Author Brena Bock takes over my blog today. She is one of 11 authors in the military sci-fi anthology, Space Force: Building The Legacy, edited by Doug Irvin and published by Midlands Scribes Publishing. The e-book is scheduled for a Memorial Day release and you can order the print edition now to be delivered around that same day at the link above. Brena’s story is: The Decision.
My father served in General Curtis LeMay’s Air Force as a member of a Strategic Air Command Air Refueling Wing. His time in service was the mid to late 1950s, the years leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
I couldn’t even guess how many times we watched the movie Strategic Air Command with Jimmy Stewart together. His face would light up during certain scenes, or when certain planes appeared on screen. He never tired of explaining this or that detail.
Sharing this and other experiences with him, helped develop my concepts of service and sacrifice.
In addition to my father’s stories of his time in the Air Force, I was influenced by Robert Heinlein, Leigh Bracket, Arthur Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and many other authors of that era. They all helped form my view of the world.
The seed for this story came to me in a dream one night. Basically the opening paragraphs. What happens when you have to make a decision and all the options are bad? Not a no-win scenario like the Kobayashi Maru from Star Trek, but when the only options are bad and worse and doing nothing is the worst decision of all.
How would this affect the individual who made that decision? Even if they survived, would they ever believe they’d made the least bad choice? I’m sure they would second guess themselves, especially given the constraints, time and otherwise, they were under.
Marina Petran, the main character in my story, is someone who can’t help but push herself. Good just isn’t good enough. Though no matter how well she does, she always thinks she could have done better. This leads her through college and into the United States Space Force. Eventually, it leads her to the decision called for in the title.
Bits and pieces of this story came to me over a few months. A scene here, a line of dialogue there. I had no idea what I was going to do with this story until about halfway through. That’s when I heard about the Space Force anthology. I only had to make a few changes and I thought it would have a decent chance at acceptance. Imagine my pleased surprise when Doug told me I’d made it, my story was going to be in the anthology.
Sadly, my father, the person I most wanted to share this news with, never got to see the results, he passed away in early April of this year.
So while I’m proud of my story and honored to be in the company of these amazing writers, it will always be somewhat bittersweet for me as well.