Monday, April 23, 2012

Guest post by author Jess C. Scott

The following is a guest post by author Jess C. Scott. Her latest book, The Other Side of Life, tells the story of a thieving duo who’s world turns upside down when an Elven rogue uncovers the heinous dealings of a megacorporation. The genre of this book is a mixed of urban fantasy, cyberpunk and YA with adult crossover appeal. It is recommended for adults or young adults seeking cyberpunk themes (not hardcore sci-fi), and a love story (not fluffy romance).

I will be offering a book review and giveaway from May 15th until May 30th. Write it down in your calendars and make sure you check back in during those dates to get in on the action!  All the details will be announced then! In the meantime, you can read Jess C. Scott's guest post and get to know her a little better!


The Real Dystopia

Mark Twain defined a literary classic as “a book which people praise and don’t read.”

I’ve enjoyed reading classics since I was sixteen years old (a Poe anthology had me completely mesmerized!). I read George Orwell’s 1984 during my early 20s, and it’s by far one of the best books I’ve ever read.

1984 can be considered a classic cyberpunk and dystopian novel.

Cyberpunk can be defined as a genre that “is about expressing (often dark) ideas about human nature, technology and their respective combination in the near future.” (Cyberpunk Review)

Dystopia can be defined as: “An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.” (The Free Dictionary)

I was talking to a friend from the U.K. recently, who had this to say about commercialism:

“Wow! I never knew about Battle Royale. To be honest, I hated The Hunger Games without knowing anything about it. Partly it was because I kept seeing it in the Kindle best seller charts. I assumed it was just some badly written self-published garbage that had been hyped on Twitter. But I see now it has been hyped everywhere and has big money behind it.

These big companies are businesses first and foremost. Stories are product. The ones they pick up are largely irrelevant. The marketing campaign is the main thing. Well, in fact the return on capital is the main thing. The marketing campaign is the way to achieve that. The product is just one small piece in the corporate plan.

I have always been put off by commercialism in any media. In fact I’m prejudiced against commercially successful things. Too much trash is touted as worth our while. Journalists desperate for readers jump on any bandwagon they can. Things are famous because they are famous and not because of any intrinsic merit. This is truer now than it’s ever been.”

I think it’s scary how “dystopia” itself has become a marketing label. I think it’s scary when people trash classic books as being “for pretentious people” only, while they praise modern-day bestsellers as being superior to classic books because “these books were more popular” than classic texts that (1) had some amount of depth to them, and (2) have stood the test of time. I think it’s scary how quality doesn’t seem to matter anymore, because some people see the ‘elite’ as being ‘elitist’.

Crass commercialism and corporate greed often go hand in hand. This is the real dystopia, where hype replaces meaning, where mediocrity is celebrated over something original and substantial, all in the name of profits. After all, how good can something really be if it can be replaced by another manufactured franchise in the next 5-10 years?

Keep that in mind when the next hyped franchise comes around :)!

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Jess is a professional non-conformist with a fresh, youthful world view. She is an author of relationship-based erotic fiction (and other unique projects, including a series that features “cyberpunk elves”). She’s cool, supportive, and writes with both intellect and a lot of emotion.

She has most recently co-authored Teen Guide to Sex and Relationships with Matt Posner (Spring 2012). For more info, please visit http://jessink.com/teenguide.htm

Jess can also be found on jessINKFacebook, and Twitter.

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