(This is from the introduction to my upcoming compilation of short stories, “Villains, Villainy & Villainpunk”.)
Two philosophers I trusted have said, respectively, that it’s not easy being green, and that is easy being evil. It turns out that neither one of those things is precisely true. Every Orc I’ve ever met would agree with the former, but if we took a poll of the leafiest plants around, they’d just reply, “Sorry, I can’t hear you, I’m too busy literally living on light and air, and enjoying the fact that I have zero student debt.”
And as to the latter, let’s just say that the optimism of Villainpunk comes (in the manner of most things of any real value) at a not-insignificant price. It feels amazing to finally stop sucking in your breath, crossing your eyes, twisting your head ‘round, and generally contorting your worldview into something that lets you believe the heroes are always right. And that relief is one of the true joys of Villainpunk. But you do lose that comforting (if somewhat hollow) feeling that someone out there has all the answers. And that’s when you realize that you’re going to have to find out some answers for itself.
For Villainpunk refuses to trade in one set of toxic certainties for another. What I now have is a much bigger world for experimenting, for exploring, for trying to find new ideas and solutions. What I’ve lost is the belief that those answers are all there on one path, waiting to be found. They are not. They’re scattered, and often hidden, and we need to work to discover then.
Well, so mote it be!
Any aficionado of Lovecraft will tell you that the Necronomicon is forbidden for a whole host of reasons; the more we find out about that dread tome, and its ilk, the more we realize how dangerous it would be to even possess a copy of the thing, much less read it.
But I’ll gladly brave the worst fates the Necronomicon could try to throw at than me, rather than live in a world where the “heroes” say “Not only are you forbidden to read that book, but we’ve made a long list of other books you need to avoid. And the same goes for a number of people. And actions. And thoughts.” Sure, they’re right about that particular volume, but this is precisely how it starts: they give someone orders with the best of intentions, perhaps purely with the desire to protect people from possible harm; and then they find out they like giving orders, and then it’s just amazing how much stuff out there (they now realize) is deadly and must be locked away For Your Protection.
The stories (barely) trapped within this tome are often from the point of view of the Monster or the Villain; but that’s not what makes this Villainpunk. The Villainpunk lies in this abjuration, which is the heart of the book:
“What happens if we put aside the light for a while…and let our eyes adjust enough to let us take a good look at the Shadows?”
Here’s my novel, “There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN“.