Do the books you read take you away to dystopian societies, alien worlds, and shadow-lands crawling with unspeakable things? These are some of their creators.
Veronica Roth, the brains behind the Divergent series that made everyone want to get a tattoo and jump off vertigo-inducing rooftops to join Dauntless, got together with fellow genre authors Daniel Kraus, Nnedi Okorafor, Rebecca Ross, and Amy Lukavics to discuss everything strange and otherworldly that exists in the realm of fiction at C2E2. This is infinitely cooler than your Creative Writing 101 course from freshman year in college.
Something you may have wondered when you were a teen consumed with a book that was supposed to shock or terrify you (and probably still wonder when you’re absorbed in a Stephen King novel at 3 a.m.) is why the most uncomfortable places can ironically be the most comforting things to read about. The darkest corners of the mind can sometimes be places of solace. What kind of exorcism is this?
Lukavics felt that it can be validating to know that you’re not the only one who may think of bizarre things that don't normally come up during an average socially acceptable conversation — Krauss gave the interspecies relationship in The Shape of Water as an example. As the author of the novelization of Guillermo del Toro's multiple-Oscar-winning romance, he believes that what many people may nervously laugh off as "fish sex" is actually a powerful metaphor for how deep love can plunge.
The fish-creature also opened the portal to a conversation about otherness. Literature is often a reflection of the tensions in society, and the ways they have expressed otherness in their writing range from the isolation felt by a character who is the outcast to visible representations like the factions in Divergent.
Want to know what else has emerged from these imaginations and get some free advice on conjuring your own otherworld through writing? Keep watching, and follow us on Twitter and YouTube to see everything else we were up to at C2E2.
This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.