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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When fiction is stranger – and more fun! – than the truth

Nothing fascinates us like an unsolved mystery.

Yes, we're all itching to find out 'whodunit?' by the end of a Bones or CSI episode, or a ripping mystery novel. We like trying to figure out the solution ourselves. It exercises our minds, and engages us in a fantasy world where we can be the master sleuth and outwit the villains – because in fiction, see, everything must make sense. The clues always lead to the killer. Chaos and fiction don't mix.

But often it's the unsolved mysteries that resonate the most, and linger in our imaginations the longest. Would Jack the Ripper be such a figure of dread and fascination if we knew who he was? Where would be the fun if we knew for sure who killed JFK? Or what happens in the Bermuda Triangle, or who built Stonehenge?

We love conspiracies! Sadly, the real-life explanations are usually banal and disappointing. Stonehenge was just a temple built with pulleys and levers. Those planes in the Bermuda Triangle crashed in a storm. JFK was shot by a crazy guy acting alone. Jack the Ripper was a nameless lunatic who committed suicide. Someone painted that face on the Shroud of Turin, and the Voynich Manuscript is a shopping list.

See? Solving the mystery just ruins it. How much more interesting the world is when we suspend disbelief, and allow the possibility that aliens really did land at Roswell. That there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll or behind the white picket fence. Crop circles aren't hoaxes. The Roanoke colonists went somewhere really cool, okay, and the Yeti and Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are real...

Oh, and all those creepy critters in fantasy novels? (I have to mention them -- I write paranormals!) Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, revenants, angels and demons, the odd crafty fairy? Maybe, they're real, too.

Because if we allow these possibilities, then maybe other things we believe to be impossible can also come true. Maybe one day, we'll have clean, free, unlimited energy. We'll solve world poverty and deal with climate change. People will venture safely into space and travel faster than light. We'll all stop trying to kill, disenfranchise and persecute each other, and just get along...

Oh, hold on. That really is ridiculous. It's easier just to believe in Bigfoot.

So what's your favorite silly-but-I-wish-it-were-true unsolved mystery? Bigfoot? Crop circles? Elvis alive and well and working at McDonald's? Personally, I think it'd be quite cool if aliens really had come to earth centuries ago, and taught people how to build pyramids and stuff. Utter nonsense, of course. But wouldn't it be awesome?

P.S. Do come chat with me on Facebook or Twitter. I'd love to hear from you! And do check out the free sample on Kindle of my new apocalyptic paranormal romance, REVELATION. It has hot hunky warrior angels. Now that would be cool :)






2 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Erica,

Love the aliens picture! I was at Stonehenge a couple of years ago and it was an awesome experience. But I absolutely loved Avebury Plain because I could walk up and touch the stones and one had a niche large enough for me to sit in. Wish that picture had turned out a bit better.

I'm not sure it's a mystery but I have great admiration and respect for the people who built Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids in Egypt and Central America as well as Machu Pichu. However they did it (leaving a bit of room for the magick), to have the vision and then go forth and manifest it...for me that is part of the mystery. What was it that drew them to create such magnificent structures?

Erica Hayes said...

It was the aliens, dude. Aliens made them do it :)