In January 2009, I decided to write a book. I’ve always written, always made up strange worlds and sent characters hurdling into them, always dreamt of monsters. But until that day, I was scattered: a screenplay here, a few essays there. Some poems. None of ‘em went very far.
I’d read all the Harry Potters and loved them, loved how they immersed me in the world so thoroughly and stayed grounded and exciting. And I wanted something more… I’d just finished Junot’s Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Walter Mosley’s Six Easy Pieces and the combined ferocity of those two singular and relentlessly truthful voices lit a fire inside me. Octavia Butler’s work stoked that fire and Stephen King’s On Writing reminded me that writing a book was something that can be done, long as you sit down and do it.
Note: I am using Spec-Fic to encompass everything from fantasy, to sci-fi, to spy-fi, horror, and other things related to the fantastic genres. None of this “Neal Stephenson said science fiction isn’t a genre” stuff, please.
1. Joss Whedon. Fine. Great. He has given us some good television and films, but he isn’t the only person out there who has ideas. His shadow looms impossibly large over the televisual and cinema landscapes and it is getting to feel a little same-y. There is homogeneity to the Whedonverse that can wear a little thin. If he loved the genre as much as he says, he should take a step back and let some other voices (not coached or shepherded by him) emerge. There are only so many clever dialogue sequences we can take, or need. Even Kevin Smith realized his shtick was getting old. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it is as good as you think it is. Hell, people bought pet rocks and mood rings. Everybody may have raved about The Avengers, but Dredd was the comic book adaptation of 2012.