Content Notes – Astra Nullius

Since Astra Nullius occasionally brushes up against some dark subjects, you should check these content notes before starting. Each story in the series is different, and some stories can be skipped without making the overarching plot impossible to follow. If you’re not sure which stories are going to be okay for you personally or if I didn’t mention a topic you are concerned about in this list, email me at demetria.t.s@gmail.com and let me know what you’re trying to avoid so I can send you a list of the stories you should skip. I will always keep any messages you send me about your personal triggers private.

A few Astra Nullius episodes will include medical procedures, and there will be some graphic descriptions of futuristic medicine. Some episodes may include descriptions of broken bones, severe burns, fetuses, blood, bacterial and viral diseases, and surgeries. Needles and knives are still used in medicine in this universe. A non-fatal neurological disease will be a running plot point.

Many episodes of Astra Nullius will include descriptions of gross space food, including details of how that food is grown in vats, how unpleasant point-of-view characters find the food, and other squicky food details.

Characters will die in Astra Nullius. Deaths will happen on the page and may be graphic. Point-of-view characters will see corpses, skulls, and skeletons in many episodes.

At no point in the story will I graphically describe sexual assault or have it happen to a point-of-view character. However, characters may discuss it or allude to it.

While Astra Nullius isn’t a war story, it takes place in a galaxy at war, and so characters may discuss or witness civilian deaths, war crimes, deaths of soldiers, and other wartime violence.

At no point will homophobia or transphobia be introduced as a conflict. Some alien species have different experiences of gender than humans. One species uses incorrect gender pronouns due to an alien language barrier in the same way that Ann Leckie uses the “she/her” pronoun in Ancillary Justice. I will not set the story up in a way that forces only alien characters to be trans or nonbinary; there will be a human POV nonbinary character introduced later in the story.

There will be swearing in Astra Nullius. A lot of it. Characters will also drink alcohol and use drugs. Drug and alcohol use will not be treated as a morality tale, but a normal part of adult life.

Sex and reproduction will be discussed frequently and may be described graphically. Discussions may include sex between two different sentient species, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, genetically engineered babies, and other potentially charged topics.

While racism will not be central to the conflict in Astra Nullius, characters may discuss humanity’s history of racial inequality. Some conflicts in the story may have parallels to current-day political events.

Some alien species will have characteristics reminiscent of spiders, snakes, insects, parasites, frogs, and other animals. Images of these animals may be used as the featured images for posts.

Characters will discuss and experience mental illness, including anxiety disorders, panic attacks, grief, post-traumatic stress, and addiction.

Astra Nullius is a collection of free science fiction stories following the crew of the starship Benevolence. While it’s technically a piece of serial fiction with events unfolding in chronological order, each story stands alone as an episode, so you can start reading anywhere in the series.

If you’re jumping into a later story but you still want to know some of the details of this world, you can check the list of people and places for descriptions of characters and alien species. You can also check the content notes if you need more information about whether certain sensitive topics will appear in Astra Nullius.

In 2017, new episodes are being published on the 15th of each month. In 2018, the posting schedule will switch to weekly publication.

Gone Before, Part 1: Our heroes answer a distress signal and find more signs of life than they expected.

Gone Before, Part 2: Sun, sand, and sexy stranded space travelers.

Cover-Up, Part 1: The crew gets talked into participating in some less-than-legal activities. What’s a little smuggling between friends?

Cover-Up, Part 2: Hey, remember that talking dog who’s also a crime lord? Maybe we shouldn’t have trusted that guy.

Such People In It: The crew tackles some really difficult moral questions, like: would you have sex with your own clone? How about your body double? What about your alternate self from a mirror universe?

It Runs in the Family: A stolen sexbot, a pissed off programmer, and a client who’s totally telling the whole truth this time.

Quality Testing: The crew gets some downtime by signing up to playtest a relaxing new game.

A Failure to Communicate: The crew attempts to rescue survivors on a stranded ship. There’s just one problem: nobody knows how to speak the aliens’ language.

Worst Contact: An unexpected stowaway forces the crew to make first contact with a previously unidentified species. There’s one thing they know for sure: this thing is pissed off.

Old Flame: Weyland has some questions about a species that was once a member of the Coalition. Nyx’s meet-up with an old member of the Benevolence‘s crew doesn’t go as planned.

Human FoodWeyland goes on a shopping trip, as normal humans do. (Publishing November 15th)

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