I Like Stakes

The Mullholland Books website has a whole bunch of interesting things to read. Just the other day, Charlie Huston posted a great little article about the future, and his stories, and his stories in the future. Here’s a choice quote.

I’m writing about people who are right there at that membrane, people with resources that allow them to do more than simply stand there and feel the rush of the future, people who are equipped to reach beyond the membrane, to swing their hammers and their picks and hew the future.


A few days later Tom Piccirilli posted another blinder. Again, a quote.

I want to read about men pushed to the edge, corrupted by the world, destroyed by their own vices, who face down the worst part of themselves every hour. Sometimes they win against their own baseness and frustrations. Sometimes they are consumed. Hope springs eternal. So does terror.

They got me thinking. The stories I tend to enjoy least are those where nothing seems to be at stake, those where it’s a foregone conclusion that the heroes will win. Even those tales where they “win at any cost” (insert manly sounds here) still have a happy ending, on account of all those “goals” being “achieved”. The future isn’t there for the taking. Nothing is set in stone. Just look at the news on any given day of the week.

What Charlie and Tom are talking about? I want to read those stories too…

(I just ordered Sleepless)

…and perhaps, if I can channel well enough, write.

And to end on a twee note, there’s a reason why Empire Strikes Back is everyone’s favourite Star Wars movie.