A Life Of Fiction CXXXVIII

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

Something Trashy This Way Comes: sometimes I have the urge to write something really trashy, the sort of short novel which has no redeeming literary character. Rather than put those thoughts aside, I find that the best thing to do is to indulge them, and get them out of my system.

One of the recent ideas I have is for a novel which, currently, is going under the name The White. That is not what it will be called in the end. It will only be called that until I come up with a better title. But all of the decent titles which I can come up with have been used before, either for books or films.

Without going too heavily into the plot in my head, the book will be set in the Antarctic. I think that I have only had one novel set in the Antarctic, the gas-lamp fantasy novel The Magician At The End Of The World. But this book is intended to be very different from that Briggs and Prenderghast adventure.

Why the Antarctic? Well, it is as removed from civilisation as you can get without going into space (and, if I had set this B movie of a novel in space, them it really would have ended up plagiarising something which has come before). If something goes bad in the Antarctic you know that help is not going to come any time soon, and that the heroes are basically on their own. Think of John Carpenter’s The Thing (still one of my favourite horror movies).

There is also something of the whiteness of the snow which I find appealing (which is probably why I have also set novels in Tibet and in snowy Norway). The whiteness can be a good contrast to the horrors of some, er, horror novel. Blood shows up very well on the formerly virginal snow. I have set a few of my other novels in places where there is snow on the ground: Demoner and The Black Museum immediately come to mind. Snow can help make a location be cut off from the rest of the world. of course in Antarctica you are a lot more cut off than if you are in some fictional town in New England (as in The Black Museum).

The bad guys? Do not read this next bit if you intend to ever buy this novel, as it will be a bit of a giveaway. Well, the bad guys are Nazis. They make among the best bad guys, as there really is nothing nice that you can say about that regime.

A Nazi Magick cult will be the bad guys in my Parkinson and Duffield novel Swastika. That novel, though, is set in Tibet, rather than in Antarctica. And The White will not feature magic, only the sort of bizarre technology which it has been alleged that the Nazis developed towards the end of the Second World War. It has been said that the Nazis developed flying saucers. Which Is why, of course, I chose Antarctica rather than space. If I had put Nazis on the moon then I would be ripping off Iron Sky. Undead Nazis in the snow? Dead Snow. Nazis cloning Hitler? The Boys From Brazil.

Heck, there have been a lot of movies and books with the Nazis as villains. I’m trying not to rip any of them off, but to produce some very trashy novel distinct from anything which has gone before, while having a lot of fun in the process.

I have the feeling that I am going to stick in the novel just about every trashy idea that I can come up with. A secret base in the Antarctic? Check. Nazis? Check. Big bosomed women in uniform? Check. UFOs? Check. Cloning? Check. A plot to take over the world? Check. Yes, all of the trashy tropes will be in there. I am going to have a lot of fun with the novel.


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