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Author Topic: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.  (Read 243401 times)  

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2014, 09:18:57 AM »
Spec fiction here as well, but fairly dark - not really 'feel good' summer reads - everything from sci-fi to horror to classic mystery style twist ending stories similar to the Outer Limits or Twilight Zone.

I write stories about damaged people in very bad situations, or how very bad situations damage people.

Sounds like fun already, huh?   :D

________

I think someone should start a cross promo thread like Holly did for NA.  This way everyone can at least reach each other's fans.  I received a book recommendation from a KB writer I respect (I like his stories) this morning and the first thing I thought was to check the book out.

As fan bases grow, the newsletters, tweets and FB posts expand their reach - and that reach is VERY targeted.  Something to consider. 

Offline KateDanley

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2014, 09:26:13 AM »
*swinging in on a rope* You have my stake!  ...erm.. axe... wait *dumping belt full of weapons on the table*  Take your pick.  I'm in.

I've loved speculative fiction since I was a wee little one.  My dad was a big sci-fi fan and we used to talk about why these books are important.  They have the power to look at deep philosophical issues from enough distance that an audience can examine it from all angles and be invited to grow, without being smashed over the head with "A Message".  There was a fantastic exhibit in Seattle about fantasy, and several of the big writers (George RR Martin, Jane Espenson) talked about what makes fantasy important.  They said that at its heart, fantasy is about an individual standing up against the forces which seek to destroy our individuality.  And the person who wins is not the prettiest or strongest.  It is the cleverest person with the strongest will.  The mind and heart will always trump evil.  I liked that.

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Offline KevinH

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2014, 09:32:11 AM »
Hey guys, you guys, hey. Why don't we build one?

This. (Referencing a site for advertising speculative fiction.)



Offline ゴジラ

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2014, 09:39:13 AM »
I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

Not trying to pick a fight. But maybe some folks should think about why you don't consider books with romantic elements to be like "your" speculative fiction. (Also, not just OP in particular, who is a swell guy. Everyone in the community is responsible for these attitudes.)

(Ann Aguirre has a great post about this but I don't feel like digging it up.)

Lindsay Buroker, it's awesome seeing on you here. We should cross pollinate our UF audiences sometime. Don't be a stranger.

Offline dgaughran

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2014, 09:41:18 AM »
Writing a short SF atm. Fun break from HF.

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Offline HezBa

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2014, 09:46:53 AM »
I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

Not trying to pick a fight. But maybe some folks should think about why you don't consider books with romantic elements to be like "your" speculative fiction. (Also, not just OP in particular, who is a swell guy. Everyone in the community is responsible for these attitudes.)


I don't think he was talking about Spec fic with romantic elements, I think it was just the romance genre that he was trying to exclude from the thread. And he wasn't even trashing romance or erotica, he was just saying that those genres already get enough attention, while Spec fic doesn't
It's a shame that you feel you've been excluded from spec fic, but I don't think that's what this thread is about.


Offline MT Berlyn

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2014, 09:51:02 AM »
Yippee!!

I suppose I write quiet horror? Someone else mentioned soft horror. I don't know if it's the same thing or what. Usually I write ghosts and madness and all that, but it's never gory or real tangible type of scare. More atmospheric, I think.

I would love to write nothing but horror, but I also want to make some money. I go back and forth between different genres, just to test the waters, but horror is always what I come back to. Sort of like my writing home. I enjoy the other stuff, but my horror stories are always the ones keeping me up at night (either thinking about plot/characters, or just because I'm terrified).

A kindred spirit! I would say that quiet or soft horror are synonymous.  Gothic horror would also be placed in this category, I think.  I see atmosphere as an extremely important component in quiet/soft (and Gothic) horror storytelling.  Ghosts, madness, all of it, contain a fabulous canvas for experimentation.  Peter Penzoldt writes in "The Supernatural in Fiction", that the ghost story holds the greatest room for varying approaches because there are no set rules to interaction with the supernatural.

I was confused as to why the ghost story in literature did not enjoy the same reception as the theme of ghosts in say, television, but I think the difference is that ghosts in popular media are portrayed within a reality based theme...ie: ghost hunters, ghost adventurers, even The Blair Witch Project.  Maybe it feels safer that way, I'm not sure of the dynamic, but it is there.  Dark Shadows was exceedingly popular back in the 1960's, but a series revival in the 1990's with some great actors and atmosphere failed.  

Offline MT Berlyn

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2014, 09:57:44 AM »
Spec fiction here as well, but fairly dark - not really 'feel good' summer reads - everything from sci-fi to horror to classic mystery style twist ending stories similar to the Outer Limits or Twilight Zone.

I write stories about damaged people in very bad situations, or how very bad situations damage people.

The flawed character is a staple in Southern Gothic literature.  The creation of this type of character has a wide range of possibility in speculative fiction, for sure.

