Category Archives: Unfortunate

Science Fiction’s Answer to “Are you my daddy?” for #MondayBlogs

First the shameless promotion: This post is brought to you by the letter “U” for Unfortunate. Read about what happened to Daggart Bartlett after Undeniable over at Amazon.

On to the content. Let’s get comfy for a moment and talk science fiction and space aliens. I’m always thinking up new plots, always reading the science websites for the latest in knowledge. The recent discoveries of Earth-like planets always get a flurry of questions about humans someday living there and life on other planets.

Which got me to thinking. A lot of the current science fiction offerings have most of the  aliens encountered depicted as either a father figure or a buffoon. It seems our deepest desires are to find a solution to our problems via a superior being handing over their advanced technology to us, no questions asked. Failing that, we want comedic relief.  We also seem to have a need for superiority over them while at the same time wanting their protection. Even when an alien race is somewhat equal, like Star Trek’s Vulcans, they’re still set aside as not human with implied condescension.

So even in the fictional future and with fantastical technology, we want both someone to help us as needed while still making us feel superior. I know this is just one aspect of the human-space alien relationship popularized in fiction. What others are there that YOU see? Comment below because this would be a fun discussion to have.

I can already think of two exceptions, Skyline and Independence Day, where the aliens are scraping humans off the planet because they want Earth. No discussion, no attempt to communicate, just extermination. Even the Daleks in Doctor Who laid out their plans for us and our eradication. The exceptions listed above? They don’t tell us because they don’t care. Which is why those movies are such thrillers, I think. They kick us in the “Humans are Awesome” crotch and it hurts.

So again, tell me what you think about how other life forms are depicted in science fiction in general. I really want to know! Serious accepted, silly even more so!

#MondayBlog is here! Woo!

I can’t believe I’m actually writing a post on Monday! Usually, my Mondays are jam packed with house cleaning and errands to replace snacks eaten during the weekend. That, and I just forget.

So a couple of posts ago, I went into the dubious joy of changing covers. They’ve not made a bit of difference. While I received some valuable feedback on the text inside and why the story might not be working, that doesn’t explain the lack of sales. No one is buying it to give bad reviews to hamper sales. The covers and those male torsos aren’t leading readers to buy just to lick the covers, either. Alas, I must market and that’s a future post. My business partner and I are throwing all sorts of marketing spaghetti on the wall and I’ll report back what sticks.

Meanwhile, because pretty pictures are fun, here are some before and afters in the manual cover art. This is for Unfortunate, Daggart’s story. A short work for those who’ve read Undeniable and wondered whatever happened to their favorite villain.

It’s pretty, crude, monochromatic, much like the characters and their landscape. There’s even a horse trough where Daggart is found at the beginning of the story. Hooray, right?
IMG_1657Not so much. I kept getting a lot of critique on it, about how one tone, the buildings, just eh in general from those I polled. I liked it, but not a lot of other people did.

 

So what was next?

 

 

 

Unfortunate_A

This!

Unlike the picture above, this one wasn’t painted with precise little strokes. It was done with bold colors and a bold hand. I was afraid of the style being too different from the prior paintings. So, I made sure to use the exact same colors in this painting as I did in every other one. While the colors are carried from one painting to the other, the ratios aren’t and that gives them a familiar but different feel.

I also wanted to highlight the warm arid feel of California. The only tough part? Not painting a covered wagon and who knows? I might go ahead and add one in later.

In the digital age of publishing, everything is fixable.