Friday, October 24, 2014

Sentries and Throngs

I am an avid connoisseur of fiction's villainous cannon-fodder. Because my interest is obscure I shall elaborate: My favorite characters are the anonymous, plentiful, expendable, armed and uniformed foot soldiers of villainy. They are the readily available victims of heroes. They are slain and we enjoy them being slain.

There are two basic themes for the killing of anonymous and expendable antagonists: "silencing the sentry" and "hero versus throngs." There are other common means of fatal misfortune, such as "killed for failure" or "sacrificed for a test" but they do not set the standard.

"Silencing the sentry" is a slowly paced action theme that stirs anticipation. The guards are armed (or otherwise supposedly dangerous) yet easily destroyed without a fight. The helplessness of the victim and the utter dominance of the assailant are essential. The very appeal of the theme is the predator-prey relationship made ironic in that the prey supposes itself predator.

An alarm is sounded and the "hero versus throngs" begins. Droves of cannon-fodder converge on a protagonist only to be slaughtered. More victims keep coming. This theme typically follows the "silencing the sentry" as a climax. The stark irony maintains its appeal but frantically: the one or few should be helpless yet the supposedly overwhelming many prove useless.

Heroes are exceptional. The anonymous many are common. The classic "silencing the sentry" and "hero versus throngs" are all about excellence versus mediocrity. It is right that we should cheer the hero. It is amusing to witness the inglorious fate of the anonymous many. I love the villainous cannon-fodder for making my heroes look so good. The fictional deaths of the expendable many are not in vain.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Artistic Intensity

Rape and slaughter are horrors of reality. They are not to be celebrated. They are intense, however. Such unsettling intensity is horrific in life but can be made sensual and exciting in art and fiction. A sound mind can enjoy the horrors of a horror story without wishing anyone harm. One can find fictional rape sexy and fictional slaughter exciting without entertaining depravity.

Reality is cause and effect. Art and fiction are unreal. Our imaginations are the fanciful articulation of otherwise mindless feelings. Our fancies give shape to these otherwise shapeless sensations.

Reality is generally lackluster and preferably uneventful. The extremes in reality are typically horrible. Art is not art if it is lackluster. Fiction is boring if uneventful. Extremes and horrors in art and fiction can be fun. Rape and slaughter are atrocities in reality. In art and fiction, if done artfully, they can be gritty, sensual and exciting.

Art and fiction are not reality. They do not bear the burden of consequences. They are seldom literal. The best of art and the best of fiction are the unabashed, uninhibited, lovingly thoughtful manifestations of passion shaped by imagination. The most sensual and exciting are the most gritty and intense. Enjoy.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Strange Galaxy: Universal Philosophy

Star Trek is the belief that human ingenuity shall advance us in every way. Star Wars is the belief that each of us ultimately chooses our own destiny. Mass Effect is the belief that diverse people can come together for common cause. The Lord of the Rings is the belief that anyone can make a difference. My Strange Galaxy is the belief that all things are ultimately personal.

The grand scheme of things is always the will of the mighty served by the many. Those in power rule according to self-interest. The individuals of the masses serve according to fear, need and or belief. Ultimately, the supposedly all-important "big picture" is nothing more than the panorama of singular personalities crowded together.

In reality and in my Strange Galaxy there are the few who make a name for themselves and the vast, anonymous masses. The heroes and masterminds are the good and evil of the few. The nameless many serve good or evil but are rarely particularly either.

Strange Galaxy is a universe of exotic worlds and alien races. Human technology and inhuman magic share a diverse setting rife with mystery, horror, war and intrigue. Villains plot and heroes adventure. The characters are the lives of the stories. Their thoughts and feelings are the dialog and action.

The individual is the beginning and the end of every endeavor. Individual characters unassumingly living their lives makes for the best drama. Whether human or alien, excellent or expendable, doomed or triumphant, the people of Strange Galaxy are lively and colorful. My fiction is their reality. Their world of many worlds is weird yet realistic. Enjoy.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Strange Galaxy: Aliens vs. Humans

The soul is the divine spark that animates the human animal and empowers it to transcend its material nature. It is the light of our imagination and the warmth of our endeavors. The soul is the very thing that makes us human.

The alien races of my Strange Galaxy are many and diverse. They are not human, however, because none of them have a soul. Refined or savage their nature is feral. Wise or simple their thoughts are literal. Reserved or gregarious their feelings are unbridled. Their tastes are simple and their ways entirely practical.

