Why Sci-fi?

Why SciFi? Thoughts from Jamie Dodge, author of The Forgotten Edge.

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Guest Blog…. Stephen Leuchtman, author of A Promise and the Price.

I’m going to tell you about the story I’m working on, but first I’m going to tell a short story about how the story came to be. I was writing “The Neon Roadhouse,” which became “A Promise and the Price,” which is out on Kindle now. The agent I was working with suggested that I change the narrative voice from the male protagonist to the heroine. It was crazy talk; I’m a dude, always have been, what do I know about writing a woman?

Turns out, once I wrote it from her perspective, I can’t imagine it any other way. But, I had her going through his work (he’s a writer), and I had to stretch the bit out a little, so Beth had the idea of combining a train robbery story with a lost in space story. Trey wrote the story for her.

Flash forward to one of my favorite test readers reading the reboot. Jamie Dodge was reading it and he called me, and says “What about this story you’re talking about? Outrunning Perdition? Have you thought about actually writing it?”

Well, no, I actually hadn’t. It was a paper thin concept, just enough to sound plausible in a 100,000 word manuscript. If you annotated the story, it wouldn’t even rate a minor footnote in my thought process. I wrote the scene and moved on… except… once Jamie mentioned it, I couldn’t stop thinking about.

So flash forward about two years, Jamie and I were talking when I was on my way to Kalispell to get my kids, and after I got them, we were going to Evan and Cammie’s for a play date between his boys and mine. Jamie was stuck on the story he was working on, so he asked me for a story pitch. I gave him one. It became “The Forgotten Edge” and let me be clear about something. I gave him three sentences. What I thought it would become, if I wrote it, and what Jamie made were mindbogglingly different.

Anyways, a few months pass. I’m slogging through the rewrite for “The Places in Between,” and recovering from my accident. Jamie asks me, “have you thought about Outrunning Perdition?”

The short answer is yes, from time to time. The long answer is, I have some ideas for it, but my primary interest is in the people in the Citadel (bear with me and just accept this for a moment), and I have no idea how to write the Outcasts. Well, I have a brilliant idea. Jamie took a three sentence idea and made it into an awesome sci-fi survival story, why not ask him to write the Outcasts? He says let’s do it. So… Outrunning Perdition? Look for it May, 2015.
What is Perdition? It is a train that runs from the Citadel to an iron mine about 20 klicks away. But I get ahead of myself.

Imagine a time in the not too distant future where private corporations are in the business of settling distant planets. Imagine the scenario runs like this: we settle in three waves. The first wave is technical specialists and terraformers. The second wave is a couple hundred hard men to lay the groundwork for the future settlers, who pay large sums to move off planet. A couple hundred hard men working a new planet are going to need some entertainment, so there are hookers, one for every ten men, with five year sterilizations to avoid pregnancies while the planet is being prepared.

After the hard men are dropped on a planet (for the sake of argument, we will call it Beta V), there is an economic calamity on Earth and Omniverse, the corporation that sent them out, goes bankrupt. There will be no settlers coming.

Forty years pass. By now, men only outnumber the women about five to one, because once the boy babies are old enough to fend for themselves, they are exiled into the wilderness. The men in the Citadel have control enough of the planet to live a pretty decent standard of living. The mine and a basic foundry provide them with some comfort. The Outcasts (the exiled boy babies) want some of that comfort. Theirs is a hard life, basic subsistence, nothing more. The train goes through once per day, relieving the miners and taking the product back to the Citadel. It is the only way in or out of the Citadel. The Outcasts hatch an audacious plan to get back their birthright.
Outrunning Perdition, look for it exclusively on Kindle, Spring 2015.

 

Stephen Leuchtman has been writing for almost three decades.  His first published novel, A Promise and the Price is available on Amazon now, along with his short story, My Time in Purgatory.  Look for his second book in the Promises series to come out Spring of 2015…

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Jamie Dodge is a new indie writer on the science fiction scene.  He has been reading since he was three years of age and has never lost his passion for books.  One day he wondered if he could write his own. So he did.  His first book, The Forgotten Edge is available now on Amazon…

The Forgotten Edge

Guest Blog…. Michelle Murray, author of the Land of Mystica series.

