stories category on Jemima’s blog as well as these links:
- The Coprolite Conundrum
- Rock, Sky & Water
- Disappearing Act
- Sunset Strip – The Elder Council
- Rufus A world-building post rather than flash fiction, really
- G’Nauss is the Winter of our Discontent
- All You Can Eat
These ones are somewhat later and may add to knowledge of the system or turn into something related to book 3.
- Balancing the Buks (fits between Paradisio and Orichalcum Library)
- The Inspector Calls (early in the Swede’s history)
- The White Rose of York (Aramintha’s backstory)
- The Appeal of Alpha Kenworthy (referenced in book 1 – scroll down through the first part of the post as it was the introduction to that year’s A2Z)