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Tevun-Krus #4 - Space Opera

Tevun-Krus #4

Space Opera

Copyright 2016 Contributing Authors

Shakespir Edition

Welcome one, welcome all to the most epic issue of Tevun Krus to date—the time the writers of Wattpad took on the galaxies: Space Opera!

This month’s authors looked inside themselves and dusted off the kid inside them. You know, the one who used to watch the stars at night? Felt a tug deep inside their little hearts when E.T. decided to phone home. Shed a little tear when Luke found his father (or his sister, for that matter; but for entirely different reasons). 

They dusted it off, broke out their keyboards, and wrote some of the best tid-bits and divvies Forbidden Planet has ever seen. 

So, open her up. Dig around in the engine room and see for yourself what she's made of. In these next pages, you will find stories, thoughts, facts, and fiction that will take you to the ends of the earth? No, farther than that-- the universe

Buckle up, friends. Hit the throttle. Sit back and enjoy the ride. 

Welcome to TK4, Space Opera.

Watt’s Inside?

1 – Space Opera Defined – An Article by @AngusEcrivain

2 – Author Spotlight: @bloodsword – The popular author of Risen & Risen: Darklight as well as Forbidden Planet regular, sat down with TK to answer a few questions. Check out his answers, here!

3 – Smith & Jones – They’re back again! TK’s favourite men are trapped in a Sci-Fi loop. Where will Space Opera take them?

4 – [* Author Spotlight: @AngusEcrivain *] – The author of the Half Light series, this guys whips out entire universes before the rest of us finish breakfast. Check out his answers from a sit down with TK, here!

5 – [* From Metal to Millennium – An Article by @AlexSCard *]

6 – JUMP – [_ This month’s featured short brought to you by @Ooorah regular, @sigrist. _]

7 – Why Space Opera is Better than Real Opera – [_ A satire brought to you by the witty @MadMikeMarsbergen. _]

8 – Star Clash: A Review – [_ This month’s featured story is the recent winner of the SciFi Smackdown. Check out the review of @elveloy’s ] Star Clash, _here.

9 – Closing Time@parishsp wraps up this month’s issue and reveals the next subgenre!

Space Opera Defined

Star Wars. You think Space Opera, and that’s the first thing that springs to mind. The epic battle of good versus evil. Who could ever forget that moment when Vader puts Ben Kenobi down, the clash of light sabres, the screech of TIE Fighters and Leia calling Han Solo a Nerf Herder?!

The original trilogy influenced a generation of Science Fiction writers. I grew up with Star Wars, it was a massive part of my youth. Bearing that in mind it should come as little surprise that many of the ideas and ideals found therein have weaved their way into my own work, too. One thing I know for certain is that I’m not alone in that.

When the prequel trilogy was released, it had much the same effect. It reignited the Star Wars love for some whilst at the same time introducing a whole new generation to it.

I’m not going spend this entire article discussing Star Wars, though I could quite easily do so!

If you’re writing – or thinking about writing – Space Opera, then you gotta’ think big. I mean seriously huge, absolutely monstrous, sizes of astronomic proportions. You get the point, right? As the old saying goes, bigger – in the case of Space Opera, anyway – is most definitely better. I’m not necessarily saying that you have to have enormous characters who dwarf all of those who stand before them, although you could do so if that’s what you want to do. 

No, what I’m talking about is big personalities, larger than life characters who wear their hearts on their sleeves. 

I’m talking about epic quests where the only two possible outcomes are either the continuation or the cessation of life.

I’m talking about the most evil, foul beings your human mind can conceive.

I’m talking about love and hate, honour and justice, black and white with not a shade of grey in sight.

The thing is, there really are no limits when it comes to writing Space Opera. If you can imagine it, then your readers will be able to imagine it. There is no such thing as ,“No, you can’t do that,” in Space Opera, because you [_can _]do that. You can do whatever the Hell you want. The Universe, quite literally, is your oyster. Put your pen to paper, fingers to keys… Leave that cigarette burning in the ashtray for a moment, and write whatever comes to mind!

Now if I may, I’m going to refer back to Star Wars. You may have noticed, assuming you’ve watched the movies or read any of the novels, that the Star Wars Universe features elements not only of other sub-genres of Sci-Fi – SpacePunk, for example – but there’s Fantasy in there, too. In fact, way back in the day the creators/writers/etc of Star Wars refused to label it as Sci-Fi. Instead they called it Science Fantasy and I suppose that’s pretty much what Space Opera is. An enormous melting pot where elements of both Sci-Fi and Fantasy are thrown in and cranked up to eleven. An amalgamation chewed up and spat back out again, resulting in icky mess of mashed-up awesomeness. A sub-genre so cliché ridden it redefines the term and yet a good, well written, delicately crafted and well planned Space Opera really does work!

Author Spotlight: @bloodsword

[[email protected] was lucky enough to squeeze some answers out of one of Wattpad’s most solid writers—@bloodsword. As the author of _]Risen [_& _]Risen: Darklight, [[email protected] creates worlds, and builds stories with the best of them. Enjoy his answers here. _]

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So, who are you—tell us a little about yourself.

Ah, a little about myself.  That, I can do.  My name is Shawn, a proud Western Canadian that has travelled across the US and Europe, gathering life experience for what I love doing most: writing.  When I’m NOT doing that, I enjoy music, hockey (Canadian … what do you expect? =)), watching the stars and taking in good movies.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since my early teens after a series of sci-fi books left me thinking me and my imagine could do much better.  After I was challenged by a friend to do just that, I started and haven’t looked back.

Why SciFi?

I’ve always been fascinated by technology and the advances we see in it almost every day.  I have a degree in Information Technology, which lends itself well to tech research and I love dreaming about future worlds, peoples and possibilities.

What’s your favourite story you’ve written?

Hard to say. As a writer, Every story I’ve written I like.

What is your fan’s favourite story you’ve written?

I would say it’s a toss up between Risen, a sci-fi/paranormal novel of undead armies fighting an alien invasion, or it’s sequel, Risen: Darklight.

Who are some of your influences? Favourite writers?

I’ve had a number of inspirations, both people and situations.  The first moon walk, Halley’s Comet, Steve Jobs, the Hubble Telescope are a few I can name.  Anything that makes me think about the future.  And some of the sci-fi writers I like include Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimon, Saberhagen, Heinlein, Andre Norton, Harry Harrison, Philip Jose Farmer, just to name a few.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

I find inspiration in everyday heroes, like firefighters, police officers and common citizens thrown into uncommon situations.  Nobility and honour, determination and grit; these characteristics often find their way into my characters.  Things that amaze me and make my eyes go wide with wonder.  =)  These things I find inspiring.

