One of my earliest memories of something science-fiction related is seeing The Return of the Jedi at the drive-in with my parents. I fell asleep in the middle of a space battle. Oops! When I was a teenager, I rented and devoured the original trilogy, then was right there in the theater when it was re-released, moaning along with everyone else when Luke whined about wanting to go to Tosche Station.
Strangely enough, despite falling into dreamland in the middle of a space battle, Star Wars is my original sci-fi love—probably because it tells a familiar story in an amazing, futuristic setting. Everyone can relate to the tale of a young man—Luke—who discovers he has potential he’d never dreamed of, or a rake with a heart of gold—Han—who learns that friendship is more important than saving his own skin.
Other series have compelled me over the years. Babylon 5 was one, and if you haven’t watched that TV series, go find it and watch it now. It is an incredible, encompassing story of heroics against the background of intriguing galactic politics, with love, adventure and heartache thrown in for good measure. Firefly and the follow-up movie, Serenity, will always be favorites of mine—I love how Joss Whedon managed to blend historic and futuristic elements into something new and awesome and how he managed to make men the scariest monsters of all. (But I’ll never forgive him for that leaf on the wind bit.)
While I’m a fan of dystopias and apocalypses in fiction, I’m actually more optimistic than that. I like the future portrayed in Star Trek. I’d like to think that while we’ll have differences to work through with our galactic neighbours, if given the chance to connect peacefully, we will. I also love the Prime Directive—and the number of times that rule is nudged, bent and broken. That’s our humanity, right there.
Star Trek is one of my greatest influences. I have always loved the diversity of the characters and plots, but what kept me (keeps me) watching, is the soap opera aspect. These are the stories of people’s lives and loves, set in a future where anything might and can happen.
The new Battlestar Galactica really captured me. The story telling in that series just blew me away. But even in that darker world, human connection prevails. I’d also count Batman as recreated by Frank Miller as one of my greatest influences. I love the idea of the dark hero—the Dark Knight—a man who isn’t necessarily good, yet does good deeds.
Finally, I’d like to mention Arthur C. Clarke. I’ve always been awed by his science fiction and appreciative of the fact it’s so accessible to readers who don’t hold advanced degrees. His books are written with the spirit of adventure, wonder and optimism with which I approach life. The future should be fascinating, if just a little frightening.
“You’re not real. Felix Ingesson is dead.”
The war with the alien stin is over, but Felix Ingesson has given up on seeing his lover, Zander Anatolius, ever again. Zander’s military file is sealed tighter than an airlock. A former prisoner of war, Felix is attempting a much quieter life keeping his ship, the Chaos, aloft. He almost succeeds, until Zander walks on board and insists that Felix isn’t real.
A retired, broken super soldier, Zander is reeling from the aftereffects of his experimental training and wants nothing more than to disappear and wait for insanity to claim him. Then he sees footage of a friend and ally—a super soldier like him—murdering an entire security squad with her bare hands and a cold, dead look in her eyes. He never expected to find Felix, the man he’d thought dead for years, on the ship he hired to track her down.
Working with Felix to rescue his teammate is a dream come true…and a nightmare. Zander has no exit strategy that will leave Felix unscathed—or his own heart unbroken.
Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.
The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.