Thorby Rudbek has always been fascinated by science fiction and enraptured by fantasy. He wrote his first adventure when still a pre-teen and later rattled off whimsical stories to his young children to amuse them during long waits. He has spent his working life in radar, vacuum physics and ensuring the safe use of ionizing radiation, employed by governments, health care providers, industry and energy companies in the West and the Middle East. He studied photographic imagery of the Moon and Mars at university and still dreams that he will one day walk on those distant surfaces himself. His relocations from country to country and continent to continent make him feel less focused on his nationality, and more like he is a Citizen of the Planet.
The "Galactic Citadel" series, begun in "Ascent", is about seemingly ordinary folks who find themselves tasked with extraordinary challenges. These tales seem to hail from an earlier time, when heroes were really heroes, and the only wars worth fighting were ones which would protect the defenceless. "Passage" is the second in the "Galactic Citadel" series about the mysterious girl from Arshonnan stock, the boy from Boston, and the Narlavs. Thorby's stories are fast-moving, feel-good SF adventures – with a bit of romance – that centre around real heroes with old-fashioned values and morals. The series continues with "Impact", the third episode in this series and "Cavalry", the fourth, with “Turmoil", the fifth, following in 2019.
The tales of Terraless, beginning with Terraless itself and followed by Terraless Night, recount the adventures of Eshezy, an impressive female lead, as she discovers the feudal world in which she inexplicably awakes, her astounding archery skills and developing magical powers, and her decision to give her support to the mistreated young people who live as serfs to a malevolent Lord.
Thorby is enjoying the freshness of the mornings, the warmth of the afternoons and the cool of the evenings, in fact, whenever he can continue his tales in peace and quiet...
Gefforen becomes Eshezy’s most valuable friend, with Athanashal a close second as together they seek to solve the most dangerous challenges looming over Terraless. It is amazing how Leroy, Judy, Ed and Eric, Isaac and Ruth, Brad and Tracy get involved in the action in the Galactic Citadel series, and how their lives seem to converge...
A brief interview with Thorby:
Why write? “There are so many others, already writing away busily... All I can say is that I write because the stories are waiting (impatiently) to be told!”
Where are you from? “Limited so far only to the Planet (Earth), I have lived in many, very different places, and each place has been a source of inspiration.”
What made you start writing? “Driving through stunningly beautiful rolling hills in southern Alberta one day, I found a story, freshly born, in my head. As soon as I stopped for the night, I bought a spiral-bound notebook and a few pens. That's when Richard Fletcher and Karen Amer began their journey – I was many miles away from them, but I knew they were enjoying (at times!) the view of the coastal area of Maine. There was something compelling about the two of them: both were a bit lost, and both knew they needed to carry on, despite the hurdles that presented themselves, regularly, and with ever-increasing size and frequency!”
What is your motivation? "I've lived in some places very distant from the land of my nativity but wherever I've gone I’ve found wonderful people. Many is the time when those people have cheered my spirit. Determined to give something in return, I started to publish the "Galactic Citadel" series. As Richard and Karen continue having adventures, their 'sphere of influence' continues to widen. The fantasy world of Terraless began as a gift for someone very special to me and I soon realised that I should share it more widely.”
Do you have any authors that inspired you? “Many! I grew up sampling the sci-fi novels of Hugh Walters, John Christopher, Alexander Key, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, John Wyndham, Theodore Sturgeon, A E Van Vogt, Andre Norton, and the fantasy stories of C S Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and later read works by Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings and others. I found excitement, wonder, emotional highs and lows and often had to be reminded to stop for meals. However, looking back, I can't recall how many times I have read and loved most of a story, but have felt a little cheated by some aspect of it. Also, there were moments when I felt morose after reading a story full of bleakness.”
What do you wish for your readers? “With regards to the style of my writing, I never want my readers to feel bleak after reading an instalment of the "Galactic Citadel", my Terraless saga, or other forthcoming works. I am determined to avoid those things that annoyed or depressed me; instead they will find things that will excite, fascinate, and sometimes inexplicably make eyes sting or lips curve. I have always loved telling stories, and am enjoying these tales so much! My goal is to provide some escapism from the dull routine that sometimes seems to take over our lives – to entertain, to amuse, and to give the reader a bit of a boost... a natural ‘high'. I anticipate that they will relate to the situations, problems and solutions that the protagonists experience, despite the fact that they are quite literally ‘worlds apart’ from everyday life. Perhaps they will see meanings in their own experiences because of Karen and Eshezy and the characters that surround them.”