Jaym Gates is an author and an editor I’ve had the pleasure to work with. She is driven to succeed and a lot of fun to hang out with. I really like the idea of WAR STORIES. This particular kickstarter has 3 days and less than $1000 to go. I’d love to see it funded.
I love cheesy action movies. I'm talking Statham and Lundgren. I'll watch damn near anything with those two. My boyfriend and I have agreed to disagree about The Expendables. I don't care how awful and unreal these are. They're intended to be over-the-top.
I also grew up in a family that owns and uses guns, has a strong military background, and generally tends toward the extreme right, politically. I'm a gearhead. Date night last week included my boyfriend pulling out his warchest to demonstrate the problems with rucks, based on a conversation we'd had earlier in the week.
I love cheesy. I love gearhead. But in my fiction, I want real people, real stories, real struggles. There are military SF stories that have made me tear up, and one (Adam Troy Castro's “Her Husband's Hands”) that I had to stop reading within the first couple of sentences. At its best, military science fiction can be some of the most emotional, powerful work in the genre, an examination of the human psyche at its rawest.
But it's a genre with a lot of baggage, too, often still in the Vietnam or World War era, even in the far-future work.
In WAR STORIES, we wanted to look at the future, rather than the past. Technology is evolving rapidly, changing the tools of war, while the culture and realities of it never change much. Drones, cyber-warfare, sophisticated bombs, the set-dressings. The sense of honor, the bonds between combatants, the grief and shock, the physical wear and tear on bodies, those don't change. Those are the things our soldiers and their families are dealing with now, and will be dealing with in the future. Those are the stories we wanted to see on the page.
Combatants, family members, survivors, civilians, rebels, commanders, grunts. My co-editor, Andrew Liptak, and I wanted their stories to be told. The history, the technology, the political and social triggers, all those elements of war are fascinating, and could fill endless books. But what does it look like from the ground? What are the stories from the front lines, the aftermath, the hospital? What does war do to the internal landscape of soldiers and civilians? How do we, as humans, survive, recover, move on, break, adapt to the unique and awful stress of conflict?
Everyone has a story to tell. Here are a few of theirs.
WAR STORIES is currently in the funding process on Kickstarter. If you want to help us bring these great stories to life, hop on over and throw a few dollars our way.
Jaym Gates is an editor, author, and publicist. More about her business can be found on jaymgates.com, and wacky hijinks can be marveled at on Twitter, as @JaymGates.