Ice World Truckers: Where did that come from?

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Ice World Truckers: Where did that come from?



Ice World Truckers: Where Did That Come From?

Mari Kait

Model by Herminio, Art by Chooch99

In the future, space will be colonized. More than that, I believe it will also be commercialized. Planets, moons, and dozens of asteroids throughout the solar system will have humans living and working on them. As humanity expands outward from the core for scientific and commercial development, there will be logistical needs that will require Ice World Truckers in order to bring people, supplies, and equipment to the farthest reaches of the system.

Ice world truckers is an original science fiction story published in two parts at OMNI Reboot. If you have not read the story yet, feel free to check them out here (part one) and here (part two). The art used in this article was created by my friends Sarah Adams (Nayeli) and George Silsby (Chooch99) with model by “Herminio“.

The Making Of Ice World Truckers

Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus had caught my attention with their hydrocarbon and subsurface oceans. It got me thinking about what kind of life could live on those frozen worlds. I suspected whatever was on Titan would be very alien, while Enceladus with its underground water, could have life somewhat similar to what we find in our artic and antarctic seas.

Then, a friend of mine suggested I send one of my stories to OMNI Reboot. Presented with an opportunity to write a short story, I started thinking about what kind of story I wanted to tell. I knew it would be science fiction and take place in the future, but what exactly I was not sure.

I should take a moment to note that I am a fan of the television reality show Ice Road Truckers — a show that tests people by exposing them to some of the world’s harshest conditions in order to complete a job that many people take for granted but depend on for everything from their most basic necessities to the luxury items they enjoy. I should also note that my brother is a truck driver and delivers the necessities and luxuries that people need to maintain the modern lifestyle they enjoy.

With all of these ideas stewing in my head, some of them started coming together and started forming larger ideas — a kin to the planet building that the primordial solar system underwent several billions years ago. The idea about a ship and its small crew hauling freight to some of far away moon was one idea. The discovery of a whale-like creature on Saturn’s moon Enceladus was another. And when those two ideas collided and bound together, the premise for Ice World Truckers was born.

I started outlining a tale of Captain Jax and his two man crew on the long journey between the outer worlds and the core and an unusual order to pick up a container from Enceladus and take it core-ward to Mars with no questions asked.

With the outline ready to go, I jumped straight to work writing my story. It came fast and easy and I found myself enjoying these characters. It wasn’t long until I encountered my first problem. The story was going to end up being too long to fit the length required. After conferring with the editor at OMNI, I was allowed to submit it as a two-part story. That development alone opened up a few new possibilities, but also generated new batch of problems. I could finish the story, but I would have to figure out the best place to split it and make sure that the second part was as interesting as the first.

I immediately stopped writing and decided to reexamine my outline and the story I had written in its current form. Tackling the first problem, I found where I could split the story in half. It had an interesting reveal and enough lose threads to encourage people to check out its conclusion. And, best of all, it fit within OMNI’s publication guidelines.

Then, I turned my attention to the second problem. Upon closer examination of my outline, there wasn’t much there for the second part of the story. Sure I had the big reveal to look forward to, but after that the story just petered out rather quickly. It needed something. It need to build towards something before the reveal. It needed more jeopardy. Then, it occurred to me: Jupiter.

With the last piece of the story falling into place, I got back to work, starting with some revisions to the first part. The story flowed swiftly and easily from there. When I reached the logical conclusion for this tale, I found that there were so many more stories that I could tell with these characters on this ship within this universe and was sad to see them go.

I sent off the stories to OMNI Reboot and a few short weeks later, Ice World Truckers was published, followed by Part Two a week later. Even with the stories out, they still gnawed at me. There was something about them that still needed to be told. There was something about them that compelled me forward.

As I finished the outline for Fires of the Phoenix, I decided I was going to make one more trip to the outer worlds aboard the Mari Kait. Instead of jumping straight into the new project once I had completed the last, I took my time to recharge the batteries and figure out what this new story would be about. Three ideas popped into my head. Rather than coming together as easily as the last, they began building on their own and in a completely different manner with tendrils that linked them together while keeping them separate.

That’s when I realized that the next Ice World Trucker story I would tell would be a much larger story with multiple parts or released as a novella. As I write this, I still do not not know what form the next installment of this story will take, but I can tell you that I have already outlined four chapters and I’ve got enough for at least another two or three more.

Once again, I’ll ask you to check out the two-part Ice World Truckers story published over at OMNI Reboot. Also, as an extra added treat, I’ll share the character bios for the story’s main characters: Jax, Emma, and Hershey.

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