Fire From Space: The Story Behind the Story

The new Applied Science story, Fire From Space, is up at Big Pulp. As usual, here’s the How It Came To Be.
Having introduced Dr. Dani Taylor in Voice of the Lobster, I needed to explain how she went from being a doctor in Boston to working as a medic with a National Guard platoon (which I’d established in Brain From Outer Space). This short takes her out to Wind Song, California (where much of the novel is centered), introduces her sergeant, her platoon-mates, supergenius Claire White and plunges Dani and Claire into the mystery behind a series of alien attacks (which I’d go into more but I don’t want to give spoilers).
The story also gets into some of the changes the rest of the world is dealing with:
•Robert Heinlein is now the founder of the “space realism” school of writing—think space-war technothrillers. DC Comics’ SF anthology Strange Adventures is going to adopt some of the same style and present (albeit a little more melodramatically) true stories of mutants, invaders and heroes in the modern world.
•Sputnik goes up in 1956, thanks to Russia reverse-engineering a crashed alien spaceship or two.
•Khruschev will offer to share the technology with the USA as part of an international alliance against the spacemen (the controversy that ensues will come up in later stories). Eisenhower will step down to help make the alliance a reality and Nixon becomes president in the ’56 election.
•James Dean didn’t have his fatal accident in 1955 and makes one of his best films, The Lonely Crowd, the following year.
And there you have it. Let me know what you think.

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Filed under Short Stories, Story behind the story, Writing

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