The Benevolency Universe
A superintelligence called the Benevolence has ruled humanity for over three thousand years. Under its guidance we have spread amongst the stars and experienced an unprecedented age of peace, prosperity, and technological advancement. All of that is about to change.
1) Which Outworld Ranger book should I read first, ONE or ZERO?
They were written at the same time, so either one can be read first without giving away spoilers about the other. Book One: Rogue Starship was originally intended as the entry point for the series. However, Book Zero: Forbidden System was originally intended to be a prequel short story and written as a world building exercise. Clearly, it got away from me a bit.
2) If Forbidden System is a prequel, do I need to read it?
Forbidden System may be a prequel to the Outworld Ranger series, but it works as an excellent starting point for diving into the books. Plus it has a lot of important backstory, both for the world and the characters. So you definitely should read it. You just don't have to read it first.
3) Why does the cover say that Forbidden System is Book Zero but Amazon says that it is Book 1?
That confusing bit of numbering is because Amazon does not allow authors to add prequels to a series (or books between books, like a book 1.5). The only way to get Forbidden System to appear on the Outworld Ranger series page is to shift the numbering in their system.
Silky, officially designated SLK-138, is arguably the most advanced chippy in the universe. He is a 9Gx model, a model which was never released to the public. (The 8G was the last model released to the public before the Tekk Plague halted chippy development, possibly for good.) The x in his model number means that he is/was an experimental prototype. Unlike any chippy before him, Silky draws his power directly from Flux space. This design choice serious malfunctions in all the other 9Gx chippies and all but one other were decommissioned. The only other 9Gx chippy still functioning as of the time of the Outworld Ranger stories is Faisal.
Silky has had three human companions. His first and most beloved was Eyanna Orr, a daring Empathic Services agent. He served with her for 47 years and, over the course of the events in Forbidden System, he reprogrammed himself in her image.
From Eyanna he moved to Gav Gendin, the intrepid archeologist. Gav was his companion for only about a year. In a desperate bid to save both his son and the dangerous information he had uncovered, Gav passed Silky on to his young son Siv. Silky basically raised Siv and has been with him for over 100 years, only 9 of which Siv has been awake for.
There is a LOT more to know about Silky since he has been in the thick of things longer than anyone else and knows more secrets than anyone els. He is also, arguably the main character of the series. (He definitely thinks so anyway.) But to see the rest of his entry, you'll have to subscribe on Patreon and get access to our members only area.
Info about Eyana here.
Gav Gendin was an archeologist with extensive field experience, obsessed with a mysterious alien civilization called the Ancients. He officially worked for a university based in Ekran's capital city of Bey. But he owned his own ship, the Outworld Ranger, and had his own crew that he took to hunt down leads to undiscovered dig sites all over the Benevolency (and sometimes a bit beyond).
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