This is obviously a photo of two young cowboys wooing Annie Oakley. Perhaps. Or, Billy the Kid giving a tip of his hat, asking the handsome young buck for a dance. Depending on your predisposition to an image, it could be either. Or neither.
A good friend reviewed my debut novel set a century in the future and said she doesn’t normally read LGBT fiction but really enjoyed the book and the main character. I got five stars. Friendship certainly had nothing to do with it. So the protagonist in The Chronicles of Spartak–Rising Son is bisexual and the other main character is gay. A few known straights are there too but for most it is unclear and unimportant to the story. Like in most books. And, hopefully, in real life too.
So it is a LGBT novel?
Welcome to Spartak’s twisted world. Can a sixteen year old athlete, sold into slavery, become a hero to his people and help return democracy to a very different America? Can a young man with a fluid sense of sexuality be an action hero?
This is an iconic image of earth, said to be the most widely reproduced photograph in history. It is the first one of the entire planet taken from space by a human. You cannot see our entire globe until you are at least 20,000 miles from the surface.
In Chronicles of Spartak, the Space Elevator is 22,000 miles out so earth can be viewed in all its glory by more than gods and astronauts. The vista from the Space Elevator gives perspective, a blue planet floating in a black void.
What should a 22nd century teenage action hero look like?
Facial features and color will continue to blend as they have throughout human history. Caucasians will be a minority, mixed races the majority. This is expected to be a reality sixty years before Spartak is even born.
I wanted him to stand out. A white skinned blond would do that in 2115. That look might also match what I envisioned as the white minorities, not necessarily elites, who continue to hold onto disproportionate power because of rapacious gerrymandering of elected districts and a voter pool restricted by law to favor those in power. These voters would not have to be rich and successful, only malleable for the benefit of the elite. And Spartak, distrusting the elite and wanting to see democracy returned to America, might appeal to the very people who keep his class in near poverty.