Now that Stargate SG-1: Four Dragons is hurtling across the globe to bookstores everywhere, I’m working on the sequel. While I can’t give away too much, its obvious I need to share a key element of “The Drift” as it takes place in what I would consider to be the most alien place on this little world of ours:
Think about it… Antarctica is at the bottom of the world. It’s a continent with no native human culture, a continent of blue icebergs, extraordinary animal-life…
It is, with the exception of the 40+ research facilities scattered across its 5.4 million square miles, the most uninhabitated place on the planet.
For those of you familiar with the Stargate franchise, Antarctica plays a critical role in our heroes finding technologies which save the planet from alien devastation. Some 50 miles outside of McMurdo (more on that in a later post) was once home to the Ancient ship-city Atlantis, Earth’s first Stargate (yep, earlier than the one found in Giza), and the Ancient Weapons Chair/Platform.
So obviously, the Ancients felt pretty strongly about Antarctica, too, since it was once their home.
I was fascinated with Antarctica long before Stargate and I became friends. In college I wrote a murder mystery screenplay set at Amundsen-Scott (the literal South Pole Station). A few years later, I stumbled upon South: the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 expedition. Then came Kenneth Branagh’s extraordinary film, Shackleton, and then…
SG-1’s Season One episode “Solitudes” – where Sam and Jack end up gating through to an ice planet… only to discover that they’ve ended back on Earth, in Antarctica, at the original Earth gate.
SG-1’s Season Six episode “Frozen” – where an Ancient carrying the plague which decimated her race is revived after many millenniums, only to die when she uses her advanced genetics to heal those around her who come down with the same illness.
SG-1’s Season Seven episode “Lost City” – where Jack’s mind is overwritten with the Ancients depository of information, leading the team to find the Ancient Outpost in Antarctica and a way to save Earth.
So… yeah, my mind went WHIRLING in a thousand directions when I first watched these episodes two years ago — as I was outlining the storyline for “Four Dragons.” There was an after story, as it were – not a literal sequel where at the end of Four Dragons you’re on a cliffhanger, but more a case of… yeah, well…in writing a SG-1 novel where I pulled together threads from many episodes (Lord Yu, the Ancients, Daniel’s return), I actually created more threads. Threads that if picked up and woven together could create a story that belonged in the SG-1 mythos and would take place in Antarctica.
And thus, “The Drift” concept was born, pitched to the publishers, and given a go.
But no, I couldn’t stop there.
In most SG-1 books, our team travels to another world. An alien environment. As a writer, its my job to create a world that’s believable, services the story, and is imaginative as well.
In “The Drift,” that alien world IS Antarctica. And to do justice to that world, I made a crazy decision.
Therefore, this December, I will be journeying down to the bottom of the world on a Russian Icebreaker Research vessel to explore the Antarctic sea, the ice, the snow…
All so I can hopefully add a level of realism and depth to your experience as the reader.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll share a bit more about what’s in store. And yes, I promise to post many images and thoughts about my experience as much as time permits.
More to come.