We know some of the big authors, Orson Scott Card or Tolkien for example, incorporate their religion into their work. Are you religious? If so, do you incorporate it into your stories?

I am religious but also realize that my view about religion isn’t universally shared.  So while I often give a nod to religion and greater powers than our own, I try not to make them a central theme so All of my readers can enjoy my work.

Others say your first novel is usually autobiographical in nature. Did you find this was the case? Do you ever base characters or situations off real life situations? How do you balance that?

I do, actually.  My first novel was the fantasy epic, The Sons of Ironstorm Chronicles: Griffon’s Rise, featuring three characters named after my brothers and I.  Of course, my character wasn’t as dorky as I am, nor are my brothers’ characters as goofy as they are in real life, but they do share some similarities.  And it dictates a life-long quest to understand oneself which, when I started the story as a teen, I certainly was attempting to do.

Who is your favourite character you’ve written into a story? Why?

I have a handful.  In the sci-fi world, I would say one of my favourite is Max Niekro, the undead juggernaut protagonist in my Risen series.  I also liked the Traveller in one of my short stories, and van Joss, the super operative in Hand Over Fist, a post-apocalyptic piece of sci-fi I wrote.  They epitomize the type of hero I like: gritty, driven, and brainy.

Walk us through your writing process—how does it begin? What do you do when you get stuck? How do you decide when the story is over?

I am an organic writer.  So often I brainstorm to get an idea and once it’s in my head, I start writing sans overview or outline.  I like the story to grow of its own accord.  But when I Do get stuck, I will often switch to another story to keep the creative process going and hopefully get a little cross-pollination going to kick-start the original story back up.  And the story is over when I’ve tied up all my story threads to my satisfaction, . . five pages or five hundred pages later.

[* (& in the spirit of this month’s theme—Space Opera) *]

Big worlds, big stories, new creatures—how do you manage it all and make it believable?

Well, having a biology degree helps, actually, in creating believable creatures and biospheres.  Keep things within the realm of the known to create a foundation, then use logic to expand and grow.  Keeping track of various races and storylines means creating viable threads within those stories involving the races and their backstories.  I could spend an entire book on the backstory of some of these creatures.  And, with that backstory in mind, it allows me to keep the characters true to their racial backstory and to the characteristics and behaviour they evolved with.

One of the most inviting, and at the same time, most intimidating things about Space Opera is that is so wide-open. How did you get involved in writing this subgenre specifically?

To me, Space Opera is the interplay of characters with a downplay in the role of technology.  Character development and interaction then becomes the driving point, with logical dialogue and true-to-backstory situations.  I love creating and developing new characters and placing them into such interactive roles, which segues nicely with Space Opera.

What’s the hardest part about writing Space Opera? …your favourite?

Hardest thing is keeping the scope manageable and not letting it get away from me.  Favourite thing is creating new races and backstories.  I love world building.  =)

You’re stuck on a spaceship, not sure where you’re headed; what’s in your backpack?

Hmm, good question.  I’d say a point-to-point transporter a la Star Trek, an air supply, some instant rations, water and a damn good book.  Oh, and a towel, of course.  =)

Smith & Jones

[_ In case you missed it, last month, @AngusEcrivain debuted our new monthly series, ] Smith & Jones. [ Well, Smith , Jones, and their new female companion are at it again, this time Space Opera style. We hope you enjoy the second instalment of Smith & Jones penned this month, by @parishsp! _]

______________________________________________

“…happens.” She finished as they stumbled to a stop.

The momentum of their forceful trip sent the trio skidding across the slick, metal floor. The gentlemen looked up at the gracefully, still standing redhead from their places on the floor. “Who in the bloody hell are you?” Smith spat as he clamoured to stand.

Jones elbowed the now sleek pack into a more comfortable position as he stared wide-eyed at the man, “Mr. Smith, how dare you speak to… to…” Jones looked suddenly confused, “I do believe we have not been properly introduced, madam.” Putting his hand to his waist, he gave a little bow, “Mr. Archibald Jones at your service.”

“Jones! What are you wearing?” Smith exclaimed, pointing towards his comrade in the most rudely of fashions.

“It’s a spacesuit,” the misses replied, referring to the fitted suit the men wore. “Your clothing and weapons are subject to the loop. And the name’s Chris, by the way.”

Jones startled, the confused look still upon his face, “Chris?” he asked, “I say, that’s a man’s name.”

Smith interrupted, “Jones—“

Kris, one hand on hip, tilted her head towards her accuser. The tilt sent waves of red hair tumbling over her shoulder. “Not if it’s short for Christina, sir.”

“Jones, my lady,” Smith tried again.

“But why would you ruin a perfectly soft, feminine name such as Christina by replacing it with the name of a man?”

Chris stepped closer to Jones, “Are you saying I’m not a lady?”

“Well, you are dressed in men’s pants. Wait, why is your clothing unchanged?” For Chris was still dressed in her leather that left little to the imagination. It was not that Jones minder, per say, but the principle of the matter.

“Because I’m not affected by the loop same as y’all.”

“Because you started it, I suppose.” Jones spat rather venomously.

Chris’ mouth fell open, “Who pissed in your grits?”

Jones gulped air in surprise, “Such language!” he scoffed. “First your name, then that ridiculous attire, now—“

“MR. JONES!” Smith stated firmly.

Jones ceased his tirade, throwing his hands down, and causing his pack to shake, “Mr. Smith!” He returned, “What do you want?”

The two ceased fighting long enough to give Smith their attention only to find him very still, with a somewhat frightened look on his face. As their eyes followed his hand, their faces slowly transformed to match.  

“Holy—“ Chris started only to be cut off by Jones.

“What in the bloody hell?”

Smith inched across the platform, closer to his traveling mates, “Normally, this would be the time I would be so inclined to point out that your use of the English language is not suited for mixed company.”

Jones ignored him and instead looked over to Chris, shaggy brows furrowed over his matching brown eyes, “Missus Chris, would you care to explain our situation?” he spat out of the corner of his mouth.

Chris scoffed, “What? Why’m I the one with all the answers?”

Jones rolled his eyes, “Maybe because you are the one who got us into this metal cavern in the first place.” His tone was increasing in speed and volume. “You could at least have the decency to explain why we are surrounded by these, these foreign creatures!”

The foreign creatures as Jones so eloquently put it were actually the m’Vemjsunp—a particularly gruesome blob-like alien race with numerous tentacles and imposing stature. Jones, Smith and Chris had landed themselves plop in the middle of the m’Vemjsunp ship’s common area, where the creatures were currently congregated. The good news was that Smith, Jones, and Chris were on a raised platform in the center of the room—intended for entertainment, for the m’Vemjsunp were a particularly lively crew when not faced with intruders or stowaways. The m’Vemjsunp slapped their appendages against the metal interior of the ship, spitting and spatting as they began to move, stirred to action by the intruders’ silence.

