KARINA FABIAN TAKES OVER THE BLOG TODAY. KARINA’S STORY, MARATHON TO MORDOR, WAS INCLUDED IN TUSCANY BAY BOOKS’ PLANETARY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: PLUTO. TODAY SHE WILL TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HER STORY IN PLUTO.
A few days ago, I wrote about Nuns in Space and the story behind “Moonboy” in the Planetary Anthologies: Luna. Today, we continue the theme with Sports in Spaaaaace!
It seems natural that sports will be a part of extra-terrestrial culture. Humans enjoy play and competition, and sports activities are a good way to keep in shape. I’m not a team sports kind of person. But I have included microgravity sports in my science fiction worlds. In Discovery (A Rescue Sisters novel), I have a game called Splat, which is like a mad mash-up of soccer, handball, and Lacrosse, and is a lot of fun to write when your nuns play to win. However, it’s typical of most sci-fi sports: team, ball, microgravity.
For Pluto, I wanted to do something different. I also wanted something bigger. That’s when the idea of a race came to mind. I toyed with the idea of a race on Pluto, with a lot of landscape and dancers, but even with beautiful description, it’d be people or vehicles going from A to B.
I made it a long race to Mordor. Mordor Macula is the large red area near the north pole of Pluto’s moon, Charon. Mostly, because “Marathon to Mordor” sounded so cool in my head.
The idea of athletechs and the athgeeks, people or teams that are both athletically excellent and technologically proficient, came next. In space, we won’t be able to have just jocks or just braniacs, especially in the rough early days of interplanetary colonization. The athgeeks and support teams participating in Marathon to Mordor were more than competing on a physical level; they were proving new technologies.
But it was still a race – A to B, with some challenges to push the suits and players to their limits. How to make that a fun read? At the time, I was listening to ESPN while working as a cashier at Firehouse Subs, so I was immersed in sports commentary and wacky commercials. Anyone who knows me, knows I like wacky. So enter travel commercials for Pluto – We Have Atmosphere! and suit air fresheners Crisp – Leave the Stink at the Gym.
The Pluto anthology was the first one I got excited about, especially since Bokerah Brumley was talking about it and the chicken story she was writing. (“The Pluto Chronicles”). I had a great time imagining this story. I hope you enjoy it and the other wonderfully imaginative tales in this anthology.
– Karina Fabian
Karina writes both serious and seriously funny science fiction and fantasy. You can find her stuff at https://fabianspace.com