Low-fi sci-fi?

Apparently, science fiction is creeping into more mainstream films. And why not? As a source of escapism, science fiction is, as they say (and without any care for sounding cliché), the final frontier.

By skirting some of the more obvious themes of science fiction, the idea appears to be “Oh, and by the way, there are aliens, too.” or “Uh yeah, this is twenty-five years into the future.” but without the heavier details that would betray a movie as being science fiction.

When trying to explain Ascending Angels, an in-development (written, but awaiting chronological tweaks) novel of mine, I am often inclined not to mention science fiction at all, since it falls into this hinterland of incidental science fiction layered just beneath the core action thriller threads with elements of fantasy. In essence, Ascending Angels is a heist, interwoven with abrupt action sequences and elements of sheer fantasia, but the feel isn’t that of science fiction at all.

So for me personally, this creeping motion of science fiction into mainstream is welcomed by me, as this will inevitably spill over into literary escapism, too.

The long play

So I’ve suspended two novel projects because of the “long play” I have in mind, where (as I’ve teased once or twice) everything’s connected.

Everything’s connected

What does that mean for projects moving forward? I have to create a several things:

  1. Firstly, a time line into which each and every novel I write from now on will have to fit within.
  2. Secondly, decide what technologies, scientific developments and social changes I intend dealing with, as continuous themes, interweaving and spanning the various novels.
  3. Thirdly, which characters or families bestride these novels, why, and how they interact and intersect with the aforementioned.

Now, I know none of this is entirely new, but it’s something I feel needs to be done, rather than writing one-off, disparate and disconnected stories.

Aim high and be bold!

Instead, I want a narrative that spans decades, and towards the end, centuries:

  • Earth Day, the first novel (or novella, if you like) is more of a fable than science fiction.
  • Stunned (presently on pause), is a comedy thriller with a political slant.
  • Wraith (also on pause and presently only provisionally titled), is a superhero story with a difference.
  • Perditions End is a time travel saga, where our protagonist is attempting to solve a series of murders that implicate him as the aggressor.
  • Ascending Angels (written but pending a complete re-write of Perditions End, the first, or “prequel”) is a very ambitious novel with several very well-defined threads, the first of which is a complex heist thriller, the second is a metaphysical exploration, including a search and rescue, while the third is a race against time scenario, to avert a global catastrophe, invoked by the a conflict between two alien races.
  • An as-yet untitled and only provisionally understood novel, tying together Ascending Angels and Aeon, which will, amongst other things, provide the story behind Bingley and Forsyth.
  • Aeon is something quite different and a departure from the usual science fiction subtleties, this time, we’re deep into the realms of science fiction proper.

Aim high and be bold! That is my mantra, and I shall not shy away from this agenda.