While I enjoy John Scalzi as an author (thank you, Redshirts), I’m a pretty big fan of his blog, Whatever. In particular, I’ve always enjoyed reading his Big Idea posts, where fellow authors get a little space to put in their own words the inspiration behind their latest novels or other creative projects. More often than not, these kind of posts have been a big help for guys like me looking for something new and interesting to read.
That’s why I wanted to share with you all this great Big Idea by Arianne “Tex” Thompson, whose concept for her debut novel rocked my world this morning. It’s a story that addresses both the issues of introducing magic to the real world and also dealing with historical real-world issues (i.e., racism, class struggles, industrialization, colonialism). I wanted to share her enthusiasm and her keen look into a 19th century world where magic and modernity intersect violently.
So please give her Big Idea a moment of your time and then give her story a chance, too. I know I will!
When you introduce magic into a real-world setting, you don’t only have to deal with the problems that magic introduces — you have to deal with the problems that already existed in that real world setting. When Arianne ‘Tex’ Thompson wanted to introduce magic to an American milieu in One Night in Sixes, she took all of those problems into consideration. Here’s how she made it work.
All I can say is that it seemed like a good idea at the time.
“I’m tired of Euromedieval fantasy!” I thought. “I’m tired of swords and castles and straight white monocultures. I’m going to write a fantasy about MY country, and MY history, with eleventeen kinds of people rubbing shoulders – like in real life! – and it’s going to be AMAZING.”
And by “amazing”, I must have meant “an absolute landmine of racism, imperialism, slavery and genocide.” Because…
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