Inspired by the old videogame Half-Life, it’s expansions, and dozens of mods:
The idea is to have a novel about a magical disaster, with each chapter being a complete story of different characters in different places having their own different experiences of the events. None of the characters have the complete picture of what’s going on, but all the stories together gradually give the readers a better understanding of the overall situation.
I recently had some conversations about fantasy in the past decades being dominated by works that don’t really seem to take themselves, their subjects, and their characters fully seriously, which also applies to most fiction in general. It’s rare to see something that is actually bold and feels sincere in really believing in what it says. Very often you get to see silly or macabre jokes being made to avoid anyone thinking that the creators actually thinks that dramatic moment was deep or meaningful. It’s all just simple fun.
Typical replies are statements that not all stories need to have a message, or that perhaps I have a nostalgic longing for the naivety found in the works of my youth and childhood.
There’s also currently some discussion going on about why the Disney Star Wars movies are so bad and disingenuous, with a new film just having come out that might be the worst of the bunch.
And very often you get people saying that they don’t worry about all of this because “it don’t want to have to think in my entertainment”, “you’re not supposed to think about it too much”, “it’s a great popcorn movie”, or “it’s great fun if you turn your brain off”.
Well, maybe it entertains you for a few hours, but that still doesn’t make it good.
Maybe not all entertainment has to have something to say. But I am entertained by stories because they have something to say! It’s the meaning and the sincerity with which it is presented that makes reading, watching, and playing worth my time; what makes it enjoyable. So I have come to the conclusion that I am a snob. And perhaps that’s not even a bad thing. Maybe we need more snobs writing new stories to get more works that actually have a purpose.
Also, I hate popcorn.