Thursday, July 27, 2017

Looking for Recommendations for Positive Paranormal Stories

Hey, everybody! *waves* Remember me?

I don't like to be one of those people contributing to our ruin due to limited attention spans, but since this blog has been soooo stagnant, it's obvious I've also been corrupted by social media. I stopped having topics to talk about in this "long" form that I hadn't talked about before.

But today I was thinking about superheroes and mutants and other fictional extraordinary abilities and how I've felt about their portrayal in entertainment for a long time, and I thought, "that's way too big a topic for Facebook" and then I thought BLOG! So here I am.

I'm a longtime casual "super" fan. As in, I watched the X-Men cartoon with my husband when we first got married, and my brother and I played the Wonder Twins when we were kids, and I love "genre" TV and film and I write a lot of people with various kinds of abilities in my paranormal romances and YA.

There's been a trend I don't like over the past several years, not just with the whole "downside to being a superhero" approach that DC takes, but setting up an active negative societal attitude toward those types of characters. It used to be just the X-Men, but now it seems to be almost everything. As much as I loved Wonder Woman this year, I still felt empty when I left the theater because it was so bleak and lonely. That's one of the reasons I prefer Marvel (MCU, not TV), because they launched with Tony Stark fully embracing being Iron Man—and the world embracing it along with him.

Overall, the MCU still embraces the fun and adventure of being a superhero, even with its downsides, like in Spider-Man: Homecoming (which I loved!). But even Marvel got into the Sokovia accords and Civil War and using the premise that the world as a whole is against people with powers because we're afraid of them. I don't get why paranormal entertainment seems unable to get away from ostracizing people with extraordinary abilities. "People fear what they don't understand" is getting very tired, isn't it?

And's wrong.

Metaphor aside, let's look at how we handle the extraordinary people in our real world. People who have incredible talent like, say, athleticism or acting talent, or people who are really good at making "smart" accessible (Neil Degrasse Tyson, anyone?), or who create amazing things technologically or artistically. We revere them. We make them celebrities and toss pots of money at them. I mean, sure, we can't relate to them, but with social media and Comic-Con-type events and a million interview sources, we're trying pretty hard. We might not be able to fit into their worlds or become friends with them, but we're not running screaming from them or making laws against them.

Someone might say, "Yeah, but an actress can't hurt me with her acting the way someone with super strength can." Except...yeah, she can. She can use that talent to lie and rip your heart to shreds, or con you out of your life's savings. And despite the fact that athletes and Navy SEALs could do some serious damage to us physically, we don't treat them as if that's our first thought about them. Athletes get autograph and hug requests, not stones thrown at them.

I feel like as a society, if extraordinary people existed, we would look more to what they can do FOR us, not TO us. Take what's been happening this week. We are far more likely to react in fear and hatred toward people who can only hurt us emotionally, if at all, and celebrate those who display physical strength of some kind, for good or bad. We go after those who are vulnerable because we fear our own vulnerability. (Maybe. That's probably going way too deep for someone as shallow as I am and isn't the point of this post.)

THE POINT is...I want people to share! I want to find books, movies, and TV shows that celebrate people who have paranormal abilities, instead of shunning them, subjugating them, or otherwise forcing them into hiding so they don't get killed. I want fun stuff, light stuff, even heavy stuff where having abilities is a good thing.

Oh, and here's the big challenge: No vampires or shifters, please. I'm sure there are plenty of those that fit the other parameters, but they aren't what I'm looking for.

Ready...GO! :)


Judy said...

The Capes series by Rebecca Royce was fun.

Wonder Guy by Naomi Stone was awesome.

The Sapphire City books by Erica Hayes have been at times dark, but otherwise very good.

And I can't not mention the Bigtime series by Jennifer Estep. Yes, they are a bit campy, but they perfectly fit what you are looking for.

The Family Fortune Mystery series by Dawn Eastman skirts the edge of your requirements, but is a fabulous series - especially if you like cozy mysteries.

And damn, but I was sad to see no one else had answered this, since I was looking forward to some recommendations as well.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Hi, Judith!

I love all Jennifer Estep's work! The rest are new to me so I made a list. :)

Maybe we'll get a few latecomers now that the weekend is over. Some of my suggestions:

The Greater-Than series by Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

The Darklight series by Darynda Jones, I think qualifies

Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs, The Hero Agenda

I end up with a lot of YA on my list. :)

Seleste deLaney's Agents of TRAIT is good

Debra Jess's Thunder City

Thanks for commenting!

LBDDiaries said...

I'm going to list my absolute all time favorite paranormal authors. Some have more than one series going where one might be a shifter series (like dragon) but her others will not be shifter. Luaurann Dohner New Species series because they do so outsmart the people who are afraid of them and I love the series - but that may not be what you're looking for (or her Zorn Warriors).They are happy endings so maybe.

Eve Langlais has a few. S.E. Smith (love them all, one series is shifters but others not), Ruby Dixon, M.K. Eidem series starts with Grim, a book I liked so much that the other day I had to go through all my 3000 e-books trying to remember who wrote it because it touched my heart and I wanted to read it again. Susan Bliler (also some shifters, but some not), Cyndi Friberg, Veronica Scott, Ruby Lionsdrake.

These are authors are on my automatic buy list so you may like them. SE Smith has humor - well they all do, just some more than others! Then again, they are not all light and fluffy so you may not like any! I'm off to check out your recommendations

LBDDiaries said...

Okay after checking out the book recommendations up there, it's most likely mine aren't going to trip your trigger. These authors are not cozy mystery type paranormal. They are more alien and cyborg-type. And while I think you'd probably like them, they are not sounding like what you're looking for. I have a few of those cozies but will have to scroll thru mine to see who! I shall return

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

So glad you posted! Even though I asked about a specific type of paranormal, I also like aliens/futuristic and cyborgs and the like. High-stakes adventure is my favorite, and I'm looking for new authors in general. So I printed your post and will check out all the ones I'm not already familiar with. Thank you!!!!

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