IWSG: Favorite Genre
October 5 question – What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?
Speculative fiction can range from the outright, noticeably hard sci-fi and all-encompassing fantasy worlds to the somewhat subtle supernatural and sci-fi elements like those we see in the Indiana Jones movies.
The genre offers us a wonderfully, flexible landscape with blurry edges in which to ask tough questions about humanity and morality, go play in a field of unicorns and leprechauns, or attempt to do all of those. We can read The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Lord of the Rings, The Stand, and The Last Unicorn, and still be within the huge, welcoming space of speculative fiction.
In speculative fiction, we get to ask questions. What will someone do when faced with completely impossible odds? Calculate them like C-3PO, go full speed like Han Solo, get one with the force like Luke, attempt diplomacy like Leia? Or put shields on full and attempt diplomacy first with fingers ready on defensive weapons’ arrays like in many Star Trek scenarios?
Will the characters fight for survival and freedom or give into despair (Hunger Games), and if they fight, is there a right way and a wrong way, and who determines that? Can the characters beat the insurmountable odds, or is it too late (Divergent and 1984)? What makes us human, and can AI be “human” in the way we mean? (Blade Runner)
Recently, I assembled speculative fiction short stories I’ve written mostly over the last six years into a new book: 25 Impossible Tales of Survivors, Flawed Heroes, and Annoyed Villains, A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection.
No matter how hard circumstances are, there is hope for survival, even if it means making one simple choice in the right direction or standing up in the face of impossible odds. But the question remains: What is the right direction and which way is up?
Caution: This is NOT a YA book and has some heavier content in some stories.
A Bit About TikTok
As some may remember, I started a 100-Day experiment with TikTok in late June. It’s October, and… wait, I haven’t posted on TikTok in six weeks. That’s right, I let it fall by the wayside.
How did that happen?
It started innocently enough. I tried to create simple, short videos with visual book recommendations that were focused on the books. Then, I thought I probably should get on screen with face and audio. I started following authors whose content I liked and getting ideas. At one point, I posted videos every day of the week. And then, I got sick. And then, I realized I was spending far more time creating video content than I was writing, even when the videos were short, and that did it. I stopped.
Honestly, I think TikTok has some bonuses for authors. I know it helped me prepare to give a talk because I practiced my talking points in a series of videos. I’ll probably do that again or use Instagram Reels in the same way. There are nice authory-readery people on TikTok and not everyone is age 13. It’s okay to be in your 50s or older on TikTok.
However, one thing I will warn everyone I know about – TikTok has some awful content on there. Until you start following about 50 accounts you like, TikTok will fill your feed with random stuff and some of it is genuinely bad – like, I thought about calling CPS and PETA kind of bad. I really don’t like parenting videos that involve violence against children and TikTok has some content like that. Maybe it’s out there on IG Reels and Youtube as well, but I had never been subjected to it before TikTok.
For this reason, I am considering taking down my TikTok account, even though I did find over a 100 nice people to follow on there, and I am sure there are more cool authors and artists to see on TikTok. And once you start following enough accounts and the algorithm gets what you like, you see less random ick, but still, knowing the ick there… makes it less of a decent place to be.
So, that’s all for now. I might come up with some more marketing-related commentary, but for now, I find my strongest argument against TikTok is some of the content.
Let’s keep the conversation going:
What’s your favorite genre?
Have any new books or stories coming out?
And, if you use TikTok, what do you think of it?