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Now she walks through her sunken dream to the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen,
but the film is a saddening bore for she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools as they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall, oh man!
Look at those cavemen go, it's the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know he's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Story Bone

You know how spy thrillers just haven't really worked lately (although the rise of state-level terrorism has given them a second wind)? Because we're no longer in a distinct cold war, which pretty much was the engine of the spy thriller. Even the James Bond movies with their reliance on what was a major terrorist organization (SPECTOR) played against the backdrop of the cold war between western powers and the USSR (how many times did SPECTOR attempt to launch WWIII? Like four or five times). Without the conflict, a lot of the tension goes away (the Bourne movies play up against this with the theme of "what do you do with your broken toys now the Cold War is over"?)

But you know what, we're genre writers. Hell, in space all wars are cold wars, you know what I'm saying. Most space opera is hot war based, but given the high cost of space transport and the tension between technology levels, a Cold War scenario makes a lot more sense. And who is to say the Seelie and Unseelie Courts‎ aren't engaged in their own Cold War, or even a Cold War with our realm. After all, the fey have been stealing our babies and taking our tech (except for iron) since stories have been told of them.

Carlie Stross does a little of this with his Laundry Stories (I saw what you did there, BTW). They basically are Cold War stories between us and the Lovecraftian mythos. He has even written his books as homages to other spy thriller writers.

This is very fertile ground, as far as I can tell. There's a couple of furrows in it, but actually I don't think many people think of those stories as Cold War spy thrillers. Maybe they do, I don't know.

Anyway, just thinking about it.

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