Saturday, 10 February 2018
Monday, 29 January 2018
Friday, 26 January 2018
Alexander Gordon Jahans
But fuck negativity. The world is depressing enough without burdening you with a page of nihilistic vomit.
I have now successfully read and reviewed 10 EDA novels and I feel empowered by that fact. A corner has been turned and I shall keep reading in the certainty of seeing this project through to the end. The Virgin New Adventures saved me from boredom and dark thoughts before and already the Eighth Doctor Adventures are saving me again.
My writing too is progressing. The slight padding story BDSM And The Art Of War has grown to a behemoth at 190,000 words when I’m still just slogging slowly towards the end of the middle. I find something ironic in that the inspiration for Adam once mockingly asking if a high concept story Weresylph Dawning was my Magnum Opus but honestly this story feels like it.
The story collection in general is of course hugely important for its own reasons but the wider story collection is about setting up a new world with new heroes, now villains and new physics. It is about the return of the Farsh-nuke but it is about the return in a mythic cultural sense, the actual story is the introduction of a new and very different much more god like Farsh-nuke as befits a fantasy series.
BDSM And The Art Of War is a story about me in the most pretentious ways. This is a story about the war between Feminism and Doctor Who against capitalism and the Farsh-nuke. It is a story about different kinds of heroes and monsters and how they each struggle to find redemption. It is a tribute to all the scifi I love and won’t be writing about in future and a restoration of the parts of the old continuity I actually like. It also happens to showcase the alt-right as a bunch of easily exploited evil morons caught up in a war between titanic forces and naive enough to believe they are real players because they spout a bunch of rhetoric that they are convinced makes them sound cool.
Really though I think the reason BDSM And The Art Of War is such an important story for me to write and the reason it could perhaps take the pretentious title of Magnum Opus is that it is the story that builds upon everything I have learned and has already forced me to become a better writer from the sheer importance of it to me. And that’s a long sentence.
The problem I have faced is that I want to tell new and interesting stories with the Farsh-nuke but I also want to showcase the start of the Farsh-nuke’s story arc. With this story I get to have my cake and eat it in so many ways. And yes, it’s an overly written pretentious long thing no one will care about and still might not get finished. At the same time however I feel a turning point has been reached and the end is now inevitable if not quite nigh.
Ultimately what I’ve realised by this point is that fandom saved my life and my being a fan made me do stuff I consider monstrous in hindsight. Fandom has to be what pulls me out of this mess again. I fucked up and I was wrong and I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself but I have to go on with my life and try to avoid harming people with my fiction in the same way again.
So I’m moving on with my fiction. It’s never going to appeal to everyone and if you are one of the social progressives who is angered by portrayals of things you wouldn’t want to happen in real life then you are going to hate me. I am a capitalist, a fan of BDSM and I do rejoice in portraying people as meat because I want you to think twice about eating meat. There are people who hate the idea of evil being redeemed, who hate the idea that evil can have an origin story that still leaves them as evil. People who don’t want nuance or complexity to their narratives. Punch nazis, kill rapists and viva la revolution. That’s fine. I respect that perspective and I respect that those people are going to hate my fiction and possibly me myself.
Equally I entirely see the perspective that might be squicked out that I’m a cis white man who so habitually writes submissive women. Hell, I’ve had my own issues with that but that’s why I’m making a concerted effort in this collection to be more equal in the portrayal of submissive men. I am also doing my best to upend tropes and expectations. Basically if you see a cis white man or hear one referred to then expect bad things to happen to them.
I also want to make clear that this attempt to be fairer in my writing is not just extended towards progressives or people I might more readily agree with. People called Adam in the narrative are the bad guys but there is al least one republican gun rights advocate who is a good person in the fiction. The world is complex and the multiverse logically would be too. My pulp sensibilities have typically presented that in a dark and gritty sense but I am being much more careful about themes and portrayal now. Is the violence needed? If it is do we need to see it?
This is still me so there is a certain amount of ‘hot chick of the week’ to the stories in the collection. Though that description does a great disservice to characters who are I hope rather complex and capable of being the main view point characters for a story. Equally each story introduces new themes, technologies and concepts as part of the world building.
What I’m saying is angst aside I‘m putting a lot of work into my fiction and so far (moments of rewriting aside) I’m rather proud of it.