Defining What Netflix Will Be, or Eight Reasons to Give Sense8 a full 3rd Season

19477719_10155330533657095_1420082545618168163_oAs most people know, on June 1st, Netflix decided not to renew Sense8.  Fans of the Wachowski Sisters + J Michael Straczynski show, a show that weaves a global narrative to tell a very human story of eight people sharing their minds, knowledge, and empathy, were devastated that the story would not have a third season.  Many knew that it only had one more season of story, but Netflix decided not to renew.  Then the fanbase rallied and wrote and tweeted and called out! and helped show-writers garner a 2 hour special for Sense8!  Amazing!

I am so happy that we get 2 hours to wrap up Sense8, and don’t take this blogpost here as less than gratitude for that 2 hours.  But I’d like to make a bigger case for you–a case you haven’t heard–about giving Sense8 a whole season based on what might be good for Netflix, not just for fans.

While there has been speculation as to why the show was not renewed, that’s speculation.  Netflix spends a lot of money trying to find hit series, and sometimes a good series doesn’t find the right market.  When the cancellation happened, there was plenty of anger towards Netflix, and, in the moment, I even threatened to dump Netflix.  But I love Stranger Things, and I watch Star Trek, Daredevil, Luke Cage, etc.  It would be hard for me to dump Netflix for good.  I know, they’re counting on that–they’ve made us LOVE this service. Okay.

Instead of eight negative reasons to renew Sense8, I want to give 8 positive reasons to renew Sense8 for a whole last season.  I want to give them something they can go to the marketing table with and say—“Let’s do one more season.” (Please especially consider #7)

Ultimately, right decisions aren’t made because of negative consequences but because the positive consequences are stronger.  We aren’t charitable because of Fear of Hell or Fear of Bad Publicity.  We are charitable because we want to help.

Why Netflix Would Want to Complete a Third Season of Sense8

1. NETFLIX IS COMMITTED TO COMPLETION: Sense8 has exactly ONE more season.  It’s a three season arc.  You renew that last season, you are a hero, and the story is complete, and people bingewatch the three seasons for years afterwards on Netflix.  They will come to Netflix for those three seasons.  You’re not having to commit to an unknown number of seasons, or risking anything AFTER this season.  You already committed two seasons and they were amazing, and fans loved them, and they are almost home-free.  You create NEW fans by following through on your series.  But MORE people will become afraid to watch or commit to a new series if the series could be cancelled before it’s finished.  The more unfinished series, the more Netflix becomes untrustworthy for a new viewer.  The positive spin: you complete series, and they can be assured that when they watch a series on Netflix, especially with the millions of fans this series has created, that it will have closure–that series runners will know ahead of time that their series must establish closure.  This one is close to being finished.

2.  NETFLIX EDUCATES ITS VIEWERSHIP ABOUT VIEWERSHIP.  You teach Netflix viewers about Viewership using Sense8.  Part of the shock of this announcement was that viewers thought that their fan base was enough.  We don’t get to watch the Viewership numbers like you do, so we can’t tell when to rally, or how we’re doing, or if we’re about to fall.  It’s a bit unfair to a very large group of fans to say that their numbers are not enough.  What kinds of viewership help make your decisions?  Do you need a certain number every week?  And how do you calculate when you drop 10 episodes over a weekend?  How many times should we view it?  How many tweets do you need?  How many blogposts analyzing the show?  If you give us those numbers, WE CAN HELP SAVE THE SHOWS WE LOVE.  I guarantee that the fanbase for Sense8 is the most dedicated fan base you’ve ever had (more on that below).  But telling us to love a show and then, when it’s not good enough, taking it from us without telling us how to celebrate and support it correctly can be very bad in the long run–it leaves a bad taste in fans’ mouths.  Netflix needs to teach its viewers what matters to save a show–how can we love a show enough to keep it if we don’t know what you need?  If not, fans won’t try a show till a second season is guaranteed…or may just not try it unless you do what you did with The Crown, and guarantee 6 seasons to tell that arc.

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Better Beasts makes the Sunburst Award Longlist

sunburst_logo_wideI’m late to announce this, but no less thrilled.  On May 29, 2017, the Sunburst Award Society revealed their longlist for novels/short stories in the running for the Sunburst Award.  The Angels of Our Better Beasts was on it.  Well, I was completely taken by surprise, and deeply honored at the same time.  A friend told me “Congratulations!” and I had to ask why.  I quickly went to the website to see.  The list is full of amazing works by writers in Canada–and there I was among them.  The Sunburst Award is given for “excellence in Canadian literature of the Fantastic.”  Five judges read all the submissions and make their longlist.  Later they will make a short-list of about five works per category, and in September, they will announce winners.  I’m so stoked even to make the longlist with my debut book, that I’m going to revel in this for a long time!  I want to buy all the other books in the Adult Fiction section and read them!  And put them on a little shelf in this order, because I’m cheesy that way.  And because, if you like great lit of the fantastic, you’ll love what’s on this list Sunburst has made for us.  Thank you, Sunburst Award Society, for making lists like this, for loving literature of the fantastic, and especially, right now, for choosing my book for your longlist.  It means a lot to me as both a writer and a Canadian.

