Monday, July 23, 2012

'59 by Anthony Sunderland: Character Interview, Review, Design Concepts

January 24th 2059: The exploration ships Intrepid and Valiant set sail on the first mission to Proxima Centauri. Finally the stars were within our reach. We would step out onto unexplored worlds, in our quest to reach out into the galaxy in search of exciting discoveries and new life.

Mission Commander Donald Lewis promised his daughter Janine that he would return from the nineteen month mission in plenty of time for her twenty first birthday.

He never came home.

Janine vowed to discover her father's fate, no matter what it might cost her. This is a quest that will test young Janine's courage and resolve to their very limits. A journey fraught with massive obstacles and terrible dangers at every turn.

This is the first installment in the epic series '59.

Special Announcement:  '59 will be FREE on Amazon 
Friday & Saturday July 27th and 28th.

See artistic conceptualizations of some of the main characters and uniforms.

4 Stars

’59 is the first installment of a serialized epic adventure.  There is a lot here that got me interested and anxious to learn more.  I love space adventures, and in this one two ships of cutting edge design take off on a planned nineteen month exploratory mission to a nearby star system. The year is 2059.  There are quite a few characters introduced, and at times I had a little trouble keeping all of them straight, but I’m sure that will become less of a problem as the mystery continues to unravel.

Janine is the daughter of Donald Lewis, Captain of the Valiant, and the Mission Commander.  She is bright, opinionated, and loyal to her beloved father.  She also is exceedingly angry with her brother, Sean.  This vitriol seems sometimes to overpower her common sense.  So far, I am having difficulty warming up to her.  I hope the rift with her sibling is better explained from her perspective in a future installment because from the information I currently have, Sean performed admirably and with spectacular courage. It sure seems to me, at this point, that Janine’s rancor is unjustified.   One thing for sure, I am curious to see how this story plays out. Lucky for me, ’59 pt 2: Valiant is also available.  I was able to borrow it for free with my Amazon Prime  membership.

My very special guest today is Doctor Cindy Lewis, chief medical officer at the Deep Space Exploration Agency, which is often called DeepSEA for short. Welcome, Doctor Lewis, it’s a pleasure to have you here.
Thank you. Please call me Cindy. Otherwise I’ll think you’re here to consult me.
Well now that you mention it, I have got a bit of a pain just – no just joking. Please do tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m married to Donald and we have two grown up children. A boy and a girl. Sometimes I wonder if they are grown up.
I know how you feel. So they’re still at home, and I suppose -
No. No. Sean is twenty nine. He left many years ago. He’s doing, err …

Wow! You do surprise me. If you don’t mind me saying, you look far too young to have a child that age.

Thanks for the compliment, but sometimes I feel like a grandma who’s just waiting for the babies to come along. Sort of got the wrinkles but not the little bundles of joy to show for it.
Well, Cindy I hope I look half as good as you when I reach, erm, I won’t ask your age, but …Okay,. You look absolutely fantastic for the mother of a twenty nine year old. What’s your big secret?
I started very young.
So you’ve raised two children while holding down what must be a very high pressure job, especially now preparing for this momentous, well, epoch defining mission.
Yes, having to tell people that they’re not physically, or psychologically, prepared for the mission is, I think the most stressful part of the job.
How do you deal with that, shattering somebody’s dreams?
By finding the ones who are mentally tough enough, who understand from the very beginning of the process that the safety of –
I’m sorry to interrupt, but how do you personally deal with it. Knowing that you’re going to have to deliver the news to somebody who is going to be, well, erm, devastated by it.
I have to bear in mind that everybody else’s safety rests on my final decision. The medical team cannot allow anybody on this mission that we have any doubts about.
What if you had to tell your husband that he wasn’t going?
Well, that’s …
I’m sorry if that’s an upsetting question.
The honest answer. I would have loved it. He should be here. Helping me to deal with everything, to keep the home and family together. I’ll have to get used to the house being pretty empty for nineteen months.
So what will you do to relax away from the demands of monitoring the mission crews?
Oh. Tidy up and run around after a teenage daughter.

Ooh. Tell me about that! I take it Sean has learned how to tidy up, or moved out.

Yes, he’s been away on conservation work for about nine years.

Wow. That’s a big career change. Because I believe he was an astronaut wasn’t he?
Yes. An excellent one, but …
Hmm. What prompted him to go off and do something so dramatically different?
He wanted to try something new, that … erm, something where he wasn’t confined in a small cabin all day long.
Will he be back at home while Don’s away?
No, he’s needed on his project in Asia. Besides, Janine’s at home to keep me company, occupied, whatever.
What qualities do you think your children have inherited from Don and yourself?
Well, Sean has got his father’s physique and flying ability. Some might say that’s he’s got a cool temperament, logic, and methodical approach from me.
What about Janine’s major characteristics?
A love of horses and flying. She’s as stubborn and pig-headed as her father. As bolshie and impulsive as –
Wow! And what about her best qualities?
She’s stubborn, pig-headed, and as tenacious as a dog with a bone. When she sets her mind on something don’t dare stand in her way.
So how did you and Don meet, if you don’t mind me asking?
I was a medical student and Don was part of a study group into the effects of an experimental rehabilitation program after one of his, many, accidents. And it was totally against his wishes. He whined every single day that he just wanted to be out flying.
To prove he was fit he played rugby twice a week. What a crazy game. No padding or helmets. Just asking for a serious injury. I used to wince every time he got tackled, and ended up on the ground under about four other men.
It took a while to realize that it always seemed to happen right in front of me.
Ooh creepy.
Not really. Under that loud-mouthed, cantankerous exterior he was a true gent. Other players would always try to get a cheap thrill out of you. If they had a leg injury it would be, “just rub it a bit further up.” Or, “how about a private consultation after.” Ugh!
He was never like that. Even when he was injured he would spring back up after a minute and dash back out to carry on playing. But he did have a way, that if anybody else had ever tried it, I… err, would have grievously injured them myself.
What was that?
After I’d been rubbing whatever limb or body part he’d had injured for more than half a minute, he’s smile, say, “that’s enough excitement for you, nurse.” Give me a cheeky wink, say, “I don’t want you getting carried away,” then run back onto the field.
Damn cheek! To think that I actually fell for it.
I hope you’ve managed to put him right since then.
Not a chance.

I live in West Yorkshire, a truly beautiful part of the world, spoilt only by the cold, wind, and rain - oh well. Owning a convertible car here really is the height of optimism.

The season one finale of Buffy inspired me to start writing. Something inside me clicked and I wanted to write something so good that it would challenge Sarah Michelle Gellar's incredible talent. Nothing like aiming for the top when you've never done something before

I've written four screenplays on spec, 2 Sci-fi, 1 superhero, and 1 horror, plus several short stories, and a novella. The novella, Destiny's Daughter, is a spin-off from one of the scripts. It was always intended to be the first in a series, and I was originally going to send it to the 'Writers of the Future' comp.

I have several design concepts for '59 as a graphic novel. These were created by two great students, Anna and Kelsey, at Calderdale college. That project is on a back-burner because the Kindle obviously allows me far greater control over my work. It will still happen in the near future.

When I'm not writing, promoting my work, or at the day job as an electrician, I play badminton, pool, and bowl (erratically).

Over the years I've ticked many things off my "to do" list, some scarier than others: fire-eating, parachuting, public speaking, singing, and bungee jumping - though I missed out on the cable-car jump in Latvia, and still want to do a jump off the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa.

I'm a qualified glider pilot. Things still to do include playing piano, guitar, swimming with sharks, trekking the Inca trail, and whale watching.

Oh, and being on set when those films are produced.

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