Episode #258 and Like a Hood Ornament 13: What if Cliff Secord from The Rocketeer Were Alive in 1983 and Ends Up in The Last Starfighter?


This week, I’m talking about a short story I’m writing for fun called “The Last Rocketeer.”

Here’s the premise:

Cliff Secord was a pilot who stumbled upon an experimental rocketpack and became a high flying reluctant hero, The Rocketeer.

That was in 1938.  But now it’s 1983.

Retirement is no longer an option.  The fate of the universe hangs in the balance! 

I got the idea from my daughter, who asked if we could tweak some of the lyrics of the song, “Superman” by Five for Fighting to be from the perspective of the Rocketeer.

I initially wasn’t sure it would work but the more I thought of it, the more I liked the idea of an older, jaded, Cliff Secord worn out physically and mentally by years of tough landings, crashes, altercations, and other traumatic events.  So I tweaked the lyrics a bit to fit that idea, recorded here:

I also really liked the idea of the bitter older man still grappling with his past.  The film The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is a great example of such a character – a man with a violent past trying to make sense of what he did decades later.  Mike from the book It by Stephen King had a similar feel, so much so that I used Mike as a model for another character, Alfred, in The Thirteenth Hour sequel.


Since I had to figure out a way to work the 80s in,  I figured what would happen if Cliff runs into Centauri from The Last Starfighter? What if Cliff were recruited to help Centauri and in the process, you know, save the world?  Ahem – the universe!

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Stay tuned for Chapter 2!




There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!


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