The alien races have songs and poetry but are incapable of fiction. Their legends are never embellished. Their histories are often cryptic but always true. Their art is never in the image of what it is not. Primitive or advanced, no alien society is superstitious. No alien culture has a mythology. Matrimony is common but adultery and divorce are unheard of. Substance abuse and other self-destructive tendencies are exclusively human.

Civilized, barbaric or savage, the races without a soul are natural creatures moved by instinctive impulses to fill their particular cosmic niche. Unlike humans, they have an innate sense of purpose, thus, they are not prone to human angst or wonder. Though they do not suffer our foibles, they are not endowed with our infinite potential.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Strange Galaxy: Magic vs. Technology

In our world, magic was a superstition of the past and technology is the way of the future. Modern science is contemptuous of the supernatural.

I appreciate the philosophical insights of the occult. I am enlightened by the revelations of science. I am the grateful beneficiary of technology. Why not have it all?

Magic, as a plausible concept, is the manipulation of natural forces to cause a desired effect. Unlike technology it is innately living. Casting a spell requires feeling. The thoughts of the caster shape and direct the feeling. Items are useful tools and may be enchanted  but they cannot cast spells. Magic, by its intimate nature, cannot be mass-produced.

Technology is the production of substances and devices that cause a desired effect. Unlike magic, it is not bound to the person of its user. It minimizes rather than requires the exertion of its beneficiaries. The items of technology are the technology itself. Because they are impersonal they can be mass-produced.

I am a writer and an artist. I refine and fashion my fancies into art and fiction. I wanted a world of many worlds where technologically advanced human civilizations rivaled magically advanced alien civilizations. The guns and bombs of humanity would clash with the swords and spells of strange races as equals.

Because technology exceeds what is natural its machines are faster and stronger than anything living. Its weapons are more destructive than anything magical.

Because magic is the channeling of natural forces its use is inexhaustibly efficient: its living powers are tapped into what already is and moved by what is already flowing. Because it is derived from actuality itself, magic would excel at divination, conjuration, sensory manipulation and warding.

I wanted magic and technology to be equals but very distinct. Each would have its own advantages. Its weaknesses would be the downside of its strengths. A technologically advanced society would be better at accomplishing what it wants. A magically advanced society would be better at optimizing what it already has. The philosophy of magic and the science of technology would be pondering the same reality but from differing perspectives. Their results would differ but be equal.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Strange Galaxy: Swords vs. Guns

In our world, a man who brings a sword to a gunfight is a dead man. Technology has rendered humanity's most revered weapon utterly obsolete.

I appreciate the romanticism of the sword. I also like the dramatic appeal of modern firearms. In our world, the weapons cannot share the same era. Yes, there was a moment when swords and guns were equals but the swords were advanced and the guns primitive. I wanted them together, both of them at their very best.

I am a writer and an artist. I refine and fashion my fancies into art and fiction. I wanted the best of swords and the best of guns to meet as equals. It would be the fighters, not their choice of weapons, that would decide the fight. I made what I wanted happen.

The days of the sword were also the days of magic. In my science fiction Strange Galaxy universe, magic is as real as technology. Magically advanced alien civilizations are armed with swords. Their soldiers are protected by spells and talismans. They can endure the destructive superiority of technology if they can outfight its gunmen.

Magic or technology, guns or swords, it is sound leadership and the prowess of warriors that decide the wars of the Strange Galaxy. Anything less would be unworthy of a legend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vain Glory

I am a writer and an artist. I created the cover and wrote the story for the novelette Vain Glory. It is the adventurous tale of a heroine who visits exotic worlds on a quest to save her own.

As a storyteller, I have a knack for refining the fantastic into something entirely believable. I am mindful that even the strangest things are a matter of cause and effect. I understand and appreciate that sex and violence are intrinsically linked. I ponder what it is to be human and distinguish it from what is soulless. I fight for good against evil and share my revelations.

My stories are fantastic yet realistic, sexual and violent yet thoughtful, grim yet inspiring. They are my waking dreams and nightmares.

Vain Glory is an adventure story, first and foremost. The title character is just living her life and daring to do what must be done. Her friends are those who love her. The enemy is a malevolence hidden behind the many faces of those whom she fights.

Good and evil are merely a matter of caring and uncaring. Justice pays righteousness no heed. Freedom is never by decree. It is one, never the many, who fights for good against evil. Vain Glory is about such a one... and those who fight alongside her. Good is always individual but its individuals always come together.

Vain Glory is available! Enjoy...