To his surprise, gamers and sci-fi enthusiasts alike loved the book and its quirky main characters, and so Helge was asked to write several more tie-in novels; six books to the present day (2016), as well as the official encyclopedia of the X universe. In 2014, he also wrote and recorded a sci-fi themed space rock / space metal album with his international band voXager.
However, Helge is neither an author or musician by profession… he’s an IT consultant working as a Linux system administrator in Cologne, Germany.
Welcome to The Mysterious Stranger blog, Helge T. Kautz.
"Indie Author Tuesday" is all about showcasing writing talent beyond the big publishing companies. However, while my identity is clouded in mystery, Kautz has certainly been working hard to have his authorial voice heard. Already an accomplished author, Kautz has tie-in books written in both German and English. He has also developed a cult following around these novels because of their connection to adventure game, X- Beyond the Frontier. For those interested in perusing Helge T. Kautz's novels, I will include the necessary links below. Let's begin the interview.
Why did you decide to start writing stories?
By age 12, I had read many sci-fi novels, and had just seen Star Wars in the theater. One day, my dad brought home an old electric typewriter from the office, and I made it mine immediately. I didn't think about becoming an author then, but I wanted to write exciting stories like those in the books and the movies. I don't recall making a conscious decision. I just started typing.
Which authors have inspired your own writing?
If I should name a few that influenced me the the most, it would be Robert Brenner, an Austrian physicist and writer of hard science fiction. He made the future feel real for me as a kid, with unusual stories and likeable characters in physically correct settings. A big impression on me also made Robert Heinlein, but the one who inspired me the most, and most consistently, I guess, was Larry Niven. I found Ringworld as a young teenager, then everything else he ever wrote, and Niven's style of writing stuck with me ever since. I was also very impressed by Orson Scott Card's Ender series, and David Brin's Uplift saga. These are the kind of adventures that I want to write about!
Well, I guess I have read them all, all the classical sci-fi authors of the golden age of sci-fi, but the ones that I named above were those that fascinated me the most... by far.
Instead, I chose Robert Brenner, the Austrian physicist, whose "hard" science fiction made the future feel like a real place to me as a 10-year old. If his Wikipedia entry is correct, he's still alive, although very old now. I'd love to sit down with him and just let him talk about his vision of the future. About that mining station out there on Pluto, about the fusion-powered space ships he envisioned, about the time when that abandoned freighter threatened to spiral into the sun, and could only be retrieved at the very last moment. About that nice restaurant on Mars.
...and I'd also ask him about the three missing manuscripts that were never published. Perhaps I could convince him to release them as an eBook!
I would not choose a work of fiction at all; I'd rather choose a book that details science and engineering of a space drive that enables fast interplanetary and interstellar travel. Because, as much as I like reading and writing about space, I'd rather go to the planets myself!
Thanks for your time, Helge! For those interested in finding more about Helge T. Kautz, or about his novels, please visit the links below.