As I have been wading through the fiction of my adult life I have found a trend away from the solid adventures of my youth and into what I can only think of as Ways To Depress People. I am not in favor of such things. I can dive into a depression of my own making, thank you very much, I do not need my entertainment to give me a push off that ledge.
This is related a bit to my rant about the never-ending pileup of Badness so often heaped on our main characters. I’ve been making a concerted effort to find some new authors to read, and some new characters to fall for, and it’s been tough.
Colin McCool, poor guy, can barely catch a break and winds up neck deep in the very world he’d sworn off. I can’t even get into the Anita Blake books, though I’ve tried several times. She’s just so… negative about everything, and it seems like she can’t even finish almost winning one fight before another, bigger problem is presented.
And then there are all the books that are overtly political. Someone is in trouble with the
police, vampire lord, queen of the fairies, Heavenly Host, or Rulers of Hell. Or all of the above, even! And of course, that means that allies peel away and resources are destroyed or blocked, and basically, the author makes the hero’s life is as brutal as possible. Look, I grew up “Inside The Beltway” and let me tell you, I’m up to my eyeballs with politics in real life. I don’t want to wade through your fictional politics too.
Not even Frodo had it that bad, and he had to deal with ringwraiths and hobbit-eating trees! (No, they didn’t make it into the movie, read the book. Just before Tom Bombadil.) Harry at his worst still knew his buddies would back him up if it really came down to it in the fight against unnamable evil. Might not seem that way, and they might be mad at each other, but still.
It’s the books like The Flaw in All Magic that keep my hopes up. Yes, there’s politics involved, and yes, the hero Tane Carver is being suppressed by social… stuff. But that doesn’t stop him from making contacts, exploiting resources that are (sometimes dubiously) available to him, and making friends the whole way through.
I’m thinking about a lot of this stuff lately because my current main character is kinda being accused of a series of murders. Which, you know, could make things tough for him. I honestly am not sure how it’s going to play out (I am still a plantser) but it seems that he’s fallen into the trap of being suppressed by the Powers That Be, and that could well make his life difficult.
We’ll have to wait and find out, though. Dude has a pretty unpredictable new friend who seems to finally be getting her feet under her. I can’t wait to see what she does.