The bad news was, “They’re coming straight for us!” Smith said in an elevated tone. Wasting no time, Smith raised his gun, only to look at it in a perplexed fashion; the clockwork and dials had been replaced with a sleek, shiny black and grey stripe that matched Jones’ space suit nicely.

In the moment that it took Smith to reconsider his weapon, Chris stepped up and swatted it down, simultaneously gathering Mr. Smith in her surprisingly strong arms while muttering something about stupid men and their guns under her breath.

Smith startled as Chris pushed him into the Chest of Jones, “My lady, I do—“

”Shut it, Smith,” Chris said as she sandwiched him between them, blowing hair out of her face as she reached around Jones to his pack. “Hold on, boys,” and with a press of her finger, Jones felt his feet leave the floor.

A very startled Smith threw his arms around the woman in front of him, only to notice that the woman in question had looped her arms around him and through the straps of Jones’ pack.

“An anti-gravity pack,” Chris supplied as they shot up in the massive cavern of the ship, past the ways, walks, and levels packed with slapping, spitting m’Vemjsunp. “Jones!” Chris shouted over the rising noise. They were almost at the ceiling—a breath-taking dome filled with more stars than either Smith or Jones had ever imagined were beyond their small island on their small planet. “Left!”

Jones, without hesitation, grabbed the nearest railing, and shot the odd group to his left. The three picked up speed as they propelled themselves through a large rounded tunnel, past large crowds of startled m’Vemjsunp who were headed in the opposite direction.

“There!” Chris said with a point of her finger that sent them of course, bouncing into the nearest wall.

Jones spit out a mouth full of red hair, “Madame, if you do not mind.”

Sir, I am trying to get us to a ship,” she returned.

“A ship?” Jones rebutted, “Who will drive the blasted thing?”

Smith could feel Chris roll her eyes, “Well, if you’re good, I might fly it for you.”

From his sandwiched spot, Smith supplied, in a wide-eyed fashion, “Ground!” for in their arguing, Chris and Jones had failed to realize that their last run in with the wall had killed the anti-gravity pack. The trio had been falling, though they were none the wiser. They did, however, notice the small group of large m’Vemjsunp herded around a moderately sized dull, black ship.

Chris hit the ground first, and used her own momentum to propel the men rolling in the opposite direction. “Smith!” she yelled. “Your gun!”

“Miss Chris, I do not know how I feel about shooting—“

Before he could finish, “Put the thing on stun, then!” Chris suggested, taking off toward the ship—and therefore, the aliens she expected Smith to take care of—“Let’s go! Come on!” She yelled back over her shoulder.

Smith looked down at his weapon, and sure enough, there was a small dial with two options: stun or kill. Smith opted for the former and began shooting, mindful not to hit the quick moving woman.

“Smith!” Jones shouted, “behind you!”

In one smooth motion, Smith turned his back to the stunned m’Vemjsunp, his duelling partner, and the woman who was not shimmying into the bottom of the ship they were in the process of pirating, only to find a host of angry aliens headed their way at a remarkable speed.

“My, they do move at remarkable speeds for such dense creatures, don’t they?” Jones remarked, watching the approaching hoard with a slight tilt to his head.

Smith pulled the trigger, releasing a small pulse that rendered the front lines of the mass immovable. “They do, Jones. Quite remarkable.”

Chris interrupted their observations by sticking her head out the bottom of the ship, hair falling wildly, “Move your asses, boys!”

Smith and Jones, officially shaken out of their revelry, turned, sprinting towards the ship. Smith folded his hands, and as Jones put his foot on his friend’s laced fingers, remarked, “What kind of woman have we found ourselves keeping company with, Smith?”

Smith shrugged in response as Jones reached down to pull him up, “A quite unordinary sort, that’s for sure. I would dare say she’s remarkable.” Jones slapped the hatch shut and smiled off after Smith as he ducked into the control room where Chris was a flurry of action.

“Sit down and buckle up, boys,” she said as she slapped buttons and jerked levers. Both Smith and Jones did exactly as requested without question. The ship gave a shudder as she pulled a large lever down slowly, “It’s time to blow this popsicle stand.”

With that, the ship shot forward—back over the heads of the hoard of m’Vemjsunp now filling the hold, and through the tunnel in a wibbly-wobbly fashion.

Smith and Jones grappled for restraints as they zipped out into the open space of before. “Miss Chris! Where do you think you are taking us?” Mr. Jones yelled as his belt finally clicked shut.

From the front of the ship, Chris smiled at no one in particular as she pointed the ship at the large glass dome. “I don’t know, boys,” she said, flinging her hair back and winking over her shoulder. “Wherever the loop takes us.”

[+ Author Spotlight: @AngusEcrivain +]

[_ Mars, Inc., The Feifdom of Thirty-nine Galaxies, and--who can forget--the great, epic, ever expanding Half-Light series? The only author who can create these witty, wild, and sassy worlds is Forbidden Planet's very own @AngusEcrivain. Who better to interview for the TK: Space opera issue than the man who would perhaps be more at home on the Serenity, itself?  _]

_________________________________________

So, who are you—tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Angus Ecrivain – or Dan, to those in the loop. I’ve been around here for going on four years now. I’ve seen Wattpad grow and develop into the quite wonderful site that it is today and I hope to be around for a few more years, if only to see what Wattpad becomes!

So yes as I said, I’m Angus Ecrivain. It’s quite likely I’m the most random person and offensive you’ll ever encounter. My stories rarely follow traditional rules but that’s the way I like it, makes me feel all rebellious and shit.

My life outside Wattpad is shrouded in mystery but here, allow me to remove that shroud for a moment. I have a wife and a puppy. We live in a house in a village near a town in Sussex in South-East England. I work the graveyard shift and have done so for the last seven years but I kinda’ like it because it means I don’t have to deal with too many stupid people.

Years ago I played football and not quite so many years ago I played guitar and sang in a fair few rock bands. Now I’m far too unfit for the former and haven’t touched either of my guitars for a while.

When did you begin writing?

Well now, that happened during a particularly long and boring night shift. It was nothing more than an idea that I simply had to write down. There really wasn’t much to it but it’s since grown into a Space Opera of epic proportions. The original prologue to Half-Light started life as a mere three hundred words and the current word count sits somewhere about 650,000. I suppose that just goes to show that even the smallest, simplest ideas can develop into something absolutely bloody awesome.

