Does the World Really Need Another Amish Vampires in Space? ¡Parece que sí!
So now you know what the title of this post refers to from the clip above, if you didn’t already. That is, Fallon’s flip reference to whether we need another Amish Vampires in Space book (“parece que sí” means “it seems ‘yes'”).
Apparently Kerry Nietz and I really did think the world needed another one, because as we speak I’m completing the bits and bobs necessary to publishing Vampiros Amish en el Espacio–Amish Vampires in Space translated into Spanish.
Why en español?
One of Kerry’s admiring fans suggested to him he should have a version of AViS in Spanish and Kerry in turn asked me about it, since he knows this is an interest of mine, if I might be interested in leveraging the resources I have to make a translation (those resources being my lovely wife, Tabatha Teresa Catalan de Perry and her sister, Tamara Tennille Catalan)(Tamara does a YouTube reaction video series to science fiction, in English, at the Sci Fi Dog Lady).
Why not? I thought. I’d be happy to make this into a Bear Publications book!
I’ve been thinking for a while there might be an intersection of realities that might make fiction with Christian themes in the speculative genre more popular in Spanish than in English: 1. Science fiction movies and books related to those movies are popular and have been for a while, perhaps creating an opening for other kinds of speculative fiction. 2. Translation of works in this genre from English are common–so a translation will have instant credibility, or at least I think so. 3. The Evangelical minority in Spanish-speaking (and Portuguese-speaking) countries have a different profile than those in the USA–less conservative overall, perhaps more open to reading something unexpected. 4. Most importantly, while Christian fiction and science fiction (and other speculative fiction) have separate well-established audiences, so crossing from the one to the other is hard, in Spanish-language books, this isn’t true. Neither Christian fiction nor science fiction have well-defined audiences in Spanish.
Is this really an advantage?
Wait a minute! Did I just say that not having an already-defined audience is an advantage?
Yeah, honestly I don’t actually know that. I’m speculating–guessing that one of the reason speculative fiction with Christian themes, in this case, science fiction, struggles to gain traction is because there are distinct sections and categories in bookstores in which Christian fiction is in one place and sci fi is in another. More importantly that what’s in bookstores, these separate categories exist in the minds of readers.
But in Spanish, neither sci fi nor Christian fiction as we know it in the USA are common. In Spanish, literary fiction rules the fiction market–though other genres obviously also exist (and romance is of course popular). Amish fiction isn’t a thing at all in Spanish–so the joke that propelled AViS (as Kerry explained in a past Speculative Faith article) doesn’t even work en español. Perhaps that will be bad–perhaps this book won’t even catch anyone’s attention in Spanish. But the juxtaposition of genres won’t cause cognitive dissonance, either, which perhaps will be good. We shall see.
As a marketing plan I want to make full use of the Fallon clip. American television is well-known among Spanish-speakers, of course often subtitled or dubbed, but Jimmy Fallon is a household name in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. The big book release with Spanish-language ads I’m planning for 1 October of this year. Will it work? I don’t know. It could. And I pray that it does.
But in the meantime, there’s going to be a more subdued English-language release of this Spanish-language book. So you can let your friends who speak Spanish know that this thing actually exists. Or if you read Spanish, you might want a copy for yourself.
Not ready for pre-order right now. Yeah, I’m getting down to the wire here, but it should be ready the 15th, God enabling. When the link is good I’ll post it here as a comment.
What do you think?
So what are your thoughts on Amish Vampires in Space / Vampiros Amish en el Espacio ? Would you buy copy? Do you know someone who would? Am I even crazier in translating than Kerry was for writing this in the first place 🙂 ?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Not really sure why translating this to Spanish would be crazy, though being a ‘crazy idea’ is part of what makes this book appealing and marketable in the first place, so I guess there’s that :p
Kind of interesting to hear about the tendencies of Spanish speaking audiences. Is it just the Spanish language version that’s going to be published through your company, or is the English version going to be moved to Bear as well?
I have some relatives that speak Spanish, but I don’t know if they prefer to read Spanish over English. I’ll keep this book in mind in case I run across someone that’s looking for Christian fiction in Spanish, though.
Well, the book is a play on a genre of ficiton that isn’t even a thing in Spanish. I’m hoping to use the attention this book has gathered–even the mildly negative attention–to help launch the book into the Spanish-speaking market. But what if they don’t get the book? What if my other chances to try to get other books sold in Spanish are permanently damaged by me taking a chance with this novel?
Plus, the translation work took long hours and cost money. Those resources could have been used elsewhere–on a safer bet. But I have in effect rolled the dice and am hoping to get a 7. There’s a chance I will–but also a chance I won’t. And failure might actually hurt my future chances.
