Friday, January 07, 2005

Tapping the Source

Something I've always wondered: are speculative writers' minds tapping a common creative well of ideas?

This point came at me quite strongly (like a horse's kick in the head) after I checked out Locus' interview excerpts with upcoming-and-hot SF writer Charles Stross:

I had wanted for a long time to write a fantasy series as told from the point of view of the Dark Lord. Given that fantasy is a literature of the Eternal Return, the Eternal Cycle, what is the Dark Lord's role? The adversary in high fantasy often symbolizes a disruptive modernizing influence who wants to industrialize and bring about the age of reason and enlightenment.

The above paragraph reminded me of a comment made by another cutting-edge SF writer and noted socialist, Ken MacLeod:

I have three ideas knocking about in my head at the moment. The first, on which I've actually done some research and note-taking, is The Bright Command (formerly pencilled in as The Dark Queen's Day), an addition to the still small sub-genre of Dark Lord revisionism. (That's where the multiracial horde with lowly accents and ugly faces who build noisome factories all over fantasyland are the good guys. I like Lord of the Rings, don't get me wrong, but aren't there moments when it feels a bit like Gone With the Wind without the frocks?)

And, of course, the third (do these ideas normally come in threes?) is from Jacqueline Carey's new book, Banewreaker, which Rob reviews for Sffworld:

On the surface, Banewreaker seems, and only on the thin surface, another Tolkien-inspired saga of Good versus Evil. Carey takes mind’s eye of the reader and aims the point of view from the side of "Evil," that of Satarois Banewreaker, the titular Shaper God who was cast from his brethren Gods and scarred for life, and in his scarring, Sundered the world.

Hmmm... I wonder if I can get dibs on that well...

Wala lang.

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