A Charter For The Commonwealth (Childers Universe Book 4)


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(as of Feb 19,2021 13:53:49 UTC – Details)

This is the fourth book in the Childers Universe. It is the prequel to Childers.


Earth’s oldest colonies are no longer struggling outposts, they are vibrant, productive economies. They have become huge sources of income for Earth’s plutocratic ruling families. But Jablonka Planetary Governor James Allen Westlake VI and his childhood friend, mining magnate Georgy Orlov, see a brighter future down a different path.

They recruit two eccentric academics, Gerald Ansen and Mineko Kusunoki, to create a new government for the colonies, that the colonies can split from Earth and seek their own destiny.

They know Earth will fight the split. What will they do when the Earth Space Navy comes calling?

An interview with Rich Weyand

You wrote “Charter” after the Childers trilogy. Did that cause problems?
It was constantly on my mind while writing this book. Every tradition of the CSF starts here. The drafters and signers of the Charter, who have heavy cruisers named after them in “Childers,” are here in the flesh. Gerald Ansen, who is mentioned on page 3 of “Childers,” is here. The monument to the signing of the Charter that Miriam Desai mentions on page 266 of “Childers: Absurd Proposals” is here. The destruction of Doma, a major plot point in “Childers: Absurd Proposals,” is here. The War of Independence. The use of beam weapons. Communicating in hyperspace. Sigurdsen Fleet Base. The three houses for the commanders at Sigurdsen. It’s all here.

How long did it take you to write “Charter”?
I spent a month banging around plot elements in my head. The biggest thing was to figure out who the sponsors were, and why they did what they did. A revolution, to be successful, needs money behind it. Once I had the half dozen major plot elements decided, I just started writing. From that point it was 31 writing days — about 43 calendar days — to write it all out.

You did something different with character names in “Charter.”
I asked my Facebook friends to volunteer their names for character names, then I just used them in order. So if the next name was female, that was a female character, if the next name was male, that was a male character. The only exception was Arlan Andrews. He’s an author friend, and a hell of a nice guy. He asked to be the arch villain of the piece, and so he became the head of the ruling families on Earth. Oh, and Jennifer Lowenthal, who asked to be killed in the most spectacular and grotesque way possible. I think I accomplished that. The rest was all coincidence. The gunnery officer named Shell Scott? Luck of the draw. Admiral Bruneau’s lawyer being Jewish? Luck of the draw. Lots of coincidences.

Do the people whose names you used like their characters?
I posted snippets of their characters on Facebook, and everybody was happy with them. And it was a lot easier than deciding on a character’s sex and name every time I introduced a new character.

What order should people read the books in now? Publication order — 1, 2, 3, 4 — or in their internal time order, which would put “Charter” first.
Either way works, I think. I can see advantages either way. I would probably read them 4-1-2-3.

You’re pretty critical of the United States government in the Westlake Conference debates in “Charter.”
The delegates to the conference use the current — that is, the 2018 — US government several times as a bad example of how government always interprets its powers broadly. I don’t think there’s much doubt that the current US government has expanded its powers far beyond the intent of the framers of the Constitution. That’s something the delegates to the Westlake Conference were consciously trying to avoid in drafting the Charter.

So what’s next in the Childers Universe?
I’m trying to figure out what comes after “Galactic Mail: Revolution!” It’s pretty clear centrifugal forces will pull Galactic Mail apart as human space expands. Then what? We’ll see.

A Charter For The Commonwealth (Childers Universe Book 4)
A Charter For The Commonwealth (Childers Universe Book 4)


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