What If… Philip K Dick Wrote Superheroes? Bystander 27…

Rik Hoskin won the Dragon Award for Best Graphic Novel for White Sand Vol 1, with Brandon Sanderson. He's written for comics, games, novels, and animation. He writes for Bleeding Cool: What if Philip K Dick wrote superheroes? That's an excellent place to start. Let me explain …

What If... Philip K Dick Wrote Superheroes? Bystander 27...
What If… Philip K Dick Wrote Superheroes? Bystander 27…

I love comics.

More specifically, I love superhero comics.

Even more specifically, I love those superhero comics that exist in a vast universe of other superhero comics. Where somebody's fight with a bad guy can affect what happens to someone else several comic books removed–when someone in Thor opens the Casket of Winters and then it's snowing in Spider-Man and the X-Men's titles.

It's something that's very specific to comics and has been for a very long time. With the Marvel and DC movies and TV shows, we're seeing a similar kind of ripple effect going on between stories. I don't mean crossovers here, I mean those little moments where Ollie Queen tells Barry Allen about an escaped bad guy headed his way, or where Tony Stark freaks out in an Iron Man film because of something he did in an Avengers film.

That connective tissue hooks me. It's seeing all these connections build up and give the illusion of a vast reality that's happening beyond the pages of the book I'm reading or the film I'm watching.

It's something that comics have been doing really, really well for a long time. All these layers of continuity and, for want of a better term, "side story" that creates more than just a story, they imitate a world. Sometimes with all the reboots and reinterpretations, the new takes, and new starts, I think that wonderfully compelling idea gets lost.

It's an idea I wanted to tap into when I wrote my latest SF novel, Bystander 27. The book follows an ordinary guy–a bystander–as he gets caught up in the mess these heroes make as they go about their heroic activities. So, what if Philip K Dick wrote superheroes? Ordinary guy, extraordinary world, and nothing is quite what it seems.  That's what!

Authors like Brandon Sanderson, Pierce Brown, Nancy Holder, and Patricia Briggs enjoyed its fresh take on the superhero world. Maybe you'll come and join them. 


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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