Interview: Keith DeCandido and ‘Farscape’
Keith DeCandido is known throughout the fan community as one of the best writers of media-related fiction in both the novel and graphic world. While primarily recognized for Star Trek, he has also written fiction based on Supernatural, CSI: NY, and Farscape, among others. His novel of John Crichton’s adventures, House of Cards, was published in 2001. Recently, BOOM! Studios picked up the rights to publish new Farscape stories and the show’s creator, Rockne S. O’Bannon, will plot the first one with a script by Keith and art by Tommy Patterson. After some delay, the first issue will be in stores on Wednesday/ ComicMix briefly spoke with Keith about the show and how he got involved in the new stories.
ComicMix: When did you first discover the show, Farscape? Why were you hooked?
Keith DeCandido: I kept hearing good things about it from people who were watching it—this was in the first season in 1999—and I caught an episode or two and liked it. What hooked me in general was a four-episode marathon Sci-Fi did, and what hooked me in particular was the moment in "A Human Reaction" when Crichton confirmed that he wasn’t home, but in a simulation created from his memory when he threw the women’s room open and it was orange swirly stuff. I was hooked at that point….
CMix: How did you end up writing House of Cards and what sparked the idea for the story?
KRAD: Mine was actually the last of the three Farscape novels commissioned, but the first one released. There were delays with Andrew Dymond and David Bischoff’s books, so they needed a book quickly, and Greg Cox, the American editor of the books (they were published first in the UK by Boxtree) recommended me. Greg and I have worked together many times in the past, and he knew how much of a Farscape fan I was and that I could hit deadlines. As for the story, my brain went to the idea of "Rygel loses Moya in a card game," and I ran with it from there.
CMix: With Farscape over, how did you learn about the comic line and how did you get involved?
KRAD: Honestly, I read the press release about BOOM! getting the rights, and I went to their web site, found a contact e-mail, and said, "Hey! I wrote House of Cards! Henson and Rockne and the fans all like me! Pick me, pick me!" Amazingly, that actually worked (which I think was a first for me….).
CMix: What can you tell us about the plot of the Farscape miniseries?
KRAD: We get Rygel’s helium-farting butt back to Hyneria already. Rygel’s been wanting his throne back from the git-go. The problem was, they could never really do that on the show. Just having two Hynerians in the episode "Fractures" was a logistical nightmare, so doing a whole planet of them wasn’t feasible on a TV show budget. Comics, though, have no such restrictions, so we finally get to see Hyneria, and have Rygel face off against his usurper cousin.
CMix: Can you tell us how this will tie into the Farscape webisodes that are planned to show on SciFi.com?
KRAD: Not if I want to live to see 2009, no. I’ve been sworn to secrecy.
CMix: Will this miniseries be it?
KRAD: Nope! After the Hyneria story’s done, we’ll do a new miniseries called Strange Detractors, which will be another four-issue tale. It’ll also be plotted by Rockne, scripted by me, have covers by both Joe Corroney and Dennis Calero, and published by BOOM! Will Sliney will do the art for this one. And we’re hoping for more beyond that. There are still tons of stories to tell: The Nebari resistance (and the Nebari plot to kill everyone). Maldis is still floating around somewhere. Who’s the father of Grayza’s child? What happened to Grunchlk and Sikozu? What’s going on in Scarran and Peacekeeper space following the revelations of The Peacekeeper Wars? And while the Scarrans and PKs are now avoiding wormhole research, Furlow’s still out there with a ton of info on them.
CMix: Any chance of flashback stories that take place during the series’ run? Ones that include deceased characters like Zhaan, Crais, D’Argo, etc?
A: There are always possibilities. I heard someone say that once…
CMix: What’s next for you?
KRAD: Well, besides more Farscape miniseries, I’m also working on a StarCraft: Ghost Academy manga series for TokyoPop, the first volume of which should hit at the end of 2009. Beyond comics, I’ve got Star Trek: A Singular Destiny, coming out in February, which will be a followup to David Mack’s Destiny trilogy. I’d really rather not say too much beyond that, as I don’t want to spoil Dave’s trilogy, but suffice it to say, there will be serious consequences to the events of Destiny, and my novel will just be the beginning of the exploration of that. Three other Trek items currently scheduled for 2009: a short story in Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows, a novella (focusing on the Klingons) in Seven Deadly Sins, and an Alien Spotlight comic book for IDW (also focusing on the Klingons).
I’m also working on a StarCraft: Ghost novel, Spectres, which is the sequel to my 2006 novel Nova. And I’ve got other stuff in the works that I can’t talk about yet.