August 25, 2022
Interview with Curator Omega, Author of Kill Streak, a Scifi LitRPG
It’s my pleasure to introduce Curator Omega, author of 𝙆𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙎𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠, one of the best stories I’ve read this year!
Seriously guys. Kill Streak reads like fresh sci-fi LitRPG I didn’t realize I’d love so much. The basic premise is an innocent archeologist gets betrayed and before he dies, discovers an alien and after melding in return for health, wakes up to a game-like reality where you kill to survive. Every chapter improves in ways I didn’t see coming, hooking me from page one and rewarding me with wonder and excitement several times over.
Fɪʀsᴛ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴ: Wʜᴀᴛ ᴡᴀs ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴsᴘɪʀᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ꜰᴏʀ ᴛʜɪs sᴇʀɪᴇs?
Curator Omega: I’ve always been fascinated by LitRPG as a genre, but was never great at writing it, given my sci-fi bias. I love to read it, but writing … well, I’m horrible. I decided to work with my friend to expand the Cutthroat Cosmos, which is a multi-series franchise that covers all sorts of genres and situations. One of my favorite plot devices in thrillers is a ticking clock, so it seemed natural to incorporate that into a series about a mild-mannered guy who’s forced to become a killer through “external means.” It takes a lot from action films, but also newer sci-fi classics like Upgrade. The question of what causes a person to become a killer (and whether it’s justified) was my main fixation.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤?
CO: The main character, Dak, is infected with an alien parasite that’s engaged in what it calls “The Glorious Game.” Nobody really knows what the game is, and it’s speculated that the original makers of the game might’ve died, so Dak is just left with the parasite’s instructions: namely, gather enough “Kill Points” every 22 hours or die. The parasite itself is connected to a data center that assigns a “Kill Point value” to every enemy that Dak faces. So if it’s a tough enemy, higher Kill Points. If there’s a lot at once, a Kill Point boost in the form of a “Slaughter Event.” It takes a lot from bullet hell-style games where kill streaks and points are the main focus.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐜𝐢-𝐟𝐢 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐑𝐏𝐆 𝐬𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠?
CO: Typically, when you see “sci-fi LitRPG,” you get a mental image of endless rows of Amazon pages that are centered around big space fleets and tabletop mechanics. I didn’t want that. Instead, I wanted to use the sci-fi aspect as a neat setting, much like Star Wars or Star Trek use space as a backdrop for weird and interesting tales. When you have a ton of planets, there’s more room for hijinks and mayhem. I also liked the idea of guns in a LitRPG, which has admittedly been done (and done quite well), but not in a John Wick-style action ride. Guns are so immediately deadly that it heightens the tension!
𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐭-𝐞𝐦-𝐮𝐩 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧?
CO: Books two and three take a bit of a turn when it comes to the storytelling. There’s still plenty of fighting, but book two has a definite LitRPG flair, in that the character is learning to control his body and mind while also relying on melee weapons. I won’t say more than that to avoid spoilers, but it’s certainly not all about nonstop guns and explosions. That would get boring!
In Kill Streak, Purifiers are the hosts that the alien empowers, but who also have to kill before their timer runs up. 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐏𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐫, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐢𝐞?
CO: Oh, man, I would definitely die at Rank 0 (before even getting any powers). In real life, I’m far too much of a softie to kill anything, even spiders. Sort of ironic to have written a series all about massacring enemies, I suppose! Then again, I hope most LitRPG authors aren’t out there killing giant animals with swords…
I loved the narration by Scott Aiello. 𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐟𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐬𝐨 𝐟𝐚𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐞’𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐊𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤?
CO: Oh, yeah. I won’t spoil it, but there’s a part where Dak is aboard an enemy ship and issues a very stern warning to one of the killers who’s been on his back, trying to rip the parasite out of his head. He did it justice!
Mine is the part where our hero is pretending to be a cult’s new leader and he threatens to curse them to a vegetarian diet. I just choked with laughter… it’s okay. I survived. Thank you for this awesome new book!
A𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬?
CO: I’d mostly like to thank you for giving me this spotlight! If anyone reads this series and is interested in the general world, I’d refer you to Interstellar Gunrunner, which is the series that launched the universe.
Thank you Curator! And definitely check out Interstellar Gunrunner, one of my new favorite series!