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SciFi-Horror and You

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I’ve been pretty tight lipped about my novel. This isn’t because I think people will steal the idea. It is because I don’t have a title yet. I have a working one, but I haven’t found that title that really captures everything I want to convey. So far it is being called, “Where The Weird Things Are.” And it is definitely a nod to “Where The Wild Things Are.”

It is a YA SciFi-Horror novel. I sometimes call it Paranormal, and will probably still use it from time to time. Mostly because people can identify with it quicker. But the reason I want to set it as SciFi-Horror is for a very particular reason. About a decade ago I was introduced to H. P. Lovecraft. Since then I have been enamored with the world he has presented. He is to SciFi-Horror as Tolkien is to Fantasy.

While his work can be overly verbose and strange to read, his ideas were downright creepy and fun. I wan to encapsulate what he started and bring it to a new generation.  The theme I really wanted to latch onto is the sense of hopelessness against the things that can’t be explained. We are but ants to the creatures of the cosmos.

The current trend in YA, that I’ve seen, is that the main character(s) have special powers of their own. Harry Potter, Edward Cullen, Alcatraz, Percy Jackson–you get the idea. But for a SciFi-Horror novel, having powers doesn’t really gel. How can you feel hopeless if you have a special ability.

This lead to a major theme in my book. None of my main characters have any supernatural powers. All they bring to the table are their own natural gifts. But they will still be faced against the same monsters the above face. And I hope that fact intrigues you as much as it does me. Think about it. If your skill is being good at baseball, how can you have any hope in fighting a vampire?

Now that’s horror.

Obviously, for the YA book to work, these characters will survive. At least physically. But mentally, there is no guarantee. You can’t fight against the horrors of the cosmos and not be changed.

I’m essentially using this as the hook:

Where Harry Potter meets H. P. Lovecraft. Welcome to the Weird.  All magic is mind-bending, soul-shattering evil, and all monsters are out to eat you. Your are a morsel, a spec on the windshield of the universe. How can you ever hope to survive?

This may turn some people off. But if there are others like me, I know this will peck at their curiosity. You feel the peck, right? Write.

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9 Comments

  1. *All* magic is evil? So does that mean Will isn’t going to bust out his supernatural mojo on those punks who were picking on him?

    (Unless of course, you intend for a tragic fall. Think Snape from HP–the nerdy kid from a broken home, oppressed by the popular kids, who is seduced by the Dark Side.)

    • Yes, all bad. I wasn’t using Lovecraft as an inspiration for nothing 😉

      Now, whether or not Wil begins to play with it in the future… I’ll just leave that for the books *grin*

  2. Kaa says:

    If your skill is being good at baseball, how can you have any hope in fighting a vampire?

    What is a baseball bat but a really large, unsharpened stake?

    In science fiction, the special powers are math, quantum physics, chemistry, an inventive, quick mind…perhaps a deeper understanding of the forces that operate in the world around us. Oh, dear god. I’ve just described Wesley Crusher. What have I done?

    • Dang, I meant to be careful and only use the term “supernatural powers.” And you’re very correct. Everything you mentioned does become the power to wield over the monsters. Now you can see why Wil is the little engineer that he is 😉

  3. philosophidian says:

    Oh, I figured that’s what you meant, but I was going to impress you with my powers of observation about your character. 🙂

    Just please don’t make him Wesley Crusher. For the sake of humanity.

    • I have no intentions of making him Wesley Crusher. And I hope by the fact that Wil is having a tough go of it in school, coupled with how his brother treats him, he is far removed from that notion.

  4. Jeyna Grace says:

    i dont see anything wrong with being tight lipped about your novel.. cause there are people who would actually manipulate your ideas.

    • Well, the reason I’ve been tight lipped is because I was still learning about the story myself–until recently. The main character has gone under two name changes in the past. So I didn’t want to talk about anything before I was sure of what it was.

      People can always take the germs of my ideas, sure. But they won’t ever be able to take this story.

      • philosophidian says:

        Always be open to randomness. I was driving home from our critique group on Sunday and the name of my urban fantasy series slammed into my mind from orbit, causing a sizable crater in my brain. I have no idea what it was at the moment, but I DID record it using my digital voice recorder in the car. I just haven’t listened to it since then.

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