The latest episode of Writing Excuses caught my attention around ensemble casts in stories and what that does to both the story and structure. It occurred to me that there's quite a bit of visual entertainment in SFF which is mostly centered around one character with multiple support characters that help move the plot along. I find this unrealistic and at first it didn't bother me as much, but it's starting to. I find reading stories with multiple characters, each fully fleshed out and offering their own perspectives on the "superobjective" of the story.
Just because I like it, doesn't mean I'm good at writing this. That said, it's given me enough pause on my projects, that I'm actually a bit nervous now. Would my story be better helped with multiple viewpoints? Or will it be a mess?
On to the curiosities!
FiyahCon's 2022 Ignyte Awards
The shortlist this year has authors and stories that overwhelm me. I typically don't have much time to burn through too many full novels, but novellas and shorts are great. And this the stories in this list are fantastic: Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard - I've reviewed this one before, and glad it's on the list! Also, & This is How to Stay Alive by Shingai Njeri Kagunda, with whom I had a wonderful conversation (podcast forthcoming!).
The City Inside by Samit Basu
This book is about a near-future India where surveillance capitalism is front and center, conspiracies which unfold slowly, and the story of two characters who see themselves as little more than cogs in larger machinery and their efforts to resist what's coming. An interview with Basu gives us more background into how he built this world.
From Frivolous' standpoint: this book was a quick pick, as we're always interested in how writers and readers from different countries think about the future. It's on our TBR!
We're not actually recycling very much plastic. Introducing the superworm.
Meet the superworm which digests polystyrene. These beetle larvae have gut bacteria that help degrade plastic. It's pretty neat that there's something naturally occurring that actually helps break down plastic. With a recent report from an environmental group showing that the the actual amount of plastic recycled is a lowly 5% of plastic generated (the EPA in 2018 clocked the actual recycle rate of plastic at 8.5%), I've wondered why I haven't heard as much about research into actually breaking down plastics.
Apparently, I wasn't paying enough attention. Hopefully, these researchers continue to find good news along these lines and can find ways to scale decomposition. Because 5% is pretty horrendous. As an aside, glass and wood are better, but not that much better. I've been assuming the recycling industry had this stuff down, but apparently not.
That's it for this week folks!
As always thanks for reading and hit me up with what caught your eye, what you'd like to see mentioned.