The Shatterzone universe shares much in common with the Star Wars Roleplaying Game produced by the same company and was a repository for original ideas produced for Star Wars but which were turned down by the legal department of Lucasfilm. As such, the universe of Shatterzone shares some structural similarities to the Star Wars Expanded Universe including an intergalactic government called the Consortium (like the Republic from Star Wars) run from a central region of space known as the Core Worlds, large megacorps that run galactic affairs (a theme common in the cyberpunk genre of storytelling), and a super-industrialized capital world, called Centaurus but similar to Star Wars' Coruscant. Likewise, there is a sentiment of xenophobia in the setting similar to that of the Empire in Star Wars. Humans, Glahns, and Ishantras, the three ruling races of the Consortium and a few others are given full citizen status while other races suffer under prejudice and second-class-citizenship.
The namesake feature of the setting is the "Shatterzone", an unchartable and mysterious sector of space consisting of dark matter and strange gravitational phenomena as well as strange energy storms and asteroid fields. The Shatterzone is home to cult worshippers, bands of alien exiles called "bolters" seeking to flee Armagon oppression, and groups of deep space miners looking to make a fortune off the rare minerals to be had in this unusual sector of space.
The development of coldsleep technology and mastery of nuclear fusion engines enable easy travel within our solar system, and the possibility of extrasolar colonization. The overwhelming desire to escape the restrictions of life on Earth drive some to establish illegal "black" colonies without the consent of government. The Secessionist Wars ensue and the first intergalactic fleets of warships are created.
2276: Humans discover a derelict alien space vessel, and while the science of how its quantum drive (or Q-Drive) functions is beyond to grasp of human science, it is a relatively simple mechanism which researchers are soon able to recreate and mass produce. Using the new alien technology, human ships become capable of reaching speeds 365 times the speed of light. Abundant faster-than-light engines allow a phenomenon called the Diaspora, in which the world population drops from 25 billion to 500 million over the next two centuries as extrasolar colony worlds become genuine home worlds to large populations of humans.
2320: First contact with the Glahn.
2486: The establishment of the Consortium of Worlds, a joint government of the homeworlds of the Humans, Glahn, and Ishantra.