Monday, January 4, 2010

My Sci-Fi Short-Story: “Red Hero”

I’ve submitted my newly written sci-fi short-story “Red Hero” to a couple different writing contests so far, and am also currently spreading the manuscript amongst friends and fellow writers. Even though this tale fully stands on its own as a short-story, I have begun toying with the idea of expanding it out into a longer story as well. As of yet, I am attempting to gather a wide variety of feedback from friends and fellow writers in order to discern whether readers simply like the story as it is or if they would enjoy a richer continuation of my experimental foray into science fiction.

The synopsis is as follows:

A lone passenger sits adrift in a damaged spacecraft losing air. In the distant future, when humanity has settled multiple planets and moons throughout the solar system, a lone soldier from a defeated Martian colony flees during the last days of an interstellar war. Temporarily escaping his pursuers, but with no fuel and little oxygen left, he lands on a deserted asteroid. His chances of rescue are slim. In this science-fiction short-story elements of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars and an Orwellian inspired future merge in the narrative of “Red Hero.”

A political as well as a science-fiction tale, “Red Hero” is written in a second-person limited perspective. This second-person perspective places the reader into the position of the “red hero,” a character whose name we never learn. In this bleak future, many familiar elements of Western society such as democracy and Christianity no longer exist. The main character flees from a lost cause, his Martian home world now conquered by religious zealots from Terra (the future Earth) and a massive totalitarian army from Venus. There are no aliens in this future, only humans that have culturally evolved on various planets and moons within the solar system. Some “Red” colonies like Mars are highly anarchistic and individualistic, in deep contrast to the more controlling totalitarian and fundamentalist societies of planets like Venus and Terra.

As the hero’s air supply begins to run low his thoughts and reality shuffle together. Half delirious, he grows uncertain of reality and illusion.

Ultimately, this is a story about contemplating what really matters in life with what little time we are given. After all, when time and circumstance strips all the facades away, what really makes us who and what we are? Don’t get me wrong, I like things like democracy and Christianity, and that is precisely I have removed them from this distant future. In essence, how do we as individuals define ourselves without the familiar institutions and cultural concepts to hang on to? What makes a person a good person or a bad person? What is right and what is wrong?

Enough of my jabber.

If you’re interested in reading my short, sci-fi story, “Red Hero,” don’t be shy. Please email or contact me directly and I’ll provide you with an electronic or hardcopy. Thank you.