I still work nights, however I no longer have the time during my shifts to write. That’s fair enough I suppose, considering I get paid to work! Every chance I do get though, at work or otherwise, the chances are I’m writing!

Why SciFi?

Why not SciFi? For me it’s the logical genre in which to write. It gives more freedom than any other – aside from Fantasy, to be fair. Anyone who’s read my work knows that my mind works in random and mysterious ways so taking that into consideration, there really is no other genre in which I’d rather write.

What’s your favourite story you’ve written?

Getting Stephen Laid, definitely. The idea for the novel formed whilst I was reading ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ for the millionth time. It’s been described as an R-Rated version of that Science Fiction classic and for me that’s a massive, massive compliment. It was so much fun to write, too. A story about a man so ugly and yet incredibly well endowed and his quest to get his end away, saving the Universe in the process. It’s riddled with clichés and obscenities and that’s probably why it’s my favourite. I think it’s fair to say that whilst writing it, I wasn’t taking myself seriously in the slightest!

What is your fan’s favourite story you’ve written?

I honestly don’t know but I’d like to think their favourite is Half-Light. That’s the story that got me into writing and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I put every drop of blood, sweat and tears into that tale. It’s not complete, either. The story – albeit a few generations down the line – is in the process of being continued!

Who are some of your influences? Favourite writers?

Sir Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, Jack Campbell, Max Barry Stephen King, Frank Herbert, Rob Grant, Doug Naylor and of course, Grant Naylor… I don’t know, the list is probably endless. I’m quite partial to a wee bit of Big Will and I do enjoy reading George RR Martin. My favourite writers are those who manage to craft a tale and grab my attention and then out of nowhere, hit me with a sock full of pennies in the nads with some twist that I never saw coming.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Everywhere, quite literally. I was driving the other day – only a short drive to pick up some cigarettes for the missus – and I shit you not I had to pull over and jot a basic synopsis for a new story down on my phone. The inspiration there was a football – soccer ball, if you’re less refined – simply rolling down the pavement.

Sometimes, ideas come when I’m dreaming, watching TV or during conversation. Other times, and these are the ideas we all love to get, they hit me like a fucking train.

We know some of the big authors, Orson Scott Card or Tolkein for example, incorporate their religion into their work. Are you religious? If so, do you incorporate it into your stories?

I’m not religious in the slightest, however that doesn’t stop me incorporating it into my works. Even though I don’t believe I find the concept and mythology that surrounds all forms of belief quite fascinating. Very few of my characters have any religious affiliation and that isn’t on purpose, I think it’s more to do with me subconsciously affecting the characters I write.

Religious figures do appear in my work, however. Angels feature in Half-Light, for example, as do a select few of the Celtic pantheon, not to mention Loki from Norse mythology as well as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. God makes an appearance in Mars Inc., too…“‘Sup, Mike? Break a leg, yeah?”

The thing I find with religion is that it offers such a rich and diverse pool of story-telling goodness!

Others say your first novel is usually autobiographical in nature. Did you find this was the case? Do you ever base characters or situations off real life situations? How do you balance that?

I wish that my first novel was autobiographical in nature, however that’s simply not the case. I think it’s likely I’d remember if I’d spent a vast amount of time going around the Universe in a space-faring vessel, saving the day where necessary and shagging anything with a pulse.

That said, a few of my characters start off being based on people I know. They normally morph pretty quickly into something – or someone – completely different, but it’s handy to have that base to work from, especially in the early days of character creation.

Real life situations – albeit heavily modified ones – do appear in my works, too, but I’ll leave it to anyone reading this to work out what those situations might be!

Who is your favourite character you’ve written into a story? Why?

Dan from Half-Light. He’s a total badass, an anti-hero. He’s the kinda’ guy who’d make for a fantastic drinking buddy but there’s no way you’d introduce him to your sister, or your girlfriend, or your wife, mother or grandmother… Not only that but no matter what the Universe throws at him he always manages to find a way to get done what needs getting done. He was originally an exaggerated version of me and I intended to kill him off pretty quickly. I think it’s fair to say that he had other ideas!

Walk us through your writing process—how does it begin? What do you do when you get stuck? How do you decide when the story is over?

It’s quite likely my process is different to most people, because I don’t really have one. I don’t sit down and think to myself, ‘right this is gonna’ happen or that’s gonna’ happen.’ I occasionally have a rough idea of how I want a story to end but more often than not those goalposts shift about 270 degrees and invert several times. I tend to go wherever the story wants to go or as is more often the case, wherever my characters tell me they want to go.

I remember reading somewhere and I can’t for the life of me think where I read it, but an author was asked to explain the origins of one of his characters. He replied something along the lines of, ‘well it was my understanding that [insert character here] was a 32 year old single mother from Norwich. She quickly impressed upon me though, that she was in fact a 17 year old Japanese girl with a penchant for death metal and crotchless panties.

That reply kinda’ stuck with me and whether it was subconscious or not I guess I’ve followed that route. I let my characters lead me. It’s their story, they know best.

I rarely get stuck, to be perfectly honest. I have so many stories on the go at any one time – eleven at the moment – that it’s never really an issue. I work on whichever story I feel like working on. It can get confusing, on occasion, especially of one of those I’m working on happens to be the sequel/prequel of another that I’m working on – which is actually the case at the moment – but it works for me.

As for knowing when a story is over, it never is. There’s no such thing as a completed story, for there’s always more that can be told.

[* (& in the spirit of this month’s theme—Space Opera) *]

Big worlds, big stories, new creatures—how do you manage it all and make it believable?

I’m not entirely sure that I do manage to make it all believable.

OK in all seriousness the thing with Sci-Fi – not just Space Opera but every single sub-genre – is that so long as you adhere to the defined rules of your created universe, you can do whatever the fuck you want. I’ll use my own story, Half-Light, as an example. It’s epic in length and during the process of writing that wee tale everything about it evolved, and I do mean everything. The thing is, that’s OK in Science Fiction – Hell, it’s OK whatever you’re writing. Providing you can justify what’s happening by pointing – with a big pointy stick – at a particular passage/chapter/dialogue and say “yeah, I hear what you’re saying but if I can refer you to [passage/chapter/dialogue], I think you’ll see that it is actually possible to play pineapple tennis in zero gravity.” None of my characters have ever played pineapple tennis in zero gravity but you get the point. If you’re able to justify something through your writing, then anything is possible.

