Open Thread: Stories you want to play/watch/read

(by chris the cynic)

It’s no secret that my creativity isn’t at it’s best right now, so this is basically a copy from memory of a previous open thread prompt.

There are more stories out there than any one person could experience, but in spite of this there are some massive holes in coverage.  Places where there are tons of potential stories, but hardly any to no real stories.

So what are the stories you want but do not have?  Games you’d like to play that no one has made, movies you’d like to watch that no one has produced, books you’d like to read that no one has written?

This question has the potential to be about justice (things with marginalized groups portrayed as actually people not exotic flavor, for example, can make the world a better place) but it doesn’t have to be (if you want to play a four dimensional first person platformer, that’s justice neutral but certainly interesting and worth sharing.)


[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.]


11 thoughts on “Open Thread: Stories you want to play/watch/read

  1. christhecynic April 11, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Do you know how few games there are with trans* protagonists that aren’t games about being trans*? That’s fucked up. (On the flip side, there are countless games with cis male protagonists and I know of none, though probably one does exist somewhere, about being cis male. They get to have adventures that extend beyond their identity.)

    While games with space marines of one persuasion or another seem to go on forever, look for one where the player character wants to win whatever battle/war is going on so she can go back home to her girlfriend and you’re probably out of luck.

    It’s generally the case that your characters are gonna be white.

    But when it comes to actual narratives, I don’t even know.

    I definitely want stories where, “I’m secretly a [magical hero of some sort], but you’re my mother/best friend/girlfriend, so I figured I should let you know to avoid any potential awkwardness,” triumphs over, “This entire thing runs on high octane awkwardness that could be avoided if the main character actually trusted any of the people [usually “he”] allegedly cares about.”

    I don’t want my happy, somewhat sappy, zombie apocalypse young lesbian love stories to end with a sudden shift to: “And then all joy died, we buried one of our gays, and the other will spend the entire main game on a futile journey in which the people she trusted try to vivisect her.” (Looking at you The Last of Us: Left Behind.)

    I’d like more stories where people in story-dystopia aren’t heroes or villains but instead just people finding joy where they can (and succeeding) in spite of living in a crappy word. In the words of Milton’s Lucifer: “The mind is its own place, and in it self Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”


  2. Gelliebean April 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    If you haven’t seen this recent Robot Hugs, it’s relevant to superhero secrets:

    I have also been wanting to find more fantasy where the story centers on an everyday person dealing with the fallout from whatever massive political/magical goings-on might be going on. Not the chosen one, or anyone amazingly talented or special or significant in the world at large, but just somebody trying to do their best and help people in a crisis without the benefit of being a Capital H Hero. Zombie narratives seem to lend themselves to this easily, but it’s been harder to find recommendations for other types of fantasy books.
    Things like Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small, or Mercedes Lackey’s stories about Tarma and Kethry.

  3. christhecynic April 12, 2017 at 2:29 pm


    The thing you linked to was wonderful.

  4. alexeigynaix April 12, 2017 at 6:17 pm


    *eyes Camp NaNo*

    You know, this story’s set against, and is in a lot of ways a reaction to, today’s US, starring POTUS45. I mean, Sir Not Appearing In This Novel, and I should probably avoid naming him and perhaps Clinton altogether just in case. But that’s definitely a major undercurrent of the emotional plot, I think: these queer, disabled, and (in three of four instances) PoC girls reacting to the political fuckery. And my protagonists are sixteen and couldn’t even vote against the fucker. I could totally do the thing you describe! In fact I think I shall!

    …fuck that means I have to research 45’s fuckery going back at least to the start of September, when my novel begins…

  5. depizan77 April 12, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    I want to see a wider variety of protagonists, since there’s really no reason for the predominance of white straight male heroes (followed by white straight female heroes). Personally, I’d really like to see aro/ace* protagonists, or, at the very least, more stories that center on friendships. (One of the reasons why, despite its many flaws, I’m fond of The Lord of the Rings. Likewise the old Sherlock Holmes stories.) Better still, aro/ace protagonists AND stories that center on friendships.

    (I mean, in fanfic, I can find stories like that, but I haven’t had that much luck finding them elsewhere.)

    It continues to be very hard to find fun adventure stories with happy endings.

    I, too, would like stories about lower key heroes and ordinary folks in fantasy and science fiction. I’m very tired of chosen ones and universe saving. (Okay, I’ve never liked chosen ones.) And I’m not so keen on atrocities as colorful backdrop.

    *Aromantic/Asexual (And, yes, seeing more stories about people who are one or the other would be nice, too.)

