I finally had the time to post a review for the final installment of "The Invasion of Crackland", and I will let that speak for itself. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed it.
Reading through the associated thread on PWR, I noticed that one guest commentator in particular couldn't seem to get over the fact that all of Devon's principal protagonists have very active sex lives. Perhaps this same person in an earlier thread complained that all of his female characters are "sluts".
While i do not agree with that characterization, it is true that most of Devon's recurring cast share a lot of similar personality traits. This was very evident in the scene in the second installment of this most recent story when Nikki, Trey, Brooke and Eric were all being held captive in the mercenary camp. In addition to being sexually liberated, there is a common sense of non-conformity and anti-establishmentism, a more-or-less open disdain for social conventions and authority figures. While none of those are bad things in my opinion, and likely reflect the writer's own attitudes, it is true that there is not a not a lot of variety there.
It might be an interesting challenge for Devon to do a story where the main character is a sexually-repressed social conservative, or maybe even a cop or other authoritarian type. Maybe the long rumored Oklahoma octopus story could be an avenue for that, as Oklahoma seems like a pretty culturally backward place? Just a thought.2/27/2011 #1
To start with, thanks again for the really trenchant (in the good sense) review. I'll have more to say about that in further post. Right now, I wanted to comment on your reflections here. What you wrote is so absolutely true. I need to say that right away. In short, the characters and their sexuality, etc., reflect a lot (and maybe too much) of me. That was really perceptive! This is exactly what happened in a lesser degree on PWR a couple of years back when I used to post about me along with the others. I made it clear that for some reason, unknown to me, I do not like dogs---any dogs. So I was challenged on PWR to write a dog story, and I accepted the challenge. I wrote Phalanx, which got some good reactions. When I get back to writing (soon), I plan to take your suggestion like a challenge. I like challenges. A conservative, sexually-repressed character would be just the challenge. I bring out Nikki and Trey whenever I want to do sexual liberation and Brooke whenever I want to do Existentialism. Eric represents the freedom from social convention that living a long time offers. Jared and the PSC emblemize what I would like the future to be. Characters like Kemp Tanner and the merc women satisfy my sense of action, which I never want to lose. I tried to be Virginia Woolf years ago, and it didn't work. But your idea is VERY intriguing to me. I also remember the challenge which led to Alien Invasion. Heidi challenged me to write a non-dystopian future, and that was what I was aiming for. So thanks again for a direction to go in. I'm going to start thinking right now about your idea. It was an excellent one!!
Devon2/28/2011 . Edited 2/28/2011 #2
Second post to you tonight: Your review was, as I have said, really trenchant, and in a good sense. It stands as a great analysis of what I was doing and what I might do in the future. Like the last one you wrote, I printed it. I don't print very much, but your perceptions really do guide me---and probably more than you think, no lie!! So I am going to wait and say more about your review after I decide on what my next direction is going to be. For the moment, I was thinking about you personally, from what I have gathered from all of your excellent reviews and PMs: You are a literary type. And I mean this in the most deliberately complimentary sense possible. Okay, I never...ever...never delve into the lives of my correspondents, but this time I am going to make an exception. Your reviews and comments are so good that I am driven to ask whether you work in a field that requires literary review. Don't answer if you don't want to, but you are really penetrating and analytic--and all of this in a ultra-constructive sense. Nothing you write is ever lost on me.
Change of paragraph if this forum lets me: Once again, I really am looking forward to reading your fiction. And this is not pressure, just encouragement. Hope you are working on something. Let me know.
Devon2/28/2011 . Edited 2/28/2011 #3
I am flattered that you would think so, but no, I do not work in the literary field! I do have a job that involves a lot of writing (dry, technical stuff, NOT fiction or literature), and I think that is one reason why writing as a hobby does not come naturally to me. I have some stories in the works, but I really have to be in the right mood to write. So I'm getting there, but slowly. Thanks for the continued encouragement!
BTW that is exactly what I had in mind with this post - something akin to the dog challenge. I have no doubt that you will more than rise to the occasion, but then the critics will just find another reason to bitch!2/28/2011 #4
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