Offline Duane Gundrum

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2014, 10:00:17 AM »


I was confused as to why the ghost story in literature did not enjoy the same reception as the theme of ghosts in say, television, but I think the difference is that ghosts in popular media are portrayed within a reality based theme...ie: ghost hunters, ghost adventurers, even The Blair Witch Project.  Maybe it feels safer that way, I'm not sure of the dynamic, but it is there.  Dark Shadows was exceedingly popular back in the 1960's, but a series revival in the 1990's with some great actors and atmosphere failed.  


There are some places where the ghost story is doing well on television, like on shows like Supernatural, which has a huge fan base built into it. I think what we're finding is that the fans seem to be locked into a specific world (like that of Supernatural) so it is hard to pry them away from it into other words. I know when I was teaching at a community college last semester, one of my students was a dire hard fan of Supernatural, and I got the immediate impression that she wasn't interested in anything else. I'm wondering if that's somewhat of the same thing for a lot of people who get tied into one horror thing. I know it's very anecdotal (one case), but it's kind of made me wonder.

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Offline CEMartin2

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2014, 10:02:07 AM »
I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

Are your works specfic with romancical scenes, or romance novels taking place in a specfic setting? There's a big difference. 

Take James Bond for example. Definitely not  romance, despite all his manwhoring. The Destroyer series is even worse, with Remo Williams getting quite lurid in his activities in some books.

Perfectly okay for you to write what you want to write, but if the main element of your stuff is the romance aspect, then many Specfic readers and writers will be put off by it and consider it romance/erotica.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 10:08:31 AM by CEMartin2 »

Offline MT Berlyn

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2014, 10:02:31 AM »
Not sure if paranormal counts

I think it very much counts.  There is a wide range of possibility within the paranormal/supernatural genre.  Lots of potential for a speculative approach.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 10:20:52 AM by Thayer Berlyn »

Offline SLGray

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2014, 10:04:34 AM »
I would absolutely love (love!) to help set up a new site or a cross-promotion group or a blog or something to help get us more exposure. When do we start? :)

I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

I didn't get that vibe from the OP either, and I defend romance and romance writing a lot. I started out writing romance and went back to my spec fic reading roots when I realized that I'm not -good- at telling an industry-standard romance. I often throw romantic elements into my stories, but I just never really mastered romance-centered writing. I am in awe of those who do it well, and especially those who manage a good even blend of spec fic and romance.

Romance writers are also one of -the- most supportive group of writers I know. There are fabulous blogs and forums and facebook groups and advertising teams and and and...

So please don't feel we're trying to exclude you. We're just looking to try to build a little community here and support each other the way romance writers do.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 10:06:39 AM by SLGray »

Offline Victoria J

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2014, 10:10:53 AM »
Nice to see a thread for SpecFic writers. I can attest to the fact that things that work for writers of other genres don't always work for us. Been a science fiction and fantasy reader and writer since I was little, epic fantasy being my favorite. I've written a few traditional fairy tales and a bit of weird fiction as well and plan to write more in the future (even though they don't seem to have much of an audience.  :D) Anyway, it's great to see SpecFic writers on Kboards coming out in force.

Offline wrenroberts

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2014, 10:12:21 AM »
but if the main element of your stuff is the romance aspect, then many Specfic readers and writers will be put off by it and consider it romance/erotica.

I don't think that's true at all.

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Offline HezBa

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #64 on: January 05, 2014, 10:15:29 AM »
There are some places where the ghost story is doing well on television, like on shows like Supernatural, which has a huge fan base built into it. I think what we're finding is that the fans seem to be locked into a specific world (like that of Supernatural) so it is hard to pry them away from it into other words. I know when I was teaching at a community college last semester, one of my students was a dire hard fan of Supernatural, and I got the immediate impression that she wasn't interested in anything else. I'm wondering if that's somewhat of the same thing for a lot of people who get tied into one horror thing. I know it's very anecdotal (one case), but it's kind of made me wonder.

I think with shows like Supernatural, it's more about the characters and their relationships than the actual supernatural aspect. I've only seen a few episodes, but I used to watch Buffy alllll the time (actually still do), and I wasn't there for the monster of the week, that's for sure. So maybe it wasn't the paranormal that your student was attracted to in the first place.

It is possible that people have specific tastes when it comes to Spec fic. I know I'm really picky when it comes to what I read, so it's more than possible that other people are the same.


Offline HezBa

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #65 on: January 05, 2014, 10:18:41 AM »
 Peter Penzoldt writes in "The Supernatural in Fiction", that the ghost story holds the greatest room for varying approaches because there are no set rules to interaction with the supernatural. 

I think the "no-set-rules" thing is also what makes writing endings more difficult. And maybe why a lot horror endings are a bit...disappointing.


Offline MT Berlyn

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #66 on: January 05, 2014, 10:20:10 AM »
There are some places where the ghost story is doing well on television, like on shows like Supernatural, which has a huge fan base built into it. I think what we're finding is that the fans seem to be locked into a specific world (like that of Supernatural) so it is hard to pry them away from it into other words. I know when I was teaching at a community college last semester, one of my students was a dire hard fan of Supernatural, and I got the immediate impression that she wasn't interested in anything else. I'm wondering if that's somewhat of the same thing for a lot of people who get tied into one horror thing. I know it's very anecdotal (one case), but it's kind of made me wonder.

