Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe

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Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe

Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe is a shared universe fanzine published twice a year by the Tai-Pan Literary & Arts Project. Writers and artists who meet the contribution requirements create the characters who inhabit, and the planets visited by, the ships of the universe:

  • the pirate ship, Iktome
  • the luxury cruise liner, Quantum Lady
  • the university/science vessel, Ramanujan
  • and the merchant ship, Tai-Pan


Originally published under the title Tai-Pan, it was recognized as Best Anthropomorphic Fanzine at the Ursa Major Awards for two years running, in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, the story "In His Own Country" won the award for Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction.

Conceived at Norwescon in 1988, the Tai-Pan Project has benefited from the talents of many contributors over the years. In addition to over 50 writers and artists, the project has depended on the volunteer time of story editors, copy editors, and administrative helpers. The first issue was published in 1991 and laid much of the groundwork for concepts and characters that are still being written about today.

Since its inception the project has published a wide range of stories from space opera to hard science fiction and from mystery to romance. While all of the stories stand on their own, authors have taken advantage of the shared nature of the universe to write stories that build on a theme or character arc started by another writer.

Contents

Story arcs and novellas

(Each set of stories is listed in order by when they occur on the timeline rather than by publication date.)

TAI-PAN

Sins of the Brother Chance and Satin, sibling snow-leopards, escaped their war-torn city and joined the crew of the Tai-Pan. Chance disappears, leaving his sister to discover the deadly legacy he has left her.

"What Tales He'd Tell" by Whitney Ware, #1
"New Queensland Station" by Gene Breshears, Keith Alan Johnson, and Whitney Ware, #2
"Between a Laugh and a Tear" by Whitney Ware, #2
"Sins of the Brother" by Gene Breshears, #15
"Sea of Troubles" by Keith Alan Johnson, #16
"When the Music’s Over" by Chuck Melville, #17
"The Art of Being Special" by Chuck Melville, #Bootleg
"Dancing on My Grave" by Gene Breshears, #24 and #26
"One Last Dance" by Kristin Fontaine, #33
"Night of Destiny" by Gene Breshears, #34
"Dance Into the Fire" by Gene Breshears, #45

Faustian Bargains Is Faust the tool or the workman? Find out how one of the Tai-Pan’s most dangerous characters came into being.

"The Holly King" by Gene Breshears, #19
"Changing Professions" by Anthony Waters, #4
"Night of Destiny" by Gene Breshears , #34
"The Flesh is Weak" by Chuck Melville, #20
"Sins of the Brother" by Gene Breshears, #15
"The Subtlest Beast" by Gene Breshears, #18
"Speak of the Devil" by Gene Breshears, #26
"...And the Devil Appears” by Gene Breshears, #28
"The Throne of Osiris" by Gene Breshears, #34
"All Alone in the Dark" by Mark Allen Davis, 13
"Beside Himself" by Gene Breshears, #Skulduggery
"The Devil's Workshop" by Gene Breshears, #35
"Dancing on My Grave, parts 1 & 2" by Gene Breshears, #24 & #26
"One Last Dance" by Kristin Fontaine, #33
"Dance with the Devil" by Gene Breshears, #41
"Dance into the Fire" by Gene Breshears, #45
"The Shadow of Azrael" by Gene Breshears, #48
"What I did on my Summer Vacation" by Gene Breshears and Bill Koonts, #31

The Good Ship Tai-Pan by Chuck Melville. Before becoming a respected merchanter, the ship had a checkered history. From medical transport to smuggler, the Tai-Pan, in all her incarnations, has seen difficult days.

"Mercy" #25
"Rift" #25
"Daedalus" #31
"The Flechette" #34
"Chester was a Pirate" #11
"The Carcajou" #35

F.J. MacQuarrie Francis James MacQuarrie (Mac to his friends) is that rarity, a terran-born spacer. Fifteen years' travel lie between him and his birth family but life as as a ship-board engineer suits him.

"New Queensland Station" by Gene Breshears, Keith Alan Johnson, and Whitney Ware, #2
"Phantom Pain" by Gene Breshears, #20
"Such Revenge on You Both" by Gene Breshears, #11
"Dancing on My Grave" by Gene Breshears, #24 & #26
"Regrets" by Kristin Fontaine, #21
"The Water of Life" by Gene Breshears, #25

Engineering Difficulties the engineers aboard the Tai-Pan get into more than their share of trouble. From toothaches to pirate attacks, they've seen it all.

