Nice of you to come! Welcome to my permanent home on the web. Feel free to read my posts, and I’ve got a game here if you’re interested. I’ve also got a novelette about a Japanese pop star and an English Puritan teaming up to fight a demon.
Recently, a Youtuber named Glass Reflection posted a video talking about why mecha anime have declined in popularity in recent years.
In summary, he believes that the genre has exhausted itself, that the major franchises Gundam and Evangelion have crowded the genre out, and that audiences have become disillusioned with the idea of a spacefaring future.
All of these are sound reasons as to why the mecha anime has fallen out of favor. However, I believe that there is a far simpler reason, one that has nothing to do with stale plotlines or long-running franchises.
Under the guise of Kurus of the caste of assassins, Tarl and his slave girl Elizabeth Cardwell head to glorious Ar to infiltrate the house of the slaver Sernus to uncover his connections to the mysterious “Others” — enemies of the Priest-Kings. However, a former enemy moves among the streets, waiting to claim the abandoned title of Ubar.
When one thinks of “non-traditional” space opera, one’s mind goes straight to the Hugo shortlists — Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, John Scalzi’s Redshirts, Chuck Tingle’s Space Raptor Butt Invasion, and other such works. Most works of this nature come from SJW authors, usually to make a statement.
However, there are two non-SJW authors who have tried their hand at writing non-traditional space opera and succeeded: Jon Del Arroz with his novella Gravity of the Game, and Dominika Lein with her novella Reptilian Wanderer.
But as I thought about how I’d write my own space opera, I considered supply needs in deep space, even in a Star Trek or Star Wars-style story: food and water would need to be carefully rationed, energy usage would have to be monitored closely, and one would have to pay close attention to how fuel is used.
That’s when it hit me. That’s when I realized what “delta-v” really signified.
Recently, literary critic Jeffro Johnson, author of Appendix N: The Literary History of Dungeons and Dragons, did an interview with Jon Del Arroz about how RPGs ruined speculative fiction. In this interview, Jeffro explains how modern authors rarely bring their stories to a close, rely too much on origin stories, as well as over-explaining everything. Listening to it actually made me think on a few things.
When did emotionally abusive relationships become the new normal in Science Fiction? I keep running into storylines where the male lead “proves” his love for the female lead by continuing to pursue her after she has lied to him repeatedly and deliberately done things to drive him away.
Is that what constitutes a Prince Charming these days, a high tolerance for psychological torment? Maybe I’m just jaded, but the first time a potential partner plays some kind of head game to see if I am really devoted, I’m out the door.
I keep running into stories where I know that I am supposed to be wondering “will the good guy get the girl?” but instead I’m thinking, “why on Earth is he attracted to this psycho?”
After thinking on it some more, Misha comes to a conclusion:
Winchell Chung, owner of the stupendously awesome Atomic Rockets website (check out his Boom Table) hates space fighters with the fury of a billion burning suns. He cites numerous writers on the infeasibility of such weapons, pointing out that drones and missiles can do the jobs of space fighters far more efficiently, among other things. Ever since the first Star Wars movie popularized the concept, space fighters have become a mainstay of science fiction.
I agree with Chung’s assessment that space fighters make zero sense as a real-life weapon, but I adore the trope nonetheless thanks to incessantly playing Wing Commander II and Starfox 64 as a kid (it’s an aileron roll, by the way.) Thus, I have come up with how I would justify space fighters in my own setting.