Thanks so much to all the people who've told me they like the originality of how Earth is portrayed in the Convergent Space books. Every writer likes to be original so I'm quite pleased a lot of people have latched onto this original aspect of my books in their reviews and comments.
Usually in sci-fi, Earth is either the main force in the story or – in galaxy-spanning Space Opera's like those of my hero, the late Iain Banks – it doesn't feature at all. The latter is actually safer if you're trying to write an original imaginative story because as soon as you make your book about Earth you fall foul of history - and the present! – and that can be limiting. No sci-fi writer wants that!
Luckily I somehow managed to stumble upon a third scenario, where Earth is part of the storyline but is by no means a powerful force. In the Convergent Space series, Earth did once hold a powerful position in the galaxy. But we've missed all that and we pick up the story when Earth is downtrodden and pretty much hated by everyone (and there is a reason for this).
Don't get me wrong, in both Convergent Space and The Shadow Ship, the main characters are from Earth, and the actions of humans have a profound effect on the destiny of the galaxy but Earth itself isn't powerful, liked or relevant as a political force. It looms in the background, thwarted and frustrated, hoping to regain past glories. And maybe it will...
I'm so glad people are finding it an original concept. I'll do my best to keep bringing it to life as best I can.