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Author of queer, quirky sci fi/fantasy books. On Amazon.
Editor of all fiction genres.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

50 Shades of Bored: The New World of Romance (Part 1)

Hello hello!

So, a while ago, a certain movie came out. I promised to review it because I love you all.

I scheduled my comments to drip-feed them to all of you, but if you've been following my Twitter, you already know what I thought about the whole thing. Honestly? I haven't done up a proper post because I was bored out of my gourd when I watched it. There was a tiny bit of kinky sex, and lots of wide-angle shots of the rainy beauty of the Northwest, but the main actors were bland and the laughs were pretty feeble. It was so bad, and so dull, that I couldn't even muster the energy to hate it properly.

Then, just recently, E.L. James' inspiration, Stephanie Meyer, released "Life and Death", a gender-flipped version of Twilight. Other journalists have tackled this sad little publicity grab. I'm tempted to pick it up so I can giggle my way through it, but frankly--I'm tired. I'd much rather read the many better, darker romances out there than punish my brain cells with the masochistic experience of slogging through Twilight's casserole made from leftovers. There are some valid and artistically interesting things that Meyer did (stop giggling), and they're worth talking about, but every time one starts feeling inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, she pulls something like this.

So instead of talking about faux darkness and incompetent echoes, let's talk about Gone Girl and dark romance and the kinds of things that you won't find in a regency paperback with lurid 80s script and fainting maidens. Let's talk about huntresses and murderesses and strange, dark, damaged characters and madness and attics. I have the most wonderful and terrifying things crossing my editing desk, and a few of those will be touched on as well.

October is a scary month, and what's more terrifying than falling in love? Get ready; we're going in deep.

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Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don't miss any of the phuquerie--get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out! 

Monday, 5 October 2015

In Praise of Bad Art

Hello hello!

So, life has happened, is happening, continues to happen, and I have a lot of good ideas sitting in my draft folder. But once in a while, my emotions and thoughts swirl and bubble over, and an impulsive post comes rushing out, overflowing tidy restraint.

Today, I need to complain and praise something strange: sub-par, bad, and merely average art.




Right now, I am reading a book that I know in my soul is Hugo-quality. I can't tell you whom it's by, because it's not finished yet, nor has it been published. I'm listening to Lana del Rey's Honeymoon album. It is very early, and so the world is quiet, except for this music and this book.

It is far from the only exceptional, stellar work I've had cross my plate in the last month or so. But having two superb novels to edit, having this one to read right now, and having The Brothers Jetstream on my Kindle app--having works of this quality should make me overjoyed.





But while it is not oppressive, it is overwhelming. There is so much beauty and amazingness that I need something less amazing to take refuge in. It's similar to the way I feel whenever we take a trip to the Rocky Mountains--everything is so beautiful and amazing and perfect that it becomes exhausting.

So--next time you find yourself shaking your head and lamenting the decline in culture, consider the alternative. Consider a world in which everything is so beautiful that you are struck with a kind of choice paralysis. "Precious cinnamon roll too good for this world, too pure", as a meme goes--but that stupid, amazing moment of clarity when you bite into a morsel that is perfection itself, that moment is too incredible to last. And when it does last, it's almost upsetting.

How can anything be that good? It's almost upsetting. The mind strains to comprehend real beauty. Better to have it in spoonfuls, scraps, drops, than to live it and bask in it daily. It would become boring, eventually, because brains just cannot appreciate every nuance day in and day out. And that which we called 'transcendent' once would become shlock--just because brains crave homeostasis.

So do yourself a favour, sweet reader--read some fanfiction. Grab a cheesy thriller or romance novel off a shelf. Look at some stupid cartoons. And try not to lose yourself in hunger for a world too full of beauty, because there is no way our frail human hearts could ever handle it.

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Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don't miss any of the phuquerie--get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out! 
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