Saturday, October 19, 2013
Rescue Brokers, Bounty Hunters, Smugglers, and Mercenaries: Gusto for Hire
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 contract to come to an individual person's or even an entire civilization's rescue.
Mike's rescue broker par excellence is his single-name character Stelfson, featured in Mike's story, "No Revolution is Too Big." (It turns out Stelfson has that on a business card.) Stelfson doesn't like to waste time or put up with silly questions. He's a bit surly, at times dryly funny, and always keeps focused on the business at hand--which ultimately, is business.
Mike's tale has been launched as a separate short story that will eventually be in an anthology of the same name (the picture of the already-designed cover is at the top of this blog post). A number of other authors have contributed short stories about Stelfson and his adventures in the galaxy, including me. My own contribution to the Stelfson saga is called: No Revolution Too Small and it definitely paints Stelfson in the "hidden heart of gold" category. It will the the fourth story released (one is coming out once per week for the next ten weeks--as of 17 OCT 2013) in the group and will eventually be in the anthology when it comes out.
But as a story concept, a rescue broker is in no way limited to Stelfson. There could be as many flavors of "rescue broker" as there are flavors of other types of characters for hire. Check out Mike's story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Kobo and feel free to come up with your own version of the idea...
(For my own 99 cent story in this series, please follow this No Revolution Too Small Kindle link.)