“Fiction, Culture, and the Information War: The Stories Practically Write Themselves”
by John Biver
by John Biver
. . . JB: Explain your genre — “transgender superhuman” sounds like a parody — and parody isn’t easy these days due to all the wild real life plot lines that fill the headlines daily.
PH: You bring up a great point. “The First Transgender Superhuman” is actually just one of three stories in Mortal Gods: Ignition. And both the title and the plot of the story take into account the modern obsession with the concept of “transgender.” There is an element of parody within the title and even the plot, but ultimately the story is drama.
I intentionally put “transgender” into the title and the plot because it is a contemporary story for contemporary times — only it is crafted in a fashion unlike anything you’ve read. In fact, “The First Transgender Superhuman” is so dead-on in addressing contemporary issues that you’ll be amazed at how eerily close the “transgender” element of the plot comes to mirroring real-life events. (Read the story and then read this article on how the CIA has a strategy to recruit more “transgender” people.)
“The First Transgender Superhuman” also deals with illegal aliens who are invading and conquering America—another contemporary issue. And if you are worried this is putting too many elements into one short story, it isn’t. Read it to see how all these things come together in a completely unique and satisfying way. The last line of the story is incredibly funny.
The same holds true for the other two stories in Mortal Gods: Ignition (“Like Hail and Fire, Mixed with Blood” and “Warrior”).
Also, all three stories are set in a universe where superhumans — not superheroes — exist and function as they might if they really were alive in our world. In other words, they don’t dress up in spandex and fight crime. Rather they wear regular clothing and are subject to law and order like everyone else.
I created the Mortal Gods universe because both I and the public are fascinated by the concept of superhumans. Furthermore, superhumans aren’t mere fantasy any longer. I recently wrote an assessment for BarbWire that shows how military forces and governments of the world are actively pursuing the creation of them.
So the plots and the titles (of Mortal Gods: Ignition and stories within it) are meant to appeal to a wide audience. In fact, they are meant to appeal to anyone who is an adult. I don’t want this to be a book for conservatives—I want liberals to read and enjoy it too.
I’d like for everyone to read and enjoy my second book of short stories but it probably will appeal more to conservatives. Both stories in Winning through Losing take place in a real-world setting.
If you want to have a good laugh, read “Common Ground” in Winning through Losing. It’s not quite a comedy, but it falls into the humorous category. And if you are a fan of politics, you’ll definitely love it. It’s a tale of how the Big Tent Party is battling the Forward Party in a presidential election. (These are clearly stand-ins for our real-life political parties.) And you know how we constantly hear about how we need to find common ground in politics? That concept plays a huge part in the plot and ultimately results in a funny resolution.
So I’m actually writing in multiple genres and putting contemporary issues in the stories of my two books. . . .
Read the entire interview at Dispatches.