I Know Your Dad

AN-kenneth-wes-galaLast Friday was a big day for Iceberg author and longtime graphic artist Wes Prewer; he had the privilege of welcoming his first daughter, Elizabeth. Clearly, this is the most important creative project Wes has ever been a part of, and all of us here at Iceberg would like to take a moment to congratulate Wes and Jamie. Personally, I’d also like to say hello to Ellie…

Ellie, I’ve known your dad for just shy of fourteen years. It started back in the early days of the internet; we were both teenaged residents of Ontario at the time, but we lived many hours apart. It just so happened that we shared a couple of unique hobbies: we liked space opera, and we were still building things out of LEGO bricks.

No seriously, this all began as a LEGO friendship. We were both doing this:

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The Royal Terran Federation carrier HMS Conqueror, attached to the GA 826 Squadron. Ah, those were the days…

I was writing the Equations at the time, and your dad had his own creative projects, but we found common ground in our nerdy hobby of manufacturing space-faring battleships and carriers out of plastic bricks. Rather quickly, the LEGO space universe I had invented –– the Royal Terran Federation, a member of the Galactic Alliance –– was combining with the storyline he’d created around his Interstellar Terran Alliance, and the rest was history.

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Matt Baxter, Sarah Manchester, Audrey Debrooke… they went their separate ways, and became decidedly less plastic…

And actually, it all became history pretty quickly. Within a year or two of us combining our LEGO-building efforts, I backed away from those brick-built ships in favor of the Earther Navy, and your dad decided to join the adventure. Our co-creative habits didn’t dwindle, we just applied them differently. At first this was an exercise in cover art: he was mastering various types of CG-rendering software, and was able to create images of Earther ships for the back covers of our pocket paperbacks. But that was just the beginning; your dad started hitting the keyboard too, writing stories set in the Equations universe. He gave life to characters like Ami Cairn and Zed Dune, and exploring corners of the galaxy where the central narrative couldn’t quite roam.

By the time Defense Command began, your dad was indispensable. We knew from the start we’d have 20 books, and we wanted each of them to have a CG-rendered cover. Your dad was the man for that job –– and more than just realizing the images, he helped craft the stories behind them. I knew the DCN fleet pretty well, but the bad guys? Your dad had a lot to do with them. We’d worked together for so long, across so many universes, that he could instinctively find the right historical precedent, or the right technological development, to fit the story. So the monitors, and the Tharsis-class battleships, and the SAUN ships, all had their genesis in his mind. I was very lucky.

That’s why it was exciting when I got to contribute to your dad’s universe, Seas of Sand. He created a very vivid world, and this incredible lady called Ivory North, and I was lucky enough to spend some time writing about her. One of the best creative vacations ever, and it was down to your dad’s generosity.

Ellie, by the time you read this, I’m not entirely sure what project your dad will be working on. Five years ago, he and I were working on images for The Destiny Equation, The Mercury Assault, and The Fleet Clash, while he was mapping out the Seas of Sand universe. Today we’re kicking around ideas about Black Sun, and creating a plane called Snapdragon for Champions. Five years from now (or whenever you might see this note) there’s no telling what he’ll be up to.

But I do know one thing for sure: your dad’s most important job now is you. He’s been traipsing across the universe, building ships out bricks, writing about heroes and imagining incredible things… but none of that is as exciting as you. So have fun with your mom and dad. Get them to tell you stories of all the places they’ve been, and the places they’ve imagined… and now and then, when you’re tired, tell your dad that you’re going to have a nap, so that he can go and imagine some more.

Welcome to the gang, Ellie.

And congratulations, Wes and Jamie –– have fun!

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