Ladies, Gentlemen, Beings of Furritude, I come not to bury grey goo plotting but to yawn at it and to sigh “I don’t care what happens to all these characters” and — occasionally, when a novel rises a little bit above the common style
–, to sigh and say “I want them all dead by chapter two.” (Ah, for a minion I could dispatch to story world. “Guido, see to it. I want them all dead by chapter two before they all start the belly button contemplating until it reels the mind. Make them dead. Hide the bodies.” Of course, in many cases this would improve the pacing and action of the plot. In others no one would notice.)
Traditional publishing, having become a thing of a small circle of NYC where everyone attended the same colleges and deconstructed the same books, seems more interested in impressing each other and themselves than in capturing the minds and fancy of the rest of the population. That is fine.
For the longest time, of course, it wasn’t fine, and even as a reader I had trouble finding stuff to read. For you see, I am an apostate. I went to a fine college and was taught that the best of literature was stuff you had to slog through, but I never gave up my allegiance to Heinlein and Christie, to Dumas and Sir Walter Scott, to Shakespeare and Austen (and I don’t treat them like dry literature, either. The puns alone in Shakespeare – he’d fit in this blog very well.) But on leaving college, I fell into even worse company. No, yay and verily, I’ve been known to read Heyer and, in a pinch, Nora Roberts.
I don’t want books that reassure me that all of humanity is a waste of oxygen an excess of carbon or a “cancer upon the Earth.” Yeah. Maybe it is, if you are a multi-pincered being from the Pleiades and view humans as competition and want them to go away. But I am a human among humans, and whom should I love if not my species? Besides, multi-pincered beings are only good with drawn butter.
I don’t want books that reassure me that life is a tale written by a graduate student, full of fog and moral confusion, signifying nothing.
While I’m alive, I’ll live in bright colors. If I wanted to be sedated, I’d go back to being on valium. The only thing that books have to offer, above television, above movies, above games, is the ability to manipulate human emotions. Words and the evoking of other senses, like smell, are the quickest route to the emotion. We read fiction not to think but to feel. To go adventuring with Captain Morgan, to duel with the Musketeers, to love with Juliette, and to cross the universe and time with Lazarus Long.
What virtue is there to giving up that, our form’s most potent weapon? Or of all the emotions to choose only vile, grey despair? There’s despair enough in the world. There’s always been. But humans who made a difference, humans who continued the species, who built civilization, fought, no matter how desperate their circumstances. And those humans are my brothers and sisters.
I believe the propagation of humanity and of that civilization that has allowed the most prosperity to the most people is a good in itself. While I’m human I’ll love humanity.
I have nothing against trees or bears, and I’m rather fond of cats, but – except for the cats since some are members of my family – I owe none of those allegiance. I owe allegiance to humanity, because I’m a human. Extinction porn, and those who dream of a world without humans are sad beings, who somehow thought that humans should be infallible and flawless and therefore refuse to love humans as they are. Sometimes, it is a man’s flaws that make him best. A perfectly rational man could never love. A perfectly steady man could never adventure. And a perfectly balanced woman could never dream up characters who do both.
I have no animus against ants, and as long as they don’t interfere with humanity I wish them well, but who are they and their mode of living that we should imitate it? And consider ourselves flawed because we don’t fit it?
That is where I stand and that is where a lot of readers stand, or will come to stand. People like people and people like fun.
Human Wave is a literary movement (How posh that sounds) which is to say a bunch of us zanies, who propose to bring all that back to fiction and reading.
And now, that we have indie publishing, we CAN.
So, thanks to the lovely Sabrina Chase,who set the whole thing up and publicized it at her own expense – one of the things I love about Human Wave is that we do help each other. Not because we feel guilty but because storming the castle is much more fun with friends – here is… The Human Wave Garage Sale going on through this week, at an internet near you.
The Inimitable Word Slinger and Story-Weaver Sabrina Chase:
Webspace pilot Moire Cameron is one of the best–but even she can’t fly her way out of a catastrophic drive failure that triggers a time-dilation bubble. Left suddenly eighty years out of date, she is on the run in a world she no longer knows, caught in the middle of a human-alien war while agents of Toren hunt her for the information only she has–the location of the pristine world of Sequoyah.
The Long Way Home is the first book in the Sequoyah trilogy.
