Open Thread: The stories you want to read/watch/hear/play

(by chris the cynic)

Arisia 2017 is over, and I return to my home.  Half of what I did there was listen to panels on how we need new stories that are better than the old ones.  Stories where, as but one example, not everyone is a straight white cis male except perhaps for some tokens with low life expectancy.

One panelist talked about writing, “The stories you want to read but can’t find.”

What are the stories you want to read? (Or watch, or hear, or play, or whatever.)

[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

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8 thoughts on “Open Thread: The stories you want to read/watch/hear/play

  1. christhecynic January 17, 2017 at 11:57 am

    One that I need to get around to writing, especially since I’m doing a lot of work building my super-person universe anyway, is one where the original hero of that universe (who was the only [known] hero before his death) is resurrected, and the person who takes him in (coming back from the dead can be disorienting) says something like:

    New (Female) Hero “I was there the day you died.”
    Old (Male) Hero “A lot of little girls were.”
    New “I wasn’t one of them. I was a little boy. A little blond boy.”
    *pause*
    New (somewhat defensive) “What? My hair got darker when I grew up. It happens.”
    *little bit more pause*
    Old “I remember you.”

    And then it moves on from there with the new hero being a trans woman never being commented on again because the old hero accepts her and thus there’s no real cause to talk about it.

  2. alexeigynaix January 17, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Happy lesbians! Real live genderqueer/nonbinary people! Women of color protagonists, especially with romantic A- or B-plots (depending on the genre)! Disabled protagonists! Stories where polytheistic faith plays a major role! (The Gods Themselves may or may not be involved in these stories, depending on the genre; realistic fiction probably not, or not overtly anyhow, but fantastic fiction probably.)

    Stories that reject oppressive tropes!

    Hopeful stories! Stories that show it’s possible and desirable to resist fascism and oppression! Stories that make marginalized people on whatever axes happy and/or that infuriate people who are emphatically not marginalized on said axes!

    (They want us dead, and failing that they want us miserable. Being happy while marginalized is an act of resistance.)

    Bonus points for stories in multiple of these categories!

  3. christhecynic January 17, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I want to write genderqueer and non-binary characters, I worry that I’d fuck it up severely. I really wish the genderqueer/genderfluid/non-binary panel could have pointed me to resources.

    Unfortunately, apparently the state of representation is so shit that the current standard seems to be “If the character is human, not killed off, developed beyond ‘Hey, non-binary person’, and non-binary as a result of their humanity instead of any involved magic, that officially puts the character on the top level of the very small heap.”

    I did get pointed to a resource for writing people not-like-you in general.

    In Life After Shin is a lesbian, Jacob is a straight demisexual gray ace, Kim and Bonnie are bisexual though they may not realize it (having been predominantly attracted to boys), Ron will probably end up being genderqueer* definitely gynephilic, Tara is pansexual, and Josh is . . . um . . . the token straight cis guy.

    I really need to get back to writing that.

    The gods do not get involved (Ratatoskr appears briefly, but is not named and is viewed from afar), but various individuals to realize that the problem is that Helhiem was breached (in more or less the center of the asshole district) so, with the exception of one person who wanders the afterlife, crosses between different ones, and ends up bumping into Charon, all god-related thinking by people in the know is revolving around the Norse pantheon, and the prayers of such people are directed at those gods. Not just the Aesir either. Jacob directs his prayers directly to Hel since it seems like she might know what to do, and also he can sympathize with her entire family being treated like shit.

    I’m not sure if there will be any poly relationships front and center.

    None of the protagonists are disabled though. Tara has depression, but as long as she has her meds (which will become a problem because of the apocalypse, but will be solved because I’m not into down stories) she’s able to be her happy, light, bubbly true self.

    Definitely want to have more disability visibility than the actual Kim Possible ever did in the non-protagonist ranks, but the seven leads are all able bodied and able minded (when Tara has her meds.)

    * If the timeline hadn’t been knocked out of whack Ron would have become a transgirl, but drastic changes in formative years and all that.

    I actually think I might have been genderfluid if the world had been a better place when I was a child. I’m not sure about that, but looking back on how I was then it really does seem possible that I could have been a girl some days and a boy others. Not that way any more, though. Just female now.

  4. alexeigynaix January 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Unfortunately, apparently the state of representation is so shit that the current standard seems to be “If the character is human, not killed off, developed beyond ‘Hey, non-binary person’, and non-binary as a result of their humanity instead of any involved magic, that officially puts the character on the top level of the very small heap.”

    PAINFULLY ACCURATE

  5. lonespark42 January 18, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Stories with no white people in them.

    Stories with multiple POC cultures.

    Stories with a bunch of queer folk and different genders.

    Stories by and for and about disabled people.

    Stories with no able-bodied people.

    Stories with no or very few neurotypical people.

    In space and on other planets.
    Or in fantasy worlds.
    Or on Earth in the Future.
    Or in the alternate past.
    (Or maaaybe in the regular past under certain specific conditions, but only occasionally.)

    With happy or hopeful endings.

    With nonhuman aliens.

    With geeking/nerding out about religion and culture.

    With fun and explosions and charters who can be played by Chiwitel Ejiofor should the need arise.

    With swordfighting.

    Stories where the main characters aren’t especially powerful or Chosen.

    Stories where decent people doing their jobs well saves the day.
    Where you do it By The Book for a reason.
    Or you work on writing or updating The Book in the face of challenge and change.

    With pregnant people doing stuff.
    And people doing stuff while caring for young children.

    With interesting variations on gender roles, even/especially for people in het relationships.

    Stories about religion and/or gods where no one bothers with Christianity.
    Or maybe with any monotheism.

    Stories based on mythology and folklore written by and for people from that racial/cultural/ethnic background.

  6. lonespark42 January 18, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I think I meant “nonhumanoid aliens…”

  7. liminal fruitbat January 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Stories about religion and/or gods where no one bothers with Christianity.
    Or maybe with any monotheism.

    And polytheisms that aren’t just Christianity with plurals hastily slapped on. (Or a bunch of henotheisms that look suspiciously Christian in their practice.)

  8. depizan77 January 18, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Seconding what’s already been said.

    Also, or maybe that’s specifically, I want fun stories about people who aren’t straight white men, whose stories treat them the same way that stories about straight white men treat their protagonists. There’s this real tendency for stories about anyone else to either punish the protagonists for daring to be protagonists or to de-protagonist them at the climax. I mean, sometimes you want to see people overcoming the real life obstacles that they might face, and sometimes you want to see people existing in a world where those obstacles simply don’t exist. Or at least I do.

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