THE NOVEL BASED ON THE DEBUT SCIENCE FICTION PODCAST FROM TOR LABS
Dakota “Dak” Prentiss guards the biggest secret in the world.
They call it “Moss.” It’s your standard grey alien from innumerable abduction stories. Moss still sits at what looks like the controls of the spaceship it crash-landed twenty-five years ago. A secret military base was built around the crash site to study both Moss and the dangerous technology it brought to Earth.
The day Matt Salem joins her security team, Dak’s whole world changes.
It’s love at first sight—which is a problem, since they both signed ironclad contracts before joining the base security team, vowing not to fraternize with other military personnel. If they run away, they’ll be hunted for the secret they know. So Dak and Matt decide to escape to a better life on the wings of an incredibly dangerous plan: They’re going to steal the alien body they’ve been guarding and sell the secret of its existence.
And they can’t afford a single mistake.
Nat Cassidy is an actor, director, musician, and playwright. He has appeared on shows such as The Following (Fox), The Affair (Showtime), Red Oaks (Amazon), High Maintenance (HBO), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), as well as on stage in numerous productions and workshops both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway. Nat’s plays have been nominated for a combined total of 17 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including 3 times for Outstanding Full-Length Script (which he won in 2009, and in 2011 for Outstanding Solo Performance for his one man show about H.P. Lovecraft). In 2012 Nat was commissioned by The Kennedy Center to write the libretto for a world-premiere opera, and in 2014 his play Any Day Now was chosen to be part of Primary Stages’ ESPADrills (The Duke Theatre, directed by Tony-nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel). He is also thrilled to be writing the novelization of Steal the Stars, which will be published by Tor Books in November 2017.
Photo Content from TOR Labs
Episode Fourteen: As Fierce, As Colossal, As All-Consuming
In an epic final showdown in the Texas desert – as Sierra closes in from all sides – Dak and Matt finally learn the truth about Moss.
Photo Content from TOR Labs
- What is on your nightstand?
Nat: Way too many books. Right now, there’s a pile that includes Michael McDowell’s Blackwater series, Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula, some Neil Gaiman Sandman trades, a couple books on screenplay teleplay structure (I’m always flipping through those), the new Penguin Classics collection of Richard Matheson stories edited by Victor Lavalle, a mass market of Clive Barker’s first Book of Blood which I just got the urge to reread (and which I’m discreetly keeping under another book because my fiancée doesn’t do horror and the cover art is appropriately disturbing), an ashtray full of change I’m supposed to use for laundry but always forget about. Also a frog lamp.
Mac: These days? My smartphone. It’s got all my books and movies on it. And earbuds. And, I’m sorry to admit, more than one day’s worth of socks.
- What author would you totally fan?
Mac: If I met Charlie Jane Anders or James S.A. Corey (who I think is actually two people) I would totally flip out. I’m crazy for Anders’ ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY and Corey’s THE EXPANSE novel series.
Nat: I’m a Stephen King obsessive. I actually worked with him once, like 13 years or so ago, and I conducted myself surprisingly coherently, I think. I only, like, occasionally became a tongue-tied and giddy. But I would drop pretty much everything to get the chance to work with/fan on him again. Also, Peter Straub.
- What makes you cringe?
Nat: The sound of someone rubbing a balloon. Ugh.
Mac: I have different cringe-triggers than a lot of other people. I can watch a super-gory horror movie, but I can’t stand a movie that has a long, awkward, embarrassing wedding toast in it. I always fast-forward past those.
- Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
Mac: I obsessively plot. If I start writing without a strong game-plan I get lost in the weeds fast. I respect writers that discover the story as they go, but that’ll never be me.
Nat: I do a little bit of both, actually. I mean, obviously, for this novelization the plot was all there, waiting for me—but for my own work, I do a mixture of outlining and seat-of-the-pantsing. I usually have a good idea what *kind* of story elements I want to happen in certain places, but the plot specifics won’t always come to me until I’m vamping in the environment. So, I’ll do rough outlines that are half plot points and half emotional journey points, and then proceed just a little haphazardly from there. Certainly, the process is faster when you outline obsessively (and the bulk of my training and experience as a writer is in playscripts and screenplays, which are pretty strict in their structure), but I also like to stay open to discoveries and accidents.
- Is there a word you love to use?
Nat: I’m weirdly fond of the word “chuffed,” instead of “said.” I had to search my manuscript to make sure I didn’t use it too many times. I have no idea why. I guess I like it when people chuff things.
Mac: I totally overuse the word “suddenly.” I was working on a screenplay a couple years ago and after I turned in the first draft my employer emailed me and said, “Okay, I want a rewrite, and you’re only allowed to use the word ‘suddenly’ three times total.” I realized I’d put it on every other page!
Also, if you have any pictures of your pet you would like to share, please attach them. My readers love animals!
Nat: I do! I do!
– 5 Winners will receive an Audio Copy of Steal the Stars by Mac Rogers.