Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fantasy begets SCI-FI begets fantasy...

For those of you who have been following along and playing from home for a while you might remember the story of the origin of The Plotters story.

(You can go back and cheat re-read the original story “Of origins and beginnings” from way back in March here: http://paulphilipcarter.blogspot.com/2012/03/of-origins-and-beginnings.html)

And, if you are a VERY astute student, you may recall that at the very beginning The Plotters COULD have been a (wait for it...) SCI-FI story.

Yep, that’s right.

The very first kernel of this story started out with Tanak and Keeril and Siper doing plotter-ly things up in The Heavenly Realm but from a “real” room with real desks and doors and statues and lions and tigers and bears OH MY!

From this (original) opening scene it seemed that the Plotters were going to be sci-fi archetypes with futuristic tools and weapons and maybe even (gasp) spacecrafts!

But then... William Deane came into the story and from then on it was clear this was a FANTASY novel (but with sci-fi elements). I couldn’t throw out the entire baby with the bath water.

I bring this up today to address certain comments that have sprung up since the release of Plotters favorably comparing my work to other writers. (Thanks by the way... that is a HUGE compliment!)

Let me ask a question:
Have you ever read a book and you’re travelling along nicely with the characters, getting into their world and then slam/bang/slap/crash you realize something and say: “Hey... is this writer trying to tell me that this story is set in some future that actually stems from our past and warns us of a cataclysm that has occurred and that this is actually some kind of really really post-post-post apocalyptic setting?”

Ok, well maybe your imagination didn’t go into THAT much detail. But mine almost always does.

For you Tolkien fans, remember all the references in LOTR harkening back to the time of the Numenoreans, and how they built great cities and had wonderful (seemingly) technologically advanced tools and knowledge that put them far ahead of the characters we knew and loved?

I sometimes imagine that the old cultures that died out in the THIRD AGE were actually very technologically advanced and they had medical equipment and maybe even something like electricity. Tolkien certainly meant the original home of Numenor, the island within sight of Valinor, to be a type of Atlantis.

And it’s not just Tolkien. Almost every other fantasy story has a history rich with former races or former cultures which were much more advanced than the characters the current story depicts.

Almost as if they are using a SCI-FI element to describe the lost worlds.

And, to be perfectly clear, I LOVE this stuff!

It’s like a circular argument, a revolving door: fantasy births sci-fi; sci-fi births legendary fantasy; and back again.

For me, the two genres are wonderfully and inextricably intertwined, and I love both almost equally.

And the reason I am telling you all about this today is because very soon I will be releasing my first sci-fi novel: Romy Malloy BRILLIANT DISGUISE.

I do not have a specific date YET, but stay tuned!

And, you might just ask if you are a perceptive and precocious student of The Multiverse, just how did I come up with the story for Romy Malloy?

To be perfectly honest and forthcoming and in full disclosure no secrets between us... Romy Malloy was born of my utter frustration with the whole vampire/werewolf/zombie paradigm.

Now before you go off screaming that you LOVE the vampire stories or that your brother is a werewolf, or that your wife is a zombie... let me stop you.

I love a “good” vampire/werewolf/zombie story just as much as the next guy. Notice how I put air quotes around the word GOOD???

The problem is that these were the only stories that “seemed” to be selling, at least that’s the way it seemed a few years ago when Romy was born. And many of the stories that I came in contact with were... well... no better than werewolf droppings!

And, to throw out even MORE honesty, I did NOT want to write a vampire/werewolf/zombie story anyway!

That’s just not ME.

But sci-fi... now THAT’s a genre I can write.

And so that’s what I did.

Romy Malloy was my own little child of rebellion, born in the upheaval of my mind striving to not fit in to a “popular” genre I could not conform to.

And what elements of sci-fi would a rebellious writer use in his story?

Dimensional travel. HAARP technology. Telepathy.

Now that’s a bunch of plot elements I can sink my sharpened toothed hairy muzzled decaying face into!

So, in the near future you will be bedazzled (or befuddled) with my first ever debut sci-fi novel.

I hope you enjoy it.

What examples do you have on genre overlap? Do you have a favorite? I would LOVE to hear from you!




HEY! If you want to check out the results of MY OWN little foray into the world of self publishing look here for my book The Plotters of Cantaera:

And, I also wrote a little ditty to help out my struggling brother and sister writers called "Stop Sucking And Start Writing!"

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