I like the idea of being widely read. Not keen on being widely recognised.
So I greatly suspect that behind these daydreams of appearing on late night talk shows is the desire for my work to be impactful enough to warrant my presence on these types of shows. Because speculative fiction matters.
"Yes, yes," say (some) people. "Sometimes an escape is sorely needed."
But there is more to speculative fiction than a mere escape.
If any of you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know I've written on this before, but speculative fiction is more than just a fun. It's more than just an escape.
So much more.
Certainly, escapism is part of it, but it is not the totality of it. Through stories, we can explore the world around us, face evil, and overcome it. We can be shown new ways of resolving problems, learn to understand the other, see the world through different eyes. We can broaden our horizons, find a common path, learn the value of reaching out and learning that we needn't fear. We can band together. We can learn to identify evil. And it can give us the courage and inspiration to defeat it when we see it in the real world.
That is why the recent retraction of the statement that Star Wars is anti-facist, changed to "Star Wars is not political" by the chief of Disney made me so angry. Of course Star Wars is anti-facist. Anyone who cannot see it is prehaps in need of taking some art-centric classes to improve their critical thinking. But there was backlash to that statement. The Nazis in the west claimed the movie was "anti-Trump" and "feminist propoganda." They threatened a boycott.
But instead of standing up to these ridiculous statements, instead of looking evil in the face and defying it, Disney backtracked.
Since when is it wrong to be anti-facist? Since when did the Nazis become a demographic we have to coddle?
Of course Star Wars is political! It always has been.
More to the point, it has an obligation to be.
With the media normalising Nazi perspective, turning something horrific into something to consider, it is up to us, the artists and storytellers, to redress that.
That is the value of speculative fiction. That is what I hope my stories do.
In Skylark, for example, the main group of characters meet the alien race that annexed much of Canada for the first time since the war. And they discover that these aliens are really just people; who love and want and feel. Years of hatred and misinformation is overcome. If humanity did not get over this fear of the other, then all would have been lost. Humanity would have been enslaved or wiped out by another alient threat.
And there are still people in Skylark who cannot let go of their hatred and their fear, who actively try and destroy the fragile alliance that is formed, even though being successful in this regard would surely doom humanity.
In Daughters of Britain, the heroine learns that not everyone who is not a Briton is evil. She never loses sight of her dream of seeing her country free from Roman occupation, but she learns the difference between empire and people, and even learns to love those she once called enemy.
Anyway, this turned into a random, ranty sort of post. I guess what I'm trying to say, more to my fellow writers than anyone, is this: Write. Write well. Write diversely. Understand that your powers are needed for good. The empire is gathering its forces. So must we.
Now I have to go and try and be productive today.