So that’s why some people might consider what I’ve done here to be crazy.
Completely off the current topic, but perhaps not the larger topic of creativity, I am reading a book about the deep-seated emotional/psychological needs met by making things by hand, and it turned me on a lady named Ellen Dissanayake who writes about creativity and human development/psychology/etc.
Was it Brennan who was tinkering around ideas with creativity as moral neutrality? Anyways, she identified like 5 factors of emotional/psychological needs deep-seated in our hunter-gatherer brains: hands-on competency (she uses the word artifying a lot), elaboration (making special things [also related to artifying]), and others are more interpersonal-related (mutuality, belonging, and meaning [which kinda dodges philosophy because she’s focused more on human society before we developed philosophy]).
I wonder if handwriting your creative stuff is more satisfying to your caveman brain than computer writing. I mostly get annoyed at handwriting, but I have my handicrafts to fulfill that slot already. Or drawing in addition to writing about your stories, maybe? I wish I was good at drawing, but I don’t want to have to spend the hundreds of hours of being bad that it takes to get good.
That’s going to depend on a lot. I don’t mind hand writing a little, but I constantly go back and re edit and arrange paragraphs and all sorts of annoying things that aren’t condusive to hand writing, but other people’s creative processes are probably less frustratingly chaotic, so they probably enjoy hand writing more. At most I usually just use hand writing for jotting down ideas. I enjoy drawing a lot even just on regular pencil and paper, but once I finish the initial sketch I usually scan it in and ink, color, etc it into a final product on my computer. A lot of drawing tablets closely simulate the feel of regular drawing, though, so it’s a similar satisfaction while also making things more efficient and reducing the risk of ruining a drawing during the inking and coloring stages.
A lot of this depends on goals and such, though. One big reason I became so interested in digital art was because I wanted to be an author and comic artist. That’s harder to do now days without some level of digital art competency, unless the artist has someone they can outsource their finished pieces to for digital formatting. But of course I also enjoy the digital art process and the way digital art often looks.
Different people have different levels of mechanical awareness and thus artistic inclinations, though, so that adds a complex yet important interplay to all this.
I hand-write plot dev, char dev, and scenes before drafting on a word processor. Although when working on screenplays for hire, I work exclusively through Writerduet, because I mostly work with cowriters on those projects who live far away. Digital is way less satisfying than physical media. It also makes you think differently, and results in a different outcome. Gardner wrote a book on moral art. I find his arguments fairly convincing. My work on art is more on the connection between the imagination and worship/the humanness of the imagination and how it’s a thread woven through most of the human experience.
Also, this reminds me of a poem by Le Guin on a mortar and pestle. I love that poem…
Meh, don’t buy it. Sounds like another bit of bad reasoning where people assume evolution first and then go around looking for examples of it expressed. WIthout really being objective.
Are there people who enjoy creating things not by hand? As in their minds? Or with words? Aren’t those poets, musicians, and writers? How about physicists coming up with theories of the universe in their imaginations?
So is doing things by hand /really more satisfying than other forms of creativity? I don’t think so.
It gives another sort of satisfaction. There’s a reason intangible things tend to be supported by tangible realities. Music is not intangible to a musician. The instruments are physical realities, acting in reality on the physical world. Writers make physical books. Poets make poems that can be spoken. There’s a physical element to it all, and it’s a significant part of the satisfaction.
There is a physical element but not to categorically declare humans find working with their hands uniquely satisfying (because of our imagined caveman brain).
It’s not caveman brain. God made physical bodies for a reason. The new earth in the future is physical for a reason. Digital devices are a problem for a reason.
That is a good question, whether people with physical arts have a different and/or better satisfaction than peeps with nontangible arts. But even with the nontangible arts, like Brennan said, there is still physical effort being put into them. Tho I would argue it’s bookbinders who make physical books and writers only steal their thunder.
It could be entirely my and other crafty types’ personal biases that hands-on stuff feels better than pushing buttons this here puter-box.
Do you have any kind of hands-on hobby, tho? You haven’t mentioned one.
First of all, it is rather bizzare for you to have brought up this topic on a post about a translation…translation is intellectual, primarily non-physical work. It’s work I often do, and I find satisfaction in it. But to say it produces a physical object is entirely misunderstanding what a translation is.
It was also an odd point to make on a site devoted to stories–stories are one of the two most prominent kinds of non-physical creative work human beings enjoy. The other being music.
And especially if we want to evoke the ancient past, storytelling has at least the legendary origin in telling tales around the campfire, with no physical element at all. We can also imagine music surging from the human voice, with no instruments at all.
