“New Sci-fi” Part Five, Stale Cookies

By now, you understand what this series of posts is about, and if you’re not – start from the beginning. But as I reach this last entry I realize there’s one last point that has to be made and it runs a little counter to everything else I’ve said to this point.

For a while, I considered calling this section of my lecture “Concessions and Uncomfortable Questions”. When I first approached doing this series of posts there was a singular point to be made above all else – the audience hasn’t become close minded. A couple of times I started to graze close to the concept that the audience has become somehow disgruntled with the genres I’ve covered, but I stayed on message (as far as I know). But at this point, there’s one concession I thought I was going to have to make. After all, with a surface analysis, you might see things wrong because of some personal bias.

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“New Sci-fi” Part Four! Mental Problems (that we all have)

A while ago I read an article that told me the science fiction genre needed to abandon the science part if it wanted to survive. Frankly, it left me a little unsettled. Immediately I set out on writing a counter-point that has now blossomed into an obsession. In fact, the obsession has stretched into my natural insomnia and here I am, writing this entry while half dead.

So I sit here as an insomniac and figure I might as well get something done in the meantime. By the time I finish this, I will likely be drooling on a pillow…or my desk. In the meantime, I would like to talk to you, my fellow writers, about your mental problems, there are many of them and they are quite troubling…. so this may take a while.

For now, in the interest of time, there’s three I would like to cover that happen to be the cornerstone of why science fiction and high fantasy have a hard time breaking into the mainstream. Freud’s analysis of your mother issues will have to wait for another day.

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“New Sci-fi” Part Three…. The Soulless Undead

This concept was going to be two different posts. But after sitting and thinking about it, I’ve realized they’re much the same problem. So here I go, waxing poetic about zombies. Wish me luck.

There’s one problem most prevalent even in the professional world that’s led to the downward spiral of popularity for science fiction and high fantasy. Regardless of the quality of the works, a single lingering problem remains hovering above all else. It also leads to the problem of women equality in the previous post. It’s almost the great unifying problem to all the others, really. So here it goes, and for those of you who are writers of these genres, this is going to hurt…

Science fiction and high fantasy are surprisingly (emotionally) shallow.

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“New Sci-fi” Part Two! Women

After reading the kind of thoughts that the industry had on where the sci-fi genre needs to go in the next few years, I’ve found myself thinking about what the actual problems with the genre can be. It’s true that sales can be soft for science fiction work, but it’s also true that “we need less science in our sci-fi” is kind of a stupid solution. So, I’ve gathered some observations to see if maybe I can shed some light on the issue from the “outside”.

Truthfully, I was going to leave this observation for last. I’ve got about 3 or 4 observations worth pointing out and this one I felt was the strongest one to go out on. But after some serious self reflection and some earnest words by the one I consider my second muse (allergy medications being my first), I’ve realized that this one really kind of leads into and ties the rest of them together.

If you look at some of the biggest successes in the last decade, you see that several of the authors have something that links them all: Two X Chromosomes. Think about it, aside from a couple of works from the likes of Dan Brown, most of the really popular books in the last 10 to 15 years have been written by women. Why is that?

After some comprehensive study, I’ve come upon the answer to this and have realized the key to this great mystery. I’ll be honest, it was hard (not really). Really, it was downright baffling (that anyone missed it). I spent many a day working this Rubik’s Cube of society that I shall dub the “XX Factor” (mostly to figure how people miss it) and came up with the answer..an amazing, shocking, completely groundbreaking discovery.

It turns out…women read books. No, seriously, I looked it up, it’s totally true! Go figure, right?

Now, some of you reading this (and, considering the two people I know to read this are in fact female, all of you reading this) will look at that concept and figure it’s a given. In a rational world, you two would be right and a lot of the industry would understand that automatically. But I’ve realized over the last few weeks to months that the world is far from rational.

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“New Sci-fi” Part One! The “Huh?”

Okay, I’ll be honest, I’m bad at this blog updating thing. Though I don’t know of anyone who’s really any good at it. I guess it’s just hard for me to sit here and talk to myself and possibly one other person when I can just simply go and do that on a regular basis. I mean, I can talk to myself anytime I want to, usually do. And as for the idea of talking to one of the few people who even realizes this page exists, well that’s just a message away.

Still, there are a few topics worth discussing here that I feel would be beating a dead horse if I kept talking about them to others on a regular basis… plus I kind of stopped listening to myself too. So I guess if the blog has a function at all it would be to vent the things that have built for a few days (or weeks, or months) and get them out in the open 100%. And what’s boiling my butt this month? (aside from the sun)

“New Sci-Fi”.
Continue reading “New Sci-fi” Part One! The “Huh?”