In a post The Fremen are Chechens: “Sabres of Paradise” as inspiration for Dune, Scott Locklin issues this cri-de-coeur about current popular culture:
Similarly, our degenerate era of 0-dimensional Mary Sue NPC action heroes, we need better stories, and better heroes and villains. We need character arc and amusing relatable personalities which embody something like real people who actually lived, rather than unrelatable superhero robots which act like invincible video game avatars.
Ah, but what other experiences do the young have now? The ones that go to college all have the same basic sets of experience; the ones who go Hollywood all have the Hollywood screenwriting life or those who go onto writing Serious Books tend to end up teaching colleges themselves. And all of them have played video games as their main source of entertainment for decades now. So they’re following the adage of write what you know. Which, unfortunately, isn’t much.
Or maybe this is a bit of a personal projection cri-de-coeur. I have not written a lot of fiction since I started working a desk job–the stories that come out of being a middle-aged, work-from-home desk jockey don’t excite me, much less an audience. Let me tell you about my exciting career as a blogger! Let me captivate you with spending my days on conference calls where I only say things to make sure everyone knows I am actually here. And so on.