Friday, August 27, 2010

"New Sci-fi" Part Five, Stale Cookies

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, there were points where 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 then I reached this point, there's one concession I thought I was going to have to make. After all, even with a surface analysis, you have to understand at least the surface, right? But even then, you might see things wrong.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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

So I sit here being a bit 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 about your mental problems, there are many of them and they are quite troubling.

But for now, 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.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"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 shallow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"New Sci-fi" Part Two! Women

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 (Walnut Trees 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. Really, it was downright baffling. I spent many a day working this Rubik's Cube of society that I shall dub the "XX Factor" and came up with the 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. But I've realized over the last few weeks to months that the world is far from rational.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"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".

I've heard a lot about this lately. You see, it's no secret to anyone who pays attention to literature that genres have a tendency to rise and fall in popularity. You look at the books that succeeded from any period of time and you tend to see some thematic connection between them. Fantasy and Urban Fantasy have a pretty firm hold on things right now, "Paranormal Romance" is practically untouchable. And of course, watching these trends gives us an idea of just what does and doesn't sell, which is something to really keep an eye on for people like myself who want to actually sell something.

Currently, we see that sci-fi is on the fall while what could be called "fantasy" (specific sub-genres of fantasy more so than others) is on the rise. That, in itself, doesn't surprise me. But what has been starting to make me wonder as of late has been the tendency for people to decide that the reason for the fall of sci-fi is because the audience has become "jaded" and "cynical".