Best Way to Package Bad news Story

Robert Zwilling

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I wrote a very near future on Earth story with space occupation out to Jupiter that says we will be slogging through plagues, garbage, flood waters, crazy industrialists, plastic medicated food, wayward AI operations, etc. It is unraveling a couple of mysteries in a surrealistic manner. Looking for the best way to advertise the story. I haven't tried "you are going to die tomorrow" but have used realistic science fiction explanations of the story which seems to fall on deaf ears. Any thoughts on the best way to describe such a story in the current environment?

Satire
Comedic, old fashioned humor or modern
Sarcasm, either funny or sharp
Horror
Action Adventure
Thriller
Mystery
Cyberpunk
 

alexvss

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Cyberpunk seems to be the best fit, since it fits your descriptions like a charm and is trending right now. Also, it encompasses every other word you listed: dystopian, mystery, thriller--everything. You could take advantage of the current cyberpunk revival and hype, and I think you should make readers believe that this is a possible near future that we're going into if we don't change.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Thanks for the suggestions. I will revise my descriptions along the lines of dystopian cyberpunk. I didn't look long for Heinlein's To Die For, couldn't find it, title is thoughtful. I did find his collection of short stories The Past Through Tomorrow. The wiki blurb, which I didn't see elsewhere, pretty well describes the literary path I am traveling on, parts of a larger storyline about the future rapid collapse of sanity in the United States. I can see the fine line between discouraging readers and hitting the nail on the head when reading the reviews of the story collection, almost all of them are overwhelmingly positive in a positive sense of the meaning. For me, The Past Through Tomorrow coupled with the collapse of sudden sanity, that's turns it into a funeral march title that says to me, not going forward into a better tomorrow, but going backwards in time, repeating past mistakes. I wonder what style of words promotes constructive thinking that actually builds a replenishable future.
 

Flaviosky

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Satire would also work out in this scenario. For such a gloomy context, it is good to know that no matter how bad things are, there are always some small group that wins, or takes advantage of the situation (fairly or not). That said, that scenario may change social values if laid out for years, so a story from the perspective of the winners would give a glympse of things that are but they shouldn't be, and in that way explain some of the dire context of the novel.

Another idea is to actually lay out an unavoidable tragedy but focusing on the characters using a thriller, or actually recur to a racconto in order to show the final tragedy before focusing on what happened to reach that fate.
 

Robert Zwilling

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I didn't include a lot of satire, should have in hindsight. I was framing it as space opera. The story is written in an anti thriller surrealistic style where the characters muddle their way through the story which takes place over just one day. The surrealistic writing style leads most people to believe it takes place over a much longer period of time. The events are connected in a very lackadaisical manner, every time anything starts to build, the suspense falls flat, end of chapter flat lines. It is suppose to reflect the way people handle global size problems. A couple of individuals win riches out of nowhere lottery style, a few get personally punished, and the groups just get through the day.
 

Flaviosky

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I didn't include a lot of satire, should have in hindsight. I was framing it as space opera. The story is written in an anti thriller surrealistic style where the characters muddle their way through the story which takes place over just one day. The surrealistic writing style leads most people to believe it takes place over a much longer period of time. The events are connected in a very lackadaisical manner, every time anything starts to build, the suspense falls flat, end of chapter flat lines. It is suppose to reflect the way people handle global size problems. A couple of individuals win riches out of nowhere lottery style, a few get personally punished, and the groups just get through the day.
Those different outcomes sound quite interesting in the surreal setup of the story. Is the group interlinked in any way or it's a mashup of parallel stories so together they reveal the whole picture of the dystopian context?
 

Robert Zwilling

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It starts out as parallel stories that come eventually together. The goals of the different groups eventually collide dragging in individuals along the way. The dystopian part is done in a neutral style, it is just the way it is. The groups try to play the system to get ahead instead of working against it. I spent too much time having the separate elements meander around before coming into direct conflict. That loses the readers interest. Apparently because of the completeness of the parallel stories some readers thought some of the characters individual situations more important than the collective story. Another weakness from the readers point of view was using too many current situations, that can cause readers to dislike the story because they dislike the real situations and don't want to hear about. One of the early criticisms I got was that at the end of the workday people wanted to kickback, have a drink or two, forget about the day by reading something that would take them far away from the day's events. I call that opiumated text. The ironic part is that when I starting writing the story it was fiction, things could never happen here supposedly, but they did start happening. There's even a space navy in it that has no spaceships.
 

Astro Pen

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Documentary. Tomorrow's news.
It is, as you have noted, difficult to write this stuff at a time when socio political reality is completely eclipsing fiction.
If you had written the actual 2021 as a story 15 years ago it would have been laughed out of house as ridiculous hyperbole, and yet....
A major section of one of my own books is back to the drawing board for just that reason. My decision was to file it and get on with writing a different book.
Currently all bets are off.
 

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