Saturday, September 19, 2015

Social Issues in Entertainment Reading

I am very concerned about many global social issues from climate, overpopulation, pollution, extinction of species, and the loss of native habitats, to food production and the inhuman manner in which many food animals are being kept, religious extremism, the war going on for over a decade, the destruction of antiquities. And that's just a start.  So many issues, so little time. Am I a worrywart? I wonder sometimes if it isn't my age as I worry about my grandchildren's future. I think of them and concerns enter my mind about the uneven quality of education across the United States, the cost of higher education, the increase in income inequality, failing infrastructure, and a democracy showing signs of changing into a plutocracy. I tell myself I'm using foresight, but maybe I'm just that worrywart. I don't think so, but maybe. I believe in human ingenuity, but for all the creativity, imagination, invention, and philosophy of humans in general, I find the species lacks any interest in foresight as to what might happen from their ingenuity.

Do any of these topics occur in my stories? Yes, even though I write scifi/fantasy. From the outcome of a cataclysmic century in Magic Aegis to corporate control and manipulation of employees in Crewkin, to genetic manipulation and indoctrination for super soldiers in Nanite Warrior, my stories contain social outcomes arising from some of today's issues. I like exploring where an issue might go, what might happen, and how humans will react. It might be hubris, but I like to believe perhaps I provide my readers a look at issues they can relate to without the histrionics of today's argumentative and often disbelieving population. I also believe such inclusions add to my story's depth, add to the setting and plotline, and even to the characteristics of the characters.

While I don't think all novels have to include social issues as part of the story, I do think issues are often the heart of a story, if only personal or family-related issues. These are often based on social issues, too. Topics like abuse, and PTSD among veterans, homelessness, poverty, misinterpretations of law, and the ethics and moral issues in contemporary society.

What current issues are important to you? How often do modern social/global issues take place in the stories you read, no matter what era or genera you write?

Please be sure to see other author's opinion on this topic:
Skye Taylor
A.J. Maguire 
Beverley Bateman 
Margaret Fieland 
Marci Baun
Victoria Chatham 
Connie Vines 
Bob Rich
Rachael Kosinski 
Helena Fairfax 
Judith Copek