The Journey begins
- April 11, 2023
In September of 2022 I watched the DART mission livestream like most other humans with an interest in space exploration, technology, and combining both factors together to make a horrendous outer space-kablooie! Engineering; it’s like math but louder. Everyone who tuned in remembered the epic excitement of watching a tiny white dot at the centre of their screen remain a tiny white dot at the centre of the screen for at least an hour. EPIC! We watched the talking heads and the ‘median pay range’ digital graphics all while Dimorphous remained diminutive and unremarkable. (There’s a comment about YouTube & livestreaming here, I know it…) This was supposed to be a big deal: punching the cosmos in the FACE with our primitive ape rocket technology. That ‘big deal’ was still only a tiny pebble adrift in ocean black.
A tiny pebble adrift in ocean black also happens to describe the LONG unremarkable process of how ‘The Constant Star’ was birthed. If you want to talk about taking a dogs’ lifetime to become an overnight phenomenon, TCS is your reference. The story, the desire, the concept; didn’t come from any unique insight, just a simple need to fulfill a childhood itch. I had completed film school and was thus as full of hope and optimism as I ever would be. I had eighteen different ideas for a space opera (I still do) none of which had any real potential of being noticed or picked up since I was a Canadian living in Vancouver with no experience or connections. Of course, I spent entirely too much time trying to get those to go somewhere. You may have guessed; they have not.
Among many iterations of ‘awesome space battles’ I found myself looking for something more magical, less technical. A science fiction story more fantasy than fact. I felt a need for a ‘Tim Burton does Sci-Fi by way of ‘The Dark Crystal’’ adventure. And so I pitched ‘The Constant Star’ (named because the Ralph Fiennes film ‘The Constant Gardener’ had been recently released and I felt the title catchy – that film and this work have nothing in common so those of you worried about globalists abusing Africa for the sake of pharmaceuticals can read on without apprehension.) I wanted to tell a story of a world where technology was both king and invisible. Where the operator behind the curtain of magic and mystery was ultimately a science and an engineering we couldn’t comprehend. If you could’ve coaxed Arthur C. Clarke to write a fantasy novel, the world of ‘TCS’ would look rather similar, as the man himself said, and I paraphrase “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
I wanted to bring back the ‘magic’, without having characters’ casting spells or conjuring demonic forces. Let’s build something full of wonder and adventure that never stretches scientific credibility but DOES push the limits of the imagination.
Nunya great folks reading this would have anything even close to this privilege without the REAL reason ‘TCS’ exists in your possession now: The artist Lucas Green.
Lucas coming onto the project is the same as passing the asteroid Didymos in the final minutes of the DART livestream. Suddenly with this infusion of righteous skill and furious talent we were racing towards our goal. That tiny white pebble adrift was suddenly an egg, on its way to us in these trying times, then a baseball, cantaloupe, lampshade and finally it filled the screen for an entire moment… We have suddenly arrived at our destination with a swiftness I didn’t realize was possible in the creative world.
I dreamed up a world I wanted to explore, to populate with characters, fill with obstacles and objectives that force both the characters and ourselves’ to ask questions about the choices we make and how we see the world. Lucas manifested that world into existence. Nothing about the joy I feel in this project, or the fun you’ll hopefully find reading would be even remotely possible without the unbelievable contributions of work, sweat and creativity that Lucas has not only brought to the table, but evoked in myself as well. I created a dream world, and my incredible friend and colleague literally gave it form.
It’s a long way to the Constant Star. There are treacherous dungeonlands and dangerous tackletracks along the way. We had better get going. Night arrives soon.