"Jumping Planet" by David Dailey, #2
"Probes and Cons" by Mark Allen Davis and Kristin E. H. Fontaine, #4
"Ghost in the Machine" by Scott Hungerford, #4
"A Proper Cup Of Coffee" by David Dailey, #8
"Communications" by Edd Vick, #9
"Buried Treasure" by Josef Meils, #6
"Good Morning Dr. Bot" by Keith Alan Johnson, #6
"The Girl Next Door, by Kristin Fontaine, 40
"Dancing on My Grave" by Gene Breshears, #24 and #26
"Time Well Spent" by Keith Alan Johnson, #42
"Complications" by Kristin Fontaine, #36
"Less Than Words Can Say" by Kristin Fontaine, #45

A Cat May Look at a King Jonesy is the Tai-Pan's mascot and might hunter of space weevels, but is there more to the little furball?

"Niches" by Edd Vick, #37 "What Tales He'd Tell" by Whitney Ware, #1
"Jumping Planet" by David Dailey, #2
"Probes and Cons" by Mark Allen Davis and Kristin E. H. Fontaine, #4
"Ghost in the Machine" by Scott Hungerford, #4
"The Subtlest Beast" by Gene Breshears, #18
"Speak of the Devil" by Gene Breshears, #26
"...And the Devil Appears” by Gene Breshears, #28
"Ghost Writer" by Mark Allen Davis, #5
"Icarus" by Chuck Melville, #14
"Fuzzy Ghost" by Mark Allen Davis, #44
"The Great Chip Caper (Director's cut)" by Gene Breshears, #47 "Regrets" by Kristin Fontaine, #21

A Hare to Guide Them Karaya del Tanzikt was bred and trained to use her abilities to read and manipulate people to serve the political agenda of her masters in whatever way they require. Chaos follows in her wake, but is it of her own making?

"Haresay" by Edd Vick, #29 and #30
"Communications" by Edd Vick, #9
"Dance Into the Fire" by Gene Breshears, #45


IKTOME

The Dread ship Iktome The pirate ship Iktome's captain and crew live life on the edge of disaster with kidnappings, explosions, murder, killer cyborgs, revenge, and serious consequences to 30-minute pizza delivery.

"Qualifications" by Mark Allen Davis, #7
"The Carcajou" by Chuck Melville, #35
"So You Want to Be a Pirate" by Matt Parsons, #3
"Go Boom" by Chuck Melville, #22
"Cargo" by Gerald Perkins, #10
"That Fallen am I in Dark" by Kathy Coleman, #18
"First Course" by Chuck Melville, #5
"Food for Thought" by Alex Shaikman, #15
"Chain of Command" by Mark Allen Davis, #14
"A Little Respect" by Mark Allen Davis, #41
"First Taste" by Alex Shaikman, Bootleg
"Money for Nothing" by Kathy Coleman, #40
"Hachi does not Exist" by Chuck Melville, #43
"Rock 'til You Drop" by Mark Allen Davis, #3
"China Doll" by Jeffrey Young, #37
Such Revenge on You Both" by Gene Breshears, #11
"The Sun Comes Up" by Chuck Melville #36
"The Needler" by Mark Allen Davis, #44
"A Little One-on-One" by Josef Ricketts. #16
"Not a Creature was Stirring" by Gene Breshears, #40
"One to Remember" by Mark Allen Davis, #40
"They Might Be Giants" group story, #26
"30-Minute Guarantee" by Bill Koonts, #35
"Species Diversity" by Josef Ricketts, #5
"Firing Range" by Josef Ricketts. #6

Adventures of Vashti Ahandra, the Butcher of Bedlam Circuit Vashti, a wolverine rock singer, was on her way out when her manager dumped her on a planet where reputation is everything and where only one person on the entire planet knew her. Forced to make her way alone-- what will become of her?

"Reputation" by Mark Allen Davis, #8
"The Truth Will Set You Free" by Mark Allen Davis, #12
"Gold Dust Woman" by Mark Allen Davis, #Eclipse
"Why Do the Heathens Rage?" by Mark Allen Davis, #20
"The Snow Wives" by Gene Breshears, #31

Sasha: Mom Marine A house-mouse makes a new start when the ship she is traveling on is ambushed by the infamous pirate ship Iktome.

"In the Country of the Blind" by Mark Allen Davis, #12
"A Dish Served Cold" by Chuck Melville, #13
"God is a Bullet" by Mark Allen Davis, #13

Solome, a Pirate Born? Solome is good at two things-- getting computers to do what she wants and manipulating people. That is, until her path crosses that of pirate captain, Bendigo Roberts. Will her abilities save her or give her a longer rope to hang herself with?

