Human Wave

Happily Ever After

Cedar's Kittens
kittens!
Bread & Cookies
A Few of my favorite things…

They tell us that if we want to feel happy, we need to look happy. It’s been shown that the mere act of putting a smile on your face, whether you feel it at the time or not, will actually affect your mood. So what does reading dystopias do to us? I really like this by Michael Solana “Where the ethos of punk is rooted in its subversion of the mainstream, famed cyberpunk William Gibson’s Neuromancer is no longer the flagbearer of gritty, edgy, counter-cultural fiction; ‘life will suck and then we’ll die’ is now a truism, and we have thousands of authors prophesying our doom with attitude, as if they’re all alone out there in tinfoil hats shouting at the top of their lungs what nobody else will. Yet they are legion. In the Twenty-first Century, the most punk rock thing that you can be is happy, or—and this is really crazy—“happy ever after.”

Escapism fiction.

When the going gets rough, the readers among us turn away from reality and look between the covers of a book for some escape from reality. Why on earth would anyone but the deliberately sadomasochistic seek out ‘life sucks’ literature? Without hope, I don’t want to even look at it. I have enough to worry about without adding stress to my imaginary worlds.

What if?

Cedar Sanderson
A Walk in the woods

What if robots come to life and kill us all? What if nanotech turns the world into grey goo? What if the government regulates every move we make of every day? What if?

Taking counsel of our fears can lead to becoming paralyzed by them. What if we develop interstellar travel, and give future generations new frontiers to explore? What if by the deaths of brave men, the road to the stars is paved? What if that new nanotech takes some of the worries and cares of the world away? What if?

Rose raindrops
Raindrops on Roses

I wrote over at Mad Genius Club today about romance, and little stories. Not every story has to be about saving the world. Sometimes a small, slight story, can carry with it a grain of warmth, until a fire is kindled. Warm and fuzzy doesn’t have to be an indictment of a tale. Everyone loves a kitten, after all, and with one sleeping on your chest, reading that doom-and-gloom end of the world becomes that much easier. Some stories are kitten paws, and raindrops on roses, and a few of my favorite things… and they end happily ever after, with the human race stronger, wiser, and the richer for having more love in it. Human Wave fiction, where the good guys win, and the world goes on, a little better.

Happiness is…

 

0 thoughts on “Happily Ever After

  1. One of the last dystopian books I read was “Fairy Land”. The weird thing about it was that he did not portray a world where things inevitably sucked. He portrayed a world where everybody could get whatever they wanted, and things get so confusing the whole world goes insane. Basically he was saying that some hard knocks and privations make us who we are, and without them things get much worse. It took me years to figure that out, and the whole book was highly disturbing to me before I “grew up”. I’m not sure he was entirely against the notion of going insane, either, because the protagonist was very happy. But it was entirely disturbing.

    So does that qualify as the work of the SWJ or not? I can’t tell. Because I really think he has a point, but at the same time, it is not a fun book to read. Brilliantly done. Much of it is enjoyable, as the characters are interesting, the world before the break is fascinating, and it is brilliantly executed. But I can’t bring myself to reread it.

    At least Kurt Vonnegut made the end of Cat’s Cradle darkly humorous.

    1. I too have books that were deeply disturbing and I couldn’t re-read, but I’d recommend them to someone I thought might appreciate them. John Ringo’s BOLO book, Road to Damascus, comes immediately to mind.

  2. Yes. I like happy endings and things getting better, raindrops on roses, and kittens and puppies and babies….Humor in a book is good, too. (Not dark depressing humor, the really funny kind that makes you laugh and feel better!)

  3. Adding that I enjoy reading an author who obviously has an understanding of what makes people work — or not work, as the case may be. Not all do, some are just writing according to someone’s pre-set script.

  4. I just re-read Toll Gate by Georgette Heyer. It had been a long time, and it was a pretty damned lovely read. While still being a nail-biter in spots. And, yeah, happily ever after is awesome.

  5. The comments to Solana’s article kind of made his point. We have more than enough dystopian SF, lots of downers, all he asks for is a little optimism, and they descend on him like vultures, accusing him of censorship, and, horrors, seeking the good.

Leave a Reply