Monday, April 28, 2014

Xenophobia


For this A to Z challenge I had one rule--to talk about books I'd published--but now I'm going to break my one rule.  Because I am Batman and the Joker all rolled into one.  For the hell of it I'm going to talk about my only X story (though it's not X-rated) Xenophobia.


Not bad for 1997 tech, right?
It's a Transformers fanfic I wrote in about 1997.  I was in college and didn't feel like writing serious stuff and thanks to this newfangled World Wide Web I could communicate with fans of things I liked, such as Transformers on message boards.  And before long I became the center of numerous flame wars--shocking, I know.  Anyway, some people wrote their own Transformers stories and I thought, Why not me too?

When other people wrote alternate universe Transformers stories they'd always take the apocalyptic approach (even the comics did this) about the Autobots have lost and the Decepticons have won and yadda yadda.  I decided to do the opposite.  What would happen when the Autobots and their human allies actually defeated the Decepticons?

The answer is they turn on each other.  With the Decepticons gone, the humans start to see the Autobots less as liberators and more as conquerors and pretty soon (with some prodding) they start demanding the Autobots leave Earth.  Meanwhile, with the war over Optimus Prime has decided to step down as the leader and go off exploring the galaxy and such, which is I guess the Transformer equivalent of playing golf and fishing.  This opens the way for an unstable Hot Rod to take over leadership of the Autobots.

And of course while Megatron is dead, the Decepticons aren't entirely gone.  A new leader rises up--a female one no less who claims to have been Megatron's "consort."  (Because even psychotic despot Transformers have needs.)  She gathers together the remnants of the Decepticon empire and begins work to rebuild it.

My favorite Transformer has always been Jetfire, the one based on a Robotech Valkyrie fighter, so of course he gets a subplot.  Jetfire and his former assistant--the "consort" mentioned above--have figured out how to make Transformer babies.  The thing with Transformers is that the "spark" or soul of a new one had to be created by Vector Sigma or the Matrix or Primus or some damned thing (really there is no one Transformers continuity) but Jetfire's figured out how to take two Transformer sparks and make a third, akin to how human babies are made.  So yes this involves Transformer sex.  Sweet.

Jetfire's "daughter" is serving as Optimus Prime's bodyguard, and when he realizes they're in for trouble, he takes off after them to try to save them.  And then there's something about opening a wormhole to another part of the galaxy populated by aliens and a stash of nucleon, which is a powerful energy source, much more so than anything currently in use by the humans or Autobots.


Most of this is based on the Timothy Zahn Star Wars novels if you think of the Autobots as the New Republic and Megatron's consort as Thrawn.  And Jetfire's daughter as Mara Jade.  So who's Luke and Han and Leia?  Hurm.  This was supposed to be a trilogy but I never got around to writing more than a couple chapters of the second one.  I think in the second one the Decepticons wrest control of a mysterious new energy source and in the third one they're using it to kick ass on the Autobots and humans, who thanks to unstable elements on both sides are having trouble working together.  Which is pretty much how the Thrawn novels worked out for the most part.  I am nothing if not unoriginal.

An Autobot character left behind on Earth is actually one I created to use in the Doom video games.  Back then you could create mods for the weapons and scenery and stuff.  I only changed the face and maybe the guns a little.  I did another one for a Beast Wars character based on a fox.  His tail became the shotgun in the game.  Those were the days.  Now all I have are my Sims.  If only I could create Transformers Sims!

While I didn't finish this trilogy, I did write another shorter series of Transformers-related fanfics.  It was more of a Star Trek Voyager kind of thing where Skyfire (a Beast Wars version of Jetfire) gets stranded far from home but finds an Autobot ship that was likewise stranded.  Together they start to make their way home and have some adventures along the way.  I was planning as many as 12 stories but quit after 8 because I got busy with school and work and/or stopped caring.  The first book or two in the series are actually a crossover with the Doom game as Skyfire battles the alien creatures from that.  Then there was a trilogy in which they find a planet of Transformers who are distant ancestors of them and they have to work together when the planet goes all Unicron and tries to kill them.


All those stories are written like shit because it was 17 years ago and I probably never bothered to edit it.  Still if you're a Transformers fan you might enjoy it more than any of the stupid Michael Bay movies.  It's only on a blog right now because I haven't ever published it because obviously there are rights issues and stuff.  Maybe if they ever added it to Kindle Worlds I'd publish it through that.  So the good news is it's FREE to read!

The rest of my books are available at the new Planet 99 Publishing site

3 comments:

  1. Now that's a very interesting take on Transformers. Jetfire was my favorite too. My oldest had his toy...where the hell is that thing???

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  2. I agree with Jay. And honestly, you may be too hard on yourself. None of the stories could be worse than what Michael Bay comes up with.

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  3. This sounds a lot like the plot of the Transformers sequel.

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