Welcome Eternal Press author Widdershins to the Book Boost!
She's here to discuss "timeless" fiction and here's what she had to say...
Mature Age Fiction. Never heard of it?
Well, glad you dropped by because I’m going to wax not only lyrical but eloquent on the subject.
MAF includes stories of all genres with…wait for it…main characters over the age of forty! Main characters who do all the stuff main characters do in all the other genres, but do it with more than four decades of experience under their belts. What a concept!
Let's face it, ‘baby boomers’ are the fastest growing demographic in the western world, and rumour has it, most of them learned to read… books even! And the books were…printed on paper! And an astonishing numbers of them are computer literate too! That means they can use e-readers! Be still my beating heart.
And you know what else? If you asked them to really think about it, I bet they’d embrace a genre that embraced them…that reflected their lives, the sunsets and sunrises witnessed...the wisdom and foolishness that comes with age...the passion and drama that is tempered with knowing that, all things considered, they’ve probably been alive longer than they’re going to remain alive.
So, this is what I propose. Alongside YA, Kid-Lit, Chick-Lit, Chuck-Lit (Chick-Lit for guys), and Anything-Goes-Lit, we now create MAF-Lit!
The cult of youth surrounds us, classifies us, tells us what to buy and why and who for. It actually doesn’t matter what age we are. It tells us what to watch, listen to, and defines a list of behavioral ‘shoulds’ that could easily fill a 1000 page tome with a font you’d need a magnifying glass to read.
It informs our politics, who we should vote for–or not…oh hell, lets just acknowledge that it’s all pervasive.
Maybe I oughtn’t be so quick with the ‘all’ in that last sentence. But the stuff does stand out. And, do things that stand out get our attention? Indeed they do.
Now, we edge our way towards the topic at hand, MAF-Lit.
I write genre-within-a-genre fiction (Lesbian Sci-F/Fantasy). I write about lesbian characters, within the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre. There are a few lesbian authors who do this, so I don’t quite have this unique niche all to myself. That’s O.K., I’m in very good company.
What does irk me about a majority of the stories out there is the dearth of main characters/protagonists who are older. There are secondary characters who are older. Such as...the advisor–Gandalf–who’s older than dirt, as the expression goes. The parents–Mr. and Mrs. Weasley (etc...)-or the villains (a noticeable number of villains). Another manifestation of the cult of youth perhaps?
Good=youth and Bad=age?
I don’t know about you, but here’s what I am going to do. Whenever I come across a SF/F story that has at least one main character over the age of 40, I’m going to post about it on my blog. Start a revolution. Create a new genre.
If you can think of any, or in any other genres, post them in the comments here, or on your blog if you have one.
Spread the word. MAF-Lit is here to stay!
A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today at the blog and you have my vote! I'm only a short distance away from the over 40 crowd and I totally want to read about others in my "condition". :-) Please tell us more about your book!
The Mortal realm came into existence when the Gallery, an assembly of corridors that weave, web-like between planets and dimensions, time and space, was created. Now three not-so-ordinary women must save the Gallery from its ultimate destruction.
Unfortunately, mortals are notoriously stubborn so a cunning Goddess must manipulate them to do her bidding.
Unfortunately, she’s not very good at it, and not even the Reweaving of Time can stop the annihilation of the Mortal Realm. Sometimes a woman just has to do it herself.
Chalone stalked around the Hall of Lights, glaring at it, daring it to look any different. Her thoughts marched around the venerable building faster than she did. Of course it wouldn’t look any different. She didn’t know what she was thinking, imagining something wrong with the Hall. She should be getting ready for Vian’s Circle.
Vian. Her heart thumped in her throat and she deliberately turned her thoughts away from a flood of memories. She. Would. Not. Cry.
The Hall wasn’t a small building though its appearance could be deceiving. In a thunderstorm it looked massive and ominous, at other times it looked ridiculously small. It could easily embrace thousands or seem crowded when it was almost empty. Even though it was ancient beyond reckoning, it looked unscathed by the passage of time or weather. The translucent walls gleamed with swathes of light reflected from the Portals inside, just as they always had, so Chalone wrapped her fortitude around her and walked through the open archway into the Hall.
She ducked around a small group of travelers just returning from somewhere deep within the Gallery. They chattered excitedly until one of them spotted her. They sensed they might have a captive even famous audience to tell their story to and veered toward her. Even on her best days she wasn’t good at spontaneous conversations with groups and fortunately, before she embarrassed herself, Dajah the woman on duty, skillfully intersected their trajectory and herded them toward the exit. Chalone flashed a quick smile and turned back to her investigation.
The Hall’s familiar ordinariness continued to set her teeth on edge with a dissonance she could almost taste. She looked at the ceiling high above. It was the same vaulted dome it had always been. She walked around the Hall toward the far end. The walls between the irregularly spaced Portals looked the same soft shade of white they always had. Nothing spoke to her of any wrongness. At a loss as to what to do next, she walked around and around the Hall, resolving nothing.
Dajah pithily suggested she stop pacing because she was making her dizzy and would eventually wear a hole in the floor. Chalone heeded the unspoken threat and sat on the circular bench in the center of the Hall. She leaned back on the huge granite outcrop that served as a backrest and stared absently at the Portals. She groaned in exasperation, but quietly, in case Dajah heard.
Muttering to herself, she shuffled a few meters along the bench to her right. Nothing. She shuffled around until she reached the far side of the bench, still looking at Portals and seeing nothing. She stood up and slowly walked toward them, glancing out of the corner of her eye, letting her instincts find what her mind refused to.
On either side of each of the Portals, two crystal columns were positioned to stabilize the opening and keep them firmly anchored to the same physical place on the planet, in direct contradiction to the physics involved. Swirling between the columns, the Portals shone in a kaleidoscope of muted colors.
The explanation of why these two blatantly incompatible forces, the mystery of the Gallery and celestial physics, were able to co-exist without ripping reality apart was one of Chalone’s early academic triumphs. Her meticulously documented investigation caused a sensation among researchers who’d tried to account for the phenomenon previously. She delivered her findings at the university in Esparber, and thereafter, a certain fringe of academia pointedly boycotted her infrequent lectures out of spite. Sadly this would have had a more dramatic effect had she been aware of, or cared about their opinions.
The light from one Portal shone on her face, as though challenging her to enter. When a hand lightly touch her sleeve, she nearly jumped out of her skin.