Welcome everyone to another week of Stuff We Like. Brought to you by Freddy, still managing to survive the bitter cold from the Lake Effect playing with the Canadian front.
Stick around for after the post because we have a question we'd love for you to answer (and get a chance to win a $10 gift certificate).
Everyone settled with their blankets and hot cocoa? Good. Shhh, Toni, we know you're hot *winks* but the rest of us are buried underneath snow.
We all have our favorite things when we read. Me, personally, is SFF (science fiction and fantasy) - graphic novel, book, short story - any and all are welcomed. I do have my preferences for SF and for F, getting them to overlap can be hard, but when done well we have glorious results.
Now with every genre, there are tropes or fallbacks or characters that pop up over time. It's enivitable really. Someone sees something, reads a story, and people love it to death. They want to write their own story or find more like it.
I don't think shifters or vampires will ever go away, not really. They're too ingrained at this point. Has their meaning changed? Yes. Most certainly. But good characters never really go away, just adapt to represent the times.
Vampires once symbolized how the old men aristocrats married young money so their houses stayed afloat. These young women who had money but no title got it, and maybe some respect, that's debatable. Now, with True Blood, they helped symbolize the LGBT civil rights movement, whether the author intended that or not, the show pushed our fight to the forefront.
For me, science fiction had appeal because it's about possibilities. A philosophical debate of man and our nature, where our future may go, are we at our best? Possibilities, wonder, desire, dreaming, all of those become more vivid for me when put on the landscape of pages before me.
Fantasy was always about getting lost. Adventures. About being in awe of he unknown around us, and sometimes, just accepting things as them come.
When those two combine? I'm in fucking heaven. It's hard to have a universe with both, but I often felt them together made a better picture of humans. That they complimented each other and how humanity is.
I have things that I see, when I read them, and roll my eyes. Am I tried of SF being about spaceships? Yes. Yes I am. There is such a broader world out there when it comes to SF, and while I appreciate Star Trek and Star Wars for taking nerds mainstream, I miss the other SF that got left behind. Also, why does paranormal equal wolf shifters? The paranormal is so much bigger and richer. (And I would love to see the alpha pack structure demolished to be honest).
Do I get why people still write these, and why people have their go-tos they want to read that include these things? Completely. Everyone has a comfort zone. Sometimes you just need to turn off and enjoy something uncomplicated - a concept I struggle with, but I appreciate it. Sometimes I'm too complicated and turn myself (and others) in circles when I'm trying to figure something out. Simplicity is sometimes more impactul, says more, than all the subtle layers of the world.
When I read and when I write, my brain is wired in a certain direction and it takes off at a million miles per hour, assuming the rest of me will catch up. I want fresh and new and different. I don't want to tread on the past taken before. Every time we open a book, the possibilities are laying out their in front of us.
Is it a new adventure? Are we testing humanities' resolve again today?
As a reader and I writer, I certainly hope so.
So I ask you these two things:
1. What is your favorite trope that you will never get sick of, and why?
2. What would you love to be challenged and renewed, and why?
Answer below to enter yourself in our little contest today.