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Starcruiser Anonymous

What's Going On

Trying to describe Starcruiser Anonymous in a few short sentences is a daunting task. I've tried several times, and I still haven't come up with a summary I really like. The very nature of the series makes summarization difficult: any single plot thread you pull from the story represents at best a third of the entire thing.

In a sense, Starcruiser Anonymous is three interlinked stories:

  1. It is the story of Blue Squadron, five fighter pilots from the great ship Anonymous who are captured by scouts from the Zakavian Empire and taken to its capital, Planet Gloom. There, they seek to escape and work their way back to the Anonymous, but instead find themselves drawn into a rebellion against the Empire on Planet Arorua.
  2. It is the story of the attempts by the Anonymous to find Blue Squadron. The five members of Green Squadron are sent out to find their collegues, and with the assistance of a friendly trio of alien college students they learn that Blue Squadron was last seen on Planet Gloom. Since the Imperial capital is likely to be heavily defended, the Anonymous itself goes to find its missing pilots. This creates some tension within the Anonymous, as many of its inhabitants feel this puts the ship in unnecessary risk. Soon, this tension will shatter the peace within the ship.
  3. It is the story of Planet Arorua, which was conquered by the Empire, but was never too happy about it. The occupying Zakavian forces aren't too happy, either: Arorua is a rather uninteresting place to occupy. After a shaky start, the Aroruans begin to toil against the Empire, but it takes the arrival of Blue Squadron to really get things moving as the Aroruans call on their legendary protector to, well, protect them.

Admittedly, the Aroruan plot thread is subordinate to the others, but it does account for a large portion of the action.

Meanwhile, there are other, smaller stories being told, including:

  1. Captain-General Rtali's rebellion against the Empire, which is indirectly responsible for Blue Squadron's capture.
  2. Orliss SoFah's spring break, in which the young space hero in training, his cousin, and his cousin's girlfriend get far more involved in interstellar politics than they would like.
  3. Bob the interstellar bounty hunter's secret mission to destroy a deadly Zakavian superweapon.

Amazingly enough, it all fits together into one reasonably coherent tale.

(Notice that rebellion seems to show up again and again? I didn't plan that; it just sort of happened. I'm not sure what, if anything, it means.)

The Major Players

Starcruiser Anonymous involves a dizzying array of characters, most of whom can be assigned to one side or another. The two big sides are the Zakavian Empire and the starship Anonymous, both of which are described in more detail in the prologue.

The Anonymous, a giant starship of apparently alien design, was launched by a group of northern New Jersey towns who sought to flee the devastation on Earth in the late 1980s and after. Its passengers and crew have mostly been content to be left in peace, but you know that's not going to last.

The Zakavian Empire is the union of two spacefaring peoples, engineered by its current ruler, Emperor Vakaz, who had come to rule boht through a series of odd circumstances. Aside from Vakaz and his cronies, no one is very pleased with this situation, hence the Empire's rather shaky grasp on stability.

SFSTORY: What You Need to Know

Although Starcruiser Anonymous is set in the Sfstory universe, you don't need to know much about Sfstory to understand it. Little of the long, convoluted history is referenced, beyond some background details that help establish the setting. I've made up a list of some of the Sfstory references that might provide some insight. Or they might not. You never know, do you?

David Menendez, zednenem@alumni.psu.edu
Posted 1 April 1999