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Three things I dislike in fiction (which occurred to me while watching the first season of Heroes):

1) Evil shapeshifters who mimic and replace good guys. I'm not saying they're a bad plot device, but they affect me at such a visceral level that I am physically uncomfortable seeing them. Not quite a phobia, but it must be triggering some sort of internal anxiety.

2) Stories without enough hope. Call me old-fashioned, but if the heroes' odds are too long, or their chances too bleak, then I'm not interested. I need to believe that good will triumph in the end, and if it doesn't I'm going to be pissed off. I don't read/watch fiction for despair, I can find plenty of that in the newspaper thank you. Screw realism.

3) Stories where all of humanity (or the entire Universe) is at risk of extinction, and/or most of humanity is wiped out. I can handle run-of-the-mill catastrophes, even the risk of losing an entire city* is okay, but the entire planet? Too dark for me (I think I take it personally). The reason why I have steered clear of Battlestar Galactica, and tend to shy away from post-apocalyptic stories in general. (I once read a book called "A Mirror for Observers", which started out like a typical SF novel, but then 2/3rds of the way through...BAM! a plague wipes out half of humanity. It really pissed me off.)

*I suppose it would be different if it were a place I cared about. E.g. Heroes involves a threat towards NYC, but since I hate Manhattan the storyline doesn't really upset me (not that I'm actually rooting for NYC to be blown up, in real life or in fiction). If the threat were towards eastern PA or western MA, however, I'd be more upset: I tend to fall in love with places, so that a story about a threat to my hometown would be like a story about a threat to one of my friends.

And yes, I get WAY too involved in the fiction I read/watch.

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lihtox

October 2010

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