Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looking Forward

Here we are at the end of another year. It seems like they get shorter as I get older. I finally understand the concept of time dilation.

My short story The Price of Immortality appeared in Alban Lake's Bloodbond magazine in November. This was the only vampire story I ever had published. Although it hasn't appeared yet, AL's Disturbed magazine will contain my short story Uncle Bill's Boys, one of my few werewolf tales. I seldom branch off into those two genres, not because I don't read them but because I believe today's take on those stories has departed from the monster aspect and become soap opera. When women and men begin to see walking parasitic corpses (vampires) and shape-sifting predatory killers (werewolves) as targets of romance, I have to cry foul. And I've heard the argument that sex has always been part of the vampire mystique. What is conveniently forgotten is that in its original form vampirism was a form of predation perpetrated by a maniacal murderer. Sex was used as bait to draw in the victim. Is it a statement on our society that we have come to see that as romantic?

There is a dearth of good speculative fiction nowadays, in my opinion. Television and movies have degraded the genres into prepubescent entertainment. The occasional attempt at reaching an adult audience doesn't ever seem to get the same attention and dies off almost as soon as it appears.

Recently on Syfy (Lord, how I hate that name) there was a miniseries called "Ascension". I found it principally a good example of science fiction and understand they may be trying to pitch it for a series, but like all speculative fiction today it suddenly veered off course and hurtled into the abyss with the line "The starchild must be born". 

I am a writer and an editor. Unfortunately. I can see where writing works and where it goes wrong. I know how the sausage is made. Sometimes I wish I didn't.

I got the chance to see the movie "Radio Free Albemuth" based on the Phillip K. Dick story of the same name. It cost nearly 40 million to make and garnered less than 6,000 in theaters. The reason? It was true to the story. The movie actually used the concept behind Dick's story, that of an oppressive society that controls dissension with an iron fist. It is a depressing story on the whole, even though it does have a hopeful ending. People in America shy away from that kind of thing. We have become educated to be a society of followers, led by fantasy ideas of the possibility of a perfect society if all just recognize everybody is the same. The idea of individuality and individual responsibility is being leached out of our society, something we as writers should be highlighting in our work rather than avoiding.

Enough of that.

My facebook page will likely break 30,000 likes by the end of the year. I am delighted at this but wonder how the changes to facebook policy will affect my pocketbook when they go into effect on January 1. I have already looked into Ello and Tsu as alternatives and have begun using Twitter more often. If it become necessary, I will shut down the facebook page with great regret and move on.

I'm headed to Shadowcon in a couple of weeks. This is a comfortable little convention I enjoy and look forward to every year. I already have a few more conventions to attend in 2015. Maybe I'll see you at one of them.

Til then, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!