Todd Downing


Todd Downing is the primary author and designer of over fifty roleplaying titles, including Arrowflight, RADZ, Airship Daedalus, and the official Red Dwarf RPG. A fixture in the Seattle indie film community, he is the co-creator of the superhero-comedy webseries The Collectibles, and the screenwriter behind The Parish and Ordinary Angels (which he also directed). His first feature film, a supernatural thriller entitled Project, was included in a PBS young directors series in 1986. He has written for stage, screen, comics, audiodrama, short-form and long-form, interactive and narrative, in a career spanning three decades. The father of two adult children, Downing spent several years in the videogame industry, working on games such as Spider for the Playstation, Allegiance for the PC, and Casino Empire. He also creates book covers and marketing art for fellow authors and corporate clients, and has done voiceover work for Microsoft and the Seattle Seahawks Pro Shop.

Widowed to cancer in 2005, Downing remarried in 2009 and currently enjoys an empty nest in Port Orchard, Washington, with his wife, a nihilistic cat, and a flock of unruly chickens.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in a European country which no longer exists, but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s and 1980s. I cut my teeth on the science fiction of Ray Bradbury and Jules Verne, the fantasy of C.S. Lewis and Morgan Llywelyn, and the horror of Mary Shelley and Stephen King. I consumed Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Creature Features, Wonder Woman and the Bionic couple on television, and comic books featuring Tarzan, Black Panther, and the rest of the capes and cowls. I listened to old time radio dramas on LP and cassette. I began film study at a very young age, learning an appreciation for classic horror and adventure films from my father and grandfathers.

Then Star Wars came out when I was nine, and the horizon shifted. Each of those diverse stimuli reacted with some part of my brain, forging the impetus to become a storyteller as a vocation.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote and illustrated my first children's book at age four. It featured Snoopy (from The Peanuts comic strip) saving a deep sea diver from drowning. My dad photocopied and distributed it at his job in the nascent Silicon Valley. Having lost a little brother about the same time, I was very protective of the next two siblings to come along. Throughout grade school, I would write and illustrate story books for them. The story books became comics, and the comics became short stories in the fantasy vein.

In junior high, one of the English teachers taught a sci-fi/fantasy lit elective. She was the first to take a real interest in the stories I was writing, and to push me to hone that skill. A couple theater and English teachers in high school saw whatever kernel of talent I had and likewise helped me along the path.

In my junior year in high school, I wrote a feature screenplay - a supernatural thriller called Project, which was shot that summer and submitted to PBS the following year. It was included as part of a "young directors" series in the Bay Area. Although I wasn't paid for it, that was my first indication that I could write compelling stories for an audience beyond my friends, teachers and family.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Todd Downing online

Twitter: @todddo
Facebook: Facebook profile


Airship Daedalus
The retro pulp adventures of Dorothy "Doc" Starr, Captain "Stratosphere" Jack McGraw and a diverse crew of compatriots from the Great War, as they are recruited by AEGIS to foil the evil machinations of Aleister Crowley's Astrum Argentum.


Airship Daedalus: A Shield Against the Darkness
Series: Airship Daedalus. Price: $2.49 USD. Words: 45,870. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2018 by Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
The origin of the Airship Daedalus crew and their first action-packed adventures, from a secret aircraft hangar in New Jersey to the skies (and depths) of the Caribbean, to the thick jungles of the Amazon. Can our heroes foil a nefarious plot by Aleister Crowley to open a portal into another dimension and summon a terrifying horror?

Todd Downing's tag cloud

adventure    airship    aleister crowley    amazon    caribbean    indiana jones    pulp    retro    rocketeer    thomas edison