Where did that come from is a series where we ask our authors the question, “Where did you get the idea for your story?”
Why I Wrote it.
One of the books I read when I was much younger was Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky. I was (and still am) fascinated with the idea of a group being thrown together and forming a society.
The book was very different from anything else I had read. There were no, “Happy Ever Afters” in this book. Characters died, sometimes horribly. Characters I wanted to see get together didn’t. The perfect society didn’t develop without lots of conflict.
In other words, it reflected real life and it left a huge impression on me.
When the time came to write my story for Dimensional Abscesses I had many different concepts for a story. The story needed to involve a portal. It had to have some majorly negative connotation associated with it.
Not being someone who normally writes dark stories, I must confess I was stumped for a short while on what to write.
Then I thought back to Heinlein’s story and everything became clear. His was an important story for me. It represented a move from innocence to a more worldly way of thinking. It was one that had a huge impact on me. It represented a challenge and a means to pay homage to a Master of Science Fiction.
I knew I had to try.
So I incorporated two of my loves. Heinlein’s story and Scouts. What I came up with is much, MUCH darker than anything I’ve ever written before. The final version is also not quite as grim as my first version (thanks to my talented editor).
In the end I decided to title it Tunnel in the Sky just in case people didn’t get the reference.
Does it do justice to Heinlein’s story? No. A short story never could do more than capture the faintest essence of the novel. Have I managed to do that at least? I leave that for you to decide. If it encourages you to read the classic novel, then I have done my job.
It also proved to me that I can write darker stories. They don’t all have to be light and fluffy cause that isn’t the real world. That stretched me in a new direction and, I hope, will result in better stories going forward.
Michell (Mike) Plested is an author, editor, blogger, closet superhero (not to mention sock herder and cat wrangler) and podcaster living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is the host of several podcasts including the writing podcast, Get Published (2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Parsec Finalist).
His debut novel, Mik Murdoch: Boy Superhero was shortlisted for the Prix Aurora Award for Best YA Novel, and its sequel, Mik Murdoch: The Power Within was launched at When Words Collide 2014. He has stories and several books coming out this year (2015) including Scouts of the Apocalypse (June), and a collaborative steampunk work, Jack Kane & the Statue of Liberty (June).
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can get a copy of Dimensional Abscesses at any of these fine retailers