I recently took a break from writing the 2nd book in my "Ruins of the Fall" trilogy to write something lighter. It was a little short story with a giant robot which turned into a religious allegory. What was I saying about God? I have no idea, but I did find out that God metaphors make fantastic robots. I let my wife read it, as I often do, and she said that it was REALLY good, which is great! My problem is that this story didn't include any of the violence and sex I include in the rest of my stories. Now before you shrug your shoulders at that, I need to tell you what kind of violence and sex I usually include. In my book "Squirrels & Puppies", I included a story where a futuristic government uses cyber-ized rapists to force procreation on the populace in the wake of a drug being popularized that feels just as good as sex. In that same book, there's a story about a group of squirrels that turn to terrorism to coax humans into giving them more crunchy snacks. How can a group of squirrels commit an act of terror? Why, by devouring a college student in front of his frat house, of course.
Then again, I like to test the limits of my weirdness in my short stories, so I try to take the strangest and most interesting things I can think of and make a sensible story around them. However, when I wrote "Tree of Might", the first book in my "Ruins of the Fall" trilogy, I wasn't trying to be weird at all. The book is about a Black civil rights leader who decides to take the "Kill Whitey" approach to Black civil rights. I understand that many Black people find this a more romantic approach, but I wanted to flesh together all the elements for such an event to occur in this country, the pitfalls of the plan, and the long term pros and cons of such an event.
I have to make sure no one believes that this book is an endorsement of the "Kill Whitey" approach. The main character, the civil rights activist, is the villain, but when writing this book I found myself agreeing too much with the villain. So I had to make him more evil. Sooooo...I gave him a hobby. The villain likes to see people get raped by animals. Soooo... yeah, there's two scenes of that in the book.
But is that so bad? Is this what's holding me back? I've found that people like my writing style. They like some of my short stories. I like to write in the present tense (why write about the past?). No one complains about that. Still, my wife and a couple friends have said that my stories could stand a little toning down. At which point, I look to the Bible for inspiration. After the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot gets raped by his daughters because they want kids and their husbands are dead. Children were really important back then. Remember that story where David meets King Saul in a cave and spares him? Many people, including some pastors, tell the story that King Saul was asleep in the cave. The Bible doesn't say that. It says that he was "covering his feet". This is a euphemism for defecating, or taking a dump, dropping a log, etc. Thus if the Bible has poop jokes and scenes of familial gang rape, why should I tone down my stories?
Then again, I already self-censored myself when I tried to make "Ruins of the Fall" sound less militant. So am I a hypocrite already? What are your thoughts, BSFS?