Wednesday, October 5, 2022

IWSG: Favorite Genre, an Upcoming Book, and a Bit about TikTok


Check out all the IWSG has to offer and join the monthly blog hop at the website.

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and all of the co-hosts: 


Favorite Genre

October 5 question - What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

Speculative fiction can range from the outright, noticeably hard sci-fi and all-encompassing fantasy worlds to the somewhat subtle supernatural and sci-fi elements like those we see in the Indiana Jones movies.

The genre offers us a wonderfully, flexible landscape with blurry edges in which to ask tough questions about humanity and morality, go play in a field of unicorns and leprechauns, or attempt to do all of those. We can read The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Lord of the Rings, The Stand, and The Last Unicorn, and still be within the huge, welcoming space of speculative fiction.

In speculative fiction, we get to ask questions. What will someone do when faced with completely impossible odds? Calculate them like C-3PO, go full speed like Han Solo, get one with the force like Luke, attempt diplomacy like Leia? Or put shields on full and attempt diplomacy first with fingers ready on defensive weapons’ arrays like in many Star Trek scenarios?

Will the characters fight for survival and freedom or give into despair (Hunger Games), and if they fight, is there a right way and a wrong way, and who determines that? Can the characters beat the insurmountable odds, or is it too late (Divergent and 1984)? What makes us human, and can AI be “human” in the way we mean? (Blade Runner)

An Upcoming Book Release

Recently, I assembled speculative fiction short stories I’ve written mostly over the last six years into a new book: 25 Impossible Tales of Survivors, Flawed Heroes, and Annoyed Villains, A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection.

No matter how hard circumstances are, there is hope for survival, even if it means making one simple choice in the right direction or standing up in the face of impossible odds. But the question remains: What is the right direction and which way is up?

The find out more, head to the pre-order here: 25 Impossible Tales of Survivors, Flawed Heroes, and Annoyed Villains: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection eBook : Martinson, Tyrean: Kindle Store

A Bit about TikTok

As some may remember, I started a 100-Day experiment with TikTok in late June. It's October, and... wait, I haven't posted on TikTok in six weeks. That's right, I let it fall by the wayside.

How did that happen?

It started innocently enough. I tried to create simple, short videos with visual book recommendations that were focused on the books. Then, I thought I probably should get on screen with face and audio. I started following authors whose content I liked and getting ideas. At one point, I posted videos every day of the week. And then, I got sick. And then, I realized I was spending far more time creating video content than I was writing, even when the videos were short, and that did it. I stopped. 

Honestly, I think TikTok has some bonuses for authors. I know it helped me prepare to give a talk because I practiced my talking points in a series of videos. I'll probably do that again or use Instagram Reels in the same way. There are nice authory-readery people on TikTok and not everyone is age 13. It's okay to be in your 50s or older on TikTok. 

However, one thing I will warn everyone I know about - TikTok has some awful content on there. Until you start following about 50 accounts you like, TikTok will fill your feed with random stuff and some of it is genuinely bad - like, I thought about calling CPS and PETA kind of bad. I really don't like parenting videos that involve violence against children and TikTok has some content like that. Maybe it's out there on IG Reels and Youtube as well, but I had never been subjected to it before TikTok.

For this reason, I am considering taking down my TikTok account, even though I did find over a 100 nice people to follow on there, and I am sure there are more cool authors and artists to see on TikTok. And once you start following enough accounts and the algorithm gets what you like, you see less random ick, but still, knowing the ick there... makes it less of a decent place to be.

So, that's all for now. I might come up with some more marketing-related commentary, but for now, I find my strongest argument against TikTok is some of the content. 

Let's keep the conversation going:

What's your favorite genre?
Have any new books or stories coming out?
And, if you use TikTok, what do you think of it?


Cathrina Constantine said...

I really like speculative fiction. It also is one of my fave's along with fantasy/mystery. I'm on Tiktok, and I agree with you. I dislike posting myself on anything, and the time involved, I highly dislike. I like the animals and the funny stuff, but there is a lot of terrible things on there. I often wonder if its worth my time. Do those posts send people to my Amazon page. I think not. Some author's have a massive following, and for my own info, I checked a couple of their books. Some were doing well, and others just like mine. LOL.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love all those things about spec fiction as well. I remember falling into Middle Earth as a kid and being enthralled!
I'm excited for your new book!

M.J. Fifield said...

I've never used TikTok and really have no plans to ever use it. I have enough trouble with the social media I already use. Doesn't sound like I'd enjoy a lot of the content, either.

Spec fiction is really great. Love the shout-out to The Last Unicorn!!

Congrats on your upcoming release!!

Nick Wilford said...

You summed up what I love about spec fic. It can encompass so many genres but it all comes down to being curious about what might be out there and what might await us in future.

I've taken baby steps on TikTok. I've been informed it's pretty much mandatory if you write YA. I find it quite overwhelming and the interface is not intuitive, but BookTok has good content. Not interested in the random and disturbing stuff. Like you, I would probably take a step back if I found it took too much energy away from writing.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I love all thing spec-fic! Congrats on the upcoming release!

Sarah Foster said...

Congrats on the upcoming release!
I don't really have any desire to get on TikTok. I have a hard enough time using the social media I already have.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've always enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy.

I couldn't handle the ick of TikTok.

Loni Townsend said...

Grats on your upcoming release!

I haven't even tried TikTok, mostly because what I've heard is that it gets pretty toxic, and it seems like your report here backs that up. Glad you finally got out of the ick with your algorithms!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - good luck with the new release ... those 25 stories sound interesting .. TikTok sounds awful - no wonder you're seriously thinking about it. Nick's suggestion about Booktok sounds a possibility ... good luck with it all - cheers Hilary

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love those things about speculative fiction too. I know TikTok can be a good place for authors, but I just don't have time for it or much social media besides blogging. I want time for other things too. And I don't want to have to slog through the bad content. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats on the new release!

Good for you for trying something new with TikTok. I had no desire to try it. I'm not even on Facebook or Twitter! :)

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Never thought of the Indiana Jones movies as subtle supernatural and sci-fi elements. I like the first and third Indiana movies. I'm not on TikTok. I can't keep up with social media on twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, which I am on. And no. I don't have any videos of myself. All best to you, Tyrean.

Damyanti Biswas said...

Congratulations on your new release. I enjoy mystery thrillers, and speculative fiction as well. Interesting take on this topic :)