I thought I would outline the plot I am currently developing in case anyone wants to offer any suggestions to assist me along the way. It will be a hard sci-fi, small-scale space opera set between earth and two nearby (circa 12 ly away) main sequence stars. The following forms my main criteria: - 1) It will have realistic sub-light speed travel times and time dilation. Travel to the the planets will take circa 25 years Planet Time and 15 years Ship Time. Human lifespans will have increased by a reasonable amount (say to 150 or so) and there will be Induced Hibernation. 2) It will involve technology and science that is achievable (although I will have to stretch this requirement a little). As such travel will be via sail craft accelerated/ decelerated by lasers in orbit around the three suns (and lenses along the route). Importantly interstellar travel must be a difficult and dangerous thing. 3) Alien planets must incorporate realistic evolution. I will be relying upon convergent evolution to make them (sort of) humanoid, largely for the ease of expressing emotions etc. without having to describe many alien limbs and tentacles in detail. Both sets of aliens will be more advanced than humans and will have shared some technology. The plot will commence on each of the alien planets with Earth Ambassadors (Tau Ceti and Epsilon Indi). Tau Ceti will prove to have a growing political movement that is aggressive towards earth. The start of the story will involve a murder of one of the Ambassadors assistance, followed by the uncovering of a conspiracy to attack earth, followed by the massacre of the Ambassador and his staff before the alien fleet sets out. Upon Epsilon Indi (a predator race) the Ambassador will be due to return home on one of the alien ships with a number of the aliens who have chosen to visit earth. These aliens are predatorial and on the surface warlike. The plot will then jump to various periods out of Induced Hibernation on the ship, as well as certain events on earth over the following 25 years. The Tau Ceti armada will arrive at earth and the attack will begin. The Epsilon Indi ship will hear news of the attack and rather than decelerate using the laser arrays they undertake a near-light fly past firing off all munitions at the invaders. They are either then destined to float on until death or may have some sort of lifeboat function and the battle continue on earth. I am undecided on this as I have not detailed the plot this far. Please share any thoughts or suggestions.