Okay, it’s done. It’s out there.
Last summer I met and got to know Jim Hines first at DetCon1 and later at GeekFanExpo. I had read his Goblin series previously when a friend turned me onto it (thanks Darren) and really enjoyed this underdog-fantasy. So, after the books and after spending some time in his company, I knew Jim had a way with words. But what I didn’t know was how much this guy cares.
What I mean by that is that, if you’re sitting across a bar room table talking about what ever with him, you’ll soon get the impression that he’s really listening to you. Not just occupying the down time for his mouth by constructing his counter argument to what you might be saying. And not just nodding his head and letting your words bounce off his ears. Jim is an obviously phenomenal listener.
Near the start of the year he put out a call for essays to be included in the second of his Invisible series. He had previously brought together a variety of voices last year to talk about the “importance of representation in science fiction and fantasy” and he was doing it again. A wild hare took me for a ride and I pitched an idea for an essay.
At first, I thought I might write about the misrepresentation of PTSD veterans or maybe something from the point of view of a seizure patient. In the end however, I chose to talk about how popular military fiction tends to get martial life wrong. Really, really wrong.
You can find the essay on Jim’s blog, it was published this morning. It will be included later this year as part of an anthology. I’m hoping to hear some opinions on this topic because, like it or not, the martial myth is such a big part of the standard American experience. I’d love to hear what you have to say even if you disagree. Especially if you disagree.