Friday, December 22, 2017

Rey and the Force and Lukyanenko's Mirror and the Gloom

There will be spoilers for both The Last Jedi, and The Last Watch

With The Last Jedi, Rey's profound abilities have caused many fans to refer to her as a "Mary Sue." I don't believe it's deserved, and the fact a previous example of her sort of character appeared in one of my favorite fantasy series has only given me greater appreciation of what Disney's doing with her.

The Watch is a Russian urban fantasy series by Sergei Lukyanenko. It follows two groups of supernatural beings that are at eternal war with one another: the Day Watch (good), and the Night Watch (bad). Both groups gain their abilities from an invisible force that is emitted by all living things called the Twilight (or the "Gloom" in the films). In fact, the less "Twilight force" you emit, the greater your ability to absorb and wield it.

In the fourth book in the series, The Last Watch, the Day Watch has grown too strong. Though unconscious like the Force, the Twilight creates a mirror-magician to bring about a new balance. The Mirror is a neutral character, and is only as strong as the imbalance. So when enough members of the Day Watch are killed in battles with the Mirror, it fades back into the Twilight, its mission accomplished.

While I'm pretty sure none of the writers of the new Star Wars films have read Lukyanenko's series, the correlation between Rey and the Mirror is pretty strong. Kylo Ren is powerful, and has decimated the ranks of the Jedi. Shortly after, the Force inside Rey awakens and she's every bit as good as Kylo. In fact, the stronger he seems to be, the stronger Rey becomes. Just like the Mirror, training isn't necessary as the Force gives her what she might otherwise be lacking. The balance must persist, and when it doesn't, the Force steps in to make it so.

The concept of a mirror-magician is foreign to the Star Wars universe, but I think it's interesting how closely it resembles what's happening in the new trilogy. It even fits into the gaps of knowledge we have about the Force since there hasn't been a time in recorded (canon) SW history where the adherents of the dark side and the light side have been so low, with no potential for balance. (Remember, Luke blocked his ability to access the force, which means there's no representative of the light side out there anymore). Call Rey a Mary Sue if you like, but I much prefer to think of her as something like a mirror. It may be new to Star Wars, but it's also an intriguing addition to the lore.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Slow News Year

I've had a few publications since I last wrote.

"A Mundane Encounter With a Civilized God" appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show's February issue.

"Servant of the Aswang" was reprinted in the Feburary issue of Apex Magazine, and again in the French horror anthology, Ténèbres.

"A Thing in All My Things" aired on the Pseudopod Podcast in August.

"Behind the Walls" appeared in an anthology of original horror stories called Cutton Block: Single Slices vol. 1.

"Love in the Time of Alien Invasion" was reprinted in the Fantastic Stories of the Imagination: People of Color Flash Anthology.

"She Who Would Rip the Sky Asunder" was adapted into an audio drama and aired on the Redshift Podcast.

As for sales? "A Pocket of Madness" sold to Digital Horror Fiction; a reprint of "Penelope's Song" sold to Far Fetched Fables, and is expected to air in January 2018; the Podcast Tales to Terrify picked up "PagPag" to air sometime in 2018; and "Beyond the Reach of Darkness" may appear in an anthology of original horror stories in January of 2018 as well.

Beyond that, one of my newer stories made semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest, and I have a few originals currently under final-round consideration. Hoping to get more, and better, news as we near the end of the year! I'll also try to update my bibliography, and this post, with links as soon as I can.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bibliography Updated

I updated my bibliography with three new publications, including "Pagpag" from Apex Magazine #89 and "Penelope's Song" from the 3rd Spectral Book of Horror Stories. Also added a few publications, forthcoming in 2017, to the bottom of the list.