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Is this your first novel?
Yes and no. It is my first published novel. My first attempt was The Cephaestus Option. I rewrote that novel many times, but looking back I can see why it was never published. It will be rewritten once more and given a flashier title. We’ll see what happens with it. There will be, however, many more stories of the starship Indravati. I realize I have a good thing going on with this series.
Is it anything like Star Wars?
Like A New Hope, the plot structure closely follows Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, and action comes along right at the start. There are space battles, dangerous aliens, and clearly defined bad guys who get what they’ve got coming to them. More than the mindless action of so much of what passes for science fiction in the cinema, the original Star Wars trilogy was ultimately about the redemption of Darth Vader. My story is about the validation of a starship captain’s decisions, taking his ship into harm’s way and being proven right in the end. Read more HERE
Are there different cultures, or is it white-bread America in space?
Being struck by Joss Wedon’s Firefly, I tried from the outset to give this universe a unique mix of cultures. Who, I asked myself, are former world powers that would be least likely to take the lead in a novel about the future? I came up with Norway and Brazil (by way of Portugal). Fire and Ice.
As for characters, Gideon Serrano is Tex-Mex from an America much different than today. Others come from worlds influenced by Norway and Brazil, or have ancestry ranging from Mayan to Sri Lankan. A few are alien, trying to fit in with conflicting Terran cultures. Like Firefly, you could take different characters, looking into space, and have them describe different perceptions. I even threw in a couple of Chinese words, or at least a couple of rough phonetic approximations of them. Read more HERE
Why give Miller such an awful nickname?
I thought it was funny. It also gives him something to push against, in his struggle for respect and a place of belonging. (Update) He gets a new nickname in the next book.
Just how many Star Trek references are there?
More than you can shake a stick at. While I have not attempted to make a derivative Trek story, the optimistic view of the future held by the show did influence this work. Early in development I imagined how the bridge crew of the Enterprise would handle the problem of my story. So, you’ll find a brainy alien who oversees the science department; a German, rather than a Scotsman, oversees the engines; the navigator is of Asiatic descent; and the Captain’s chair is at one point referred to as the center seat. Their weapons, the Shuriken, have a non lethal stun mode and its model number, 966, is a reference to Sept, 1966, Trek’s first TV airing. A science vessel called the Carabatsos is a nod to a first season Trek script editor. There is mention of a senior geologist named Rawlins, a nod to the Trek episode The Ultimate Computer.
Then there is the tired "Kirk gets the girl" trope. It shows up in every other episode, so I wanted to do something a little different with it. What I came up with gave me a good laugh. It’s not a Trek story, but I think Trek fans will appreciate what I’ve done. Read more HERE
Are there other Sci Fi references?
There sure are. There is mention of a cruising speed of "standard by three." That comes from Blake’s Seven. John Carpenter’s The Thing gets a few nods when my team is out on the ice; Schmergsdorf glacier, MacReady Island, and questioning the sound of a dog. Shoggoth and Pickman are names from Lovecraft stories. Near the end, I reference Joe Haldeman’s Forever War with the Middle Finger.
Is there a real club in Tampa FL that goes around digging up ice age fossils?
Yes. The Tampa Bay Fossil Club, of which I am a member.
Why so many Sister Hazel references?
I like the idea of a "change your mind" philosophy that unites humanity. Change Your Mind is a Sister Hazel song. There’s also an issue of family, as Sister Hazel’s lead singer, Ken, is married to my cousin Tracy. They have a "little hippie store" in Gainesville by the name of CYMplify.
What are the references to the Mike Calta show?
Sorry. You either know them or you don’t. Maybe I’ll include more in the next book (drunky drunk girl party). Listen to the show and find out. You can download their app at TheBoneOnline.com
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