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Showing posts from October, 2013

Rescue Brokers, Bounty Hunters, Smugglers, and Mercenaries: Gusto for Hire

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Some of the most colorful characters in science fiction and fantasy are those whose primary interest is--or seems to be--collecting the money due them. Whether it turns out the hired hand in fact has a hidden heart of gold like Han Solo, or is nothing but surly voice in scarred armor like Boba Fett, characters who enter the plot with apparent or real disdain in the outcome of the story allows them to casually wisecrack when more engaged characters like Luke Skywalker are committed to being sincere, which at times makes them a bit boring.

I must say I'm an earnest kind of guy myself, which is probably why I usually write sincere characters who deeply care. About everything.

So when my friend Mike Lynch invited me to write a story about his "Rescue Broker," a category of character he created himself, I didn't know what to think. A rescue broker is someone who will do pretty much anything a bounty hunter, smuggler, or mercenary would do, but as specifically hired on co…

Magical Space Opera

In the vast realm of speculative fiction, there exist a number of blends of science fiction and fantasy. "Magical space opera" is term I haven't heard used before, but a relative of mine in the know says isn't original to me. But perhaps what I mean by the term isn't standard and can inspire some stories of a new type.

To get to what I mean, let's define space opera. Wikipedia has it as:  "A subgenre of science fiction that often emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, usually involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities. The term has no relation to music but is analogous to 'soap opera'."

A lot people think of classic science fiction stories when they think of space opera (an example I'd give is Ray Gun Revival, which deliberately tried to revive the style of Golden Age science fiction space opera). But really, as opposed to hard science fiction (wh…