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Orion's Arm

Orion's Arm

This site is definitely worth a look. For the un-initiated, it's a collaborative world-building project that's been going for some years now. The universe is an entirely hard SF one, set some ten thousand years from now in the 'Terragen Sphere', the volume of space (approximately ten thousand light years in radius) which has been colonized by life from Earth. Notice it's not the 'human spere'; the inhabitants of this universe run the gamut from humans, to uplifted animals, to robots (at one end of sophistication), all the way up to Jupiter brains and beyond at the other end.

The universe is incredibly detailed, very well thought out, and internally consistent.

Most of the interesting stuff, in my opinion, dates from a few years back. Lately a lot of the world-building has become bogged down in detail work, and while the focus has shifted to fiction writing, the demands of maintaining consistency between the fiction and the universe are so great that's it's difficult to write really good fiction. In the final analysis (and this is just my opinion, of course), OA is a very interesting, but ultimately flawed experiment. It's great source material, though; even if you're not going to write an explicit OA story, they've done an incredible job of mapping out the next ten thousand years.

So go check it out, and prepare to have your horizons expanded.