Long ago I read Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” and was captivated by the tale of a man’s struggle to survive in the frigid cold of the Yukon. A fire is all that would save him, yet could he build it before freezing?
This inspired me to write about the rigors of space travel. I wondered, could I put a person in a similar situation? In this case, Cate has been blown away from her ship and must travel back before a solar flare cooks her inside her suit. The only problem, which of those tiny specks represents her ship? With only a limited amount of fuel for her maneuvering jets, she must pick correctly or perish.
In this tale, I also wanted to explore just how far a person would go to save themselves. In movies you often see people sacrifice themselves for others. But would you really do that? Pressed up against the real concept of death, how many of use would risk our lives for someone else?
The story appears in the 45th issue of Dark Moon Digest. You can find it at Amazon, both kindle and paperback.
My story, Deadlock, has just been published by Ripples in Space. I originally wrote this for a contest titled “Monsters in Space” but by the time I was ready to send it in, the window closed (I didn’t miss the deadline so much as they filled up early). Here was my dilemma, I needed to use a classic monster (vampire, zombie, mummy, etc) to chase some poor schleps in space. As I chewed this over in my mind, I kept circling back to Alien and how the Xenomorph terrorizes Ripley. Of course I don’t use a Xenomorph, but there is a classic Hollywood monster involved. I decided to pick a realistic space monster (no Jason in Space for me) because I thought I might need to send it out to other venues (which, in fact, I did).
The key to this story is the standoff, the deadlock, between the monster and the final girl. Neither can kill each other because… Well, that’s the twist, right. I can’t spoil that. But if you like classic monsters, and certainly if you dig Alien, check it out. (Scroll down the page and look for Tim Kane or Deadlock).