My name is Michelle Murray. I am the author of a young adult fantasy book series called The Dream Walker, Land of Mystica. You probably never heard of me, and that’s okay. I have been writing since high school, and won numerous awards for my poetry and short stories. Several of which have been published in anthologies. Dream Walker is my first book, and some days I feel way over my head. I feel like What am I a poet writer doing trying to write a whole series of books? However, I believe strongly in my story and the way it was written.

Anyway, this is a guest blog post from me. I am not a big blogger, so I wasn’t sure what to blog about. My life is not that interesting. I am a working married mother of two fine young men (ages 15 and 20). When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, especially fantasy and classics. If I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy doing crafts, spending time with my family, and going for walks.

Being new to blogging, I was given some suggestions by my fellow bloggers. Write about your favorite movie? The last movie I saw was Frozen. It was a good movie, and the boys and I saw it before all the hype kicked it. But really, how many times can you hear Let it Go? No offense to Disney, but this movie is way over marketed. Write about your favorite book? That’s like asking me to pick which one of my boys I love best, not going to happen. I have many favorite books and authors. From Shakespeare, to Mark Twain, to Margaret Weis. If you don’t know who Margaret Weis is, she co-wrote the Dragon Lance Series. It is a series of fantasy books based on a game. This still blows my mind! There are over 20 books in this series! All based on a game! At one point of time, and maybe still, there were clubs where people dressed up as the characters, role playing conventions, etc. all based on this series. I never got into all of that, I just thought they were well written stories and enjoyed reading the books.

So, having gotten past these suggestions, I thought why not write about what I love best? Writing. I mean I am an author, right? It is said if you want to be an author, you should write every day. I do not. I’ve never bought into this theory. It’s like asking a master musician to compose every day or a master painter to paint every day. While I believe in practicing your craft, to write simply to write seems silly to me. Did Beethoven compose every day? Probably not. Did he study and listen to music? Yes.

Some of my best writings have come when I least expect them to, when inspiration hits me and I just write from my soul and imagination. Some of my worst have come when I had to have something done by such a time. Write five poems by Saturday? What? But, hey if my fellow authors out there find it works for me, more power to you! What works for one person may not work for another. I’ve read authors that listen to music while they write, jog, or write in the shower!

Myself, I try to write at least once a week. A poem, a story, a line, anything as inspiration hits me. It could be as short as a line, or as long as a couple pages in my notebook. I’m old fashioned, I still like to write on pen and paper. I handwrote this blog, before tying it up! Things that inspire me include my children, the outdoors, the stars, the sky, rainbows, butterflies, landscapes. This is why I enjoy going for walks, I love nature! Well, currently the weather could be a little warmer, but hey that’s winter in Wisconsin.

Before I had my children, I used to take pen and paper with me everywhere. That soon got replaced by diaper bags, changes of clothes, band equipment, and soccer gear. Now, that they are older I am trying to get into that habit again. I’ve written in the car, at lunch, at the above mentioned soccer games, at the park, while waiting for parent teacher conferences. Hey you never know when an idea will pop into my head! I’ve written on notebooks, napkins, matchbooks, or whatever I could grab. Now, they have apps for this kind of thing.

Most people don’t understand this need to write. I’d say it’s almost an obsession, except I’ve done without it. I’ve gone weeks, months, maybe even a year without writing at all. Of course, I always come back to it sooner or later.

I guess the best way to explain it … is I can’t … had you there for a minute didn’t me?