"Twice a Fool" by Sky Oxford #Skulduggery
"How to Tell a Lie" by Sky Oxford #40
"Cheat" by Sky Oxford, #Skulduggery
"They Might be Giants" group story, #26


QUANTUM LADY

The Velvet Kageri Mysteries by Gene Breshears. The Quantum Lady attracts all sorts-- from tourists to permanent guests. It is lioness Velvet Kageri’s job to hunt down the criminals that prey on unwary visitors.

"A Shadow’s Kiss" #Eclipse
"Kiss and Tell" #32
"Wassailing the Lady" #42

"The name's Willamina Ramani, by the way. I fly transport for the Quantum Lady." This no-nonsense shuttle pilot sees her share of trouble, from fares that won't tip to nomad chieftains seeking new careers. Even off-duty, trouble and mis-adventure find her (with a little help from drama queens friends Ursa Baby and Sahvet).

"Tipping the Lady" by Mark Allen Davis, #17
"Chasing the Lady" by Mark Allen Davis, #38
"Restoring the Lady" by Mark Allen Davis, #46
"Touring the Lady" by Kristin Fontaine, #49

RAMANUJAN

Out of Place by Gene Breshears. The Ramanujan is a research ship sponsored by the Jodhpur Academy of Science. When the planet Zaphyra is destroyed by a fast-moving back hole there is no argument that the phenomenon needs to be studied. But only Doctor Emmet Barker sees the deeper mystery that must be solved before war again engulfs Known Space.

"Chapter 1: Out of Place" #9;
"Chapter 2: Margin of Error" #17;
"Chapter 3: Partial Observer" #21;
"Chapter 4: Variant Analysis" #25;
"Chapter 5: Empirical Evidence" #30
"Chapter 6: Dark Matter" #33


OTHER

Anniversary Bash A group serial story that was plotted out in the early days of the project. This story involves crew of both the Iktome and Tai-Pan in a massive moonquake that destroys a salvaged vessel the Iktome crew had just sold and takes out most of the spaceport in the process. The prologue was printed in issue 16, chapters 1-12 in issues 17-29 and the epilogue in issue 30.

Elijah North, Fate's Plaything? This raccoon just can't seem to catch a break. Is it fate or is it just him?

"Probes and Cons" by Mark Allen Davis and Kristin E. H. Fontaine, #4
"The Safety Weasel Must Die!" by Chuck Melville, #46
"A Safety Weasel Christmas" by Gene Breshears, #49

Eliothnian Tales The planet of Elioth is known for two things: the best whiskey in known space, and a near fanatical devotion to bureaucracy. These are their stories: "Getting it Right," by Mark Allen Davis, #48 "Floodgate Royale,' by Mark Allen Davis, #49

Fables and Stories, short folk tales and shaggy stories told to keep away the dark.

"An Old Joke" by Gerald Perkins, #11
"A Bargain at Twice the Price" by Gene Breshears, #22
"Whiskey Season" by Mark Allen Davis, #23
"The Monsters" by Chuck Melville, #29
"The Snow Wives" by Gene Breshears, #31
"One to Remember" by Mark Allen Davis, #40
"Black Jack was his Name" by Mark Allen Davis, #43
"Practice Phrases for the Traveler in Cobb Space" by Edd Vick, #43 "Psychic Chicken" by Mark Allen Davis, #44
"The Grizzly is King" by Mark Allen Davis, #45
"Väinämöinen and Luuranko’s Daughter: A Hautikivi Fable" by Mark Allen Davis, #47
"Heir Raising Tales" by Gene Breshears, #49

Partial list of contributors

In alphabetical order:

Writers

Artists

Inspirations

(what members were reading when the project started)
Barnes, Steve (w), Lela Dowing (a), Steve Gallachi (a), and Lex Nakashima (ed) et al. Fusion. Eclipse Comics, 1987.
Brin, David. Startide Rising. Spectra, 1984.
Brin, David. Sundiver. Spectra, 1985.
Brin, David. The Uplift War. Spectra, 1987.
Clavell, James. Tai Pan. New York: Dell, 1986.
Cherryh, C.J. The Pride of Chanur. DAW Books, 1982.
Cherryh, C.J. Chanur's Venture. DAW Books, 1985.
Cherryh, C.J. The Kif Strike Back. DAW 1991.
Cherryh, C.J. Chanur's Homecoming. DAW Books, 1986.
Gallacci, Steve. Albedo Athropomorphics. Thoughts & Images, 1983

See also

External links

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Contributors to the Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe
Writers
Tai-pan.jpg
Artists
See also


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Ursa Major Awards winners
2000
Best Live Action TV Series: The Muppet Show! · Best Animated TV Series: Animaniacs · Best Live Action Feature Film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? · Best Animated Feature Film: Fantasia
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