Boundary Trilogy World and Characters

Boundary is set in a world much like our own, roughly 30-35 years from the time of writing (so roughly 2040). In the Boundaryverse, no major disasters have happened to change the essential nature of the world, although political and economic progress have continued. The United States of America remains one of the World Powers, although it is no longer the only true great World Power; the European Union, China, Japan, and India share that designation, and many other countries are fast approaching near-parity with the larger nations.

In the United States, things have continued as they always have – political swings in one direction or another, some forward progress and a few steps back, but more progress than back. The Patriot Act was repealed some years before the start of the novel, with one of the results being the creation of the Homeland Investigation Authority (HIA)– with large but more strictly focused powers than were granted to the umbrella organization of the Homeland Security Agency. The HIA, as is seen later, plays a significant role in the events of Boundary.

Space exploration continued from the current day; some private organizations had some minor successes, but the Ares Corporation decided to go for something so pie-in-the-sky that no one believed it possible; the exploration and eventual colonization of Mars. NASA, meanwhile, had been following its usual pattern of being given grandiose missions and then having its funding yanked every four years or so, but had also inevitably sent out numerous unmanned expeditions throughout the solar system. Ares’ successes galvanized NASA and the government into an attempt to match and then surpass these efforts.

But what no one realized was that the real trigger for the Human Space Age would be found by a teenage girl in the desert…

Characters

  • Helen Sutter: A highly regarded paleontologist, Helen Sutter is blonde, heavily tanned, and looks quite a bit younger than her nearly forty years. She has spent the last few years on digs on the land belonging to the Secord family, but this year will be… different.
  • Joe Buckley: Joe is a brown-haired, easygoing electromechanical engineer for the Ares Project, although at the start of the book he’s doing some advanced elective fieldwork in paleontology alongside Dr. Sutter. In his younger years he was something of a risk-taker, but after several close calls has become a man who tends to consider things carefully before jumping into them. He is friends with A.J. Baker and contacts him when Helen makes a very interesting discovery.
  • Jacqueline (Jackie) Secord: Black-haired and dark of complexion due to considerable Native American ancestry, Jackie is barely into college when we first meet her. She was always fascinated by Helen’s work, and this year she’s managed to find something really interesting on their property… a strange fossil she hasn’t been able to identify. But surely the professionals will know…
  • A.J. Baker: Sensor system genius for the Ares Project with a speciality in micro/nano technologies, especially in the area of independent networked sensor nodes called “smart dust”. Blond haired, green eyed, A.J. is a dedicated “geek” with an encyclopedic fanboy’s knowledge of science fiction and of sensor and computer technologies, with considerable knowledge in allied scientific and engineering fields, and is not shy about showing off, with a keen sense of the dramatic. Outside of his specialities A.J. is often tremendously (and uncaringly) ignorant. His friend Joe Buckley calls him in when there’s something they don’t quite understand…
  • Nicholas Glendale: An extremely handsome, often-married and equally often divorced middle-aged paleontologist, Nicholas Glendale is his era’s version of Carl Sagan – a charismatic popularizer of science and critical thinking who is a household name. Despite his fame he remains a keen student of his field and remembers all his promising students – including a bright young lady named Helen Sutter. And he’s willing to go to bat for her, even if he thinks she’s making a mistake…
  • Madeline Fathom: Petite, beautiful, and delicate looking, Madeline Fathom would seem the most harmless person imaginable. Instead, this young woman in her early 30s is in fact one of the Homeland Investigation Authority’s top agents, with an unbroken string of successes against some of the most deadly opponents. But even Madeline is unprepared for the mission that she’s being sent on this time…