I’ve always loved speculative fiction: science fiction or fantasy. And I like you, my speculative fiction, with spirit. I like you to be fresh, to fall on me like a revelation – an apocalypse.
Heroines and heroes should be spirited. I want them to be strong and bold, to do exciting things and be independent – to stand out from the crowd and go their own way. All the things that, in real life, you and I hesitate to do. In short, I seek to read passionate characters.
Can I feel it in the writing, in the story?
What is its ethos, where is its focus on the noble, the good, the pure and the inspiring? About what is it enthusiastic? How does it build up? Empower? Articulate? Edify?
I want something ‘spiritual’ (I know this word means anything at all, and therefore it means nothing). Let’s look at what it doesn’t mean. Materialistic. Mechanistic. Mediocre. Mundane. In this overly individualistic age, where consumerism is in everything and so dominant, human beings seem to be measured by what they own or use or contribute, in purely material terms. It’s all that seems to matter. Well, I want something more. I want symbolism. I want to see meaning in the words, see the worth of the characters, their passion: light in their eyes and tenacity in their hearts.
Also, I don’t want some cultural theory imposing its dead hand on the text. Dissecting it in the service of some political goal, enslaving it to an ideology. I don’t wish to be told that realism is upholding the status quo, or that fantasy is irrelevant. A fairy story or folk tale is rooted in both, and humans will be telling them long after Marxist, structuralist, modernist and post-modernist theory is forgotten. The human and divine will go on together until the end of history, of time and space – and then some.
I need to feel transported…
…into another world (a simpler world than this one, with sham and duplicity rampant everywhere), as I felt when I was twelve-years-old and reading The Lord of the Rings. From the huge deeds of the great and the good to the homely kindliness of hobbits. I grew up in a non-Christian household, so I had no idea that Tolkien was Catholic, that his morality and perspective were eternal, but I loved it.
And I still want that same feeling when I read, and write myself, to be entertained and taken, transported in delight, to somewhere else. I want to feel alive when I read stories that are animated, but not enslaved, to archetypes, to the story that is hard-coded into us all: the fight of good against evil. Let’s feel alive, let’s have feelings, please, a broad brush – not too much detail – so I can look out to some far horizons on strange planets with two suns, or two moons or both. How exciting. That’s what I’m aiming for.
You may think I’m a dreamer, but I’d still be happy if I was the only one.
Please leave comments here. I will reply as soon as I can!
Speculative Fiction – Novels
Misput Fealties. “In the 24th Year-hundred, Albion is a sundered land. The risen sea has flooded the atomic crater in Orbital and much else besides, turning one land…”
The Daedalus Souls. This is a more traditional ‘hard SF’ story, set in 2069 when the Chinese government is launching the first interstellar mission and during ‘Encounter’, the culmination of the mission in 2104-10.
Jubilee. “Deepa is a junior data centre manager for GloboMart, a huge multinational supermarket chain [think Walmart], working in Melbourne CBD. What starts as just another suspected fraud, turns into a sales collapse of...”
Speculative Fiction – Short Stories
March on the Deniers! A Climate Fiction, or ‘Cli-Fi’ story set in the delightfully named suburb of Nudgee in the near future.
Dreams of the Dead. Flash fiction, and an odd story for me, of no definable genre. I dreamed it and wrote it down – the only time this has ever happened to me! Awaiting publication with Corner Bar Magazine.
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