The List:

 

 

 

“Art and Beauty in Weird Fiction”: SE Lindberg’s Review of The Angels of Our Better Beasts + Interview

From February, author and artist SE Lindberg reviewed my collection on Booklikes and did an interview with me about “Art and Beauty in Weird Fiction”.

About The Angels of Our Better Beasts, he says, “The variety is great, but Stueart’s keen sense of humanity, and the role art plays in our relationships, is the key strength. Few times have weird fiction actually evoked real emotions.”– SE Lindberg.  Read more of his review here.

Seth also interviewed me for his blogsite–a fun interview about the role of the artist in writing, as well as art in fiction.  I get asked if I’m more a changeling or a chimera!  Also some insightful questions for me as an illustrator.

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Check out the interview here.

Thank you, Seth, and to everyone who reviews a book publicly.  It’s about the best gift you can give a writer you enjoy!  Your reviews turn are not just kind words, but they help lead others to our books, and this reassures publishers that we are worth publishing.  That people are reading us and liking our work.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

“Easily one of the best collections by a single author I have ever read”:Black Gate Magazine reviews The Angels of Our Better Beasts

“Not a single story in this collection disappointed me – which is rare, as I’m sure you know if you read short fiction.” –Brandon Crilly for Black Gate Magazine.

12715744_10153895453277095_8059101292263897684_n2016 World Fantasy Award-winning Black Gate Magazine just reviewed The Angels of Our Better Beasts, and it just made my week!  Wow!

So glad you all enjoyed the book!

Read the FULL REVIEW here.

 

 

Would you like some One Nation Under Gods extras?

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My novel, One Nation Under Gods, comes out June 2018 from ChiZine Publications.  Right now I’m working on it, and generating a lot of cool extras that I thought you might be interested in.

What you got?  I got cut scenes, excerpts from the book within the novel, The Field Guide to the Lesser Gods of the Midwest, worldbuilding stuff… even sketches.

So I started up a Patreon to distribute all that cool stuff.  I also launched the Patreon to help me get from month to month a little better.  It’s a site where you can be part of your favorite creator’s life by helping them keep writing or singing or playing or creating.  You pledge a small amount a month–sometimes only a dollar–and those dollars add up.  You can help a creator survive and make a big difference over whether or not a creation gets made!

So if you want to join me over there in the big Patreon and get some exclusive extras, just click this giant orange button.   OR if you just want to read “One Nation Under Gods” the short story that inspired the novel I’m writing, just check out the Patreon–the story is RIGHT THERE to read.  Press the orange button and come check it out!

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Interview Round-Up: December-January, The Angels of Our Better Beasts

Been doing a number of fun interviews for the new collection, The Angels of Our Better Beasts.  Here’s a round up so far for the months of December and January!

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CBC NORTH:  Dave White has a chat with me about my new book and the Whitehorse launch of the book here on Soundcloud.

 

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WAG THE FOX: a den for dark fiction interviewed me for The Angels of Our Better Beasts.  It was a fun interview!  You can find this interview here.

 

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FULBRIGHT:  Fulbright Canada asked me to write a guest blog about how receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to Canada influenced the writing of this book.  Most of that information, specifically how the Yukon helped me develop as a writer, I covered in the interview I did with Jessica Simon. But specifically, I talk here about how important going to another country can be to you—especially if you let yourself be permeated by the culture of that country.  Being open to Canada was the beginning of a great journey for me.

 

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THE WHITEHORSE STAR: I was interviewed by Jessica Simon for the Whitehorse Star about the influence the Yukon had on me as a writer.  We got into some very interesting discussion about who gets to be a Yukon Writer and does that end when one leaves the Yukon?page-4-jan-09_17-1

Tor.com published my essay, “What Can We Learn from Star Trek’s Jake Sisko, Writer?”

VERY happy to have an essay up at Tor.com examining the roles of writers in the 24th Century, specifically through the lens of DS9 and Jake Sisko.  By offering us a character who chooses to be a writer in the 24th Century–even among all that technology and science–DS9 puts a value on writing, storytelling, literature even in the future.  We will need writers to understand new cultures.

Hope you enjoy the essay!

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The 24th anniversary of the first episode of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 took place earlier this month. The series took a lot of risks with the “idealized future” of Roddenberry as written into Star Trek’s DNA, adding nuance to Starfleet ideals by incorporating human desires and failings into the narrative. Some praised it for being more real, more relatable; some criticized it for being “too dark” and showing Starfleet in a bad light.

One thing I enjoyed was that in the midst of the Star Trek Universe’s science-and-tech-centric STEM paradise, DS9 showrunners made the captain’s son, Jake Sisko, a writer. We science fiction writers love our astronauts and engineers, but I was thrilled to see 14-year-old Jake developing into a writer and storyteller. They gave him a familiar writer’s journey: he dabbled in poetry, moved into short stories, then novels, and along the way he became a journalist, a war correspondent (echoes of Hemingway and Crane), and published a collection of essays about living under Dominion occupation, as well as a semi-autobiographical novel. By committing to Jake’s arc through the whole series, DS9 brought into broader relief how the series honoured storytellers.

Read the rest at Tor.com.