[If two of your characters *]were[ to play pineapple tennis in zero gravity, who would it be? *]

Well, because this is me and I’m more than a little dirty minded, it’d have to be two of the girls, my hardcore honeys, haha! I would say Nona from Getting Stephen Laid and Eloise Barker from Mars Inc. would be first choice, with Red from Half-Light umpiring attired in something suitably skimpy…

One of the most inviting, and at the same time, most intimidating things about Space Opera is that is so wide-open. How did you get involved in writing this sub-genre specifically?

I think the fact that it is such a wide-open sub-genre is the draw. As long as you, the writer, are able to keep a track of what’s going on in your own story by keeping notes or having the kinda’ mind that remembers minute little details – like what song Dan and Tristian first ‘danced’ to in Half-Light. Things that probably don’t matter a fuck to the story but make it more real and your characters easier to relate to. Providing you manage to do that, you’ll find that writing Space Opera is pretty straightforward. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but if writing was easy then everyone would do it!

What’s the hardest part about writing Space Opera? …your favourite?

My favourite part of writing Space Opera is the fact that you’re writing within what could potentially be an enormous self-created universe where pretty much anything is possible. We know next to nothing about our own universe so I think it’s rather nice to be able to create one where I know everything about everything – to a point, it’s always nice to be surprised!

The hardest part about writing Space Opera is much the same as my favourite part. You’re writing in a vast universe of your own creation. You have to remember every single detail about that universe else your story will fall flat.

You’re stuck on a spaceship, not sure where you’re headed; what’s in your backpack?

Cigarettes, of course I’d have to hope that the scrubbers on said spaceship are fully functioning. A few cans of Red Bull, too… Gotta’ have my caffeine fix. My ipod, ‘cos what’s the point of traversing the Galaxy if you don’t have some bitchin’ tunes to listen to? The Walking Dead on DVD because it’s the best show on TV and of course, though I’m sure it goes without saying, I’d have a towel in there, too.

From Metal to Millennium

[+ A "how-to" guide to spaceships by @AlexSCard +]

I’m neither scientist nor engineer so I don’t truly know what would be needed to build an actual space worthy vessel.

That being said, I have always had a fascination with space based sci-fi and none beats the shear scope of the Space Opera sub-genre.

So how are your characters going to get around the massive, probably dangerous universe you have decided to plop them in? Spae Cycle? Nah. Space walking? Sounds cool, but probably not.

Spaceship

Now you’re talking.

But how will you design the boat that they will most likely call home? Well, I hope to aid you in that endeavor with the few hints and tips I have picked up along the way.

And where better to start than from the inside out?

The first thing you must have in mind is what kind of technology you will be using in your story and how advanced it will be. This is important because it will influence your designs. If you have artificial gravity plates on your ships then your ship can be almost any shape you want, but if you don’t—and still want gravity so your characters don’t suffer from bone deterioration on long voyages (it happens. Space is an unforgiving place)—then you will probably need a curved hull so that your ship can create gravity through centrifugal force.

Next, and in my opinion the most important things you must think about when designing your starship are: form, function and size. Form, function and size are integral to the overall ship design and play off one another.

How so? You might want the sleek look of a cigar-shaped rockets of old or maybe it’s going to be big, blocky and look like it was thrown together with matchsticks and glue. Either way, even though space travel doesn’t have all the same restrictions as planetary travel, not all shapes are practical for the ship’s intended use.

For example let’s look at a warship. Of course you want a ship that is going to be effective in any combat situation, so you might want to design it in a way to give it the best weapons coverage it could have. One of my favorite examples of a well-designed warship is the Star Destroyers of Star Wars. The arrow-head shape makes them effective when engaging an opponent that is directly in front, to either side or from above or below them. Its only real vulnerable spot is the very rear of the ship, but I’d like to see you try to sneak up on a Star Destroyer with enough firepower to do some damage.

Earlier I mentioned that space travel is different from planetary so you don’t have to use the same shapes, but if you wish your starship to be able to enter and exit the atmosphere you may want to design it to have an aerodynamic shape and maybe even wings to help it gain lift in the higher gravity environment.

 Size is also important when designing a craft that can land or enter the atmosphere since the larger the craft the more gravity will affect it when it’s planetside, but if your civilization has designed a powerful antigravity device you probably don’t need to worry about it. Size is further affected by function since a fighter needs relatively little space it can be fairly small, but a cargo ship while not necessarily massive must have room for all the cargo your character is going to be hauling.

When you’re thinking of the overall size and shape don’t forget to include whatever propulsion system you have in the craft. Whether your ship has a massive drive system that propels it around at incredible velocities or is it able to fold space, allowing it to travel from system to system with conventional drives you’ll need to think about that when designing your ship and how evident it is from the outside.

Do you have the basic shape and size in your head? If you’re having trouble envisioning it or keeping everything you’ve come up with, why not grab a piece of paper and a pencil and sketch it out? I am no artist and I do this all the time. The pictures are very basic and aren’t at all very good, but they help me hold on to the image and inevitably describe the ship to my readers. Don’t do them in indelible ink though as you may have to make some changes along the way.

Don’t think you’re done now that you’ve got the outside shape of your ship, because now you’ve got to fit your crew, all their equipment and anything else you want on board your craft. Don’t worry about changes you may have to make to fit everything in. Ship designs may change simply with your mood. The overall shape of one of my ships has changed probably five times as I have moved things around and decided on even the basic interior design.

The basic layout of your ship is important to the story since your crew will more than likely move around the ship (if it’s large enough) during the story and you don’t want them entering a room through one door and then entering the bathroom through the same door. That is extremely confusing to the readers. I’m not telling you that you need to map out every corridor and room onboard, but it is wise to have a basic layout so you don’t get lost.

Now this isn’t that important for a tiny craft such as a fighter, but you may want to make note of where certain controls and screens are so your characters aren’t looking in different directions each time he checks his fuel level.

I did say you didn’t need to map out every corridor and room onboard, but if you have a hard time remembering were things are and how to get from your characters bedroom to the bridge of the ship it’s not a bad idea to “map” out the interior. As with the outside sketch, it doesn’t have to be fancy, maybe a box for every room with a line for the corridor just to help you with constancy in your story.

There are tons of other things you can and probably will think about when designing your ship, but I leave you with these few tips to help you along the way:

Whether it’s a massive battlecruiser or simply a tiny little transport have fun with it! If you don’t enjoy the creation process then you’re most likely doing something wrong. If you’re putting too much time trying to make it perfect, stop; you don’t deed to map out ever dent and scrape on the hull or were every wire goes. Your readers aren’t interested in all the detail, what they really want is enough information so they can see it with their minds eye and aren’t confused by contradictory information. If you enjoy building the craft then your audience will likely enjoy discovering it and that my friends, is what writing is all about.

JUMP

[+ Written by @sigrist +]

————————————————————

X.

