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"Space: 1999 - What Lies Beneath"

Interview with the Author: Michael Faries

The title of this original fan fiction novel "What Lies Beneath" has dual meanings. First, as the heroes of Moonbase Alpha discovers secrets from its past--secrets that were hidden beneath the lunar soil during the construction phase of Moonbase Alpha. (And where they reside proves pivotal to the moon's plight.) Second, as lies and cover-ups that reside deep within the minds of some.

The story is set during the first season of Space: 1999, known to fans as "Year One." The author, Michael Faries, explains.

Why did you choose Year One as the setting for this story?

MF: I have an affinity for both seasons of Space: 1999, but I wanted to start this adventure on the heels of the Year One episode "Space Brain." The moonbase is recovering from the encounter; morale has reached new lows. Given the body count from earlier episodes, there's a powerful sense of growing dread and hopelessness that the main character, Ty Adair, is hoping to change. But as events unfold, he'll find himself caught in a maelstorm of secrets, lies and issues that may lead to further chaos.

So, this means the main characters of Space: 1999 aren't the focus of the novel?

MF: No. They're prominently featured throughout the story, but this book is intended to give 'screen time' to unseen characters within Alpha's ranks. It's the first story in a series of novels about characters like Adair.

Did you intend to write a series, or did you start out writing just one novel?

MF: I didn't intend to write anything! From time to time, I tend to play "renaissance guy," trying something creative and new--and pouring myself into it. Computers happen to be the ultimate creative gadget for such things. I had been waiting for my copies of Powys Media's Space: 1999 novels "Survival" and "Eternity Unbound" to arrive by post. Another day arrived and the books hadn't, so I decided to pen my own story while waiting. It quickly ballooned into this novel--and into the eBook publishing effort on my site ( Since then, I've kept writing, too.

You've been a vocal supporter of the Powys Media books (publishers of the officially licensed, new Space: 1999 books in recent times). Are you competing with their efforts?

MF: Frankly, no--and I've talked with Mateo Latosa @ Powys about that subject before I ever announced this eBook writing/publishing endeavor.

As the expression goes, "You get what you pay for." Powys Media is a business; their books are commercial products. They're superbly written, professionally produced works which are licensed from the owners of the Space: 1999, namely Granada Ventures. They're the real deal: Actual, official Space: 1999 products. (Stop reading this and go buy their books! ;-) )

With the imprint (and joint publishing imprints with others), our eBooks are free. However, they're still amateur, non-commercial offerings. We've gone to extra lengths to design, format and present professional-appearing eBooks. The truth remains: Each book is edited by the author, not a professional editor; some have stronger writing styles than others. It's fan fiction, not professionally-written literary works.

With eBook offerings like "What Lies Beneath" we've enabled fan fiction authors, illustrators and hobbyists to have a place to uplevel their works, from plain ASCII text files and Microsoft Word .doc files, to a sleeker, more refined presentation. Our work celebrates shows like Space: 1999. No profits are made from this venture of ours. If anything, it benefits a company like Granada; it keeps a property like Space: 1999 visible to fanbase, maybe even creating some new fans in the process. And hopefully many of those fans are buying the commercial products, such as Powys Media's or Eagle One Media's books.

Since you're a big fan of the Powys novels, do they factor into your own Space: 1999 eBooks?

MF: For the most part, yes. I think Powys Media "got it right" with regards to their stories. They've managed to fill a number of gaps that were left unanswered during the original series run. They also introduced new characters, concepts and situations.

Various imprint eBooks will consider the events of the Powys Media stories as canon. "What Lies Beneath", is one such book, drawing from both the original Space: 1999 series and these Powys Media books. I'm respecting whatever storylines have been published to date ("Eternity Unbound," "The Foresaken" and "Survival.") However, if Powys tells the story of Commissioner Simmonds in a future release, negating what I've written, then c'est la vie. Like I said, these eBooks are inspired works. The Powys Media books are the real deal.

Back to "What Lies Beneath." Is this a thriller? A drama? A love story? General science fiction?

