I have slowed down on revamping Aeroquest. You may have noticed, I did not spit out the next Canto yesterday. But I am still noodling around with the characters and the story. I took as my model the short chapters and many characters of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. And since it was intended as a comedy novel along the lines of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it has a lot of ridiculous things in it that subvert the plot and the many subplots.
The story is salvageable. But I will have to do some very big changes. I need to streamline the plot. I need to cut out unnecessary characters. And I need to give more extensive development and stage time to the characters I keep.
So here is an insight into critical characters and who they are.
The Aero Brothers are the two main characters who give the book its name. They were not created by me, but, rather, by one of the high school boys who played the science fiction RPG Traveller with me back in 1985. He created both characters loosely based on Han Solo from Star Wars. Ham was a hotshot space pilot. Ged was a rogue hunter who developed the psionic power of changing his shape. He was so powerful that he could use this mind power to change not only his size and shape but also his species. The boy who created these characters was a natural born leader even though he was small for his age and often taken for granted by his fellow players in the game. So these characters both reflect his real-life personality.
Trav Dalgoda, known as “Goofy” for his weird obsessions (like the eyepatch he doesn’t actually need), is a clown character who is constantly driven by his worst impulses to move the plot forward. He doesn’t mean to betray anybody on purpose, but he is obsessed with treasure hunting and watching things blow up. He can’t help causing massive destruction on planetary scales. Tron Blastarr, the scar-faced space pirate, is a bad guy turned hero who is often on the wrong end of Goofy’s plot-moving missteps. He ends up deciding that instead of merely being a pirate leader, he needs to lead a rebellion and form a new interstellar government.
These four are the most important characters in the entire story. I cannot rewrite it without any of them. All four of them are based on real people who played the science fiction role-playing game with me in the 80’s. I will tell you more about Aeroquest characters in future posts.