Ultraprolific Anderson has penned a forest of novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune, not counting entries with L. Ron Hubbard, Doug Benson, and the solo effort Hopscotch (2002).
Most recently, Anderson kicked off his own SF series with Hidden Empire (2002), of which A Forest of Stars is volume two. Humans of the Terran Hanseatic Federation of Earth start a galaxy-wide war in the year 2427 when they ignite the gas-planet Oncier, a pastel globe of hydrogen five times the size of Jupiter, to illuminate and help power colonization of Oncier’s four moons, with Oncier as a new sun. Unbeknownst to humans, Oncier is populated by the Hydrogues, whose home the Terrans have inadvertently wiped out, thus displeasing the Mage-Imperator of the dying-out Ildirans, who falsely intuit that Terrans want to take over a whole spiral arm of the galaxy. Thus war vibes arise between Ildirans and Terrans. Also on hand are the gypsy Roamers who mine ekti, the dwindling universal stardrive fuel, the Worldtrees and Green Priests of Theroc, all of them spelled out in Anderson’s glossary of really weird words and titles, his Command Structure of the Earth Defense Forces, the Noble-Born Children of Prime Designate Jora’h (the Mage-Imperator’s son), the Known Klikiss (insectoid robots), Planets in the New Hansa Colonization Initiative, the Ruling Family of Theoric, and Clan Tamblyn—all very necessary. Five years pass after the unwitting implosion of the home of the Hydrogues. Priests symbiotic with the Worldforest, a sentient computer with data stored in trees, warn that the Hydrogues have indeed turned mercilessly hostile toward Terrans. As all-out war looms, the Terrans join forces with water-based Wentals and sun-dwelling Faeros.
Anderson models his darkening epic on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series—now in its 11th volume. Quo vadis, Kevin?