Combining things to make something new
I didn’t really look at it like this until a friend of mine pointed it out. When they heard my description of Rocket Fox, their reaction was “so, like Wind in the Willows meets Star Trek”. Admittedly, I never thought of it like that, but he did have a point. Yes, it was like Wind in the Willows meets Star Trek. After all, I was born the year after the original Star Trek series was canceled. Wind in the Willows was a major part of my reading growing up. So, there was a very good chance that the two would play a significant role with inspiration.
I came up with the idea for this star system and the races within it back when I was 12. Granted, the Vulpine were originally called the Foxians and the Pantherans were originally called the Pursians (you may groan now). Also, the Jackai didn’t exist and neither did the Felinus. The worlds themselves, including races, cultures, space ships, none of it had been really fleshed out yet. You could say that it took almost 30 years to do that (about 28 of those years the idea was on hiatus).
So, there is a bit of give on my part to admit that yes, a lot of influence has come from both those particular aspects of fiction. So much so that I’ve decided to name the three main acts of the first series after a combination of Wind in the Willows and Star Trek. Such as The Riverbank of Space, The Final Frontier being the first act (clunky and long and quite possibly will change in the future). The second act is To Boldly Go Down the Open Road. Again, a little clunky and long, but it fits. It also might change in the future. The third and final act of this first series is a little more fitting. City at the Gates of Dawn. Those familiar with both Wind in the Willows and Star Trek will catch the references (Space, The Final Frontier and To Boldly Go being the most obvious). The first two acts also include the titles of two chapters from Wind in the Willows; The Riverbank and The Open Road. The third act also includes combination of chapters and television episodes, but in a much tighter fashion. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and City on the Edge of Forever. Piper happens to be from Chapter 7 of Wind in the Willows, while City happens to be the Harlan Ellison penned episode of Star Trek.
I did enjoy both growing up, so it’s no surprise really that there is that much of a connection from others who read it. And I’m not embarrassed at all. In truth, I’m glad I could write something that people could see two completely different genres come together.