Red Shift was inspired by the pulp science-fiction radio and film serials of the 1930s and 40s, with a dash of 1950s television thrown in to taste. Admittedly, this is a well-farmed field, but rightfully so: the iconic characters, settings and technological gee-whiz from over 60 years ago can still captivate our imaginations and tug at long-forgotten childhood memories. Who doesn’t remember thrilling to the serialized adventures of Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers or Commando Cody? Well, me for one. I grew up in the 1980s. And that’s why I wrote RED SHIFT.
See, a lot of science-fiction in the Cold War 80s pictured the future as a bleak, post-nuclear wasteland or industrial urban dystopia. Some of it’s great when you’re older but to a kid who’s looking forward to the future, it seemed pretty grim. So I turned to visions of the future from other eras, from Verne and Wells to Asimov and Clarke, and then I found the clean, modernist utopia as imagined by the 1939 World’s Fair.
The Fair was held at a time when America, out from under the Great Depression and at peace for the time being, was really eager to look ahead. The fair presented a vision of a future which, through industry and hard work, promised to be streamlined, prosperous and bright. And beyond this World of Tomorrow lay the cosmos, just waiting for us to explore and colonize. Red Shift and Lumpy live in just this kind of future, and Dr. Alberts and Penny Parker are keen to travel there. It’s just slightly, well, off-center.
This future has been realized with the help of amazingly talented people, some of whom stepped up at the last minute to lend a hand. Together, we have created a little universe where technology is shiny, ray guns make excellent zapping sounds, and cliffhangers are improbably resolved in the next thrilling installment. Thanks for stopping by today to share in the fantastic future of RED SHIFT. I hope it entertains you (and if you’re hungry, I hear it goes very well with a big bowl of Cosmo-Flakes.)