It’s a new year, but the shit is still the same. Another year on this earth means another year of fan fiction, unedited Wattpad stories, and low quality TV and film. As disappointing as it is, I indulge in the schadenfreude of reading and viewing it all. So with that, let’s cover Wattpad. In specific, a story from one of the ten guys on there.
Wattpad is filled with chick lit, all these women fulfilling their odd fantasies. But what of male power fantasies? Those that brought us Conan the Barbarian, superheroes, and eighties action movies? Well, there’s dick lit for that. Palahniuk is a good example of it, but I found one that’s even better. With a title straight from a nineties antihero comic, D’Spayr: A Knight in the Withered Land is only missing “unleashed,” and it could pass as one of those edgy cash grabs from the nineties and early two thousands.
But we don’t judge books by the cover right? Well, I do, but that’s beside the point. Let’s cover the real problems. This has one of the worst and most generic premises that I’ve seen in science fiction.
In the spirit of Asimov, the setting is a galactic empire that’s fallen, and a rogue knight who’s lost his allegiance travels the land. But unlike Asimov’s Foundation series, the empire is never covered upon in depth, we’re only given a brief description of its history. It also copies Star Wars in this sense, and honestly just plenty of sci-fi’s. “Galactic Empires” are so overdone. Now mixing an overused premise with the wandering knight trope? Horrible.
Our story starts us off with backstory on the empire. Apparently this empire spanned the galaxy and was amazing, but then physics broke. Physics broke in this universe. With no actual explanation why, this guy just tells us that time broke, and gravity became inversed all over the place. None of it makes sense, but let’s suspend disbelief for a second, assume that time can actually break.
These mercenaries/former knights are roaming the land for work, and get lured into a town of cannibals.
How do cannibals maintain a society? There’s always tales of small tribes of cannibals in the Amazon, but the writer tells us that there’s at least 400 cannibals here. 400 cannibals maintaining a town; how do they make sure that no one eats anyone else? Are there laws against murder? If so, then how is cannibalism legal? It doesn’t hold up.
The point is, four of them die in this absurdity, and then one gets away.
This writer annoys me. He’s one of those people who go into a thesaurus, and try to fill every other word with an adjective or adverb. He can’t just simply describe a scene; he feels the need to force a pseudo-poetic description. Fuck off, man. Write like a normal person.
The first part really lacks a plot, it’s just empty exposition. We learn that this knight, just called “The Knight,” rides a reptilian steed, and they hate each other. Is this giant reptile horse thingy smart enough to hate? Are we going to get a zany adventure? Is this going to turn into a buddy cop story?
The second we get any bit of a plot, any bit of dialogue, the writer goes to exposition, giving everything a description or backstory at once.
When people think of science fiction and fantasy, they think of pompous romps, filled with pages of empty and self-absorbed description, that all amounts to nothing but some nerd mentally masturbating. Normally, I defend the genres from these thoughts because of how vast and nuanced they are, and my love for them. This story however, is exactly that, and completely indefensible. The only thing that makes it worse is that it’s basically a YA chick lit story, but the edgy protagonist isn’t a woman, it’s some space knight guy. Some edgy teenage nerd went and wrote a power fantasy.
In my next post, I try to find the plot, and talk about it.