We caught up with Dean Smith-Richard as his Kickstarter campain for his collection of short stories, 3024AD: Short Stories Series I, is in its final stretch.  In this collection, we follow the adventures of Digger, “an archeologist by education and a thief by occupation”, in a futuristic backdrop full of planetary colonization, uncharted territories, interstellar trade, corruption, bounty hunters, privateers and more…

So, tell us a little about your upcoming publication.

This collection of short stories has a serial story arc, following the character of ‘Digger’, who we first meet robbing an archaelogical dig.  His adventures and mysterious past are the subject of the bulk of the collection.  Alongside this are stories that tie into his – minor characters that appear in the main story arc have their own stories told as they cross paths with Digger.

All of this takes place (obviously) in the year 3024AD, as mankind is colonizing other planets, and have been for several hundred years.  Some planets have large, developed cities on them, while others are smaller, more fontier-type colonies.

Which author has been your biggest influence?

This is always a tough one – there are so many choices.  Mark Twain was a huge influence from an early age.  While my stories and style are certainly different, he made me want to tell stories that people enjoyed.

Is science fiction your preferred genre, or do you have other genres you like to write in?

It is certainly my preferred genre, but in a huge surprise to no one, I also like fantasy a lot.  I will definitely tackle some of the ideas I have for that one day.  I am also a huge crime/noir geek, and would love to try my hand at that.

Aside from writing, what is your dream career?

Actually, pretty much what I’m doing as a field engineer.  I get to have my hands in design and construction, it’s a lot of fun.

Why does your future place corporations as the driving force behind space exploration and colonization?

They have the largest interest in it, as it is profitable for them. Because of this, by the time governments have adjusted to overseeing the colonies in any dedicated fashion, corporations have much more control. And since the governments depend on them for revenue (and, you know, bribes and kickbacks), they tend to just follow along with the corporations’ demands.

What is Digger’s favorite archeological time period and why?

Part of the backstory of the universe is that there is a war between China and America, nukes are exchanged and large portions of both are pretty much obliterated.  Prior to this happening, several scientists are on the verge of breakthroughs in fuel and faster than light travel and the war sets those advancements back by hundreds of years.  Digger spends a lot of time hunting down and collecting those works – what’s left of them anyway.

We started our site to share our projects – cosplay and geeky stuff we’ve done to our home.  What is your favorite geeky project and why?

I love miniatures and making terrain.  I have been working on a modular sewer board for Malifaux, and I made a blood bowl board for our local game club.  I am pretty proud of my Malifaux crews.

You can follow Dean on Twitter to get all his updates.  And be sure to check out his Kickstarter and give a donation if you can, so he can publish even more stories!