Happy Sunday everyone! Welcome to Michael's where I'm doing something a bit different this Sunday. today I'm happy to have one of the best authors in gay fiction, the very talented Aleksandr Voinov with a guest post.
Please give him your undivided attention.
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Holding out for an anti-hero
I don’t believe in heroes. I watched “Thor” the other week and was bored. I’m not even attempting to watch “Captain America” with my friends. I’d just piss them off by being more interested in my popcorn than the movie. I’m also bored by Spiderman (yes, all of the films), and probably Superman is the worst of all.
I really don’t care about bright, toothpaste-clean heroes.
Give me a broken, conflicted, torn or dark hero any moment, and I’m all over him. Mad Max. The Punisher. It’s easy to “sell” an all-round, whole-wheat wholesome guy, but, you know, just like the jocks in high school that had everything, these people are not very interesting. Who cares if Captain America single-handedly defeats the Nazi hordes? I care more about whether Frank Castle makes it out alive one more time, because he’s fucked up and messed up beyond all recognition.
I’m not even sure why. Maybe because, reaching middle-age now, I’m aware that life isn’t black and white at all. We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. We love flawed people. Even people that have hurt us, one way or other. Life’s complicated and complex, and I’ve never met a real life hero who wasn’t messed up. I’ve met doctors that were selfish and superstitious, I’ve met nurses that were callous and downright cold, I’ve met humanitarian workers that were alcoholics and crippled by self-doubt and trauma. I still admire them. They are far more human that way. Flaws make people interesting.
I don’t think I’ve written one clean, nice, wholesome character in my life. Kendras of Scorpion is brutal in that he only serves the Scorpions and outsiders get treated with some real disdain. Frederick Berg of Blood Run Cold isn’t just a banker (which damns him in this day and age more than it damned him when I wrote it), he’s a sociopath with only the aim to become a vampire too so he doesn’t have to age and die. Vadim Krasnorada is, at the start of “Special Forces”, a raving lunatic, a habitual rapist and even a casual racist. Oddly enough, people still connect to these people.
The hero shows us how we should behave. He’s the example that’s being held up: “Be like this, and people will love you.”
The anti-hero, or dark hero, allows us to admit out own flaws and issues. Hell, we all have destructive urges, sometimes we don’t want to play nice. We all want to be antisocial and indulge our less-pleasant urges. An anti-hero allows that. They can rant and rave and brutalize when we, in real life, would slink away with a smile. They can be snarky, brutal, take no shit from anybody and wreak havoc and revenge and look absolutely glorious doing it. The anti-hero is the bad boy that appeals to that part of us that’s not tamed and nice and smiling. Our revenge fantasies, our dirty thoughts, the snarl that hides behind the smile.
Of course, it’s even sexier when two bad boys meet and hook up. Then, all kinds of mayhem happen. Hand over the popcorn!
Sergei Stolkov is a faithful officer, though his deepest desires go against the Doctrine. A captain with the invading Coalition forces, he believes that self-sacrifice is the most heroic act and his own needs are only valid if they serve the state.
Mike, an operative planted within Cirokko's rebels, has been ordered to seduce Sergei and pry from him the Coalition's military secrets. His mission is a success, but as he captures Sergei's heart,
Mike is tempted by his own charade and falls in love.
When the hostile natives of the planet Cirokko make their move, all seems lost. Can Mike and Sergei survive when the Coalition's internal affairs division takes an interest in what happened in the dusty mountains of Zasidka Pass…?
Great blog Aleks. I love the heroes or characters with flaws. All humans are just that. No one is perfect and that's what keeps us interesting. I have to say, however, I loved Thor. *laughs* Mostly because he was very handsome and it was not a bad story. I agree though, I'll take the flawed one anyday and if there was gay antiheroes, oh yes, more please!
Thanks for the great post.
Hope you enjoyed that fans. I have an unofficial Six Sentence down below. Please have a look at my current WIP. I'll be back on the list for that next week. Have a lovely Sunday!