Try this sometime. It’s fascinating. Go on Gutenberg.org and pull down a copy of one of the old sci-fi pulps from the 1930’s like, ‘Astounding Stories Of Super-Science’ or find a pdf of, ‘Planet Stories’ or whatever. Read the letters columns. Those guys were teenagers, thrilling over pulp stories that blew their minds about space travel and breakthrough technology. Then those guys grew up and put us on the moon and invented television and communications satellites.
Then try this. Go find some interviews with people that worked at DARPA on the original internet, or the guys who designed the iPhone, or the ones now working on CRISPR and other biotechnology that will be curing cancer and AIDS and all sorts of plagues within a generation or two. See how often they mention being inspired by, ‘Star Trek’, or remembering seeing, ‘Star Wars’ the first time, or reading something from Arthur Clarke.
Science and speculative fiction helped build our best thinkers. And it’s still trying to do that; but the system is clogging and is often rigged for tedious, dumbed-down and mechanical work that is most likely to sell but which often doesn’t really move the needle like it should. Know what I mean?
I believe independent publishing is going to have to pick up the flag on this and run into the battle. It’s time for a revolution and a change of the guard. Yet, the quality of indie works is often crap, with poor editing and silly homemade covers and endless storms of social media shouting. Stop that too. That won’t inspire our thinkers any more than a fifteenth entry in a space-vampire series would. Nothing is more urgent for indie publishing right now than to get our act together on the quality of our work – meaning the editing, the covers, narrative structure, the whole package. Way too many lazy works out there; and that makes it harder for anyone to be heard.
Grailunners are tired of tedium and recycled ideas, of tired dialogue that sounds like it’s trying to propel a plot along, and of books or movies that are just copying each other.
So the HOLY GRAIL is a treasure, hidden and world-changing
and a GUNRUNNER is a smuggler, dodging the system
We slapped them together for a metaphor, get it? A GRAILRUNNER is someone digging up or helping shape paradigm-shattering and skull-melting works, old or new, indie or mass published, that demand to be brought into the light so they can change the world.
Less whining. More inspiring.