Influences and Recommendations
This might be the most fun page on the site. Below, I've listed the various books, shows, movies, and games that have contributed to my writing. For each work of fiction (or non-fiction), I plan to explain the specific influence it had on me. I've based numerous scenes, characters, technologies, and plot points on stuff found in these works. This page also doubles as a recommended viewing and reading list. If you like my work, it stands to reason that you may very well like the stuff upon which I've based my work. Some of what I list below may come as a surprise, as my chief influences don't hail from the literary neck of the woods.
Authors and Books
The following is a list of books that I recommend. I've drawn on plot and character elements from some of them.
Arthur C. Clarke
The Light of Other Days
A great read about how wormhole and time-travel technology would actually affect modern society.
A classic. I love the little girl and her robot.
Orson Scott Card
Another classic about a genius runt of a little kid and zero-g laser-tag. You can't help empathising with Ender with how often kids pick on him.
Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, & Absolution Gap
An archaeologist uncovers what caused an ancient alien species to go extinct, and the human race could be next.
Commonwealth Saga: Pandora's Star, Judas Unchained
Wormhole tunnels connect plants in distant star systems. An astronomer notices that a star has disappeared, prompting the planets of the Commonwealth to build a starship to find out why. I borrowed the idea of the wormhole tunnels for Beyond the Horizon.
The Void Trilogy: The Dreaming, Temporal, and Evolutionary Voids
Set about a thousand years after the Commonwealth Saga. A realm known as the Void, which grants the desires and wishes of all who enter threatens to destroy the galaxy.
The first book in the Greg Mandel Series. Mandel is basically a human lie detector due to enhancements given to him by the military. With his service over, he takes a job with a major corporation to weed out space station sabateurs.
What reading list would be complete without one of sci-fi's all-time masterpieces? I believe that Dune lives up to the hype. Young Paul Atreides must fight to avenge his father's death and retake control of the desert planet his family once oversaw. The legendary figure that Paul Atreides becomes inspired me to have Lynn take on the role of galactic icon in Destalis.
The Davinchi Code / Angel's & Demons
Follow historian Robert Langdon as he investigates controversies between the Catholic Church and Science.
Anime / Manga
I believe Anime (Japanese Animation) and Manga (Japanese comics) are some of the most underappreciated forms of fiction. They contain so many good stories that just can't seem to break into the mainstream in the U.S. due to American preconceptions about animation.
The original Macross is my all-time favorite fictional concept. It aired on Japanese television from 1982-83. The animation shows its age, but it's still an amazing story. An alien spaceship, the Macross, crashlands on modern-day Earth. Analysis of Macross' technology advances mankind by leaps and bounds in just ten years. Hikaru Ichijo (Rick Hunter in Robtech) is a young stunt pilot who abhors the military but gets sucked into the conflict when the aliens return to claim their ship. He falls for the beautiful singer Lynn Minmay (Lynn Minmei) shortly after meeting her. But as he gets to know Misa Hayase (Lisa Hayes), the Macross' flight controller and first officer, his feelings become conflicted. In my writing, I aspire to create characters like Hikaru, Minmay, and Misa. I believe that they're some of the best in fiction. I also draw on the idea of a city inside a spaceship, which I think is just plain cool.
Robotech consists of the original Macross plus two other unrelated series merged together as three generations with the plots modified. Robotech introduced me to Anime, just as it did for many others.
A sequel to Macross. Hotshot pilot Isamu Dyson is assigned the role of test pilot of one of the first Valkyrie fighters capable of performing a hyperspace fold (faster-than-light travel). Sound familiar? It should. I use this idea in Beyond Cloud Nine. Brooke's entry into Earth's atmosphere also draws heavily on Dyson's simliar act.
A sequel to Macross. Years after the alien attack, a new, more powerful alien threat appears in the Solar System. SNN reporter Hibiki Kanzaki gets involved by flying out to report on the first skirmish between U.N. Spacy and Marduk forces. During the battle, he finds and saves the beautiful Marduk princess Ishtar, who controls their pilots with her songs. Along the way, he manages to piss off ace pilot Sylvie Gena. In Beyond Cloud Nine, Brooke and Marie's characters are loosely based on Sylvie and Hibiki, respectively.
A prequel to Macross. While operating an F-14 Tomcat, the pessimistic Shin Kudo gets shot down by a new reconfigurable fighter plane. He crashlands on the Mayan islands and spends time with the beautiful Sara Nome, a native with strange powers. The first three episodes were so good, but the last two leave much to be desired. The director had the opportunity to set the stage for how the original Macross begins but instead chose to toss in a bunch of unrelated supernatural weirdness.
Ghost in the Shell / GITS: Stand Alone Complex
This near-future cyperpunk thriller follows the exploits of Section 9, the Japanese government's clandestine anti-terrorist unit. Lead by Major Motoko Kusanagi, a former female soldier whose entire body is cybernetic, Section 9 investigates an A.I. that becomes sentient, a master hacker, and a charismatic terrorist. GITS is very philosophical and plot-oriented. The Major often questions whether she actually is who she thinks she is, given that she downloads herself into new bodies on a frequent basis.
Four female vigilantes in battle armor fight the Genom corporation and their cyborg boomers in this near-future cyberpunk classic. I've merged aspects of Priss' personality into Brooke's character.
A group of young space explorers travel to the planet Eris, where they are entrusted with five robotic lions that can merge together to form Voltron. Believe it or not, both Lynn and Lutar's characters in Destalis are loosely based on Princess Alura and Prince Lotor from Voltron. Laugh if you want.
This comedic sci-fi comic series stars a female cyborg warrior, a sex-starved juvenile, and his money-grubbing sidekick.
TV Shows (Sci-Fi / Drama)
Star Trek: The Next Generation
TV Shows (Non-Fiction)
Morgan Freeman's Through the Wormhole
TV Shows (Comedy)
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Final Fantasy Series
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Beyond Cloud Nine
Beyond the Horizon
With the Earth conquered, Admiral Maya Davis must travel through space, time, and alternate universes to prevent mankind from being wiped out of existence.
Lyana, an orphaned martial artist with bio-augmented abilities,
embarks on a quest to liberate her home world and prevent the fabric of the universe from unraveling.
Bears in Space
Roz and his goofball crew must save the galaxy from cliche alien invasions, trite zombie apocalypses, and bad rom-coms.
Ryssa Nilsson must avoid the deadly stings of heat-loving bugs known as
thermophiles and escape Mars before the Sun's expansion
sterilizes the planet.