An author using a specific date for a fictional world event.

Discuss the January 2017 Book of the Month, We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson.
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kashif faridi
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Re: An author using a specific date for a fictional world ev

Post by kashif faridi »

Dates in fiction either written on a possible world event, or a local scenario has no relevance. Yes, the work created around the world event should be so well knit that it keeps the reader glued to the book till it is read fully end to end. Any gaps / disconnections sinks the enthusiasm of the reader.

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Post by Scerakor »

I have no issues with using an exact year, as long as it is far enough into the future at the time of publishing. I can definitely see this situation bothering me where this life changing event has already passed. I think a real date is extremely effective in creating tension however and cannot simply be ignored. For those that are reading the book later in the future, if the date has already passed, it is understandable (think 2001: A Space Odyssey). In fact, that may even bring some additional excitement / fun to the now "classic".

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Lincoln
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Post by Lincoln »

Scerakor wrote:I have no issues with using an exact year, as long as it is far enough into the future at the time of publishing. I can definitely see this situation bothering me where this life changing event has already passed. I think a real date is extremely effective in creating tension however and cannot simply be ignored. For those that are reading the book later in the future, if the date has already passed, it is understandable (think 2001: A Space Odyssey). In fact, that may even bring some additional excitement / fun to the now "classic".
Yeah, I agree with this. Books that are meant to be futuristic can quickly become irrelevant if the author isn't careful.
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Post by Aimy »

We read fiction keeping in mind that it's fiction but I do agree that perhaps it's better not to mention the year.
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Post by KasieMiehlke »

I don't like the idea of an author using a specific date in a book. If I read the book after the proposed date I think I would feel differently than what was possibly intended by the author.

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Post by matildajay »

It's true that in this circumstance, the gravity of the exact date falls flat and foolish by the fact that it has already been passed. In this case it would have been better to have no fixed date at all, than one so soon. Although I do think that in some books, such as science fiction novels with dates approximately 20-50 years in the future, it can really give an added edge. When it's possible to re-read that book in your life-time, I always wonder how exact parts of the book may be, even if the main event around the date is highly unlikely. In my opinion, such dates can really give a sense of mystery as to how humanity will unfold.
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Post by Sarah G »

I think giving a specific date makes the book feel more real. I think if they were vague about the date then the tension wouldn't be there the same. To me if the date has already passed it doesn't bother me. For all I know this could be happening in some alternative universe where it's destruction wouldn't affect our own.
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Post by Jeyran Main »

I believe that if the author is not able to backup the dates to the facts then they should not use it at all. This also implies to other historical fictions. Many authors feel that it isn't important to match their story with exact cultural and historical occurrences where in fact, it is vital for everything to mesh and fit well or else the whole plot becomes plausible.
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Post by kislany »

Usually this bothers me both in books and in movies (or TV shows). I remember watching recently a movie where something big was about to happen at a given date. I watched the movie some 7 years past that date and instead of enjoying the plot, I was caught up in thinking about that discrepancy which really distracted me. So yeah, for me a vague date is better.

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Post by Anjum »

It doesn't bother me as long as it is not real.
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Post by inaramid »

Yes, if you think too much about it, it can be bothersome since the events tend to lose some credibility and believability. It boils down to the reader's preference and whether he/she can shrug these tiny details off.

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Post by CatlynnHighlights »

It really did bother me. I loved the book, but I'm really picky when it comes to dates in books because it makes the whole book seem old. If it passes by the date, it tells me that I already know what happened.

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