October Releases

Thursday, February 7, 2013

JKS Communications Presents The Ripple in Space Time Tour: Guest Post with S. F. Chapman

Tour stops HERE

Hello Vagabonds! Please give a warm welcome to author S.F. Chapman. Chapman is here today to talk about his new book, The Ripple in Space-Time. He will talk about the bad boys in his book and there are quite a few in his book. So read ahead to hear about the interesting brutes.


Those Bad Boys

There are a couple of big brutes in my new science fiction novel called The Ripple in Space-Time.

Both are twenty-fifth century space pirates that generally do those things that pirates have done for centuries like rough up the citizenry, swindle the gullible, purloin valuable vessels and murder the innocent for financial gain.

The troublemakers are, of course, men. Human history is filled with many such malicious fellows: the archetypical Neanderthal savages who pounded each other with clubs, the Medieval Vikings and Vandals who plundered and burned, and nearly all of the Nazi SS and the Cambodian Khmer Rouge who murdered the masses in the name of social “purity.”

It’s easy to reduce the bad guys down to flat characters with only the attributes of pure evil. Bad guys are called “bad” for good reasons. I can’t imagine Joseph Mengele or Genseric, King of the Vandals having soft spots for fluffy, saucer-eyed kittens. But perhaps they did; unfortunately neither a quick Google search nor an idle twenty-five minute hunt through the shelves at my local library revealed how Mengele or Genseric felt about young felines.

When I wrote The Ripple in Space-Time, I wanted to be realistic with my ruthless space pirates. I wanted to give them believable personalities. Certainly they are bad dudes but I felt that they should have some ephemeral wisps of humanity as well.

The Captain of the space pirates is Olin Gristle. I melded together two amusing names for his moniker that found one Sunday morning in the Obituary section of the San Francisco Chronicle. One of the good guys in the book notes that, “Pirates always seem to have the best names, for some reason.”

Captain Gristle alternates between ostentatiousness and distraction in The Ripple in Space-Time. He’s overly formal in his interactions with women and those with legitimate authority. He demonstrates this with grand flourishes and proclamations. The Captain is especially cruel and vindictive towards prisoners. He redeems himself when he exerts significant effort to defend the misdoings of some members of his crew.

The First Mate on the pirate ship is Bosco Kremerling, again a name cobbled together from the Obituary Section. “Boz,” as he is constantly reminding everyone to call him, is a hulking and short-tempered bruiser with no reservations towards violence and intimidation. Early in the book Boz terrorizes one of the main female characters with a dagger.

Some benevolence eventually peeks through the clouds of menace. Over the course of the story, Boz develops a reluctant fondness and sympathy for the older woman that he had victimized.

I used an unusual source to get the “sound” of the dialogue for the pirates. I watched several seasons of the Discovery Channel’s Reality Show about crab fishing called “The Deadliest Catch.” The show’s participants have an interesting mix of bravado and camaraderie that comes through in the way that they talk to each other.

I often have great fun writing the parts for the bad boys in my novels.

Perhaps during the minor revisions for the second edition of The Ripple in Space-Time I will add a note that both Captain Gristle and First Mate Boz were fond of kittens.

About S. F. Chapman

S F Chapman has done it all. He spent 4 years as a truck driver, 8 years as a scientific glass blower and 20 years as a building contractor. He’s a computer geek, handyman, music lover and relentless tinkerer.

But he is most excited about his latest endeavor. In the next five years, Chapman plans to release 12 books. His first, I’m here to help, launched on July 1, 2012. His next release is the science fiction detective tale The Ripple in Space-Time due out on February 1, 2013.

Born in Berkeley, Chapman is a California boy for life. He grew up on the Pacific coast and has spent the last 54 years in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He’s the third of twelve children, born to an endearing stay-at-home mother and traveling salesman father during the 1960s Space Race.

While working on his liberal arts degree at Diablo Valley College, Chapman chose mostly classes in the English Department, focusing on science fiction literature, composition and short story writing. He generated nearly a dozen short stories in two years and considers that period to be the beginning of his writing career.

S F's six works so far are the post-apocalyptic soft science fiction MAC Series consisting of Floyd 5.136, Xea in the Library and Beyond the Habitable Limit; the science fiction detective story entitled The Ripple in Space-Time, the literary novella I’m here to help and the general fiction tale of death and destruction called On the Back of the Beast. He is currently alternating between two entirely different writing projects; the first is a rough and tumble literary novel about homelessness called The Missive In The Margins and the second is a science fiction detective squeal to The Ripple in Space-Time dubbed Torn From On High.

He is the proud papa of a 19-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter.

S F's huge gray male tabby cat keeps him company while he writes and was the inspiration for Striped Cat Press.

Follow S. F. Chapman here:

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