If I had to use two words to describe her, they would be beautiful and dangerous—just like the universe she taught me so much about. My life with her was perfect—but everything comes to an end eventually.

“I need to do this.” Was all I managed to say.

“I know you do.” She smiled and I hugged her. “But don’t worry; I’ll have you by my side forever.” I cried silently into her glimmering hair and as her body grew tight and stiff she whispered, “jump.”

—-

I.

From the cockpit of my old Salvage-Class X7C, I looked out at the ship which had simply popped into existence right in front of us. It looked like an oblong, white void in the blackness of space.

“You sure about this?”

“Munce, you said yourself there’s no life signs, what danger could there be? Besides, this could make us famous!” I continued to watch the mysterious ship as I climbed into my exo-suit.

“And what about Earth?”

“Let them wait.” I waved off the question. “We’re just junkies, what can we do to help? I’m just gonna check this out and when I’m done we’ll swing by home base and salvage what we can.”

Munce rolled his eyes and went back to the controls. We circled the gleaming ship before he said, “I don’t see a loading dock anywh—oh shit!”

I turned around and saw what had shocked him. A hole was opening up on the side of the otherwise smooth ship. “Look like we’ll fit?” I asked.

“Perfectly.”

—-

V.

There was a strange pressure all around us. As she slipped away from me I noticed the interference on my radio was gone. “Munce? You there?” I asked, not taking my eyes off the strange woman.

“He can’t hear you.” Her voice sounded like it was reverberating throughout the entire ship.

“What do you mean?”

“We’re too far away.”

“What?” I unclipped the galactic positioning system from my belt. “Where are we? I’m not even picking up a signal.”

“Far beyond the reach of your technology.”

My eyebrows furrowed. “Bring me back! My crew need me!”

“Your crew are fine.”

“Why should I trust you?”

“Because I know. Just like I know they don’t need you like I do.”

—-

II.

“The air’s okay.” I checked my purifier and removed my helmet. “Sure is dark though.” The interior of the ship was just as white and glittering as the exterior.

“Anything that might be worth some coin?”

“You mean you don’t already see dollar signs just looking at this baby? This is proof that we’re not alone!”

“We still don’t know that, looks kinda Japanese to me.”

I turned a corner and the walls all instantly illuminated. There was nothing but bright, white light all around me.

“Captain, the ship just gave off a strange power signature…”

—-

XI.

For some reason, the pressure of our jump seemed to persist longer than ever before. My body was aching and my ears were ringing. “What’s happening to me?”

“We’re altering the time line,” she said, “when you’re gone, everything will be reconciled and you’ll stop experiencing these slips.”

“This is it then…?”

She stepped closer, her glittering ebony hand found my cheek and she kissed me. “Go.”

—-

VI.

“You need me?” I gulped. “For what?”

“To be my companion.”

“And… what does that job entail?”

“Seeing things and going places your species can only dream about. Come with me beyond space and time, be a true explorer.”

“What’s the catch?” Finally I came to my senses and pushed the woman away.

“You’ll care for me while I recharge. you’re speaking to a physical manifestation of my consciousness. When I release my consciousness, I join the void to recuperate my energy. However, that leaves my body defenceless.”

“Your body?”

“You’ve called it my ‘ship.’”

“So you’re kind of like the brain of this… space creature. Every once in a while you need to sleep.”

She blinked at me, then shrugged her shoulder. “What I do is a little more advanced than just… ‘Sleeping.’ But yes, if you want to simplify it, every once in a while I ‘need to sleep.’ You’re an emergency plan to keep my body safe. While I’m ‘sleeping’ I can perceive a threat approaching but I don’t have the energy to react to it.”

“You want me to watch you while you’re sleeping? Kinky.”

“Kinky?”

“Look lady, I don’t even know you. Besides, I need to get to Earth.”

“You’re the captain of a junker… What can you do? Come with me and the universe is yours.”

I let her wrap her arms around my neck and when I looked at her I could barely even remember the faces of my crew. They were just another part of an old life I was ready to say goodbye to.

—-

III.

“I think it turned on,” I told Munce. A hole was melting away in front of me to reveal a room as black as the halls were white. As I entered, the door closed behind me and I was suspended in nothingness.

There was a far off twinkle of light. It was the only thing visible in the blackness. Then there was another one, equally as far away. Before I knew it I was floating in a universe of distant stars. 

—-

VII.

As I sat outside her recuperation chamber, I turned my useless GPS over in my hands. The wall melted away and I saw the contrast of her black, glistening body against the startling white. She smiled, stepped towards me with slow strides and plucked the thing from my hands.

“Why do you keep this? You know it’s useless so far away from your own galaxy.”

I tried to answer but the words just wouldn’t come. The truth was I didn’t know why I kept the device. Rather than continue with the discussion, I wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close. “So, when and where will we be going now, my love?”

“Love?” She pulled away with a playful smile.

“I mean… Um.” Oh no, did I cross a line? “Yeah. That’s what I meant… Love. I love you.”

She pressed herself against my chest. “I love you too, Captain.”

With my index finger I gently lifted her chin so that she was looking at me. She raised to her toes and we kissed. I felt her limbs and back grow tense and as she pulled her face away she whispered, “jump.”

When the pressure of our jump dissipated, I noticed a light flashing on my GPS. Almost without thinking I pulled it away from her and inspected the screen. I checked the coordinates over and over again before turning to her and smiling. “I’m home!”

She smiled back at me but something felt wrong. I turned to the far wall and pressed my hand against it. A view screen materialized in front of me but there was nothing there, only space junk and rocks.

“What’s this? Where’s Earth?”

“To love someone… requires trust.” She grabbed my hand and led me into her recuperation chamber. Her body began to fade away as she said, “you know, this room can be more than just a place to ‘sleep.’ I can project my knowledge of the universe for you to see. Let me finally show you what happened.” She filled the white walls with her glittering blackness and I was suspended in the void. An image of Earth spun into existence in front of me and I heard her say “In the year 4043, in your own timeline.” I recognized that year. “Earth was the centre of a growing galactic empire.”

“That’s when we met.”

“Humans always had a tendency to believe they were superior. They were the only intelligent species in the confines of their empire and so they began to believe the universe was theirs alone.” 

Earth sped away into the distance and I was sent careening through the galaxy toward the outer rim. I watched as a huge and ominous ship passed the boundaries of our satellites. It was much more advanced than any ship in the human fleet and clearly built for battle. 

“The vespari,” she said, “another relatively young and arrogant race. The humans watched the warship approach for a while. At the extreme limits of their satellites’ range they had no way of knowing what it was, but its predicted trajectory put it on a collision course with Earth. It was this exact moment that the humans realized what was happening. However, the planet was dangerously unprepared to defend itself. Officials sent out a distress call, one that commanded all Earth ships to report back immediately.”

