Kristoffer Gair and His Flying Robot!
Posted on March 28, 2013
This past Tuesday finds another checkmark on the list of things I’ve been waiting to come to pass. Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot received its first official DVD release and will sit with honor next to my Ultraman DVD set. Oh, the horror stories my poor parents could tell you about my afterschool routine not being complete unless it included an episode of either show. I could have been reading. I could have been doing homework. I could have been playing sports. (sigh) But no, I wasn’t. And I have no regrets about that or any other way I spent my childhood. It was all about the imagination with me back then and it’s because of this that I’m the writer I am today.
I’ve noticed many authors who find inspiration in the darker areas of life. It helps them bring something they find meaningful out into the light for scrutiny and it’s no easy task. I certainly haven’t been able to do it. Other authors I’ve met or know online have a way of crafting their work to make statements about society and humanity, and to express their own views in contrast to those around them. I admire them for this because I still haven’t done that yet either. At least I don’t feel I have. Maybe a little. I admire many of my more serious-in-nature fellow authors and I consider myself very fortunate to have spent some time with them in person. People like Dorien Grey and Alan Chin come to mind.
My childhood was filled with Science Fiction. If it wasn’t Johnny Sokko or Ultraman, it was Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek and Buck Rogers. It was Creature Features, Sir Graves Ghastly and Godzilla Week. I collected Science Fiction bubblegum cards, played with Star Wars toys & Micronauts, my bike was a Colonial Viper, my friends were Colonial Warriors, their annoying little brothers were Cylons and the field behind my house was a Cylon Basestar. These were what fed my mind and my imagination. The good guys faced adversity, but always found a way to win in the end. Shows got canceled and movie trilogies ended, but future adventures were always possible.
Maybe that became my weakness, especially as an author. My heart ached to see Giant Robot or Ultraman in action one more time. And who didn’t wish for just one more movie with the original cast even after the beautiful finale in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country? That’s why I haven’t definitively ended characters or stories in any of my books. Why does the story have to be final? Why can’t we revisit someone we’ve come to enjoy? Why can’t there at least be the opportunity even if it never happens? I like to keep that dream alive because it’s the dream I myself had with expectations that were rarely met.
Playing as I did as a child, my friends and I (or just me when I played by myself since I was an only child) took these shows and plots and continued the adventures ourselves. What I took away from those sessions back then today as an adult is what we did to make them more interesting for us. I learned that doing things our way could be a strength because if taking a plot in one direction entertained us, chances are it would entertain others. So why not have a little fun with it instead of going the traditional route?
Do you know what would tickle me? I’d love it if someone my age and with my sense of humor who’s familiar with Giant Robot lore somehow got caught up in an international plot with a terrorist organization wanting to unleash a real monster while also designing a giant robot. Naturally, he finds himself in control of the robot with the entire present day world looking at him to save the day, only he’s a bit cantankerous about the whole thing. Can you imagine the fun of that? The hell with Transformers. This could warm the heart of anyone who still embraces childhood innocence.
And maybe it’s because ideas like this warm my own heart that makes me worth keeping around as an author.
“Giant Robot, launch!”
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
3 Responses to “Kristoffer Gair and His Flying Robot!”
March 28, 2013 at 11:21 am
The scenario set up in your near-the-end paragraph (“Do you know what would tickle me…..”) sounds like a Kristoffer Gair work in progress. And it it’s not, it should be.
And thank you for the mention, btw.
Lloyd Songal says:
March 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Thanks for sharing your growing up activities Kris. My first memories of grade school; I loved the smell of new school supplies and would just get so psyched by them. I loved all of my friends, classes and teachers. At lunch time I would run home to watch The Soupy Sales Show, which was always great fun, and then that show followed by Concentration with host Gene Rayburn. That was very fun and always challenging to remember which squares were matching. It helped to get me back into the mindful mood for study. Since I only lived 3 short blocks from school I was abel to see most of each show. I broke most of my toys by taking them apart and trying to see their inner workings. After school was a mixed bag of playtime with Hide & Seek. Statues; where we would spin someone around until their feet did not touch the ground and then release them, the object was for the subject to freeze in place as quickly as possible into some artistic pose. Then we would vote on the most creative pose. This replaced in following later years by short games of Baseball or Football this then followed by piano practice until dinner then time for homework and some T. V. Sitcoms until 9 PM bedtime. I would then go to bed with a book and my transistor radio with earplug. Lucky enough to have my own TV in my bedroom I would to watch Jack Pare. If I could stay awake that late, but often napping if someone particularly good was a guest like Oscar Levant or kitty Carlyle or Peggy Cass or Marry Martin to name a few.
Vastine Bondurant says:
March 29, 2013 at 11:04 am
I enjoyed that.
You make it sound so exciting and gives one a glimpse into just what is to fascinating about the Sci-Fi world.
I always love reading your memories. You’d have been such a cool kid to hang out with.