You have a good point.  The dilemma for the speculative writer within the supernatural genre is how to entice the reader from remaining inside the box, especially if one is an independent author.  I say this because I wonder if fans, say of fantasy author Charles de Lint, might feel distrustful of a similar approach by an unknown writer.  Even with so many possibilities, people get stuck in what they believe to be the rule of the norm...even when it is, in theory, outside the norm.

Offline MT Berlyn

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #67 on: January 05, 2014, 10:28:53 AM »
I think the "no-set-rules" thing is also what makes writing endings more difficult. And maybe why a lot horror endings are a bit...disappointing.

This is interesting. When you say disappointing, do you mean unexpected?  Or, predictable?  Or, the pieces of the puzzle do not come together? A dismal ending?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 10:30:54 AM by Thayer Berlyn »

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #68 on: January 05, 2014, 10:35:23 AM »
And my teeth.

In my fiction, all dogs are from other planets.

Offline HezBa

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #69 on: January 05, 2014, 10:46:49 AM »
This is interesting. When you say disappointing, do you mean unexpected?  Or, predictable?  Or, the pieces of the puzzle do not come together? A dismal ending?

Predictable I can handle. I think with horror and ghost stories, there aren't that many possible endings. It's when it totally comes out of left feild and makes you say huh? that bothers me. A well known example could be Stephen King's IT. I loved it up until the ending...which was just awful.


Offline Ty Johnston

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #70 on: January 05, 2014, 10:47:02 AM »
This is interesting. When you say disappointing, do you mean unexpected?  Or, predictable?  Or, the pieces of the puzzle do not come together? A dismal ending?

I won't speak for HezBa, but one of the downfalls I've experienced with some horror literature's endings is the very lack of rules concerning the supernatural and how to deal with it or face it. We all know the rules for vampires and zombies and werewolves, but what do you do when dealing with a ghost, for example? Call the Ghostbusters? The "rules" of Ghostbusters work for that particular franchise in no small part because they are comedic, but they don't carry over (or at least not well) to other stories and franchises.

This is one of the reasons I've felt some Japanese horror was so successful about a decade back and continues to be so in certain circles, because there are no rules, no way of coping with the supernatural. Ghost shows up, you're screwed, end of story. You can't fight it, can't run from it, can't banish it, etc. However, that does limit a writer's storytelling possibilities.

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Offline Casper Bogart

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #71 on: January 05, 2014, 10:47:06 AM »
And my teeth.

In my fiction, all dogs are from other planets.

My poodle is certainly from another planet.

My short, GIFT FROM A MAGI is a sci fi retake on O.Henry's famous tale.

I grew up on spec fic, and love it dearly.

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Offline bmcox

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #72 on: January 05, 2014, 10:50:05 AM »
I consider myself SpecFic, but my stories are more Magical Realism/Social/Soft SciFi (maybe). My also-boughts are all over the place. In the indie market I kinda feel out of place because many works are so clearly one specific genre/subgenre and my stories don't seem to link. For example, I am (re)writing a novelette about a boy, who occasionally turns into an elephant, on a quest to find his mom who turned into a housefly and was carried away by a strong gust of wind. It's clearly Fabulism and not a faerie tale or a fable, though it has elements. However, it'll be difficult to categorize in AZ when I publish it. I feel adrift in the great sea of categorization. Often I just mark "Literary."
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Offline HezBa

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #73 on: January 05, 2014, 10:55:18 AM »
I won't speak for HezBa, but one of the downfalls I've experienced with some horror literature's endings is the very lack of rules concerning the supernatural and how to deal with it or face it. We all know the rules for vampires and zombies and werewolves, but what do you do when dealing with a ghost, for example? Call the Ghostbusters? The "rules" of Ghostbusters work for that particular franchise in no small part because they are comedic, but they don't carry over (or at least not well) to other stories and franchises.

This is one of the reasons I've felt some Japanese horror was so successful about a decade back and continues to be so in certain circles, because there are no rules, no way of coping with the supernatural. Ghost shows up, you're screwed, end of story. You can't fight it, can't run from it, can't banish it, etc. However, that does limit a writer's storytelling possibilities.

Good point, but I think there are a few rules when dealing with ghosts. Burying remains, solving the murder, bringing justice, tying up unfinished business. Maybe rules is the wrong term, because they certainly aren't  absolutes, like with vampires. Maybe guidelines, or suggestions?

I also prefer that sort of you're-screwed ending. It just feels wrong for a horror book/movie to end well for the characters. It's like if a romance ends with the couple hating eachother.


Offline Edward W. Robertson

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2014, 10:55:49 AM »
Anyways, you need people of intelligence on this sort of... Mission. Quest. ... Thing.

To date, I've done epic fantasy, post-apocalyptic, space opera, and time travel. One of the neat things about spec fic is its readers seem a little more open about switching between the bajillion different subgenres.

Re: ads--romance and thrillers will almost always produce better results than SF/F/H, but plenty of the big sites have a good readership for our books, too. Don't rule them out.