I zoomed away from the alien ship as Earth came closer. I stopped somewhere in between them both and noticed my own ship was hovering in front of me—attached to her just like the day we met. With the full weight of reality on my shoulders I said, “I chose to go with you instead of defend Earth…”

—-

XII.

I was on my junker, staring at Munce’s back. “Captain, the ship just gave off a strange power signature,” he said into the radio.

As I stepped forward I heard myself respond through the static. “I think it turned on.”

“Let’s get out of here!” I took my seat and he stared at me.

“Captain how did you get there…? You were just…” He pointed out towards her gleaming white body.

“We gotta go,” I said again, “now!”

—-

VIII.

“You chose the life of adventure you’ve always dreamed of. There was nothing a simple junker could do to help.”

“But, you told me my crew were okay.”

As I stared at the scene in front of me, I watched her white ship vanish and my junker moved on. “When I took you away, your crew continued on their way to Earth. But they were too slow.” The attacking ship sailed towards us through the darkness. “As the vespari rushed past your junker they didn’t even slow down. Your ship was too insignificant to draw their attention.” 

I followed the vespari to Earth where our ships—rigged for a hypothetical battle that none of us thought would ever happen—tried to stand their ground. In a blast of light, the vespari cut through the human ships, then fired on the planet. The battle was over as quickly as it had begun and the vespari casually moved on. 

“The attackers crippled the human empire. It wasn’t long before the dregs of the colonies died off as well and the universe was devoid of human life again, almost as quickly as it had popped up.”

“I should have been there,” I whispered, “but I couldn’t have stopped this.”

The blackness of the room swirled away as she took her solid form once again. She looked at the tears that now glistened on my cheeks and said, “what if there was something you could do?”

—-

XIII.

As I detached my ship from her I felt my ribs suddenly grow tight around my grieving heart.

“But what about meeting ET?” Munce asked, “what about becoming famous?” 

“Is that all you can think about? We got a planet to save!”

“What happened on that ship? Just a second ago you were all ‘we’re just junkies, we can’t help.’ Now you’re mister hero?”

“Hero.” As my ship rocketed away, the only partial reprieve from my sadness was knowing that at least she’d always have me. “I like the sound of that…”

—-

IX.

“There’s no way, you said so yourself! There’s nothing a junker could have done. My ship was so damn insignificant those aliens didn’t even bother to shoot it down.”

“And that’s why you’re the only one who can save your people.”

“How?”

“With a weapon designed by even greater minds than the vespari, your insignificant junker can destroy that warship before it even gets within firing range of Earth.”

“Where would I get a weapon like that?” 

“I have one, a gravity mine, you could take it. Just leave it in your wake as you cross paths with the vespari. It will be triggered when it’s pulled into the gravitational field of their ship and the vespari will be sucked into a localized black hole. They’ll be crushed and Earth will be saved.”

“Why would you do this for me?”

She smiled and moved closer. “Because I love you and I can see that the fate of your people upsets you.”

“Won’t this mess with the time continuum or something?”

“Do you think this could really change the universe? I thought by now you’d understand that you and your people aren’t even a single thread in the tapestry. But here, in the small confines of human space and time, you could be the greatest hero your species has ever known. You could save everyone you’ve ever loved.”

“What’s the catch?”

“It’s good to see that you haven’t changed much.” She turned away and crossed her arms over her chest. “For this to work I need to replace you in your own timeline, which means I need to take on a new companion… You’ll never see me again.”

Her words cut me. I pulled her around so we were staring into each other’s eyes. I struggled to say something but I knew she understood how I felt.

—-

IV.

The stars began drawing closer, all of them from different angels. I could see now that each prick of light was a galaxy. The beautiful clouds of colors all rushed towards me and drained the blackness from the room—leaving behind walls as white as all the others. Everything swirled around me but I stayed calm as each individual galaxy moved collectively into a tight spiral. Before I knew it there was a woman composed of the black nothingness standing in front of me. Her flesh absorbed the light around her and reflected it back in glittering patterns that mimicked the galaxies inside her. I stepped closer and her eyes opened. Such blue eyes. There was nothing but blue, no pupil, no iris, just solid blue. 

“Captain how did you get there…? You were just…” I could hear Munce’s voice but it was lost to me as I took in the woman’s beauty. “But what about discovering ET? What about becoming famous?” Munce’s voice came through the static of my radio again. 

Before I could tell him just how famous we really were going to be, she grabbed hold of my body and the passion was like nothing I’d ever felt before. There was an energy coming from her that was frightening yet safe at the same time. She rubbed against me and whispered “I told you we’d be together forever.”

“What?”

Her body grew tense. She threw her head back and as she went limp in my arms she whispered, “jump.”

Why Space Opera is Better than Real Opera

So my wife[1] wanted to see an opera last week. Me being the sophisticated high-browed student of the baroque, I recommended the classic space opera, Star Wars. She, however, requested that we attend the entrée[2] performance of 'Flight of the Bumblebee'-- or maybe that was just the name of one song. I agreed, but on one condition: we would make love my way for one passionate week... with the entire Original Trilogy[3] of Star Wars playing on repeat. In a show of love I cannot say I deserve, she conceded to my wishes.

We attended the show and it was, naturally, the sort of bore that somehow managed to make viewing the mating rituals of fungi seem interesting. I fell asleep three-minutes into the opera, and woke up three-minutes after the opera was finished-- to my wife[4] pounding my chest with her tiny little fists, screaming that I must have been murdered by the fat lady's horrid singing.

Needless to say, the decrying of the fat lady and her singing was a scandal of the highest order. To make such venomous claims is to insult every red-blooded fan of the opera. Naturally, an all-out skirmish occurred. War had broken out-- and not the good kind of war, either. Not the epic space-battles of the good5 kind of opera; no, of course not. This type of war was between suit-clad geezers riddled with cataracts, hip problems and Viagra… and, well, me.

Long story short: I won. Fisticuffs are my specialty. Expressly when I’m up against limp-wristed pencil-pushing opera-buffs whose only show of masculinity lies in their  untrimmed beards. And especially when all my moves were taught to me by the Great One himself: Han Solo.6 I had to replay his fight scenes at least seven-hundred-and-eleven times to get them down pat. My dad always said I was wasting my time. Who’s laughing now, old man? HUH!? I SAID: “WHO’S LAUGHING NOW!?”7

So there I was. Breathing heavily. Bloodied knuckles. A runner of snot depending precariously from my right nostril. Bodies littered all around my feet. The crazed din of the innocent and the scared sounding in my mind, ringing in my ears like chaos put to music. My wife8 looked at me like I was some kind of monster. This wasn’t the quiet evening she had in mind. Sorry, babe. But I’m naughty like that. 

