My name is Leona, I was born in the 80's, and it shows. Thank you so much for having me here for my third stop on this blog tour, following It's Raining Men http://rainingmenamen.blogspot.com/. My pants are already off and I'm ready to party.
Piper is The Pied Piper of Hamelin set on a space station, long after the advent of space age technology. In addition to the station, there are ships, faster than light travel, communications based in quantum entanglement, terraforming, wicked evolutionary adaptations, and resonance. I'll leave the actual science for a later post, but I wanted to give a preview of the fiction I'm playing around with. Some of it is a respectful hat tip to other science fiction, and some of it is an extrapolation of my own fiendish design.
What was more important to me than the actual science was the creation of the atmosphere. The Ham Lin, the station on which Piper takes place, is a location of extremes. The narrative takes us from the clean and sterile white lines of plebian living quarters, to the garden utopia of the Bourgeois, to damp, hot, and rusty tunnels. All of these locations had their inspirations: the gritty Nostromo, the clean halls of the Enterprise, the glass-encapsulated greenhouses of pretty much any colony or generation ship, the steamy streets in Bladerunner ... Science fiction tends to be a kind of social commentary, a glimpse at a possible distant future. I think the atmosphere is what triggers a response from the audience, whether it's "Yes, I want to live there," or "No, we must do all we can to avoid that future." My goal was to illicit such a response as the characters moved through their universe.
Set against that back drop are the pipers and their entourages, most of them brightly painted, tightly sheathed in latex, and covered in glitter. They play instruments, dance, and occasionally sing. They're my space age Holograms, with concerts, fan clubs, and souvenirs. There are scenes in Piper where I honestly hunted down images of Jem and Jareth from Labyrinth as a reference for my piper, Atmosphere. He has the big hair, sweet kicks, and ability to woo youth to his side.
- - Excerpt - -
At the very back, seated in a wide, overstuffed chair on a low dais, Master Piper Atmosphereheld his court.
"He is so sexy," Suri stooped to remark. She yelled the words, probably half-deaf from the concert, and the volume made Jake wince. Then she smirked and squeezed his shoulder. "Sorry, you probably don't want to hear that."
Why not? Jake wondered. I know exactly how sexy he is.
After a quick costume change, Atmosphere shone in the dim light, golden from his hair to his boot heels. One long leg hooked over a chair arm and the other propped against the floor, making him look especially hedonistic. A slender woman sat next to him, and they were both smiling for a man scanning them for holos. Starlight lurked nearby in dark purple and bright green, doing an excellent job of appearing casual and dangerous at the same time.
Jake balked at the first set of chairs. It wasn't enough to watch Atmosphere make new fans. That wasn't what he wanted. Not anymore. "There," he said, looking up at Suri. "I got you in."
As a dark reflection to the pipers, there are the rats. To design them, I mated terrestrial rats, the aliens from the Aliens series, and millipedes. They are a most heinous and pernicious enemy, well-suited to providing a motive for the pipers and the sociopolitical forces at work around them.
When it comes to Piper's love story, it really is a fairy tale. The young scientist Jacob Tucker meets his idol, Atmosphere. They suffer from that most debilitating of illnesses, Love At First Sight. Unfortunately for them both, there are a variety of barriers in the way, not the least of which are Jacob's disbelief in Atmosphere's motives and Atmosphere's responsibility to his League. With some rock star glamour, a smattering of science, and some mutant rat action, they overcome those barriers and, eventually, live happily ever after. Or at least as long as they're in the final scene. I make no promises for what happens after.
The last influence is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, in particular his sonatas for flute and viola. This is somewhat far removed from movies and television of the 1970's and 80's, but just as important. I tried to get across the smooth, playful tones of a confident flute, the gentle scales, and the trilling notes quickly and skillfully played. Because The Pied Piper is a German fairytale, I think it quite fitting to listen to a German composer, no? Perhaps the feel of his music came through, by diffusion if nothing else.
My goal was to create a universe of flashing lights, colour, gritty science-fiction, and beautiful music. I can't wait to find out if these came across in the writing.
I'll be giving away a copy of Piper, either electronic or print format, at the end of this blog tour. Every comment on this and the other four posts will be another entry into the draw. I will write them onto little pieces of paper and put them into a legitimate top hat, pull one out on September 15, and email the winner.