Friday, January 04, 2019

2019: Moving Forward by Looking Back

Look at that smile!

Since everyone in my writing circle seems to be doing a “welcome to 2019” thing, I figured I might as well do the same. And its a way to do some dusting around here.

The blog has lain fallow for a couple months, but for good reason. I'm working on a Mech Space Opera taking influence from a lot that I've learned (and also un-learned from my academic indoctrination) and putting into practice. Its going to be big. Its going to be sweeping. Its going to come in at a reasonable page count instead of a doorstopper. Its going to be contrary to every major Science Fiction franchise in the West that's devolved into meaningless goo over the last twenty years. Its going to be four books, to start. I'm about halfway done with the draft of book one, and the few eyes that have laid upon it, are stoked. Its like “Red Dawn” meets “Buck Rogers,” but that's just a starting point.

I'm hyping this up because a) I should probably do that some more when it comes to my own work, and b) I'm legitimately excited to write this story. In a lot of ways its a throwback love letter to the 80s sci-fi that shaped me like Star Wars was a throwback to the 40s sci-fi that shaped George Lucas. Its going to be nuts, and once I have more details hammered out after the first draft, I'll start doing lore posts for it.

As for the broader world of science fiction and fantasy? I probably won't be talking too much about that, because it would be beating a dead horse. Doom has already befallen every major franchise under the sun owned by a massive corporation. The video game industry is barreling toward a major crash for the big publishers, and it looks like Hollywood and Music are also going that way. Barnes & Noble is on its last legs, and when it goes, Big Publishing is going to have a reckoning too.

In short, Hell has come to Frogtown.

So what do I think is actually going to arise this year?

Horror. I think Horror is going to get more experimental and weirder as talent flees the sinking ships of mainstream SF/F. Probably more throwbacks, too, but not failures like the Mummy reboot reboot reboot.

Fantasy. Probably going to see a decline as everyone cringes away from Harry Potter. The interesting stuff is going to be in the short story market.

Science Fiction. This is going to be a battleground, and I'll be there. Both Pulp SF and Hard SF (represented by Star Wars and Star Trek, respectively) are in extremely dire straits, and the spoils are ripe for new blood to take advantage of audiences that are starving for optimistic space adventures. Nick Cole and Jason Anspach are doing a lot of great work with Galaxy's Edge, and I expect that series to grow by leaps and bounds, but its a wide-open galaxy out there, waiting to be conquered.

Westerns. I've noticed Westerns have been quietly coming back to book shelves over the last two years or so. I think it'll stay mostly underground, but I think Westerns are going to slowly keep building momentum, especially as Middle America ponders things like national identity and what it means to be an American.

Yesterday on Twitter, I ragged hard on the Battlestar Galactica reboot as being boring, subversive trash that was the root of modern (visual) SF being needlessly gritty with unlikable characters and no payoff to anything. It was a good convo, with some insightful back-and-forth. Over the course of the rant, I linked to a 2004 essay written by Dirk Benedict, the original Lieutenant Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica in the late 70s.

I suggest reading it because Benedict is quite eloquent in it, and every single observation that he lays out is 100% relevant to the state of entertainment in 2019. And this was written fifteen years ago

There's a lot to meditate on there moving forward into the new year.

1 comment:

Man of the Atom said...

2019 has the potential to be the "Year of Not-Boring Entertainment".

We'll see what pops!