Friday, August 15, 2014

Space Planes, Future Trains, and Flying Automobiles

Well, what else did you expect from a SciFi romance author? :P One of my great loves about writing SF? Spaceships! I love them. As a child I dreamed of being a Jedi Knight and building my own X-wing at the bottom of the garden, or hopping aboard the TARDIS and travelling through time. Sigh. Maybe that's why I write.

And on our second date my now husband of 21 years gave me a Corgi model of iconic space vehicle The Liberator, from cult British SF series Blake's Seven. True love! He recognized me for the total geek I was (although I think only recently he's realised quite how deeply ingrained that is). Oh, and a TARDIS too - not much to look at but what scifi fan could turn their nose up as something that can cross time AND space!

Anyhow, writing about futuristic craft of all kinds is one of the things I enjoy most. In my YA SciFi Gethyon, not only did my character drool over the gift of a much admired Spirit Drifter (a spacecraft adored by many teens in his world), but I took a great deal of pleasure describing it myself, and hunting through stock images to find the perfect one. The Spirit Drifter was a mixture of the morphing silver ship from Flight of the Navigator and the description of Hotblack Desiato's suncrash craft in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

But I don't just do spacecraft. In November I have a decopunk superhero romance coming out. Decopunk because it's set in an alternative 1920s, with airships and flying bikes powered by diesel, buses that levitate, diabolical devices that burn the skies to keep the city forever dark--technology ahead of its era. I have good, old-fashioned sailing ships in my SFR Keir, where a conflict between a modern, futuristic society and a traditional, island living one divides the dominant saurian race. Taking part in the Tall Ships Race in 1988 left me a lasting love of sailing. But I'm just as fond of a trip in an airplane.

Transportation is just one part of world building that gives me a thrill, and always something I'd love to do myself. But in my latest release, my heroine actually despises space travel, especially when it involves using warp space to cross interstellar distances. She has no idea how lucky she is...

So if you got the chance to travel through space (or even time too) would you take it? Or, like my heroine Tyree from Tethered, would you want to run screaming in the opposite direction?


Judith Ashley said...

I've always been fascinated with the NASA pictures of the galaxy, the PBS program, Cosmos, was one of my favorites - so, I'd jump at the chance to see these places up close!

Sarah Raplee said...

I'd jump aboard! Getting abducted by aliens is on my husband's bucket list, BTW! So was seeing a ghost (he did that one, but finding Bigfoot has yet to be accomplished. I think many SF fans are adventurous geeks like us.