I've been talking with publishers recently about a book I've just finished writing. I have heard some remarkable things from publishers regarding the kinds of stories they are looking for. Many are looking for the 'edgy' stories; some are looking for more conservative old-school adventure tales. However, no-one, NO-ONE, is looking for dystopian novels anymore.
For those who don't know what Dystopian means, it's mostly the opposite of Utopian; they are stories of a very, very broken world, and they were hugely popular just a few years ago. Stories like The Hunger Games, Divergent and Maze Runner, filled bookshelves (and movies theatres!).
I wonder what it does to a person who grows up reading books like this? How does it shape their worldview? I didn't read these books as a youngster. And though I have read many of them in recent years, none have inspired me like the stories of my youth. I grew up with Hitchcock's 3 Investigators, the Famous Five and Rogue Squadron and watching a lot of Adam West's Batman. These are just a few stories in a huge list.
I can bore you with what I was reading and watching in my developmental years because those stories formed me immensely. And though I'm going to out myself as a mega-nerd here (you knew from my previous list!) one of the formative things for me was STAR TREK. Many of you want to switch off here but bear with me for just another paragraph or two.
Star Trek is one of my favourite universes for two reasons. One, because it is a full, vibrant and creative universe and it's freaking cool! Two, because it deals with the aftermath of Unity, not division. It is about alliances between races, exploration, and guiding principles of redemption, not destruction.
We need to tell more stories like this, of how things worked well when we came together, worked in alignment and sought innovation (whether we like Star Trek or not.) Whether you're a writer or not; you need to be 'righter'; someone who is about fixing things, seeing potential and opportunity, and striving towards it in community.
We need more 'righters.' And our writers will help inform them.