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A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Iron Your Space Suits

I'd like to know what the deal is with having every hero be in his early twenties, single, ripped, and superhumanly talented at everything. The girls all have humongous chests, are fabulously gorgeous, effortlessly buff, and better than guys at all martial arts coughlauracroftcough. They never have cracked nails, bad hair days, zits, or sudden fits of hiccuping. They don't trip, stumble, or fall flat on their faces in front of important people (like smokin' hot boyfriend fodder).

All I can think of is that we want what we don't have. We (okay I) glance in passing at the magazines on the end caps of the grocery store aisles because those "beautiful people" live in houses the size of Rhode Island. Who wouldn't want to breeze through one of those babies with their roller skates on, or swim in their massive tubs? (I've nannied in one of those. It was a blast!) They drive the indigo Ferraris I can only drive when I'm asleep.

Not that I want their life, but I'd sure like the adventure.

Occasionally, though, I want a heroine who has grown kids. I want to read about someone who now and then has their back go out on a stunt. Sometimes they've got to run into something and get a really gargantuan bruise--the kind that makes people ask them what the heck they've been up to to get a monstrous bruise like that. I want someone who starts out kind of blubbery and finally loses a ton of weight running after bad guys. She's got to huff and puff like a freight train, though.

And maybe the dude who loves her has a bum knee and occasional dandruff. Yeah. That's a little bit about what makes The Incredibles so appealing to me. They had a family. They weren't fixed in amber at one point in their life, past which they could never get. Louis McMaster Bujold does that with her Miles Vorkisigan books. She needs to write more of them, though. Miles might be slowing down, but he still needs to have more adventures. Anne McCaffrey did those in hers. The whole family got into the mix. Bring it on!

Can you tell I'm a voracious reader? Yep. I take a book (or my lamented kindle which is taking a dirt nap...sigh) everywhere.

So when I say that this age group (and weight class?) has been neglected, I know what I'm talking about. I eat sci fi, fantasy, historical romance, historical fiction, paranormal, mystery, historical mystery...like strawberry cheesecake. Mnom nom nom nom.

We don't suddenly dry up and blow away when we get to thirty-five. Life has to go on. I'm sure that if people were on space ships exploring the galaxy they wouldn't just fly home every time they had a person pass their twenty-seventh birthday. There would be some old bats on there, plugging away at what they were doing before.  And not all of them would be mopping or serving food in the mess hall.

There would be families. Because who could just leave their family behind forever? How could you just say "Hasta la vista" to your mom until the end of time? "See ya later, Dad. You'll most likely be dead if I ever come back to Earth." Or, "Sorry, son, you'll have to live with Grandma now for the rest of your life because I'm bailing on you for a gig in space."

Let's see some representation for the teenagerly-challenged. After all, what you are, we once were. And what we are, you will become...if you're lucky. So iron your space suits and be sure to pack Tiger Balm and maybe a donut to sit on. We're going to space.

(By the way, I'm not that old. Really. I'm actually twenty-five in an alternate reality. Yeah. That's the (possibly true on some level but most definitely false) story I'm sticking with. And I went climbing for my last birthday. Fact.)

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