It would be liking asking David why he sculpted or Da Vinci why he painted. Or my favorite metaphor asking the Pope why he prays. Can you imagine the Pope not praying? It is just part of who he is. It is the same with me. Writing is part of who I am, part of my soul. Every time I write a poem, a blog, a story, its’ like baring a piece of myself to the world. When people ask me why I write I can answer, I was inspired by this or that. But it’s like asking the birds why they sing. I can say I’ve always loved to write (which I have) but that doesn’t really answer the question. I write partly because I love it, I wouldn’t spend so much time on something I didn’t have a passion for. Yet mostly I write just because, the same reason you breathe every day. The same reason why some people paint, and some people write music. It is part of who I am.

I hope to inspire others with my writing and my story. For at one time, I was told to stop writing, it was a waste of time. I hope my poems and stories get passed on and remembered. I hope I made my children proud of the story I wrote and that other children and their parents will enjoy it.

Thank you for reading my ramblings on writing, I hope you enjoyed peering into the soul of a writer.

You can find Michelle Murray’s Land of Mystica series on Amazon.  Click the book to go the Amazon page…

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My favorite Post-Apocalypse movies of the 1960’s…

The Sixties… drugs, sex, and rock and roll.  Or perhaps it was irresponsible excess, flamboyance, and the decay of social order.  Whichever one you want to pick, it was a decade of some of the best post-apocalypse movies made – well, since the 50’s anyway.

Click the poster to watch the movie, trailer, or scenes.

 

Let’s start off with The Bed Sitting Room.  Wow, how do I even describe it?  It’s British.  Seriously, it’s wonderfully British.  If you are a fan of Monty Python or Terry Gilliam films, I would imagine you would like this.  A few years after a nuclear war (three, maybe four – we’re not sure), we follow a group of very interesting folks, doing fairly interesting things.  The title comes from one of the characters who is afraid that he is actually going to turn into a bed sitting room (for those not familiar with what a bed sitting room is, it is a one-room apartment typically consisting of a combined bedroom and sitting room with cooking facilities).  It gets even weirder when he actually does turn into a bed sitting room.  Even weirder when his mother turns into a wardrobe.  Intrigued?  Check it out…

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Let’s move on to Beyond the Time Barrier.  This one was filmed in only ten days, so you know it’s a gem.  While flying an experimental aircraft, an Air Force test pilot ends up landing back on Earth, except that the airport now looks deserted – and for some time.  Looking to the horizon, he sees the bomb-blasted horizon of a city, while right next to it (literally, right next to it) is a Utopian city.  He is captured and taken below ground by a race of people who are descendants of those lucky enough to, well, get below ground.  Here’s the kicker – they’re all mute.  Well, except for the “Supreme” (dude in charge) and his big bully minion.  Oh, the Supreme has a daughter who takes a shine to our test pilot.  Come to find out, others from various times and places have been transported here and are secretly working to get back home.  There are mutants of course, those who are descended from the poor souls stuck topside who were unlucky enough to fall victim to the plague.  You can tell they’re mutants of course because they’re bald.  Mutants are always bald, don’tcha know…

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The Last Man on Earth.  Based on the book, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.  Follow Dr. Robert Morgan as he spends the day filling up his generator with gas, playing music on the phonograph, checking to make sure the garlic is fresh, going slightly mad and, oh – driving stakes through the hearts of undead “vampires” and tossing their corpses into a burn pit.  Lovely…

The Last Man on Earth _1964_ USA - Italy_


Planet of the Apes.  A planet where apes evolved from men?  “We finally really did it… You Maniacs!  You blew it up!  Ah, damn you!  God damn you all to hell!

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And finally, The Time Machine.  One of my favorite postapoc films of all time, definitely in the top three.  The Time Traveler (played by Rod Taylor) ventures forth to the year 802, 701.  He meets a race of people called the Eloi who seem to have been descended from those who survived whatever final cataclysm that destroyed civilization.  Come to find out that they are nothing more than cattle for an underground race, the Morlocks, that are descended from those who escaped below ground.  The Morlocks keep the Eloi fat and happy – so that they can eat them.  It’s quite a nice balance going on…

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