Matthew P. Schmidt
Signal Boost: SINGULARITY SUNRISE!
A friend of mine is running a kickstarter for a Cyperpunk novel series in the old style. (i.e. not a LitRPG) If you like a cross between the futurism of William Gibson and the tradecraft of Tom Clancy, this is the book for you. Check it out!
I have always been inspired by the story of Fredrick Douglass, a slave who escaped slavery to become a renowned orator and author. His is not the story of a man who was second-rate, shooed into the spotlight only for his relative accomplishments compared to his past. What use would that be? No, he was not merely any random speaker, but Fredrick Douglass, a name that survives to this day in history books, no matter how often it is skimmed over.
I have seen, and admittedly indulged in that fan activity I will call the Fact Checking Game. It goes like this: First, you take some work of fiction, particularly a popular one, and you find some fascinating idea or claim it has. Then you deconstruct it with real world logic, checking all the facts and invariably coming up with an unrealistic or at least implausible conclusion. At this point, bemoaning that the creator did not think of this may commence. As a sequel, you can find some plausible counterpoint, and argue with the proponents of the former conclusion until the cows come home.
This is not, in itself, a bad thing.
No, this is not a post about the culture war. Chill.
This post is about writing other cultures such that they are believable–not as middle-class Westerners wearing funny hats, but as fundamentally different worlds.