So the claim that physical creativity is magically more human because of caveman brain or magically more satisfying is simply not true–though perhaps many people would find it more satisfying in practice–and thus provides a glaring example of bad reasoning.
People enjoy creating and expressing creativity in many ways. Producing physical items is just one aspect of it, but by no means is the only one. What a person likes best is dependent on the person. And perhaps it’s a minority who does so, but some people greatly perfer non-physical creativity over the physical kind.
Don’t let myopic talk of “caveman brain” convince you otherwise. Observe how humans actually /are/ and you will find plenty of people who enjoy intellectual or mental or vocal pursuits that don’t really have a physical element.
As for a hands-on hobby, as a kid I used to draw. But I could never seem to get my hands to do what my brain imagined. I like drawing on a computer better than with my hands–it’s easier to get closer to the picture in my mind that way. So now, I have no crafty type hobbies at all. The closest I get to that is I enjoy keeping physical copies of books I have especially enjoyed reading. But that isn’t at all the same as physically crafting books.
Because vocal chords and air waves aren’t physical… ?
Brennan, please. The point Notleia was trying to make was that supposedly because humans spent tens of thousands of years or even hundreds of thousands crafting tools before we developed intellectual pursuits, that is why we enjoy crafting physical things with our hands more than anything else.
Using our yes, physical voice boxes to tell stories or sing songs is /not/ what this “caveman brain” dopeyness is supposed to about. It’s supposed to prove /why/ handicrafts are so deeply satisfying, more than anything else people create. Except they aren’t actually–this is a piece of creative fiction inspired by a dogma that mankind is the product of a long random process rather than either specifically or providentially created by God. And it happens to be that this particular bit of reasoning disoves in the face of thirty seconds thought about music and storytelling.
What Notelia is saying simply isn’t true–but she will cling to it anyway, convinced she is right. Like a pile of other things she believes that fail to pass basic tests for logical consistency.
Oh I agree that it’s not because of evolution. The point I was making was separate, but related. I do believe that working in physical reality is more satisfying than purely digital experiences – which you tried to say isn’t true, but failed to establish because you pretended that music and storytelling aren’t physical, when they certainly are. I can see we’re getting signals crossed because there’s several arguments at once. So it’s devolving a bit…
I can see where you’re coming from on the evolution part, but the main point of the book notleia mentioned seems to be that, on an instinctive level, there are five psychological/emotional needs and making things by hand can help fulfill them. Those can easily have merit regardless of the author’s stance on evolution or lack of emphasis on intangible creativity.(Though discussing intangible creativity might be off topic in a book that focuses on the benefits of hands on projects. A book can’t be expected to cover every angle). Either way…just because there are flaws in that author’s book doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a lot of useful points in it.
There’s probably a decent amount of credence to the idea that making things can help fulfill psychological/emotional needs in the areas she describes (hands-on competency, elaboration, mutuality, belonging, and meaning). If she says that those can be fulfilled ONLY by making physical objects by hand, then I would disagree with her on that point. But notleia didn’t even say the author makes that point.
Autumn, I have to watch a tendency of mine to seem harsh when I disagree–I know I can seem dismissively rude, but for me, it’s not any kind of personal attack. Please bear in mind I don’t want to treat either you or Notleia badly as I disagree with you.
But the fact most people enjoy physical “hands’on competency” leaves out people who don’t really care about that but DO like non-physical creativity. I know about this group because I am a member. I don’t really have any physical hobbies, but I enjoy writing poems, stories, essays, translating, digital art, and singing. To suggest that what I produce in those things “really” /is/ physical–hey, that’s just silly. It really /isn’t/.
In fact, writing poetry is probably my favorite hobby and seeing it actually on a printed page as opposed to speaking it out loud or hearing the rhythm of words in my mind is just not a thing with me. And I know full well it isn’t a thing with at least some other people, too.
Your argument is equivalent to declaring people have a deep need to be right-handed because most people are. Which isn’t sound thinking–not /all/ people need to have “hands-on” creativity.
As for me taking a shot at evolution here, that’s not even really my main point. What Notleia said simply isn’t true, even though 3 out of 4 commentatators so far agreed with her. You all should know better–there are loads of examples of what I mean and you /know/ about them. Think of a person like Einstein. Or campfire stories. Or the joy of singing in the rain, even if nobody is around. And recognize some people like things like that more than anything physical. If you will re-examine the world around you, I believe you will see I am right. Not all people have a deep need to create physical objects.
The reason to rip into evolution here is because it’s an example of how adopting a worldview that presumes a long period of human evolution making us who we are in fact totally fails to explain how humans actually are. In general. Which is worth pointing out every time someone claims “caveman brain” yada yada yada.
