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On the SFIA theme:  "Using Asteroids as Spaceships"

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Author's Commentary: "Garbage Rock"

This week’s story, starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery! No, not that Rock, but not exactly too far off. Why did I go with prison/recycling center? Honestly, I think this topic is a little silly. Maybe Isaac will disabuse me of my ignorant notions about asteroid spaceships seeming silly. Maybe there are all kinds of practical reasons to spend hundreds and thousands of hours drilling into the center of asteroids when you could just build a spaceship in space with zero extra effort. Maybe one of those reasons is all the stuff floating around in space that’s discussed in this very story. Still, why would the solution be an asteroid? Let’s add mountains of mass to our vehicle so it costs us exponentially more to push ourselves around. My guess is that this type of scenario would only be useful in a regular orbital trajectory along a regular route where gravity does a lot of the work and the rock of the asteroid serves as decent space armor for the asteroid space station. I don’t know. I went the Sean Connery route instead. Welcome to Garbage Rock.


And I think the word “Garbage” inspired me to re-adopt my mother tongue in the reading. There might not be a more perfect Boston word than gah-bage, so I think that’s where the inspiration for that came from. Plus, the Boston accent is highly underrepresented in Sci-Fi. Bostonians deserve to got to space too!


I suspect this story was a little more fun to write than it is a “fun” story. I think it gets a little darker than I suspected it would when I started chewing on the “asteroid spaceship” theme. Once the idea of the prison came into the mix, though, I knew there would be some tension between the naïve interviewer and the escapee, who’s got a little pent up resentment roiling around in his psyche. I tried to shape it so that he’s a little bit charming at first and the closer you get, the further away from this guy you want to be. Maybe it’d be better for everyone if he didn’t get off that rock. But now he’s out there. We’ll see if he pops back into a story in the future. Redemption arc maybe? Not likely.


Thanks for reading and listening!


Rowe

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