A Journey Across The Universe
I know the exact moment that Far Flung was born. I was living alone at the time in a tiny little town called Chalk River, way out in northern Ontario. I was a university student with one of those co-op jobs that sounds great right up until you actually get it. I mean I was working at the facility where CANDU nuclear reactors are designed! Sounds cool, right? Just like Homer Simpson! The work was co-op grunt work, the kind of thing a real researcher shoves onto interns, but still very nifty if you’ve got a mind for science.
The not-so-cool part came when I got back to my rented place in a tiny town with few social groups and not much to do on a Friday night. It was a lonely and extremely humbling experience, but I had to make the best of it. I found lots of time to look up at the stars – and when you’re that far from the US border, you REALLY see the stars and even the Northern Lights once in a while.
When I wasn’t looking up, I looked to my notepad and pencil, often while watching TV. Star Trek: Voyager was running at the time, and it was one of the few shows one could reliably watch on the standard cable package. There was a big two-parter, I think it was The Year of Hell, and everything just kept going wrong. The fancy Starfleet vessel got damaged, supplies ran short, and characters got permanently killed. Geeks know what happened at the end – everything was reset. The entire two-parter “never happened”, as far as Captain Janeway and her crew would remember. At the end of the series, they all returned home, with all of the main characters still alive at the end.
Fast forward nearly a decade later to my life in South Korea. My life took a weird turn away from my degree in Science, and I was teaching English in Busan, South Korea. I was finally adjusted to life in Korea, married to a Korean, and I was gradually meeting more writers. Meeting people who wrote fiction and learning about their crazy, inspirational, and wonderful ideas and growing frustrated with myself for not getting my own ideas out. I looked back to those nights in Chalk River, and discovered that the silly little Voyager episode had planted a seed in my head.
I wrote. I wrote flash fiction first, and moved on to short stories. I met amazing people in the Busan Writing group, and we produced anthologies of our stories and poems. We were especially proud of the last one, Peripheral Portraits. When I look at the list of authors inside, I think how every one of these people had an idea and saw it through. They were willing to put their ideas in a book we sold for $5 to our friends. There was something truly empowering about the work of editing and producing those books together, and I think we all appreciated getting ourselves out there, even to a small audience.
Far Flung finally came together in my head. The resemblance to Voyager was now in premise only, as a different cast of characters, different technology, and new alien beings took form in my head. I made rules for writing it, rules like “no rewriting history with time travel”, “dead characters stay dead”, and “no aliens that look like a guy with bumps on his head”. You can probably name a few franchises that led me to these restrictions.
At last, here I am with a manuscript I believe in. I thought up a spaceship that can jump across light years in an instant. With hundreds of colonists and a diverse crew, the ship is ready to fly to the fourth planet in Tau Ceti, about 12 light years from Earth. As you probably guessed, that doesn’t happen. The ship ends up in a distant galaxy instead. The crew has supplies for a colony and temporary quarters for the weeks they were going to spend moving equipment to the new colony – it’s certainly not a luxury liner, and they have a month or two of food at best. Their only chance for survival is to meet new civilizations and negotiate with strange beings.
They will try to get to Earth again, but they won’t. That’s not a spoiler – I’m very upfront about that from early on in the story. This is about making a new home and finding a place among the people who live around you.
I hope you will follow Far Flung on its Inkshares page and read the preview chapters, and help me fund its publication. I’m certain you’ll enjoy the journey as much as I have.
My goal with Far Flung is to balance the discovery and intrigue old-school sci-fi with cinematic action, thrills, and danger. I think readers will appreciate the nuanced characters and the attention to detail as the narrative follows the Tereshkova and her crew to a new home.
I’m raising money for the book on Inkshares with the hope of winning a coveted Top 3 spot in the current Launch Pad Competition. The story is already in the Top 75 on the Launch Pad Manuscript list on the Tracking Board site. All money raised for this will go into the editing and production of the final novel. – TCC Edwards, author of Far Flung
Read the preview on Inkshares and find out why readers are praising Far Flung. Visit Author TCC Edwards On Inkshares and read his his Blog here.