Realism in Fiction

My 19-year-old son and I tend to dissect whatever movie we just saw as we’re walking out of the theater. It drives my wife nuts. She just wants to get lost in the story and ends up mad at us for ruining a good movie. What interesting is that the things that bother us generally come down to the little things that aren’t realistic.

Say for example you’re watching a movie about giant transforming robots. By going to the movie you’ve already accepted the premise. If the unreality of giant transforming robots bothers you, you don’t go see the movie. You go see something slow-moving and emo where nothing blows up instead.  Where things break is in the non-fantastical parts. Things like when the soldier shooting at the giant robot fires 50 consecutive shots without reloading…from a handgun. Our basic shared knowledge of how the world works tells us that this is a problem, even for folks who’ve never fired a gun.

Brian Sanderson refers to this as your world’s magic system and by ‘magic’ sometimes he means physics. When we introduce ‘magic’ into a contemporary world, the magic should really be pretty narrow. Giant transforming robots, monstrous lizards or cloned dinosaurs don’t change the range of a soldier’s rifle, how many bullets it can hold or its ballistics performance. To change those, you need to move to the future or introduce enhancements, but even there, tread carefully.

If you create you’re own complete world a la middle earth you get more control over the magic, but you also get an increased responsibility to explain to the reader how your world works. Which at least partially explains why so many science fiction works are so long.

 

Death from Above is available just about everywhere

My first novel, Death from Above is out. It’s available in Kindle, ePub and paperback formats from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and a bunch of others.

Here’s a quick overview:

Tourists have stolen the sacred codex of the Mayan sky god Q’uq’umatz. Now airliners are falling out of the sky and it’s up to NTSB investigator Jennifer Lynch to figure out why.
When the stolen codex keeps showing up at crash sites, Lynch teams with Mayan expert Max Gutierrez and oddball Homeland Security agent Lizard Wong to try to solve the crashes.

With both terrorists and the FBI hunting for them, can they figure out how to return the codex and stop the crashes before hundreds more die? 

Yes there is a MINI Cooper S with a nice role in the second half of the book. No there is no Dynamics GP in this book. No one wants to read fiction about accounting software. Early reviews have been good with 4 and 5 stars on Amazon. I hope you check it out.

 

 

 

My first novel is done!

My first novel, Death from Above is done. I’ve got some final proofing before it becomes available, but it’s done and should be out in the next couple of weeks. If you’d like to be notified when it comes out, please sign up.

Tourists have stolen the sacred codex of the Mayan sky god Q’uq’umatz. Now airliners are falling out of the sky and it’s up to NTSB investigator Jennifer Lynch to figure out why.
When the stolen codex keeps showing up at crash sites, Lynch teams with Mayan expert Max Gutierrez and oddball Homeland Security agent Lizard Wong to try to solve the crashes.
With both terrorists and the FBI hunting for them, can they figure out how to return the codex and stop the crashes before hundreds more die?  

A little background on this, I read…a lot. 100 books a year a lot. Some of them are breathtakingly good. Some of them are old friends. Some of them suck. Long before self publishing and eBooks I read a couple of really crappy books, from big publishers, by big name authors. I was convinced that I could do better than that. I started to write one serious novel and chucked it. After writing a couple of non-fiction technical books with Packt Publishing, I figured I would try again. It took 3 years of part time plugging in between work, life and 2 more technical books, but it’s finally done.

They say write what you know. I already did that with the technical books. I read fiction to be entertained. As a consultant I spent a lot of time on airplanes so I rolled that experience into my fiction. Death from Above isn’t Hemmingway, but it will keep you entertained. As long as it does that, I’m happy.

If you’d like to be notified when it comes out, please sign up.