Back in the spring of 2010 when I first came up with the character Captain Bartholomew Quasar, I was going for a mash-up between William Shatner’s James T. Kirk and Dudley Do-Right from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (but in Quasar’s case, things seldom ever go right). I wanted him to be one of those classic pulp heroes with a heart of gold whose narcissistic tendencies often land him in hot water. I hoped readers could laugh at Bartholomew Quasar and root for him at the same time. He’s ridiculous, but there’s something about his fallible nature that most of us can relate to on some level. And he truly wants to see justice served.
In my first Quasar tale, “The ‘If Only’ Elixir of Opsanus Tau Prime,” he ended up dying (SPOILER!—oops, too late), but by the time it was published, I’d gotten to like the character so much I knew I’d be bringing him back as soon as possible. The captain hasn’t changed a whole lot in the handful of other tales I’ve written, but his relationship with Hank, Commander Wan, and the other characters is deepening with every story as Quasar realizes he truly needs them in order to continue being as awesome as (he thinks) he is.
I don’t write hard science fiction with a whole lot of actual science in it. I focus on the characters, and everything else I just make up. Or I rely on osmosis to filter enough jargon into my brain from all the SF I read. I do my best to aim for universal themes and relatable characters, and I try to shoot for a high entertainment value that transcends any barriers to enjoying these space opera tales.
Thanks for reading,