Monday, November 16, 2009

Speculative Fiction

Sometimes I happen to catch the beginning of what's cool. Since I don't have the luxury of cable TV to keep me up-to-date about these things, I prefer to think I am just gifted with Divine Knowledge of the Awesome from time to time.

Other trends I miss completely. Mostly, I remain unbothered by these things. I don't dress trendy. I've had the same haircut for years. I can avoid conversations about popular TV shows since I've been doing that about sports forever.
I do feel bad missing out on the important things, the things I should know, the life's blood of the geek community. When I miss the new awesome there, I feel helplessly clueless. A noob. An outsider to the outsiders. Like a person with a job shopping at a comic book store.
I picked up Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind within the past few months. I enjoyed the hell out of it and gave it to a friend before starting on the other twenty-odd books in the series. I'd missed out on the release of a severely geeky book by decades, the start of a series, and read it entirely before realizing that the second season of the TV show based on it just started. Damn.
I follow Jim Butcher on Twitter. He is an author who tweets late at night about how long he has been writing and how awesome the book will be, and I liked him enough to pick up the first book in his Dresden Files series.
How did I miss the gritty pulp fiction detective series where the main character is a wizard?
A whole series of books!
And it was already made into a TV series on SyFy and canceled.
Is there no geek mailing list I can join? Where is the "Hey, Geek! Read this!" newsletter?
It isn't like our kind strikes up conversations in book stores, you know. Any discussion in a comic book store invariably becomes a debate about pre- vs post-crisis Batman and whether Wolverine could kill Superman.
For the record: It would be a draw.
Tired of missing out on stuff, I picked up a new Star Wars novel and just started reading it. Death Troopers is the story of the crew and inmates of an Imperial prison barge who happen upon a derelict Star Destroyer filled with dead, yet still animate, Stormtroopers. Stormtrooper zombies, if you will. And I, for one, will.
Now, for those millions and millions of people who only know the Star Wars story told in the trilogy, it may seem odd. Even to those who admit to having seen six theatrically released Star Wars films may call it a sacrilege. For those eleven-hundred dedicated fans who happened to see six live action films and The Clone Wars CG movie, it would be quite a stretch to wedge zombies into Star Wars mythology.
Even for the 200 or so who have seen seven films, bought the DVDs, read the comics, read the novels and celebrated with custom body art, Stormtrooper zombies chasing convicts through the darkened corridors of a Star Destroyer with not a single Jedi in sight might seem. . . . oh I don't know. . . . not freaking Star Wars at all.
But I don't think anyone would hesitate to call it awesome. How can it not be?

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