This week, Station 151 and Unknown Transmission co-creator Andy Scearce (my brother) and I were interviewed for Ep. #52 of the Functional Nerds podcast. Along with program hosts John Anealio and Patrick Hester, Andy and I had a great time talking about the evolution and growth of our speculative science-fiction serial. Other topics in the program include collaborative writing, how everything in sci-fi appears to be borrowed and stolen from earlier sci-fi media, short stories we’ve recently seen published, and the best barbeque ribs in Kansas City.
You can listen to the interview at the Functional Nerds website via this link: http://functionalnerds.com/2011/04/episode-052-steve-andy-scearce/
For those unfamiliar with Unknown Transmission or Station 151, it’s a serialized speculative fiction work. And although the story has been called post-apocalyptic, time travel, bio-punk, spy-fi, and space opera, I just call it speculative sci-fi.
Here’s the scoop:
In Unknown Transmission, we’re following the adventures of a Japanese/American communications specialist named Maxim – who is forcibly dumped into a dystopian alternate Earth future. The story begins in the year 2185, where Maxim and his assistant, Spegg, are sent into near Earth orbit to fix a transmitter issue at a Hyperdrive Assist station. Spegg, the assistant, is one of the story’s long-running antagonists and a Living Modified Organism (a Transgenic Fish/Humanoid).
Unfortunately for Maxim, Spegg suffers from an identity disorder that makes him foolish, crazy and ruthless. Spegg allows the Hyperdrive Assist Station over-spool and slings their ship into the deep reaches of space without any pre-planned exit vector. Maxim wakes alone on the ship to find that Spegg has loaded the survival pod and disappeared through a massive wormhole. He takes after Spegg and finds himself transported one-hundred years into the past – where Spegg has already had some 75 years on Earth to ruin almost all life on the planet.
Station 151 begins with radio astronomer Wayne Robertson landing in Antarctica to serve out a solitary three-month testing phase for a new radio telescope array. Soon after, Wayne begins receiving what looks like intelligent signals mixed in with the regular noise of space. Wayne finds it odd that these transmissions appear to be in English and are dated a couple hundred years into the future. Of course, if you’re following Unknown Transmission, you know that the signals are from Maxim.
Long story short: Spegg arrives in present day Antarctica, turns Wayne Robertson into a mental slave, starts a nuclear war, and releases a virus that kills almost everyone on earth – setting the stage for the alternate, future dystopia in Bellingshausen, Antarctica.
If you’re into all kinds of sci-fi geekery, give it a read. I think you’ll enjoy the ride.