Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Rules Have Changed

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
I read and write a lot of speculative fiction: everything from steampunk to space opera with paranormal romance, urban fantasy and dystopian fiction thrown in.

The appeal of spec fic is both simple and fundamental. In it, the rules the world plays by are changed.

I'm very law-abiding. I'm too much of a worrier to be anything else. I like to do the "right thing" for fear that anything less will usher in the End of Days. Yep, me forgetting to rinse out my coffee mug will cause Armageddon. Bet you didn't know that? *rolls eyes at self*

But what happens when the rules change and the "right thing" becomes something radically new?

Rules (both stated in the legal sense and implicit in the form of social norms) structure our society. Change the rules and you change society.

Speculative fiction is inherently revolutionary. Being fiction, it provides a safe means to test drive dangerous notions. (The military calls it "scenario planning").

The act of reading spec fic is, therefore, political. As readers (and writers) we are choosing to explore challenges to the status quo. Consequently, it's fascinating to recall our favourite novels and analyse them for what they reveal about our political, social and personal aspirations.

My novel, The Troll Bridge, is a coming-of-age fantasy novel, and is available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited. Buy link: 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cindy. The idea was bubbling away, and I decided to cough it up. Awful metaphor, sorry :)


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