Discover Goandria all over again!

I have relaunched Goandria: Visions of War.  The second edition had new chapters, greater characterization, and now includes Flight of the Wizard short story which used to be only in the paperback version.

It took two months to prepare this version and I feel it finally does the story justice. If you read fantasy and are looking for something new and different you can take a look yourself here.

As always I’m looking for reviews as well.  If this is something that interests you, and you want a free eBook copy let me know in the comments below.  You can also shoot me an email at goandria@outlook.com

The Nazi Cliché

I have noticed in the shows and movies I watch, and the books I read that Nazi imagery for the villains is prevalent. Okay, prevalent might be a little bit of an understatement. The correct word would probably be ubiquitous. I have seen the imagery in Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Wayward Pines just to name a few examples. The Third Reich has undoubtedly earned the villainy reputation it has. Nazis did horrible things and now modern fiction often models the villains after them in some fashion, even if it is just loosely. Now whenever someone doesn’t like a politician or political party, too often comparisons arise between them and the Nazis. Nazis are so commonly used, either directly or indirectly, that they have become the clichéd villains. 

History is important, and learning from the atrocities of the past is the most important. I have said before that fantasy isn’t just about escaping reality, it is another window to view it. Reminding current generations of the horrors people have committed in the past is one important function of fiction. The Nazi imagery has been overdone however. Yes, the Nazis did horrible things and history should not forget what they did lest history repeats itself. There were other evil groups, cults, governments, and beliefs that we need to prevent from happening again too. Stalin killed a lot more people than Hitler, yet him and the KGB haven’t even come close to the notoriety of the Nazis. I would argue learning from that part of history is equally as important as the Third Reich.

I would like to encourage other areas of history to influence fiction. Let’s face it, Nazi imagery has been overdone. What about Pol Pot and the genocide he committed, or more recently ISIS? I would like to see more varied allusions to history outside of “How can we make this group more evil looking by subtly comparing it to the Nazis?” We are writers, creative thinkers. Let us tape into the wellspring of history and most just lazily follow the crowd and use the same allusions for evil.

Goandria: Visions of War is back!

The second edition of Goandria: Visions of War is now released!  It has all new chapters, greater characterization, and now the eBook includes the short story Flight of the Wizard, once exclusive to the paperback.

If you read fantasy, I am looking for reviewers.  My goal is to have three reviews on this book before Halloween.  If you are willing to read it and review it email me at goandria@outlook.com and I will send you a free review copy.

If you want more details on the book you can read the description on the amazon page here.

Fantasy isn't about escaping reality

Speculative fiction has earned the reputation for being an escape from the harsh reality us adults face every day. Undoubtedly some movies, novels, and TV shows serve the purpose of mindless entertainment. We all have read a book or watched at movie on Netflix and asked ourselves, “Why was this even made? What is the point?” Good Fantasy serves a purpose, has meaning, and leaves a lasting impression.

Now that I set the bar incredibly high for myself let me define “Good fantasy” because that is a subjective term. Good Fantasy addresses real world problems such as war, hatred, segregation, and religious persecution, to name a few, through a fictional lens. Perhaps werewolves symbolize outcasts from a society, perhaps elves are segregated from the world of men, these are real issues but with Fantasy it can be subtler and digestible for an audience if done right.

I believe this sort of fantasy isn’t for those who wish to escape reality, but wish to refine in and mold it for the better. Fantasy leads the reader to consider different perspectives and ideas. I do not feel that quality fantasy should be about shock and awe. Throwing in sexual or torture porn for the sake of “realism” is less realistic and more about pandering to a certain audience. Simply shocking the audience with gore and sensuality is not really a goal that should be pursued. Sadly, these are trends that have occurred more recently and thus I feel adds fuel to the belief that speculative fiction is about escaping reality.

Yes, sex and violence are realities in our world. I do not deny that for a moment. However, heavily lacing a book with such material, I feel potentially harms the other messages and themes the author may try to convey. I write about warfare, and thus violence is inevitable. I write about awful things that happen, but there is a way to do it that doesn’t involve being over the top. Perhaps that standard makes me a prude in some people’s eyes. That is fine. What is important to me are the themes in my books, not going for cheap attention grabs.