Apr 5, 2020
In this Quackcast we talk about the differences between genre and setting and what genre really is. For instance: Fantasy and SciFi aren't genres, they're settings… Mostly. It's complicated but they both pretty much USED to be genres, now they're mainly just settings for genre stories to take place in. What does that mean? Well, Fantasy wasn't even considered a genre back in the day, not really till after the success of Tolkien. Later on a lot of writers began using that same style and consumers really wanted it, so it became a “genre”. It was only later on when it graduated out of that to become a setting that has genre stories set within it.
Topics and Show Notes
Scifi was much the same. We backdate the “genre” to Mary Shelly, Jules Verne, HG Wells etc, but that's actually a little silly. SciFi was invented back in the 1920s by publisher Hugo Gernsback as a niche marketing term for his pulp magazines. He bundled together a whole bunch of futuristic stories and works of speculative fiction to sell under that name and created a market for it. That created the genre that people started to write within and to. Now however SciFi is really just a setting that has genre stories within it: detective fiction, nior, action, romance, Western, apocalypse, etc.
This happens when the genre becomes so diverse and ubiquitous that the commonality between stories within it becomes less important than the differences- i.e. the fact that a story is a romance is more significant than the fact it's set in the future, we really don't care too much about the future setting. While in the past it's that future setting which would have been the main selling point.
Think of it in terms of anime, if you have a good familiarity with it. Years ago people thought of anime as a monolithic “genre”, with all the cartoons roughly sharing a lot of themes and styles. This was mainly because only a small amount of it got exported to the west. Now however a massive amount is available and it's very easy to see how different it is. Now “Anime” really only indicates where the cartoon came from, not what kind of product you're going to get.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Just wanna do porn webcomics - A dark room, the air is warm and close. Sweat, passion, heat… the only sound is heavy breathing… as the webcomicer furiously draws the latest issue of their racy webcomic! A lot of moans, vocal distortion and sexy synth music in this one.
Topics and shownotes
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Feb 23, 2020
The process of adaptation is quite interesting. Stories go through all sorts of changes when they're transferred from one medium to another. A lot of the time we bemoan that as “not staying true to the original” or “the book was better”, but there are many times where the adaption is really interesting in its own right, even though it's quite different from what it started out as.
Feb 16, 2020
What happens to characters after the big action scene or climactic moment? This could be anywhere in the story but it's usually close to the end. Do they process any of the things that have happened to them to lead them up to that point or do they just forget about everything and simply act as if nothing except the last 4 seconds matter? The later seems to be the trend in a lot of badly written fiction, and it's a notable trope in 80s style action films. Death of family members or lovers are irrelevant when you have a hot action star standing next to you!
Jan 5, 2020
Happy 2020 all you lovely people who listen to us! What we're talking about today are tropes in fiction that bother us because they don't exist in reality: they ONLY exist in fiction pretty much. In the cover pic we have an image from The Witcher: he has two big longswords on his back. In fantasy people always carry longswords on their backs. This is a trope that only exists in fiction because you can't draw a sword longer than about 60cm from your back. So people just didn't carry swords like this. Even if it was only to transport them (although ta transport only option makes a sort of sense). This was only even rarely done with Asian swords. We'd LOVE to hear about more of these that other people have noticed!
Dec 2, 2019
We're talking about how religion is portrayed in fiction and a bit about WHY. This was a surprisingly fascinating topic. I came up with the idea while watching the old 2000s SciFi series Andromeda: one of the alien characters there is sort of a space Buddhist, and I felt like that was a pretty common thing in American TV Scifi, so I wondered about what other kinds of religious tropes exist in contemporary fiction, fantasy and other SciFi worlds.
Oct 21, 2019
As promised we dive right into the second half of the Star Wars chat! We cover all the Star Wars stuff besides the original trilogy and the new trilogy. There's a lot to cover and we only touch on most on it: Solo, the Star Wars Christmas special, Droids, the Ewok films, Clone Wars, the games, the books, comics, Solo, Rogue One…
Aug 19, 2019
Today we compare and contrast two ways of making characters: starting with a pure archetype and building it with tropes, or creating a character organically through circumstance and interaction with other characters.
Jul 29, 2019
Today we cover the interesting trope of the “old warrior”. This was based upon a newspost Banes came up with last week. He was thinking of Captain Picard in the latest Star Trek series and he also brought up Luke Skywalker from the latest Star Wars movie. The “Old Warrior” makes a really cool protagonist, in this Quackcast we try and discover why that is…