Welcome!

This blog, by writer and aspiring novelist Stephen G. Parks, is about science fiction, space, creativity, and occasionally wildly off-topic ideas such as ethics, politics, music, or journalism. Take a look around, maybe leave a comment!
 

Recent Blog Posts:

Rejection: Living the Writer’s Life

This is the first year that I’ve made an effort to make money from writing fiction. The decision to start trying to create and sell short stories grew from the fact that I’m getting closer to finishing what I hope will be my first published novel. So, the time had come to start acquiring publishing credits (and contacts) through shorter works.

Everyone tells you that it will be hard, and it is. As we near the end of this year, I thought I’d share my experiences, if you're interested.

De-mythologizing the Lightsaber

Obi Wan called it a more elegant weapon from a more civilized age, but is the lightsaber really all that great a weapon?

When all we had was the original trilogy, the lightsaber appeared to be the top weapon in the food chain: it sliced, it diced, and it made limbs go away. But then George Lucas gave us the prequel trilogy. Suddenly Lightsabers were both more and less than they were before.

A Thought: How to Pre-emptively Stop Mass Murders

Since the most common-sense idea -- "no guns" -- won't work in America, here’s a simple idea, and not even my own, although I’m going to build upon it: Pre-emptively removing fame from the equation. Let’s ensure that people who commit atrocious acts will be belittled by society. Let’s agree that they will be publicly shamed and then forgotten. Yes, I know this is childish, but it's the mindset we're dealing with, and we need to speak to their level.

Wither Luke?

It’s the hot question on the Star Wars obsessed mind, fuelled by the release of the new posters. Why isn’t there any sight of Luke in the trailers? Why isn’t he on the main poster?  Where is he?

It’s a given that he’s alive at the beginning of the film, since Mark Hammil has been cast to play him. Beyond that, we speculate.

So, let’s look at some scenarios. (UPDATED)

READ ON

Reflections on Living in Namibia

THIS POST is rather off-topic for this blog, but is a reflection of an integral part of my life. I lived in the town of Ohangwena, Namibia from December 2007 until October 2009. Lately I've been reflecting on my time there and what I learned.

It’s been three years since I left Africa, possibly, but hopefully not, for good (and six years since I lived in Namibia). Time gives distance, perspective, a chance to appreciate the value of what you’ve experienced. One of the hardest aspects of working there was the fatalism. It’s frustrating to repeatedly be told that something can’t be changed or fixed because “this is Africa.”

READ ON

Re-writing a Dead Author's Legacy

I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, worrying about what would happen to my characters after I’m dead given that a) I’m not even published yet and b) I’m alive (as of this writing), but re-inventing or re-interpreting or re-imagining another’s masterpiece feels wrong. Doing it after they're dead and can't respond, is worse.

I’m not talking about West Side Story (a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet). I’m talking about Wicked, a story that completely redefines the roles of good and evil in The Wizard of Oz. If Frank L. Baum had wanted the Wicked Witch of the West to be a sympathetic character, he could have written her that way. If the author of Wicked wanted to write about misunderstood, sympathetic witches, he was free to do so, but doing it within Baum’s universe feels incredibly disrespectful, like peeing on a grave.

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