I've finished up chapter 16 of the first draft of Starfire, and you can download it at the bottom of this page.
Seeing as how I've not gotten a book published, I'm very conscious of the word count of my stories. I don't want them to go above much more than 130k words, in hopes that this will give me a better chance at finally attracting an agent that's not full of crap, and getting something published. Like I said before, I had to add in almost 20k words earlier to keep Karen true to her character, and that's a pretty big block of text when you're talking in terms of 130k as a goal. So, taking that into consideration, and the fact that I really didn't want to fall into broken record syndrome, I've decided to take two major fights that were to happen between the Nordhoff and the Doolittle, and combined them into a single engagement starting in this chapter. I think this will cut out a pretty good chunk from the projected word count, whilst better streamlining the flow of events in the story, and keeping the story from stagnating from too much repetition of the same basic events.
This chapter was an homage to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which if you haven't seen it, is one of the greatest films of science fiction ever to be made, and a real display of just all-around brilliant film-making. The limitations of the special effects used at the time forced the writers to be a lot more creative in their characters and situations, and despite the technology available in 1982, those limited special effects still hold up extremely well by today's standards. As with anything staring William Shatner, you can expect quite a bit of ham and cheese, but that's part of the movie's charm, in my opinion, and this one is really one of the better movies in the star trek franchise as far as acting goes, especially in Shatner. He seems to really be taking the role seriously for the first time in this one. ANYWAY, They did something extraordinarily clever in the opening engagement between the Enterprise and the Reliant, in that when they were backed into a corner, they hacked the enemy ship's system, and forced their shields to lower. And that's really the only sci-fi movie that anyone has thought to use that concept in, brilliant an idea as it is. So, I really wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite movies by incorporating this idea into my own story, because if this sort of thing was happening in real life, I guarantee you that the people on these ships are going to be trying to hack through each other's computers to do crap like this. I mean, this movie came out thirty years ago, before hacking really got to be a big thing, I'm really surprised that this idea is not more widespread in current science fiction films and books.
This entire book is basically my paying tribute to all of the science fiction that influenced me as a child. It's an amalgam of ideas and concepts borrowed from Star Trek, Star Wars, Dune, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rodgers, Gundam, Captain Harlock, Space Battleship Yamato, some more than others, and a few I didn't mention. It's kind of my way of saying, thanks for a lifetime of influence, to the entertainment industry as a whole, and here's my take on your ideas with my own story and characters. Hopefully, in the end, it'll turn out as something more original than the sum of its borrowed pieces. It's actually been a whole lot of fun going back to my roots, as it were, and adding all of these things into my story. It's basically me saying to all those that came before me, these are the building blocks that you gave to me, now watch what I can do with them. I'd like to think that I'm not just copying the work of others, but giving little nods of appreciation within a story and world completely of my own creation.
And now I think I'll go celebrate the completion of this chapter by watching The Wrath of Khan.