MF: Hopefully a little bit of each. Through the interactions with our characters, Ty Adair, Bette Salzgitter, Marisa Solas, Molly Cranston and Ian Johnson (among others), we learn that life aboard Moonbase Alpha is what you make of it. Some Alphans are dutiful, hard-working types resigned to their fate; others are having a difficult time adjusting. In an environment of approximately 300 people, there are numerous sociological problems. The choices you make are seen and heard by most everyone. Some have chose to hide their thoughts while others are taking small steps, sometimes bold, brazen ones.

Even before the main plot device is revealed, we realize how internalized most Alphans have become. Some are carrying the romantic torch for others in private; others feel cut-off from the 'ivory tower' that is Main Mission. And during the course of the story, some major secrets are revealed--secrets which force certain Alphans out of their shells and into the spotlight.

Any significant character changes during the course of the novel?

MF: Yes. One of the main characters won't make it to the end.

Like I've said, my books are staying true as possible to the events of the original series and the Powys Media novels. Mind you, it isn't Professor Victor Bergman, who's featured on the eBook's cover art--but it is a major character within the story.

Is the focus of the book strictly on these unknown characters of yours?

MF: No. All of the lead characters from Year One are present, including some from Year Two, such as Bill Frasier and Dr. Ben Vincent. There's plenty of interaction between these new characters and the "old guard."

I'm reminded that some vociferous people within Space: 1999 fandom believe there's only one season of the show: the first season (Year One). I don't subscribe to that. Two seasons--vastly different in tone and production values--were aired, both as Space: 1999. Me, I love them both. Since this is a Year One book, we see the usual suspects. We also see Year Two characters who haven't yet come to the forefront of Alpha's adventures.

You give some hints within your book that we might have seen some of these new characters before--during the original run of Space: 1999...

MF: There are one specific instance in the book where fans might recognize where these people have appeared onscreen. Go no further than the Year One "Space Brain" episode. (Adair and Salzgitter.) Admittedly, in my mind's eye, both of them look somewhat different in-person.

There are also other "new" characters whom we've seen before or heard of, but didn't know anything about. Examples include Pierre Danielle from the Year One "Collision Course" episode; (Molly) Cranston from the Year Two "Seed of Destruction" episode; Pete Garforth from the Year Two "The Lambda Factor" episode; and (Thomas) Graham, the ill-fated, off-screen Eagle pilot from the Year Two "The Beta Cloud" episode.

What's the underlying plot behind "What Lies Beneath"? Who's the main antagonist?

MF: As they say in another favorite British TV show of yesteryear, "That would be telling..."

[I should mention I'm surprised by the number of fellow Space: 1999 fans that love the The Prisoner--the 1960s series, mind you.]

I will say that a certain Commissioner causes his fair share of problems. Then again, if you're familiar with the Space: 1999 series, you might be asking, "How is that possible? That character supposidely died after the events of the 'Earthbound' episode--and your novel is set after the 'Space Brain' episode. How can that be?"

Like I said, "That would be telling..."

What's next for you?

MF: Well, I have this new line of imprint eBooks to manage, including the publication of a few new eBooks in the months ahead. By late summer, I hope to be done with the second eBook involving Ty Adair. The novel will be called "What Lies Beyond." It's less of a thriller, and moreso a drama.

It takes place soon after the events of the Year Two episode, "The Seance Spectre." In this case, the moon's course takes it into a causal loop, entering into a space warp, then reappearing back into the same flight path from four days, 16 minutes, twelve seconds ago. Time is not repeating, just the re-emergence of the moon on the same trajectory over and over and over... and the Alphans are helpless to stop the endless cycle. Worse yet, there are no nearby worlds, no aliens to intervene or assist, literally no escape... and no hope. Or is there?

With the Alphans, there's always hope, always another twist of fate leading to survival--if they're willing to take the leap of faith. And this time, some aren't.

I also have a few short stories in the works that might appear in an anthology volume under consideration with the joint & imprint. One involves a time capsule, another discusses what the Alphans miss most from Earth, and the other deals with a lunar mountain climb. There's a few others stories I'd like to tell, too. The plots are worked out; the spare time to write them is another matter!

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Moonbase Alpha
Commander John Koenig
Dr. Helena Russell
Professor Victor Bergman
Alan Carter
Controller Paul Morrow