Great movies can linger in your memory for years and years. For me it was Forbidden Planet, a big budget science fiction movie made in 1956. It featured an intelligent robot, interstellar travel, and advanced alien cultures with amazing technologies.
As a young boy, I found the final scenes in the movie particularly riveting. The heroes of the movie shoot through a vast underground cavern just teeming with alien artifacts. When I saw the movie again recently, I was surprised by how primitive the special effects were. My imagination over the years had re-worked the primitive underground backdrop into a vast arcade of strange, otherworldly machines.
My re- imagined conception, not the real scenes in the movie, found their way into The Infinity Program.
Another scene from Forbidden Planet that I found captivating was the alien console that could boost a person’s intelligence. One of the crew members of the spaceship who has a genius level IQ is hooked up to the console. The machine rates him as feeble-minded. At the end of the movie the same crew member uses the machine to boost his intelligence to an incredible level. This scene also stuck in my mind and found its way into The Infinity Program in a very much altered way when an alien Quantum Computer boosts Harry Sale’s intelligence.
But Forbidden Planet was just one of thousands of influences on The Infinity Program. I’ve read thousands and thousands of science fiction books and seen hundreds of science fiction movies. I think they’ve all influenced me in one way or another, either consciously or unconsciously. The old saying “There’s nothing new under the sun” is very true, but I think there are new combinations that can take pre-existing elements and combine them in fresh, new and interesting ways. That’s what I tried to do with The Infinity Program. I’ll let the reader judge how successful I was.
About the Author
Richard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, during a week of relentless bombing raids just before the close of World War II. The day he was born an incendiary bomb fell on the church across the street from where he lived, so he is fond of saying that he entered the world with a big adrenaline rush.
His family later moved to England and then on to America.
After college Richard bounced through a series of temporary jobs as he traveled around the country, wanting nothing more than to write fiction. A job driving a library van allowed him free time to write several short stories and work on a novel.
He and his wife moved to New Hampshire, where he took an entry level job at a software company. He was soon promoted to the technical writing department and ended up producing over 500,000 words of online documentation. After a few years he was promoted to the programming department and ended up as the Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada.
After he retired, he started writing fiction again. The Infinity Program is his first published novel.