GUEST BLOGGER: H. E. Roulo: Plague Master Series – World Building in the PLAGUE MASTER Universe

Today is the first-ever Guest Blogger here at The Tao of Tim! Please welcome, from, my friend and fellow author, H.E. Roulo…

As authors, part of our job is world-building. For contemporary stories, it’s often easy to drop in the occasional detail and let readers imagine how characters dress, the style of cell phone, and the way roads and buildings look. For stories in other time periods, or less familiar countries, an author must select choice details to indicate where and when the story takes place. And then there’s genre fiction, where the time period might be long in the future, the worlds might be alternate, and explanation for their technology might literally be magic.

However, rules must apply. A reader needs to feel the world the author introduces them to is grounded and relatable. It’s the backdrop for everything that takes place. Therefore, careful consideration must be given to detail that, if all goes well, the reader won’t even notice.

it’s fun to have the opportunity to spell out the history of the Plague Master system, which is only hinted at in the two published books in the trilogy. The culture, customs, and economies of the various planets play a small role in each novel, and the many characters behave differently depending on where they’re from.

PlagueMasterHERouloIn the Plague Master universe, humans have left earth in colonizing vessels. The various vessels came from different regions on earth and not all ships arrived at the same time.

The people on the first ship to arrive had their choice of the five planets in the new solar system and settled on beautiful Hinterland. Unfortunately, the planet was resource-poor and the enticing climate quickly changed to be less hospitable. The inhabitants resorted to exporting manpower to the other planets. At first, it was skilled laborers and artists. When the Regulon Disease struck—a terrible disease that turned normal people into mindless monsters—they retrained as mercenary soldiers.

The next set of ships went to Cerberon and created a technologically driven society based around Cerberon Corporation. Their population was highly educated and wealthy families from other planets sent their children there for higher education. When the Regulon Disease first broke out, they responded with humanitarian aid, trained doctors, and established the Sanctuary Dome on the unused poisonous planet Lindley. The fact that shamblers could be trained to mine even in the blasting winds outside the Dome was a lucrative bonus.

PlagueMaster2HERouloThe first of a small fleet of ships arrived at Shailon, and those aboard took the best locations, resources, and gave themselves the designated title of Founder. Later arrivals were second-class citizens, seen as immigrants, and kept in their places. Advancement wasn’t a real concern for the Founders even before the outbreak of the Regulon Disease. Afterwards, they herded the diseased into the less prosperous neighborhoods to save their estates. Although interaction off-world was limited, they did allow a small population of those infected but not yet displaying symptoms of the Regulon Disease to accept a ride from humanitarian Julius Cerberon to the Sanctuary Dome.

Finally, Toknan was founded around the same time the Founders arrived at Shailon. The asteroids around Toknan were a hazard but also an excellent source of resources. The Toknan royal family ruled without opposition. Despite the snowy conditions over much of their world, they were tough and happy. The Regulon Disease struck their world early, and they fought back ruthlessly, even making an example of Elena Toknan, who was infected without symptoms, by sending her to the Sanctuary Dome.

Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome is the first book of the Plague Master series. Next up in the planned trilogy is Plague Master: Rebel Infection, releasing September 2019.



“A perfect mix of classic sci-fi and zombie horror. Once you start, you are hooked!”

-Jake Bible, author of Little Dead Man.


Sanctuary Dome is fast-paced zombie sci-fi on a prison planet of the dying and the undead.”

-Stephen North, author of Beneath the Mask



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