It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. - Isacc Asimov.
The Sci-Fi short stories associated with the saga are designed to add more depth and feel, while at the same time allowing me to explore tangents that would otherwise detract from the stories they are associated with.
An example of this is ‘Pythos’, the planet we are introduced to at the beginning of ‘First Contact’. This first book of the Terran Chronicles saga is not about Pythos, thus the story quickly moves to Earth. We are left in the dark as to what happens to the crew of Artemis One. We have to wait until after ‘Discovery’ to learn of their fate.
Though these short stories can be read as stand alone, in many cases crucial elements may seem to be missing. These sideline stories will sometimes add subplots to the series, but for the most part they instead answer questions left open in the novels.