Monday, June 02, 2014

Decadent Decade Monday - The New Problem by J.S. Wayne + Contest

Ask any writer whether it’s possible to write something new, and the answer is likely to be a heavy sigh and a reluctant “No.” Depending on who you ask, the last time something really new was written happened in Ancient Greece, Egypt, or the Renaissance. Part of this is because humanity never really changes, no matter how many technological gizmos and geegaws we invent to make our lives easier. Some of it is because for most of human history, technology moved at a glacial pace, leaving us to imagine advances in technology and consciousness that would permit us to soar through the air like birds, go beyond the confines of our own world, and even examine the tiniest fragments of matter possible. 
Because of this, writing anything truly new becomes nigh impossible. When you consider that the Chinese envisioned a crude rocketship three thousand years before our capabilities allowed for exo-atmospheric travel, that the ancient Greeks had the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, and that the idea of a version of time travel is documented as far back as the early Renaissance, it seems all but inconceivable that anything new could possibly be written. The same applies to music, to art, and to every other field of human endeavor.
So the question becomes, “Why bother?”
The thing is, writers don’t write to create something truly new. What makes our stories unique is the way in which we combine elements which others from a wide variety of disciplines have codified and noted. There are thousands of ways to kill a human being, but barring a sudden advance in technology, all of those ways have been thoroughly documented, considered, expounded upon, and even used, frequently in horrific and chilling ways. There are only so many ways to bring two, or three, or seventy-two people together in anger, in lust, or in love, and each of those ways has been explored so thoroughly that there is hardly an inch of skin inside or outside the human body that has not been considered as a possible source of pleasure (or pain, whichever gets you off).
When applying these principles to a genre, any genre, it also inevitably follows that sooner or later one is going to stumble across the trajectory of another writer, likely one of the greats of the genre. Sci-fi writers can’t help but find themselves in territory covered by Asimov, Heinlein, Wells, or Cherryh. Fantasy writers, one way or the other, will cross the path of Tolkien or the Brothers Grimm. Romance writers hearken back to Barbara Cortland and Jane Austen. Horror writers almost inevitably echo Stoker, Shelley, or Barker. This, in itself, is not a problem or an inherently bad thing. Plagiarism is undeniably bad, and thus should always be guarded against at all cost. However, incorporating elements others have already considered, such as the notion of astrogation (a term which appears to have been coined by David Lasser in 1931 and subsequently borrowed by a number of sci-fi authors, perhaps most prominently Robert Heinlein) is perfectly acceptable so long as one acknowledges clearly what the inspirations were.
This was the problem I was confronted with when I wrote Dusk. Sci-fi has become such a broadly accepted genre since Star Wars, Star Trek, and the post-nerd-closet world wherein finding Asimov on a kid’s bookshelf is no more or less surprising than finding an illicit copy of Playboy under a teenage boy’s bed that it has in many ways subsumed every conceivable type of plot into itself. In many ways, the same can be said of any stripe of romance, or Westerns, or horror, or… Well, you get my drift. The point is, with so much already said and written under the sci-fi banner, I had a hard time figuring out where to begin.
So I decided to add a little magick into the mix. This immediately created an entirely different set of headaches. What kind of magick should I use, and how did I avoid getting sued into nonexistence by the conjoined juggernaut of Lucas and Spielberg for writing something that sorta kinda mighta thought about sounding like something out of Star Wars? Since the Jedi thing was clearly out of circulation, I went a little more fantasy…and promptly ran into another wall. I didn’t want Harry Potter wands and incantations, and if I created my magick a la Lord of the Rings, I’d probably get hate mail from here to the grave. In the midst of tiptoeing around all these problems, I elected to go a little less Tolkien and a little more Aleister Crowley, with a generous dash of quantum physics and a bit of pop psychology thrown in for flavor.
After bumping into all these walls and successfully navigating (astrogating?) the various pitfalls of crossing genres, I then had to turn the whole mess into something that looked sorta kinda like it mighta thought about being a legitimate story.
The coolest thing about Dusk and its sequelae, to my way of thinking, is that it incorporates the best and most enjoyable elements of all my favorite genres in one book. It has hot sex including voyeurism, exhibitionism, MFM ménage and anal, various kinds of aliens, exotic weapons, mystery, romance, suspense, fantasy, science fiction (or speculative fiction, if you insist), military drama, political intrigue… I could probably go on and on. I didn’t set out to write something that would be “all things to all people,” but I was pretty damned excited when I realized I was creating a story that had just as much for the sci-fi buff as it did for the starry-eyed romantic.

Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today. Here’s a little taste of Dusk: Darkness Rising, coming May 29th from Changeling Press. If you leave a comment here or on my personal blog at, you can enter to win an e-book copy of Dusk and Dusk: Darkness Rising…and if you happen to be in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 7th or 8th, you can stop by the Northwest Barnes Noble and pick up a signed hard copy! I’ll be there with cover model Jimmy Thomas and some other really great authors, so don’t miss it!

Dusk: Darkness Rising

Who can you trust when the galaxy’s at stake?

Having survived one assassination attempt, Colonel Pete Silva, Ambassador Olivia Gunnarson, and diplomat Merrick Grissom are watching their new love affair and the relations between their planet rending at the seams. An unseen enemy has destabilized diplomatic negotiations for reasons unknown, threatening not only the safety of the planet but the lives of the members of the Dusk Diplomatic Corps.
As the trio grows closer and comes to trust each other, the question of who else can be trusted becomes more timely and important than ever before. Each tick of the clock signals time running out… for Pete, Olivia, and Merrick as well as for a hapless alien race caught in the grip of an assassin with a personal agenda that plays both sides against the middle.

Pete was now fully awake. His eyes narrowed as he stared, slack-jawed, at Merrick. “What’s the catch?”

“No catch, Quick.”

“What did you just call me?”

“Quick.” Merrick’s words took on a slightly sarcastic edge. “As fast as you ran just before the ’car exploded, it seemed to fit. ‘Quick’ Silva, get it?”

Pete rolled his eyes. “It ain’t the worst thing I’ve ever been called.”

Merrick snickered. “I’m sure that’s true. Now, we’ve got some time before the DDC convocation and the formal statement of request from Al-Aziz. You two could use some stress relief, and I want to watch.” He gave Pete a lofty sneer. “Unless you’re still too tired…”

Olivia’s pussy throbbed insistently. She needed to be touched, to thoroughly and completely offer herself up again like she had the day before. With Merrick sidelined, that meant she could put Pete through his paces. She glanced at the chronometer. They still had several hours before the convocation, plenty of time to sate themselves completely before the press of business.

Her need suddenly roared up, spreading its wings like a mythical Terran dragon, setting her heart and body alike aflame.

“You really want this?”

Merrick nodded once, his eyes hooded. “Yes.”

She turned to Pete.

“Do you --”
Before she could finish the thought, he closed the distance and kissed her urgently, without finesse or technique. His craving for her inflamed her, and she mewled into his mouth as he invaded her like a conquering army. His tongue flickered and clashed against hers, pulling her gently into him. He caught her tongue between his teeth and sucked lightly on it, sending a fresh wave of shrill sensation to her center.

She stole a glance at Merrick, who was watching avidly from his perch. One hand clawed at the armrest of the chair while the other snaked down into his breechclout. From the lazy motions of his shoulder, she knew he was stroking his cock in appreciation of the sight. A new, added thrill, that of pleasing her man in this utterly forbidden but delicious way, stoked her ardor further, and she ground her hips against Pete’s leg, silently pleading to be taken.

Pete was having none of that, though. He pushed her backward as if manipulating glass until the backs of her knees struck the edge of the bed. With a muffled shriek she fell backward, legs akimbo. She looked into his heated eyes and laughed, her voice low and husky.

In the soft glow of the overhead lights Pete’s eyes glowed like the volcanoes of Astaroth beneath heavy lids. He knelt before her, his breath playing along the sensitive nerve endings of her exposed pussy as he reached up with both hands and braced his upper body against her knees.

She wanted to sigh, to speak, to beg him for his mouth against her pussy, but her mouth had gone arid as the spires scattered around the city. She squirmed and wriggled, trying to bridge the last few inches between his lips and hers, but he held her easily, staring at her center as if reading the solutions to the mysteries of the universe in her moist folds. With a frustrated whimper she looked over at Merrick again. His breechclout was now undone, revealing his long, slender shaft. He fisted it with exquisite slowness, occasionally raising his fist to his mouth to lubricate it with saliva. The proud purple head towered above his crotch, and for a moment she wished she had her lips around…

Oh, dear God.


  1. If you mean there are no new plots in writing, you would be correct, but there are a gazillion new ways to write great stories that are fresh and exciting. When it comes to Science Fiction, there's always something new happening in the world of science and the best sci-fi writers are on top of the new developments and taking them even further. I can't keep up with all the new tech. developments and, therefore, wouldn't even venture to write a sci-fi story. I've written exactly one. LOL
    All in all, a very thought provoking blog, J.S. I just wanted to pop over and show you some support. All things wonderful to your corner of the earth...

  2. Thank you so much, Sarah! :)
    I don't think there's been a truly original plot since Aristophanes, but you're's HOW we put the plot elements together that makes them unique. Jim Butcher did this to great effect with his Codex Alera series, which took the Lost Legion of Rome and mixed it with Pokemon(!).
    So glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for stopping by! :)