Unwelcome Neighbors is a space opera setting. That is the first thing that can be said about it. But it goes just a little further than that in its themes and subgenre parts. The attempt in creating the setting and the stories set within it, were to experiment with a wide range of science fiction subgenres across a vast scope.
Unwelcome Neighbors is one story setting but within the setting it is not one universe, but two universes connected by the actions of ancient civilizations within the Local Group of galaxies. As a writer this has allowed me to work with my coauthors to experiment with a number of different thematic genres, while still sticking to a space opera setting in size and scope of time and space.
There are whole story arcs of broad strokes and sometimes narrow focus set within the UnWelcome Neighbors setting. Each is connected and has a distant impact on the others, even when they are of different genres.
The first universe operates under the title of the Dissolution Wars. It was first created with an eye for trying to write military science fiction with a harder science fiction edge. Far too much military science fiction over the years has failed to give the reader a full impression of just how vast interstellar distances are, especially upon a galactic scale.
For the moment the Dissolution Wars are divided into two story arcs; the Artisans of War & the Tranc Wars. Both are military science fiction, and only tentatively connected in plot, even though occurring in the same galaxy at roughly the same eras.
The Artisans of War deal with the antics and tribulations of Humanity as it expands out from the Solar System and finds both allies & foes. This covers a period from 3100 A.D. up through 5100 A.D. and leads to numerous advances. Throughout the entire period Humanity is still fragmented politically and culturally. This has been the reality for the entire 10000 years of human civilization so far, there is no reason to believe the future will be that different, especially as humans spread out to the stars.
The Tranc Wars deal with a series of millennia long wars between a species known as the Tranc and various other interstellar traveling sapience, who find dealing with the Tranc difficult, often violent. The purpose of those stories is to try to capture an alien perspective looking at conflicts and interstellar efforts spanning the equivalent of centuries of human time.
The second universe operates under the title of the Enduring Realm. The focus of this setting and the stories set there is more of an attempt to tell a science fantasy epic with more than just an idle sop to hard science fiction and science concerns. Science fantasy, soft space opera, or planetary romances are all similar genres that have long been popular going back to the works of Edger Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom stories.
Science fantasy has its appeal of escapism and often merely carries the trappings of science fiction settings and futuristic technology to make it more appealing to certain fan bases. There is nothing wrong with such stories, but often it leaves the question could such grandiose stories be told with more hard science fiction focus. That is the literary experiment for the Enduring Realm. There are many fine examples of previous, and much better writers achieving such literary experimentation, but these are my humble attempts at doing the same.