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Sci-fi leaves door open for sequel

Langley City author pen latest book for tweeners liking futuristic adventure
Born in Ontario and educated in England, author Bruce Kilby has lived on the West Coast since 1966, and in Langley City since 1977. He’s preparing for a book launch Saturday for his sixth adventure book called RIAN 7. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

When Earth receives a distress signal from outer space, the UNISS Astronima is sent to investigate. 

Several hundred years into the mission, an ice storm smashes into the ship causing the adult crew to lose its life support systems. 

The onboard computer, Robotic Intelligence Artificial Network, Module 7 (RIAN 7), is forced to wake and train the cloned crew to complete the mission. 

Thirteen-year-old Ryla 9 is the new captain, who leads her crew of other teens through the dangers of first contact with an alien life form and the perilous rescue of several species enslaved by creatures of the underworld. 

That’s the premise of Langley City author Bruce Kilby’s newest book, “RIAN 7,” released in mid-May and set to launch next weekend.. 

The retired fire captain is prolific writer of both songs (he has more than 300 and counting to his credit), countless short stories, and in recent years several children’s novels, including “The Legend of the Tooth Fairy” and “Olive the Other Reindeer.” 

This is the father of three’s latest science fiction (Sci-Fi) adventure, and his first aimed at an audience of tweeners (ages 11 to 15). All his earlier books were aimed at readers eight years plus. 

“I always say eight to 80, because adults and seniors who love ‘Disney-ish” type stories, love the stories,” Kilby said, describing his readers. 

This book, he explained, was inspired by one of his sons, Ryan. 

“We love the ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ movies, and I wanted to write my version,” he elaborated. 

Kilby took some master classes with “Goosebumps” author, R.L. Stine, who advised getting young people away from adults and cellphones when writing these types of stories. 

“It gives you the freedom of putting them into any situation and them having to work it out. So I did. I have a teen crew in outer space under the supervision of an onboard computer who now have to find a way to save a planet in distress,” said Kilby, noting this is his sixth book of adventure stories. 

“It took me quite a while to fully conceptualize the sci-fi storyline,” he explained. 

“Just like in songwriting, some ideas can come fast, while others need work and thought. ‘RIAN 7’ required brushing up on propulsion concepts, gravitational waves, plasma, and our universe without making it too complicated for the reader,” Kilby noted. 

Asked if anyone in his life will see themselves reflected in any of the characters in this newest book, Kilby pondered before answering. 

“I purposely made up names for each character, without any known connection. But, I have some very smart nieces that inspired a character or two. I also had a gruff mechanic friend I leaned on for T’Kar the ships engineer. In the Dragon series, Ken Johnson’s daughter Holly and his son Connor were the basis of the main characters and my sons in other places in the book.” 

As far as a sequel to this latest book, Kilby admitted he left it open to write many sequels, if he chooses to pursue it further. 

That, he said, will depend in part on the reception he receives to this new storyline. 

But for now, he’s focusing on writhing his fourth in the Fangor the Dragon series. 

His seventh book continues Holly’s journey with Fangor the Dragon from “The Legend of the Tooth Fairy,” “The Secret of the Eternal Dragon” and “Dragor’s Fire,” which he co-wrote with Ken Johnson. 

While penning the next book, Kilby said he’s also carving out time to promote “RIAN 7,” pushing it on consignment through Indigo and libraries throughout the Fraser Valley. He also has hard cover books available online through Ebook and Amazon. 

But his first in-person promotion comes this Saturday, June 15, when he’s hosting a launch and book signing at Brogan’s Diner, 20555 56 Ave., from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Roxanne Hooper

About the Author: Roxanne Hooper

I began in the news industry at age 15, but honestly, I knew I wanted to be a community journalist even before that.
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