Someone asked me earlier today why I was writing a story set in a comic book-inspired world. There are two reasons:
1) I’m familiar with the subject matter: intimately and embarrassingly so at times. I understand the mythos and archetypes, and the kinds of stories that they tend to feature. I’d like to explore them in a more mature context than they usually are approached from, and I’m also still reeling from the death of “City of Heroes,” an MMORPG I played for over 6 years, so I need to get my hero-fix going on. The characters in it are based partly on heroes and villains my fiancee and I had created in that game, so I’m preserving them in a way. That’s not to say that all of them will live through the end of the book, though.
2) I have some “hard sci-fi” stories in me, but I’m not confident enough in my skills as a writer to attempt them yet. To do so now would not do the ideas justice. Superhero fiction, as it was pointed out to me, is the kid brother of science fiction in a way. There’s a lot of improbable or impossible things going on, usually related to technology, radiation, aliens, or whatever, but they only require the lightest touch and simplest of explanation to work through. You can magic-hand-wave away some complex concepts when needed, but I think I’ve avoided doing so as much as I can with this draft of “Malevolence.”
So there you have it, in a nutshell. I’m writing a “superhero fiction” story for adults because I adore the subject matter, and it’s a simpler way to approach concepts I am not entirely comfortable with yet.
I’m not afraid to admit I lack the confidence to approach the more “traditional” science fiction genre yet–once it goes to print, “Malevolence” will not only be my first (and for a little while, only) published work, after all.