Tuesday, January 03, 2017

So here we are in 2017. What’s going to happen?

by Rick Blechta

I’m not going to belabour the fact that we’ve entered a new year. I sort of did that last week, or last year, or even 10 years ago on Type M. That’s right, there’s more than 10 years of history of this little blog we started, so I’ve done the new year thing quite a few times. Done it to death, actually.

So, where do I begin a new year of Type M posts?

Well, one thing I’ve been cogitating on is the change in mood the whole planet seems to be undergoing. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that multiple governments my possibly take a more totalitarian turn. That seems to be happening in the US, France, and other European countries. Russia is a dictatorship in all but name only.

Will this lead to the rise in novels with a more dystopian viewpoint? (Merriam-Webster: from dystopia — an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives) Certainly we saw more dystopian fiction in the late ’40s and ’50s, but mostly confined to Sci Fi and speculative fiction. Is it now crime fiction’s turn?

Or — as I speculated a few weeks ago — will more cozies, with their comfortable “world view” be published? I certainly don’t mind reading something challenging, but there are times where current events are overwhelmingly grim and I want to escape into a book describing a more comforting ethos, so it would not be surprising to me to see more cozies on the shelf.

Or will things not change at all in the writing world? Certainly there are numerous examples of people just hiding their heads in the sand and ignoring the blatant lies and untruths that swirl around us daily. I, for one, have become an incredibly skeptical reader in the past couple of years. Even the most trusted journalistic sources are spinning the truth more than ever. Journalists or politicians flat out lie, and when caught, throw up their hands and say, “So what?” That attitude didn’t wash when my mom caught me lying, and it still doesn’t. But we seem to care not a jot these days when it happens, because it’s so prevalent. Maybe the plots of novels will continue much as they have for the past several years.

With the publishing industry still grinding at what seems a glacial pace, I don’t expect any changes in the type of stories being published being manifested until at least two years have passed.

But those two years are certainly going to prove “interesting”.


Charlotte Hinger said...

I don't feel good about the world situation. However, I'm climbing out of post-election depression. I predict that we will see a lot more happy movies such as La-La Land being produced.

The thirties were filled with musicals and "happy times are here again" because that's what it took to keep folks jacked up a little.

Rick Blechta said...

Charlotte, I think you're very right. There is a lot wrong with the world right now. The US is being led down the garden path and doesn't yet realize (speaking about the country as a whole) how much trouble it's in, regardless of how good or how poor a president Trump turns out to be. Happy days are here again, indeed!

I've heard interesting things about La La Land. I think I'm going to have to go see it.

Meanwhile, we writers can keep imagining our own worlds. What else can we do?

Aline Templeton said...

I'm planning to go to La La Land tomorrow! With the whole world apparently having totally lost the place, fantasy is the answer. Has it been something in the stars?! My son, a criminal defence advocate, says when the moon is full all the crazzies come in.

Aline Templeton said...

Sorry, crazies!

Rick Blechta said...

I can definitely agree with your son, for two reasons. First, I have heard police and EMS crews say the exact thing. And from my cab-driving days back in the '70s, I can confirm it. With two exceptions, the only time weird or dangerous things happened to me were on full moons. Oh, I have stories about those days...