The top 5 film inspirations behind a science fiction series

The following guest post was written by Amanda Bridgeman, a fellow science fiction author, who took this chance for talking about five films that inspired her series, titled Aurora, whose latest book will be out in a couple of weeks.

I’ve made no secret that I draw inspiration, in part, from film when I write my novels. Because of this, it has been interesting to see what films and TV series readers have likened my Aurora series to. As Aurora:Darwin was the first book in the series, most of the inspiration I took poured into that novel, and then flowed and filtered down from there into the other books. Some have likened Aurora: Darwin to the film ‘Alien’, while another suggested it is a blend of both Alien and Aliens. Yet another person likened the series to Battlestar Galactica, particularly Captain Harris to Captain Adama.

Some of these guesses have been correct, as you will see below. Some have been incorrect, like the Battlestar Galactica reference – but only because I honestly hadn’t started watching that TV series until AFTER I’d written the first five books in the series. That said, now that I have started watching the show (and am really enjoying it), I can totally see where the reference came from, so I wear it that comparison with pride.

So without further ado, and for the record, here are the Top Film Influences behind the Aurora series (in no particular order).

Alien/AliensFor the world-building... 

When I imagined the Aurora: Darwin, it wasn’t as far into the future as the Alien series is set, but I did picture the crews/military units in a similar way. For one, they were small crews that would enable my reader to get to know each of the characters personally. Secondly, the soldiers didn’t get around in fancy spacesuits, they got around in typical cammo gear, albeit the grey and electric blue colouring of the United National Forces (that said, they do don EVA spacesuits when required).  
The pod-beds in the Aurora’s hospital were indeed, inspired by those in Alien, as were the Aurora’s internals – corridors and the like. And you can even align the ‘threat in an isolated environment’ theme from the films as well. Although there are countless films you can draw that parallel from.

G.I. JaneFor the story of a woman’s fight to prove she is equal…
I liked the premise behind GI Jane. It’s the story a woman given a big opportunity and wanting to make something out of it. She fights hard to earn her place, despite the obstacles and opposition along the way. And when she learns that she was set up to fail, she is spurred on even more. I thought it was a good tale about inner strength, determination and true grit. So it’s fair to say that this somewhat inspired the Carrie Welles plotline in Aurora: Darwin.

The General’s DaughterFor the themes of psychological warfare, military secrets, soldier loyalty, and of course the strained relationship between a father and daughter
I thought this was a good film and in little ways I think it served to provide mild influence on the Aurora series. I found the whole ‘Psy-Ops’ thing intriguing, and as with countless other military tales, the underlying secrets and loyalty that come into play.

Terminator/Terminator 2For the story of two people joining forces to survive, as they are drawn into something bigger than they imagined…
In T1 it’s Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese. In T2 it’s Sarah Connor and the Terminator that once tried to kill her. Obviously in the Aurora series it’s Captain Saul Harris and Corporal Carries Welles who join forces and fight to survive. Now, unfortunately I can’t go into further detail on this point, because that would involve SPOILERS for the books to come. So, you’re just going to have to trust me on this!

Starship TroopersFor some of the stylistic elements...
Although this doesn’t relate to the actual writing of the books themselves, it is fair to say that there is a Starship Troopers ‘feel’ to the graphics I designed to support the series, namely the Space Duty and Earth Duty insignias. “Would you like to know more?”

Amanda Bridgeman
Science fiction author

Born and raised in the seaside/country town of Geraldton, Western Australia, AMANDA BRIDGEMAN hails from fishing and farming stock. The youngest of four children, her three brothers raised her on a diet of Rocky, Rambo, Muhammad Ali and AC/DC. She studied film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University (BA Communication Studies) in Perth, Western Australia, which has been her home ever since, aside from a nineteen month stint in London (England). Her debut novel Aurora: Darwin” was published with Momentum in May 2013; the sequel Aurora: Pegasuswas published in December 2013; and Aurora: Meridian will be released on 11 September 2014.

Visit Amanda at the following links