A completely unplanned stream of thought rant.
Jack Posobiec rants about Star Trek Discovery being Anti-Trump [10 mins]
A little on the cringeworthy side but he’s making a lot of good points here. Forcing real world topical politics into works of fiction completely ruins them.
It also causes them to age very rapidly. Think of a space marines novel from 1990 where the main villain is a Saddam Hussein stand in (I know one exists.) That’s bad enough but at least there’s some sort of story there and SPACEMERICA FUCK YES!!! is a tried and tested staple of military science fiction.
The real cringe comes from when a fictional society just so happens to be having the exact same problems as the modern world despite it being the year 4273 and most of the conflict taking place on the ice moon Carride in the New Fresco system. Our stronk female character must spread progressive values to the horribly backwards ice miners who still refuse to believe in more than two genders. This is of course is in addition to fending off an invading army of Orange Hitler Clones…
There really is only so much as this you can take before you simply turn off the television or toss the book in the trash.
Message fiction sucks even when you agree with the message. For example I used to get very angry about the ‘straw liberals’ you constantly see in military science fiction. There is always somebody who wants to negotiate with Face-Eating Giant Space Spiders*…
And then I starting encountering the blue checkmark mafia on Twitter and learnt that yes American Journalists really do think actually like those characters in those novels.
…and I think that’s another rant for another time.
So? How do I go about handling politics in my writing?
Let’s start with the dirty little secret of this horribly wwwwwwacist right wing blog. I’m not actually THAT rightwing. Certainly not compared to the majority of my internet friends who seem to sleep with a MANPAD under their Confederate flag pillow and cosplay as the Shadow solely as an excuse to carry an extra pair of .45s.
The central topic of the Breyland stories is the question “what does it mean to be a nation?” This will not be the theme or main point of every story I write in that universe but it will be a constant presence in the background and intelligent self-aware characters will have to think about it. Breyland is cursed with a very serious fuzzy borders problem as their cultural and economic influence far exceeds their Space Navy’s ability to project power and defend those borders.
All of the questions I’ve had to ask myself while worldbuilding about culture, religion, race, the difference between Nation and Empire… keep leading me towards what is going to be a very right-friendly setting. Which is very interesting as I set a lot of the details down long before I was red-pilled.
Picking up those notes years later and thinking through the consequences of those details and the enormous potential for ethnic and religious conflict littered all over the place has been an awful lot of fun. For example I made the main protagonist culture intolerant of male homosexuality as I wanted to give them a flaw rather than risk letting them become complete Mary Sues. Years later hindsight is making that defining flaw look more and more like a virtue, at least in some circles.
There has been a lot of false starts in the last couple of years as I dig around in this mess for a story to tell but I seem to be making at least some head way. Slow progress is still progress.
So while there is going to be a great deal of politics in the Breylandverse stories I will do my best to make them as non-contemporary as possible and focus on making the issues of direct and logical consequence to the characters who are stuck weathering the storm (or when fortune smiles on them being the storm.)
Yes I will take the occasional shot at the Far Left but this is a setting where Communists get thrown out of helicopters every couple of decades just to keep the universities in line**. The Breyland military also finds itself fighting planetary nationalists just as often as they find themselves chasing down jungle Communists.
And as always I will let the reader judge the characters rather than simply preach down from an ideological pulpit.
Which just so happens to be the exact opposite approach mainstream science fiction like Star Trek Discovery is taking.
*As the Feegs prefer to play with their food they are usually quite happy to “negotiate.” Also leftist human females tend to be fatter than right-leaning human females and thus more delicious.
** A second exception I’m going to allow myself is the Special Intelligence Service who are basically a bunch of Alt-Right Shitlords… and yes some of them are Fake Nazis… others are actual Nazis.. just enough of them to keep things interesting.
***Disclaimer: FEGSS do not actually appear in the Breylandverse. This was completely unplanned rant and I mixed my metaphors. But don’t worry The Feegs are patient and cunning; they will appear somewhere sometime and when you least expect it.