I'm at Denver Comic Con 2017 this coming Saturday, July 1st.
My friend and fellow science fiction author, Jason Kent, put together a fabulous DCC17 panel about happy endings in Science Fiction. Frankly, I'm tired of the dystopian mire the genre has fallen into. Why can't our favorite characters win in the end? (without killing them off in the process...well, at least not all of them).
Let the Wookiee Win should be a blazing good time, and a healthy dose of literary optimism. Stop by and sell hello.
- W. C.
More about the panel:
Location: DCC17 Panel, Keystone City Room, Saturday July 1st
Panel: Let the Wookiee Win
Summary: Save our favorite characters! No one else needs to die! Have we seen the end of the happy ending?
In a world where every other author and screen-writer feels the need to kill off our favorite characters, is there still a place for the happy ending? Explore this and other plot choices in your favorite science fiction stories. Can you still have a good story if the main character survives? Does culture require a tragic story and ending to be considered a success? Show of hands, who wants to see a happy ending and who wants to watch an unavoidable plunge into dystopian chaos? Writers will share the driving forces behind their stories. See what influences tales across the spectrum as authors explore their own nightmares or seek to inspire their readers to a brighter future. Even when facing the demons conjured up late at night, just remember, sometimes it's okay to have a positive, uplifting ending. Sometimes, you need to let the Wookiee live...er, win!
Two nights ago I saw Rogue One, a logic-defying adventure to be sure (never assault a planetary defensive grid without a sound plan), a western space opera with one of the grandest shoot-outs in cinematic history (the AT-AT Walkers against ground troops was an obvious and welcome nod to EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), a movie that at its core explores the concept of war. It's the perfect holiday film.
Actually, it's the perfect Christmas film. Really. In the Christian tradition, Christmas, specifically the birth of Christ, is at its core an act of war. The Christmas story shows us God as never before. God closes the unfathomable divide between the eternal and the mortal, draws close, puts on flesh, and rolls in the mire. Here comes the Lord of Hosts, the Full Metal Savior.
Saviors show up when saving needs doing, and saving typically involves combat. According to the Bible, the incarnate god/man - AKA Jesus the Christ - grew up, learned the family trade in his dad's carpentry shop, and then, in his 30th year, chose twelve novices to start a planet-wide insurgency. They wore swords and sandals and preached a revolutionary faith built upon twin pillars of grace and truth. Enemy number one: a fallen messenger named Lucifer. Jesus' infant cries were in actuality an epochal calling-out. As if to say, "I've come. What's Hell going do about it?" Christ the cosmic rebel. That's worth thinking about a second time.
ROGUE ONE'S Jyn Erso and a band of freedom fighters face seemingly insurmountable odds during the entire film and without a sound battle plan, and that's where the analogy between it and Christmas obviously breaks down. God's son came with the greatest ground game possible. In contrast, Erso and her rogue crew shoot from the hip the entire movie. Imperial walkers against ground troops should be a no-win situation. But bad odds are the rebel's currency and the director's calling card. Spend me some impossible, please. ROGUE ONE does that and more. Rebels do what seems impossible. They assault the unbeatable behemoth, the empire of injustice, evil incarnate. That's what Christ did, and guess what? He won.
So, yes, serve me up some war. After all, it's Christmas time.
Each December, I take time to reflect upon the past year, celebrate key milestones, identify those yearly favorites, and set goals for the year to come.
As I sat in my living room reminiscence, a cup of hot caf in hand and Christmas music echoing through the halls, inspiration struck. It was the lyrics to a song. But not just any song. It was White Christmas...A Sci-Fi White Christmas. As I wrote it, more inspiration struck. It's time for a giveaway. It's time to plan for 2016 reading. Hey, why don't I help those who share my affinity for geek culture get their 2016 "read" on?
So, enjoy the tune. Check out the cool stuff I'm giving away (see pics and rules for entering below). Leave a comment for a chance to win. And please tell your friends.
Good luck, Maker's Speed, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
- W. C.