Hello, friends and fans!
Given my previous articles “50 Secrets, Insights & Behind The Scenes Nuggets In ‘Underground Movement’, ‘Xanadu’ & ‘The Last Hurrah’“, “60+ Secrets, Insights & Behind The Scenes Nuggets In The Galaxii Series” and “60 Secrets, Insights & Behind The Scenes Nuggets In Panic! Horror In Space“, I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of similar insights into the three current books of “Space Sucks!” now available on Amazon! Does space suck? Well, you can find out right here!
- The series started out as just one book, first published in 2006, then titled “Space Sux!”.
- It originally contained fewer stories as when it was republished again in 2016, as “Space Sucks!“, with the first book in the series being called “Space Sucks!“.
- “Code Red” was originally a high school composition from 1988. I completely reworked it for this book, but the spirit of the story is the same.
- “Code Red” may seem innocent, childlike and humorous, but it raises the question: should humans encounter aliens in future with superior technology, how are we to know if they are “good guys” or villains? How can we know their intent?
- “Code Red” also raises the point that because of their superior tech, aliens making first contact with Earth could easily subjugate humanity to their own will, and addresses this reality via humor.
- “The Devils In The Sky” is a short story written in 1993, which discusses the sort of encounter a spaceship from Earth might have with a hostile alien spacecraft. After all, we know they’re watching us, we just don’t know why. And this encounter sets out a sort of “test of strength” by which they rate humans in a real-world experiment, but what is the outcome of the experiment?
- The original working title for “The Devils In The Sky” was “Test Of Strength”.
- “A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion” dates from 1995 and is a humorous look at the experiences of the aforementioned person, who happens to be part of the security section aboard a space station fraught with social disorder and the threat of sabotage and terrorism.
- “Beyond” (1998) – Captain Lisa Barnes is the commander of the first starship to venture from our solar system to another using a faster-than-light warp drive. As such, her name will become prominent in both the news, and history. There’s just one thing that might prove embarrassing to the authorities – the detail that she had changed genders many years ago, threatens to become public knowledge. It falls to her immediate superior and old friend to decide what to do about it – to either acquiesce to his orders to have her replaced at the last minute, or to stall and delay to give her the opportunity she’d earned through hard work and dedication to her duty.
- I wrote “Beyond” while dealing with my own gender identity awakening. It would be another year before I would finally first approach someone in the medical profession about it, and another year after that before I would start my transition.
- I wrote the entirety of “Beyond” in one go, in one night, with pen and paper.
- The title refers to the act of “going beyond” – as in going beyond the edge of the solar system.
- The characters Mykl Sanchez and Lisa Barnes were borrowed from “Galaxii” (the prequel to “Blachart”) which was much later published as “Best Served Cold”. In BSC, both are flight crew aboard the same destroyer as the main character, Alex Nikolls – another transwoman. “Beyond” is set about ten years after that.
- “Beyond” was also published in the anthology “For Love Of Leelah” (2015), a tribute to a transgender teen who committed suicide as a result of transphobic bullying.
- “I, Mac” (2006) is a humorous little story about unexpected opportunities for revenge, and how it can truly be a healing experience – especially if you happen to find a talking cat in your apartment you don’t remember having.
- The incident with the plastic cricket bat actually happened to me. I was 6 years old, and the other kid was a nasty little ruffian called Martin, who lived upstairs from me in the same block of flats I lived in at the time. He was a cruel little bully who used to kill chameleons by squashing them with stones, but I was too young and small to stop him. Since there was nobody else to play with, all the kids at the flat played together – this incident with the cricket bat was one result. Fortunately I required no stitches.
- Eric’s experience of being swung around by his ankles by Elvis was also based on one of my childhood experiences, this time at the hands of an older cousin of mine, but there the similarities end. The rest was imagined under creative license.
- I started “I, Mac” in 2005, but ran into a bit of writer’s block and didn’t continue it again until I was in bed recovering from my Gender Confirmation Surgery in February 2006. Therefore, this story has the distinction of being the first one I completed after that momentous yet torturous occasion.
- “I, Mac” has been published in several anthologies, including “The Coinage Book #1” (October 2016) and “The Science Fiction Novelists 2023 SciFi Anthology” (2023).
- “Space Sucks Too!” was the second title in the series, first published in (2019).
