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DIS: Blog

UNDER THE INFLUENCE

 

 

 

Let's talk influences.

 

When I was writing The Cold Forever, I had a very good idea of what I wanted to infuse that story with. I had this cacophony of noise in my head, and I needed to kind of let it all out. To let it become its own thing.

 

It's really just a soup of all these things I grew up with. The book is science fiction, so I threw just about everything I could remember into it. Yeah, it may seem familiar to some people. Someone had remarked that the battles reminded him of Transformers and Iron Man. What a coincidence. I love Transformers and Iron Man.

 

But that's not all that's in this book. I distinctly remember thinking up of ways to do the action scenes in the far future part of the story. When I was drafting the concept, the idea for that particular time line was to make it seem like it was going to be a fantasy. Knights, creatures, wizards. And then slowly, it would morph into what it really was - a science fiction story. 

 

It was suppose to be bait and switch.

 

I took Arthur C. Clark's idea, that future technology would seem like magic to us, literally. So I have weapons that are suppose to resemble magic wands. I have a character that can perform incredible feats, which was suppose to allude to him being a wizard. Then there's the whole "going on a quest" trope that permeates a lot of fantasy literature.

 

I quickly abandoned that idea, however. The story stayed the same, but I didn't try to hide the science fiction part of it as much in the later drafts. It's fairly straight forward now. I felt that the mild deception really served no purpose.

 

So back to the action scenes. How do I make them interesting? How do I make them somewhat unique? Yeah, it's the future. And, yeah, people have crazy weapons. But I've always loved hand to hand combat. And martial arts. And armor. 

 

And anime.

 

A light went off in my head when I finally got to one of the first major action scenes. I was raised on anime. I was raised on Gundam Wing and Dragon Ball Z. And Ghost In The Shell. And Akira.

 

So my futuristic action scenes became an amalgamation of all of that. My characters flew through lightening stricken skies, while pummeling each other, in their advanced armor.

 

To the question of why would characters wielding advanced weaponry, choose to fight each other in hand to hand combat, I say, because it is more fun. More interesting. More visually arresting. So what, if it's not all that logical. That's really not the point. My goal was to entertain, not to create an exercise in realism.

 

There are other parts of the story, of course, that required other types of influences. There was a mystery to be solved. There was time travel. There was an alien. I took the ingredients I picked from my favorite entertainment medias and crafted a dish that had no name. If you get nothing else from my book, you'll at least have to agree that you've never read anything like it before. I know I haven't.

 

While my book is crammed with ideas I'd absorbed from movies and books from my past, my hope is that all of these influences were filtered through my own, unique prism. That I'd crafted a story that was very different, yet had echoes of things from the past. Something people could grab onto, lured in by the familiar. Then they could experience a story, unlike any other. 

 

I think, for the most part, I'd succeeded. You tell me, though.

 

That's not all I grew up on, of course. My next book, The Kill Stack, is about as far from science fiction as you could get. There you'll get to see my other side. One of many, to be sure.

_________

 

Real quick.

 

If you're an indie author, and you're interested in doing a review exchange. Please let me know. I'm still looking for people to participate.