I grabbed my woman[9] by the waist, wiped my nose, whipped out my blaster-pistol and shot my way out of the opera house. There's another reason why the opera sucks royally: no blasters. The faceless foes-- armed with ticket-stubs wielded by hairless hands-- stood no chance. It was almost too easy.[10]

We found our way out into the cool Martian air. Sandstorms were blowing so hard that if we didn’t find shelter soon, our faces would rip open and we’d get blood everywhere. Not a fun job for the janitors of Mars to perform, let me tell you.

A big buffoon of a man barrelled out of the opera house doors, huffing and puffing. He pointed at me and yelled, “Stop, rebel scum!” I shot him full of holes.

“Come on!” I yelled to milady. “The car’s this way!”

We ran around to the street corner where our Saturn was illegally parked. I shoved the lady into the passenger seat, slammed the door, and then hopped into the cockpit. Fired up the engine. Heard that baby hum.11

Suddenly a squad of police cruisers squealed onto the scene via the street behind us, sirens whining. I threw the Saturn in drive and peeled on out of there.

THIS IS THE POLICE. PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPON AND PULL OVER.”

“Screw off, oinky,” I spat at the rearview mirror. I handed my woman the blaster. She accepted it like a boy accepts his dad’s lucky hockey stick. “Take this, babe. Catch us some bacon while I get us out of here.”

THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING. PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPON AND PULL OVER. THIS IS THE POLICE.”

Weeeeeee!” I did my best pig impersonation while my wife leaned out her window and fired a shot that missed by a country mile. I commended her courage and willingness to break the law for me, though. That’s how a marriage lasts a lifetime. “Keep shooting, hon.”

We made it home soon after.

All-in-all… none of this would have happened if we had just had sex to Star Wars like I’d wanted in the first place.12

________________________________________

[1] I don’t have a wife.

[2] My non-existent wife later informed me that it’s called an ‘encore’. I vehemently denied that such a word even existed. That’s what I do when I know I’m wrong. Learned it from my dad.

[3] The Prequel Trilogy can be launched in a spaceship on a one-way trip to the Sun, if you ask me. Anybody who claims to have liked the abomination known as Jar Jar Binks can get a free family-pass on said spaceship. 

[4] Remember, she doesn’t really exist. Not yet, anyway. Oh, but she will… someday. Even if I’m old and grey before that day comes.

[5] Space opera, genius.

[6] Han shot first, you numpty. Don’t you dare cite the Special Editions as evidence to the contrary. George Lucas doesn’t know squat about Star Wars.

[7] I am.

[8] For the last effing time: she isn’t real!

[9] For the love of Yoda. Honestly, man! How many bloody times do I need to tell you! No more. I mean it. You can forget about these notes.

[10] Almost. It would have been easier if they hadn’t all told me to put the blaster down and leave everyone in peace. If they hadn’t have done that, then I wouldn’t have felt so guilty about blowing holes through their bellies. The humanitarian in me doesn’t seem to like blasting word-speakers.

[11] Saturns don’t pur, after all.

[12] Like any hyper-nerd, my sex-drive runs in congruence with my viewing of Star Wars.

Star Clash: A Review

[+ Written by: @elveloy +]

[+ A review by @parishsp +]

They were given the prompt: 13 worlds, a trusting humanoid race that is officially duped by the humans. They looked like them, walked like them, and were even able—through technology—to talk like them.

But that’s where the similarities ended.

In the end, the brutal race of humans burned bridges, cities, even entire worlds.

But the natives? They decided to fight back: end them or die trying. 

LV Loyd took the prompt, and ran with it. 

All the way to the finish line, beating out @bloodsword,  @jewel_1307, and @parishsp for the title of SciFi Smackdown master--the winner of the SFSD7. 

Loyd secured the title with Star Clash—a short story of eight parts of galactic proportions. In the story, Loyd takes the reader through a multi-narrator sequence and manages the jumps in storylines seamlessly. 

The Low Down:
[_Star Clash _]takes place over a multiplanetary system, covering the seemingly nasty details of a rivalry between the Vishnans and the humans. The narrators weave a story of slavery, bitter rivalry, and an ancient race tucked back in the mountains of a mountian on neutral ground—the Ancians, keepers of all knowledge and history of all races. Loyd builds three distinct storylines, one of which containing a plot to carry out a mass genocide of the humans and the Vishna alike. Throughout the story, the reader will find themself on edge as Loyd declares the winner of the war. 

You Want to Read It, Because… 
Loyd’s writing style is upbeat and quirky—her paragraphs punctuated by sassy phrases and smart plays on words (Vishna, anyone?). Not only does Loyd weave the storylines dang close to perfect, but the ending. THAT ENDING

…sometimes I don’t know whether to be angry or just laugh at it. 

When I read it, I did both. 

On a scale of 10, I give [_Star Crash _]a solid 9. If you would like to check it out: 
http://www.wattpad.com/43023960-star-clash-sfsd7-winner

Thanks, @elveloy!

Closing Time

Wow. 

Seriously. What an issue! Putting TK together has been interesting these past few months. In the beginning, we start out with somewhere between 10-12 contributing authors that for some reason trim down to 4-6 before everything is said and done (no worries if this has been you. I mention it to make this point:) With this issue, every time I checked in with our contributing authors, I received enthusiastic responses of “Yeah, I have it!” and “it’s going to be great!” 

How right they were!

What brought them together? 

A love for writing? For the crazy, alluring genre that is Science Fiction? 

Well, we have that every month. 

But this month, we had Space Opera

For the love of all things epic outer space, some of Wattpad’s finest stepped forward and up to the plate. And they each hit a home run. 

Thank you contributors. You make my job easy. You make this ezine great. You make my heart thankful and smile at the creativity and effort you put into your work. You are great and this would not be possible without you. 

Any of you. 

Thank you. 

@parishsp


Tevun-Krus #4 - Space Opera

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... 'Troopers, the @Ooorah Republic needs you. This fourth issue of Tevun-Krus faces a very real threat. With your uncanny ability to read kickass stories, reviews and articles-including the next episode of Smith & Jones-we can push back the Empire and save Earth from the wrath of Darth Khan. Beam us up, Scotty.

  • ISBN: 9781370092642
  • Author: Ooorah
  • Published: 2016-11-10 12:20:12
  • Words: 11031
Tevun-Krus #4 - Space Opera Tevun-Krus #4 - Space Opera