- “Little Green Men” (2014) is probably one of the funniest short stories I’ve written so far.
- This story is probably the only for which I’ve received hand-drawn art from fans, who showed me what they thought the Idet and the Soluut looked like! It was most touching and flattering!
- This story has the distinction of once being included in the curriculum for a class of adult-education English second language students in France.
- “Good Evening, Mr. Gleeb” (2018) was inspired by listening to a few podcasts and late night talk radio. The topic was, you guessed it, “alien visitations and crop circles – discuss!” It was on one of those nights where anything could happen, and the result was this story.
- “The Storming Of Area 51” came about because of all the hype surrounding the ‘Storm Area 51, they can’t stop all of us!’ thing doing the rounds in 2019. People from all over the world said they were going, and so this created a perfect opportunity to pull out all the stops, and this story is the result.
- Compared to the story, the actual event was a major disappointment.
- This story also appeared in “See Them Aliens” (Moon Books Publishing), 2019.
- “Midnight Station” (2014) is a story about two vampires, inspired by my research and interaction with the Online Vampire Community (OVC).
- “Midnight Station” appeared in “All That Remains” (JEA), 2015.
- “The Broken-tipped Sword” (2019) is an introduction to “Best Served Cold” the prequel novel to the Galaxii Series.
- “The Ghost And The Machine” (2019) is a philosophical take on the advancement of technology and speculates on what might happen when humans first create a working teleporter and step through it. Will the technology be able to send the WHOLE human being through from one place to the other, complete and intact? Or would something be left behind? Something intangible, like, say – the soul?
- I found the idea of being instantly “ghosted” by a prototype transporter, like Professor Nimitz, quite frightening.
- “The Ghost And The Machine” appeared in several anthologies, including “Christina Engela’s Strangely Compelling SciFi” (Moon Books Publishing), (2019); “Space Sucks Too!” (2019); “The Science Fiction Novelists 2023 SciFi Anthology” (2023).
- “Space Really Sucks!” is the third book in this series, and was published in 2022.
- The Day The Sun Went Out” (2020) was a political and satirical social commentary on the state of the world, particularly the USA which appeared to have been overrun by populist politicians, science-denialists and authoritarianism.
- In it, I demonstrate how – no matter the circumstances, science always takes the role of being a tool of those in power, and how they use that tool as a means of staying in power, just as religion has.
- This story also appeared in the anthology “Axevictims” (Roxbrough), 2020.
- “Death By Vampire” (2015) is set on Deanna, the same setting as the Quantum Series.
- The protagonist of “Death By Vampire”, Lirian Nimah, also appears in books 7, 8 and 9 of the Quantum Series, as a side-character.
- The venue of Lirian Nimah’s meeting, the Jim-waian cafe – the Insug’h Bahss – was created for this short story, and it was also the first time I wrote about the Jim-waians as well. Both of these two elements became part of the lore of Deanna, the main setting of the Quantum Series as part of my effort to illustrate Deanna as a more diverse melting-pot of human and alien culture and interaction.
- The blood of Jim-waians is green, hence the green stones are called “blood diamonds”.
- According to Lirian Nimah, vampires don’t like green blood much. Apparently it tastes of copper and old sponge.
- “Overkill”, “Barracuda”, “The Ace”, “Going Quantum”, “Broken Promises”, “A Nine In Time”, and “Escape From Paradise” were all originally available as promotional items, each with their own covers.
- “It Happened In Late October” (2022), was another social commentary on the status quo, where the world collides with the plot of a really bad Studio Universal disaster movie: there’s a nuclear exchange, a gigantic meteor strikes the Pacific basin, and tsunamis and earthquakes for everyone! Just then, a couple of passing UFOs drop by, making things even weirder for trucker Mack Harrison.
Well, that’s that – quite a long list of things you probably never knew about Space Sucks!. You can find all these books on Amazon as eBooks and paperbacks, with the first one also available as an audiobook.
I truly hope you enjoy reading these books!
- About Space Sucks!
- “Space Sucks!” – Now Available As An Audiobook!
- New Release (Just In Time For Giftmas): Space Really Sucks!
- FAQ’s Answered #5 Does Space Really Suck?
- Fun Fact #5: Flortians – The Real ‘Little Green Men’