Update on the family member: doing as well as expected under the circumstances. I managed to get a little over 3,000 words written in all three stories, putting each one around 8,000 words. My writing has helped me work though this stressful time, and I expect it will remain so for now.
Now, to the meat of the column:
Battletech, because of it's long in-game history, has a lot of unexplored areas and history that hasn't been touched by stories, either novel or in short story form. Most of the published stories fall between 3025 and 3145 -- only 120 years out of a 1,000. And while there are stories that occur before this time period, they are few compared to the bulk of both novels and short stories.
One of the three stories I'm working on is set in one of the little-written time periods. A time before HPGs and the Star League, when things were different --- not better, just different. It was one of those things I wanted to try. Almost all of my stories I've written so far are set in those one hundred and twenty years I mentioned above, and two other Battlecorps stories I'm working on fall into those years. But I wanted to stretch myself by going back further into Battletech's past than most writers do, find an event, and create a story around those events.
Going this far into Battletech's past, I need to adjust my thinking. At the time of my story, HPGs are not in existence yet, so I can't use them. Comstar is not around, so again, I can't use them. Borders are different, as are the rulers and each state's armed forces. There isn't 5,000 'Mech designs to chose from, only several dozen. Certain planets may/may not exist at this time, DropShips and JumpShips are designed differently, as is other technology. All small details, but all stuff that must be right or else.
It's been an interesting trip into Battletech's universal history. After I finish this one, I may go back with another story in mind....
But first to bed!