  6. christhecynic April 13, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I very much prefer happy endings regardless of genre. If I want to be depressed, I have an entire real world out there, and it’s constantly making sure I know about its despondency causing features even when I’m actively avoiding it for self-care reasons.

    I’ve never understood the desire some people have to add more unpleasant stories to a world that’s already overflowing with unpleasant stories. Then again, catharsis doesn’t seem to work for me, so that could be a big component.

  7. Gelliebean April 13, 2017 at 10:42 am

    @alexeigynaix – I very strongly suspect my desire for these stories is also a reaction to 45 and feeling helpless about the whole thing. You have my sympathies on the research.

    I really ought to just sit down and start writing the story I’ve been wanting to about my secondary RPG character – she’s ace & aro and was in training her whole life to be a paladin, but was rejected on graduation day (Rachael’s god was a send-up of fundamentalism, and decided she wasn’t holy enough to be a paladin when she started to fight the teachings against same-sex relationships) so she said “screw it” and went to protect people anyway, without having the magic and miracles she would have received if chosen. The god has subsequently been…. dealt with.

  8. christhecynic April 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I’ve always been fascinated with angels, and I’m very taken with any story that has angels opposing God (or God’s chosen representative) on moral grounds. And there are so many different moral grounds where you can go with it.

    A non-exhaustive list:
    – I’m not saying that there should be no repercussions, but Hell, eternal torture-prison that it is, seems like overkill
    – These people might have the ‘wrong’ religion/sexuality/gender identity/worldview/hair color but they really don’t seem bad to me
    – Ok, I totally get that the devil did some bad shit 6,000 years ago or something, but isn’t it about time for parole?
    – Wait, you’re seriously planning to end the world, I thought that guy on Patmos was just tripping
    – Did you latest memo seriously read “L&J were right”?
    – Were none of the children in Sodom worth saving? I roll to disbelieve.
    – It just seems like an apocalypse would cause a lot of unnecessary pain.
    – Ok, I get that angels and humans aren’t supposed to have sex because reasons, but why should the offspring be punished? They haven’t done anything wrong. They haven’t had time.
    – This set up seems kind of patriarchal, maybe even misogynist.
    – You did WHAT!?

    And so forth.

  9. alexeigynaix April 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Gelliebean, re your RPG character: SHINY.

    depizan77: one of my Camp NaNo leads is explicitly ace (or, you know, not explicitly on page yet, but she is in the notes) and another explicitly aro (same caveat). Story doesn’t presently have an aroace character, but I’m thinking it will do no harm to, once I figure out enough of the action plot to know what other prominent characters I need that I haven’t worked out yet, establish someone as explicitly aroace. Come to think, that might even be one of the big-sister characters I’ve already worked a bit out about…

  10. liminal fruitbat April 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Metaphorically upvoting christhecynic’s angel post.

    I want stories like Star Trek but without humans at the centre of everything. Federations, empires, nomadic generation ship fleets, space gods, all full of aliens and robots and liches* but Earth isn’t the capital world of anything. (If there must be humans in the story, no more Space America.) Transformers and the Culture novels are good for this already, but Iain M Banks is dead and Earth does play a significant role in the Transformers mythos even if most of the current books are avoiding it. Possibly what I’m describing here is Star Trek as written under a Lovecraftian ethos but without all the bigotry.

    *Space should be weird, imo.

  11. christhecynic April 13, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    So in the thing that I want to do where it runs on “Kim Possible had way more potential than it tapped” I want the principle world saver’s aunt to be an aro ace who serves as mentor on account of being a world saver since teen-hood herself.

    Unfortunately all of my notes on the setting are in a lost (as in: will probably never be seen again) notebook.

    The main group isn’t gender diverse at all, and is mostly straight kids, but part of the reason for that is that I want the main group to have to realize that even after they’ve overcome their own insecurities and dealt with the prejudices against them as well as they can, they don’t know everything. I want there to be a point where they think they’re done, “We accept people whether they’re straight, gay, bi, or ace, we’re totally at the peak of progress,” and then find out how very wrong they are.

    Also, while I do want there to be a sort of inner circle of nine, of which only two regularly do field work, I want it to be constantly clear that they’re not the only people who matter. So even though the nine won’t be gender diverse, there will be gender diversity.

    And I want to set it in the past, so things will be less widely known and even less accepted than today, and today isn’t exactly the pinnacle of knowledge or acceptance. In particular, there’s one arc where I very much want the backdrop to be the election of 2004, otherwise known as “the ‘Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve‘ election”.

    Of course when I came to that decision Trump was way off in the distance and I sure as fuck didn’t see him coming, so I didn’t realize that the present day would provide all the political horror one needs. Still, I think I’m sticking with the temporal setting, if I ever manage to reconnect the rest of the setting.

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