Index To Intimate Adventure
|For The SF/F READER|
For The FEMINIST READER
by Publishing Industry Insiders
Comments on Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica by Ronald D. Moore
your own comments to be posted and later excerpted for
|Nominations for Intimate Adventure Label
email simegen at simegen.com with suggestions
|Discussed on the Lillian Caldwell Radio Show November 1,2005|
I have written a comprehensive article on Intimate Adventure - a Proposal for a New Genre in two forms -- one aimed at sf/f readers in general, and the other slanted to the Feminist reader. Both contain recommendations to the same book titles and a lengthy discussion of this hidden genre.
This new Genre is already spread all over publishing -- you'll find examples in every genre and in general literature, which is why it's so well hidden it's gone unnoticed. It's right there in plain sight, thus completely invisible.
Most sf/f is classed as "Action/Adventure" -- but I have found that personally, I dislike "Action" stories.
As defined by most publishers (and movie/tv producers), "action" stories are mostly all plot, though in-depth characterization is permitted if the characters have no Relationships among themselves that can change the direction of the plot. In an action story, you must have a physical problem the Hero tackles -- with progress toward the goal being made by physical "action" (mostly physical combat, though sex is allowed) -- and the resolution of the conflict must come through the Protagonist DEFEATING the antagonist in physical combat.
In the "Action" story, where characters are developed in depth (Gordon R. Dickson's novels are good examples) they don't have any meaningful Relationships with other characters. And I don't necessarily mean just a "love relationship".
Intimate Relationships come in many forms and levels. There are working partnerships, Parent/Child Relationships, Adversarial Relationships, Counselor/Client relationships, relationships with Clergy, relationships with God, and Relationships with Society, Relationships with Yourself. The list is practically endless.
In an Action plot, what relationships the characters have must not interact with the plot in any meaningful way. The Hero can't "think too much" about how he feels or why.
"Adventure" on the other hand is a genre I love to this day. In an "Adventure" story the main character is jolted out of his/her everyday life and thrown into a Situation where everything is different and strange, and survival depends on wits, will, guts, and -- AND! -- on the ability to establish and maintain long-term Relationships with others in the story.
By the end of an Adventure, the main character has to be returned to a comfortable life with healthy Relationships anchoring him to his reality.
You don't attain a Healthy Relationship with others by conquering them, by defeating them, by vanquishing them, by annihilating them, by triumphing over them. Such actions prevent healthy relationships from forming.
Intimate Adventure, the genre I have identified hidden within the mainly Action/Adventure genre, but appearing within Mysteries, Vampire novels, even mainstream novels, replaces the "Action" part of the story with "Intimacy".
Instead of combat to the death on the field of Battle, the Protagonist must face trials and dangers, terrors and tests on the field of Intimacy.
Instead of weapons of combat (guns, knives, swords, cudgels), the protagonist must weild the weapons of Life -- emotions, psychology. The protagonist must solve the problem faced in the world outside the Mind with the weapon of Emotional Honesty within the Self and within the Relationship.
No act in Life takes more courage, more strength, more endurance, more true heroism than the ability to stand up before your Parent and admit that you have been an ass-hole, you have been wrong, you have been stupid, inadequate, self-serving, selfish, and just plain idiotic. To apologize, and then act to offset the damage your emotionally-driven failing created -- that is true heroism.
And when you conquer that cowardice within that refuses to allow you to know you've made an error (probably the same stupid error you've been ranting at everyone else for making -- probably the same error your arch-nemesis has been making -- probably the reason you hate the people you hate) -- when you've conquered your inner cowardice and released the energy necessary to deal with your Enemies -- then the result is that your Enemy is one step closer to becoming your Ally -- if not your actual friend.
You will find perfect examples of this process on various TV series produced by or based on work by Gene Roddenberry. All the Star Treks have it. Earth: The Final Conflict demonstrates it. Most obvious of all is Andromeda, where the mission is to make friends from enemies who've been murdering each other for over 300 years.
Forever Knight was a wonderful Intimate Adventure (Nick/Natalie). Highlander was another. In many ways, Farscape is another -- for the Relationships among the crew members are what drives the plot. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel both have Intimate Adventure -- though the obvious point is the combat scenes, the story-arc is about how relationships change people.
And you will notice all these prominent examples have one thing in common -- a vocal and enthusiastically creative following - pouring out stories, artwork, songs, conventions, jewelry, fellowship, and forming life-long friendships.
In other words, the impact of the fiction on the lives of the fiction-consumer is to energize that person to form solid and meaningful Relationships.
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