Thrill Kings: Not so Bad by Rik Ty is a short, Interdimensional Sci-Fi.
Outdoors in the sunny springtime! Nonstop not only has to get used to a new bike, he has to get used to new rules with the girl he likes, and he has to somehow stop a wave of leaping, octopus-giants from stampeding through a small shoreline town. The creatures are too big to send home with a glancing shot of tap-beam, and too fast to catch in a sustained one. How much time for trial and error is there? Fast-paced action and intriguing interaction make this a quick, breezy read!
As she looked for Nonstop, she lost sight of the landscape, and the next time she viewed it, she got a surprise.
“Nonstop! I see something! a few streets up, there’s a dust cloud coming.”
Nonstop looked at 8-ball’s display, like Rattletrap’s, on the visible side of the arms’ engine pod.
“I see the haze cluster coming. But not the dust. Oh wait…”
“Oh-MY- G – Nonstop, it’s like a giant octopus!”
“I just saw it for a second. It jumped up, and then slipped below the tree line again.”
“Well, now its heading west. Did it see you?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. You think it’s running?”
And with that, the giant pink octo-monster breached the treeline again with a leap, and this time, Grace saw the back of its head. Big. Massive. With a surface that seemed to waver and flutter slightly from its own movement. For the instant she saw it, the creature’s head looked like a giant, partially-inflated-parade-balloon. Either that, or a giant, pink tonsil.
And then it was gone again.
“Yeah, he’s running.”
“Okay, we’re going to stay on his left and try to get in front of him,” Nonstop said. He gave the bike some juice and tripled its speed.
“When I catch up to it, I’m going to hit it with tap and try to send it home. You’re ready with your camera things, right?”
“Yeah. Don’t worry about the cameras. Just do your thing like I’m not here.”
Grace sped up as she answered, but fell behind. She sent two cameras ahead of her, but they couldn’t keep up with Nonstop either. Ten seconds behind him turned to two minutes behind him, and finally five before her cameras found him again. She could see some mayhem on her screens, and she could see some mayhem with her own eyes, just by looking up.
Far off, she saw the octo-monster leap onto a peaked roof, gallop over it with ropy, folded legs, straighten its legs to their full length and leap off the roof, gaining massive amounts of distance. Nonstop shot up the same roof, launched it like a ramp, arced over to a tree, swung the bike from a branch, over to another tree, swung from another branch, landed on a long flat roof, drove it at high speed, and had the motorcycle cartwheel over the edge and down to the street below, where Grace lost sight of him again. Rather than chase after Nonstop, Grace opted for height. She kept a general idea of where Nonstop was, but up high, she saw dust clouds all over town, most with leaping pink centers, The town looked like a giant griddle filled with weird fried eggs. What would it take to get one single creature isolated and what would they miss in the meantime?
A Bite of... Rik Ty
Q1: How much of you is in your hero/villain?
None and all – each of my characters has a little bit of me in it, but I don’t think that would surprise anyone. It’s easier to say that Nonstop is the opposite of me – I’m not young, I’m not a free ranging nomad, and I don’t know the first thing about driving motorcycles – here’s an interesting thing: there was a writing challenge I encountered in a facebook group last year. They suggested we write a few paragraphs of our characters doing our real world job. My job at the time was a frantic tangle where nothing was ever actually “finished”, and comically, I couldn’t put Nonstop in that position for even a second. He wouldn’t sit still for it. He escaped. I could actually envision myself looking up through the window and watching him drive away. That floored me – suddenly there seemed to be more wish-fulfillment therapy in Nonstop than I realized.
Q2: Is it important to include all shades of belief and sexual orientation in a book?
There are ZERO obligatories. You decide what your story needs. If it includes all shades of belief and sexual orientation, fantastic. If it includes none, fantastic. Obviously, a close cousin to this question is “is it important that all shades of belief and sexual orientation appear in literature?” and the answer to that is OF COURSE, and for all sorts of reasons – validation, inclusion, recognition, empathy, sympathy – you spend a little time with a character in a book who is different from the people you know in real-life, and it can’t help but promote understanding. Everyone who invests in learning language should find themselves included somewhere in the world’s literature. It would be heartbreaking if that weren’t true.
Q3: Why do you write? Money is an acceptable answer.
I have a peculiar answer, but one that might make me an interesting oddity. The ONLY thing I write in prose is Thrill Kings – Novels, novellas, short stories, 100 word drabbles, and whatever else I can think of. I spent the earliest part of my career producing graphic novels and shopping them around. My works rarely got published, but often, the person across the desk would suggest that I help them with their project, or help a friend with the friend’s project. This was fun and exciting, but my own projects languished. The same thing happened when I shopped toy ideas around. I’ve had two demanding careers over the last 30+ years – creative freelancer (writer/illustrator/designer) and design manager. I did well at both, constantly solving creative problems for other people. Very nice, and very wonderful, but I wanted to get SOMETHING of my own out in the world before I died. I chose Thrill Kings because it seems a little like Sherlock Holmes, or Conan to me, a project that could keep growing the more that was put into it, and perhaps something that I could leave my kids.
(I did produce one Thrill King comic. It took me a year to complete. I switched to prose – much harder – but at least for me, faster.)
Rik Ty in his own words
I was a cartoonist/toy designer/writer/illustrator in the 80s and 90s (Marvel, Matchbox, Scooby Doo, Cracked etc). Almost all my clients were in Manhattan. Around 2000, there were shake-ups at several, and 9-11 was the last straw. Most of my clients became understandably cautious, and as a result, I suffered a drastic slowdown. I was helping Toys R Us with their ET line at the time. They were expanding their product development department and I asked to be considered. 7 months later, I got the job of Senior Design Manager, and I held it for 15 years until the company closed in 2018. Now I am reinventing my freelance career and hoping to gain a toe-hold with Thrill Kings. I have been happily married since 1984, and my daughter is getting married this very weekend (!!!).
You can find out more on the Thrill Kings website.