But the real main point is that it just isn’t the case…not everyone needs to create physical things.
I know you aren’t trying to be dismissive or personally attack anyone. And my feelings weren’t hurt by your previous statements. You do seem to be misinterpreting some of what I’m saying, though. I never said ALL people have a deep seated emotional need to make things with their hands.
In my previous post, I quite blatantly said “If she says that those can be fulfilled ONLY by making physical objects by hand, then I would disagree with her on that point.”
So right from the beginning, we already agreed that everyone is different and that not everyone has a deep seated emotional need to make physical objects. I never said that I entirely agree with notleia or the author she mentioned.
All I meant was that ASPECTS of the author’s words could be useful for discussion. Dismissing everything the author says just because she’s wrong on a few points is kind of like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Maybe she’s right in the sense that those five psychological/emotional needs exist, but wrong in the sense of what fulfills those areas. My response to her would be more along the lines of ‘Those five areas of emotional needs might exist, but I don’t think those have to be fulfilled by making physical objects.’
Notice that a lot of the wording I used in my previous posts was not spoken in absolutes. “making things CAN HELP fulfill psychological/emotional needs”, for example. That’s a far cry from saying that’s the ONLY way to fulfill those psychological needs.
My initial reply to notleia was to answer some of her questions about what I personally like and find fulfilling, but even there I made a lot of caveats like “That’s going to depend on a lot.” And said that other people are going to be different than me.
I know quite well how different everyone is, especially with a lot of the psychological stuff I’ve been studying lately. Innately, yes, some people really don’t care much about making what they consider to be physical objects. Just like how I don’t really give a crap about ‘duty’ and ‘honor’ the vast majority of the time but care very greatly about morality. Or how some people might consider future possibilities practically irrelevant, even though I see future possibilities as being nearly as important as what’s going on right now.
I definitely understand what it’s like to get deep fulfillment from ‘creating’ inside one’s own mind. I get extremely caught up in daydreaming and often procrastinate with that rather than actually physically working on my art and writing(even though I love art and writing, part of that just comes from the strong urge to make the things in my head real, even if just as a sketch on paper). So when I made that reply to you, I wasn’t saying that everyone has a deep seated emotional need to make physical objects. I was pointing out that ASPECTS of the author’s words could have merit. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything the author or notleia says…I’m just pointing out that maybe it’s better not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Was I misreading you? In a way I was. Yes, I do see you used language to distance yourself a bit from the full tenor of what Notleia was saying. Still, you mostly struck chords of agreement.
But the bottom line is I don’t agree with the baby and bathwater analogy here. The basic reason Notleia offered for her point of view I find flawed. So while I disagreed most with the idea that everyone is drawn to handicrafts, I don’t disagree that most people find handicrafts satisfying–I never contested that. I agree they are, though not necessarily for everyone. I disagreed most significantly (relative to you) about /why/ they are satisfying and the reasoning that led her to say they are so satisfying.
In other words, I saw no baby–just bathwater.
But I clearly didn’t focus on the exact same aspects of what Notleia said as what you did. And I didn’t give you enough credit for distancing your position a bit from Notleia’s. My apologies.
It helps me with writers block to switch to pen and paper for a while.
Here’s the Amazon Kindle link to the book. Print version is still processing, but should be ready soon.
I thought this was a joke. Like Abraham Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog the TV series from The Barefoot Executive.
How about a middle grade Lovecraftian romance?
It started as a joke but Kerry wrote it for real…the book is a serious take on the premise.
Sounds like a terrific idea, Travis! Blessings on your undertaking — and blessings on Kerry for launching into a new venture with you!
“there are distinct sections and categories in bookstores in which Christian fiction is in one place and sci fi is in another”
This is interesting from a UK perspective. You don’t have a Christian fiction section in normal bookshops – so if a Christian sci-fi book did break into the general market, it would be shelved as sci-fi. Christian fiction is usually only sold in Christian bookshops, though, unless it has more general appeal, and is published by a general publisher (Narnia, LotR, RJ Anderson etc).
I wonder if this affects what Christians here read.
Hmmm. Interesting to hear that! Yes, it could be that Christian fiction in regular bookstores is limited mostly to the USA.
In the USA, it used to be that Christian bookstores made a lot of money off Christian fiction, to the degree that regular bookstores started carrying them. Then, strangely, most Christain bookstores stopped selling Christian fiction for the most part (in the past 10 years or so) and switched to Christian gifts and non-fiction. And fans of fiction overtly labeled “Christian” go to a specific section of a regular bookstore. Or of course shop online.
Thank you for translating this! I will definitely be buying a copy for my sister-in-law when the print version comes out, and recommending it to my other Spanish-speaking friends.