A collection of short stories set in the world of the Bureau of Substandards…
Hidden behind protective layers of government red tape, the Bureau of Substandards fights the good fight against interdimensional snake people, “helpful” allies, busybodies from Atlantis, the annual budget report, and, most dangerous of all…the HR department.
Ill Met By Moonlight – Young Will Shakespeare is a humble school master who arrives home to find his wife and infant daughter, Susannah are missing, kidnapped by the fairies of Arden Woods, the children of Titania and Oberon. His attempts at rescue are interrupted and complicated by a feud over throne of fairyland, between Sylvanus, king regnant, and his younger brother Quicksilver who is both more and less than he seems. Amid treachery, murder, duel and seduction, Shakespeare discovers the enchantment of fairyland, which will always remain with him, for good and ill. Free from the 1st to the 5th of August.
Spinning Away — In a world where the ability to pick what news will interest most people is very real power, Layna Smythe strives to stay ahead of her rivals and alive. She often forgets that she’s also lonely, until an attack reminds her of the man she left behind. Free from the 1st to the 5th of August.
Crawling Between Heaven and Earth — Sarah A. Hoyt’s first short story collection, initially published by Dark Regions Press in 2003. Contains most of Sarah’s early published work. Free
Wings — Second short story collection. $2.99
Cricket’s Song, Book 1: The Cricket Learns to Sing — Cricket is a young orphan growing up on an obscure farm in the country of Glencairck. He wants to be just like Harper, who plays for the people through the winter, but Harper is not content to let him just learn how to harp. He teaches him the ancient traditions of the Bards of Glencairck, a noble order that is responsible for not just entertaining the people, but for providing impartial judgement to their disputes. When Cricket is old enough, he enters the wide world and finds that not everyone knows the old rules, or follows them. He has to decide for himself what is right–and how far he is willing to go to defend his beliefs. Free for Kindle August 1-5
Alien Frontier — Fifteen-year-old Norma Teague must avoid getting drafted into an alien army. However, her home village demands that she go since she has a magic belt that lets her destroy any armor made of matter. $1.99
Hitchhiking Killer For Hire — A border gang beats Ex-Special Forces soldier Sam Harper and leaves him for dead in the desert. Sam must discover “Why?” in this story of government corruption and human smuggling in the near future west. Dedicated to Louis L’Amour. Free for Kindle August 1st through 5th
Flash of Fire — A collection of super short stories (1000 words or less) on the subject of fire. Ranging from the love of a volcano goddess to natural phenomena encountered as humans explore a distant planet, these stories evoke a sense of wonder and awe at the nature and power of fire. $.99 for Kindle August 1 through 5th
Snow Angel — When a child’s imagination leads his mother to a startling discovery, she must then protect him and his guardian from unknown danger. A human mother is fiercer than angels! Free July 31 to August 4
Little Red and the Wolf-Man — Little Red wears a red cloak, and keeps her shotgun hidden under it. But Grandmother has the biggest secret in the forest, and she is dying… can Little Red help the forest dwellers? $1.49
Cynthia — (Also Barnes & Noble) Cynthia was a nice girl from a prestigious family, with a “nice-girl” education. That didn’t help much when she found herself chased by an organized criminal element, captured by pirates, and stranded on a planet that was so deadly human government had declared it forbidden. Luck, in the form of Rat – a trained survivalist – can help, but will it enable her to survive? $0.99
Kiti Lappi –Novels:
Fourth Sword — A portal fantasy: woman from our world gets transported to one with an ongoing generations long war and working magic, and finds out, after some adventures and to her chagrin, that she was taken there for a purpose. $ 1.49
The Demons of Khemas — A tavern wench has fallen for a barbarian swordsman (not that she admits it). When he disappears she needs to find out what happened. $ 1.49
Nights of the Wampyrs — A small town has problems with a couple of vampires, and the only people who figure out what is going on realize they have to become vampire hunters. Old school vampires, based more on the European folk tales than the later fictionalized versions. First story tells of the birth of one vampire, the two others concentrate on the hunters.
Raven’s Night $0.99
After Night Descends $0.99
Night Work free from 1st of August to 5th, $ 0.99 after that
Dealing with Elves — A young woman is drawn to a forest where elves live. Urban fantasy, mostly a mood piece. Free from 1st of August to 5th., $ 0.99 after that.
The Task — A ghost story set in a traditional fantasy world, a peasant girls shelters for a night in an abandoned castle. $ 0.99