Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tagged-seven awesome things

I’ve been tagged by Botanist to tell-all about the seven most awesome gadgets or pieces of technology I’ve either written or read about. Imagine my dismay when Botanist stipulated that I couldn’t include my beloved foam missile gun. (see picture) LOL! Click here or here if you don't know about my precious.
Here I go. I’ll try to stick with those gadgets that I’ve written about in my speculative novel ‘The Male Amendment’.

1. Parallel world transporter device that Vuri uses to travel to Earth from Gaia and meet Mia. It looks a lot like a classic iPod and can instantly ship one through wormholes to parallel universes where the women are svelte amazons that can kick ass. Funny, my gym pass does the same thing. That iPod is slated for release in 2020. Ha ha!

2. The GAU-19 Gatling gun Mia uses in Iraq. It’s mounted on the roof of her Humvee. It can fire 60 rounds in less than 2 seconds and has an effective range of 1,800 m, and a maximum range of 6,000 m. My foam missile gun sounds pretty weak to the fire Mia’s packin’.

3. The hover vehicles of Elysium. I secretly LOVE hover vehicles. Everyone who reads my story thinks they are some kind of futuristic automobiles that can fly, when in reality I just mean HOVER vehicles. They only float over the ground and water. I don’t know why there aren’t more hover vehicles around today, seems to make more sense creating a vehicle that can go over different terrains instead of leveling the planet so you can get around. Fewer taxes this way, the chicks on Gaia figured this out. Hee-hee!

4. Wireless power. A concept only in its early stages on Earth. I remember my husband reading me an article he’d found on the matter. I recycled the idea for my novel. Imagine, no power lines anywhere, all the power you need is sent to you by an antenna on your car or house. Sweet! Imagine all the shoes that couldn’t be pranked by tossing them on power lines anymore.

5. Elysium, a city run by solar and wind power alone. It will happen one day. Woo-who!

6. Shock rods, weapons used by the women of Gaia to electrocute and bludgeon men into obedience. Those amazons are brutal! :)

7. The Grid, a type of motion detector/sonar-like device that watches the forest around the Ant Hill. The Ant Hill is a camp the men have hidden in the woods, were refugees can escape from the cities where rebellion is synonymous with execution.
Now it seems I have to tag four people to pay it forward. I there for tag you:

Your objective is to tell us about the seven most fascinating characters you’ve ever dreamt up. Are they villains, heroes, psychopaths, egomaniacal friends, or janitors? I gotta to know.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Battle of Good vs Corny Superhero

The other day I had a short debate with a writer friend who had a different view of a violent scene in my novel. He thought that the violence on the MC’s part made her character less sympathetic and would therefore be less likable to the reader. I felt that the MC’s actions were justified and that the other character deserved the MC’s actions.

This debate brought to mind a preference of mine that not everyone shares. When faced with the choice of Corny Superhero, or Battle-hardened Cynic my choice in favorite character will always be option two. I know there is merit and entertaining stories centered on the Corny Superhero type character. Just look at Superman, Spiderman, and the Fantastic 4. People love those comics and movies. But when ever I watched those movies I always felt some things were missing, reality and good dialog.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Stella, these are Superheroes with secret superhuman powers. It’s not meant to be realistic.”

You would be right, it’s not meant to be realistic, but the one place that these characters could be realistic is in the personality department. I know all the Superhero corny lines are the writers’ faults, but it seems that some people like the idea of Superheroes being these unrealistic pillars of wholesomeness. Some people think that that is the only true definition of a hero, to elevate these individuals to ethical superiority where we can no longer identify with them as people, but praise them as gods with our hero worship.

“ICK!” Stella fans the stench of Corny Superheroes away from her and swallows a breath of realism.

These goody-two-shoe personalities piss me off! All the villains these Superheroes face usually want to destroy the world. I say, “Hey, why not? Go big or go home, I guess.” They kill innocent people all the time, but when the Superheroes go out to stop them, they end up handing them over to the police to take care of them, because killing them would make them the same as the villains.

“Bleck!” Stella wretches into nearest trash receptacle.

Great! Now when the villain busts out of prison-like they always do-they’ll kill more people and we have to repeat it all over again. I think writers just don’t want to have to keep coming up with new villains.

I’m my opinion, the deaths of those innocent bystander’s are on the Superheroes hands, they should have put the villain out of their misery and saved tax payers millions of dollars from having to build expensive prison cells to contain these Supervillains. LOL!

This whole Corny Superhero mentality is great for kids. The naive sense of right and wrong attributed to the Corny Superhero would be more fitting to someone much younger who had not yet seen how gray-not black and white- the world is. So this is great for a younger audience or younger Superhero. But this isn’t how real world heroes work. Someone older would be jaded for they know how Uncle Sam works, and while things like government, Police officers, spies, and soldiers fight for the greater good, it is not always good. Good soldiers do not become lifers like Superman because it is moral and just, but because they think that if they are there, in the conflict that maybe, just maybe they can prevent a bad situation from getting worse, as it would if it were in the hands of someone else. Superman is portrayed as perfect. Corny Superheroes are perfect, real people are not. Real people have fears. The fear and guilt and pain associated with trying to do the right thing-when the right thing is so much more complicated than catching the bad guy-is what makes a character believable and loveable to me.

Situations Corny Superhero find themselves in always have a very clear right or wrong decision, there’s no thought process needed, there’s no internal struggle. Real heroes are never their own bosses, they take orders from someone else, and orders are not always easy to follow.

I love characters like Batman, Wolverine, V for Vendetta, Ms. Tree, The Crow, and the Watchmen. They are twisted, have emotional baggage, and struggle with who they were and are. But in the end they choose to fight for good, even if that good is a less polished and pleasant version of their Corny Superhero peers. That struggle to fight their own inner villain makes them more of a hero in my eyes, but beyond that it makes them interesting because as a reader we can identify with that struggle.

My MC-Mia-is a former Marine. She is not perfect, she does not claim to have all the answers, she is effed up in the emotion department, she has PTS, and depression issues, but that’s how I like her. She tries to do the right thing and even though she maybe violent at times, she is a product of her environment. To clean up bad things you have to be a little bad yourself. To clean a big mess in your kitchen, you have to dirty a few dishrags. You must sacrifice for the greater good.

In the real world people hate heroes. I once seriously considered becoming a Police officer. I went on a ride-along with two officers for a whole twelve-hour shift downtown one Saturday night. What I realized was that people hate cops. One of the officers told me that people always love firemen, because they always help. But cops always get the short end of the stick in popularity department because I think people expect them to be some kind of Corny Superhero, who is faced with decisions that have obvious right and wrong answers. I know different-everything is gray-there are always two or more sides to every story, and very few people are entirely innocent.

Real people are heroes, Corny Superheroes are the stuff kids dream the world is made of. But we all have to wake up and smell the roaches one day.

That’s all I have to say about that.

P.S.- Oh yeah, I also love Forest Gump, he’s a hero too! LOL!
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Copyright © 2009 by Stella Telleria
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