Cool Story, Bro

B-b-b-b-bonus post!More wisdom from the notorious TJIC on his early writing false starts:I always thought that once I had a premise (a guy who punches and fuses atoms; an anti-gravity drive; etc.) I had a story,but no,the STORY comes when you have a character and a conflict.- Travis Corcoran, @MorlockP on TwitterWhen he said this,…

Apocalypse How?

Charlie don't wrench? When someone says "I liked the story, but I wish the hero didn't have to struggle so much; I wanted it to be a wish fulfillment cakewalk," they're just insulting themselves. - Prometheus award winning author Travis J. I. Corcoran, @MorlockP on Twitter This problem can occur in any sci-fi, but it…

Flawed Characters and Heroism

Imperfect heroes aren't just ok, they're the most interesting ones. I may have been a little hard on Grimdark. Sure, sure, we're all tired of Dark and Gritty Realistic worlds where everything sucks. But Grimdark did get one thing right: heroes aren't perfect. Cyberpunk frequently acknowledges this as well; sometimes criminals and misanthropes are the…

Religion in Fiction

Or: Why a Russian Space Pope can Speak Ex Cathedra from the Moon in Hard Sci-Fi. An alien learning about our culture exclusively from a library science fiction section could be forgiven for being almost entirely ignorant of religion. Golden age, new wave, and cyberpunk generally (when they mention it at all) either treat religion…