The Lens Of Fiction


matt_icon.gif savannah_icon.gif

Scene Title The Lens of Fiction
Synopsis A discussion of the role of science fiction in society is held by an unlikely pair.
Date March 27, 2011

New York City

Book releases take a lot of work and arrangements made. Enough copies are needed for all the midnight release pre-orders, plus a venue for the event and many, many other details. Normally Kam would take care of everything, but considering his work had been keeping him pretty busy lately, Savannah has taken it upon herself to organize a lot of it. She bit off a little more than she could chew, trying to take the whole thing on, but that was something she'd only have to admit to Kam reluctantly once she'd been worked into the ground.

The bookstore in question isn't massive, but it's no tiny family-run business either. It's just small enough for a cozy atmosphere, and large enough to accommodate a small crowd for a release party. Standing next to the manager near one of the more open spaces in the store, Savannah nods slightly, tapping a pen against her chin. "Yes, we can just move that and there should be more than enough room to put a table there," the blonde offers her hand to the manager. "Thank you again for meeting with me, I'll be in touch again a little closer to the release date." She offers a genuine smile to the manager as he heads off to get back to the rest of his business.

It's the size of this bookstore that attracted Matt Parkman to it. Large enough to potentially have a good-sized section of new-age nonfiction from which he can try to locate a book for Molly, yet small enough to not have an enormous crowd on a late Sunday afternoon. Crowds are something to be avoided. New York was once a place where those of celebrity status were commonplace, but with the city under the iron grip of martial law, many of it's more celebrated denizens have taken flight to more stable roosts. Others don't have that option.

With his recent fall from grace, Matt's not keen on being recognized. But neither is he keen on spending every waking moment either at work or holed up in his apartment with his teenage daughter. Sometimes a man needs to just stretch his legs. Dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt and blazer under a heavier coat to protect him against the unseasonable chill, Matt lingers by the bestseller table, scanning it for anything that might occupy his adopted daughter. Which means he's picking up and leafing through chick-lit.

Stability was overrated in Savannah's book. Well, not her literal book, at least. She'd had ample opportunity to leave New York for somewhere safer, but there was always a draw. Kam would like her safe, but safety wasn't always something that was the best option. For the author, staying was a choice. A stance. Scribbling a note on a To-Do list for herself for later, she wanders to the bestsellers section, idly glancing through to see what she hasn't read yet. She's usually on top of knowing what else is out there and selling well. Her gaze drifts over to Matt.

"Anything look interesting?" She asks casually, picking up a book to read the jacket.

Matt looks up from the hardcover copy of The Help he holds open, his eyebrows slightly raised as he looks up at Savannah. There's a familiarity in her face, but not a strong one. "Not really," he admits, putting the book back on the stack with its fellows. "Trying to pick for someone else." A faint smile eases onto his face, and he laughs lightly - the sort of laugh one laughs when in a slightly awkward yet overly-polite social situation. "I guess this is why they invented gift cards."

He looks to Savannah again, unable to shake that sense. Then, his eyes drift to one of the displays advertizing the release of her new book - one that has her face side-by-side with the cover of the new release. "You're Savannah Burton," he says, stating the obvious in an half-question.

"I am," Savannah agrees casually, peering towards the selection of books as if to determine what to recommend simply by staring at them. Clearly, however, just staring without any clues to go off of is an impossible task, and the blonde looks back to Matt. "I'm no expert, but I've read a lot of the current bestsellers. Who are you shopping for? I might be able to help."

"My daughter," Matt says, his smile gaining strength. "You know," he adds, "You don't have to. I'll find something. Or I'll get your new one when it comes out." He gestures to the poster as he says it. "I think she'd like your stuff." So maybe he'll venture over to fiction and pick up one of Burton's other books. Maybe.

"How old is she?" Savannah asks, glancing towards the poster. "If she's anywhere around fourteen or fifteen, she'll probably enjoy it. The story's about young teenagers whose abilities are just manifesting in the midst of a pretty scary time." She rubs the back of her neck. "Unfortunately, with things being how they are these days in New York, it's a little closer to the truth than I'd like. It's been suggested that I'm actually Evolved and have some kind of knowledge about the future or the current goings on in society, which makes me laugh a bit. The parallels are pretty scary in some ways."

"She's fourteen," Matt says with a nod, agreeing with Savannah in that Molly would likely enjoy such a story. He narrows his eyes slightly, though his smile only grows, when Savannah shares her perception of the rumors surrounding the genesis of her work. "It wouldn't be unheard of," he says with a shrug. "Precogs operating through writing is only a few steps away from precogs operating through art." But he doesn't say he believes her, or the rumors. But neither does he dig to find out the truth of it.

Tha't just be rude.

"Even if you could," he muses, running his fingers over the cover of one of the newest crime novels laid out on the table, "would you really want people to buy your books, treating you like a prophet and hanging on your every word? That's a lot of pressure. What if you get it wrong?"

"God, I don't think I'd be doing what I'm doing if I was a precog. I'd probably be struggling to find some way to keep sane. If I were to have an ability, that's the one I think I'd want the least. A lot for someone to take in, I'd imagine," Savannah says, shaking her head. "Plus I don't think my point would come out as genuine if I was anyone other than who I am. Besides, I'm inspired by events already occurring and just using those as jumping off points. It's not my fault if 'what ifs' actually end up happening. There are any number of ways the world can go. The parallels to the real world aren't really the important part, it's the characters. The story's about these kids who are struggling with who they are and what it means to have an ability and they just happened to live in a pretty crazy world."

Matt chuckles again, but this time it's less of that polite mirth and more genuine. "They say science fiction is just the science of the future. And look at us now." With another shake of his head, he shrugs. "I wouldn't worry about it. If anything that you write actually happens, it just means you've got a really good fix on the situation." The real pity is in the fact that any solutions that Burton may offer in her prose would be colored by their genesis, no matter how reasonable or applicable to a situation they may be.

"I think I might pick up one of your books for her," he adds, his smile crinkling the skin at the corners of his eyes. "Better to live through fiction than go out looking for danger yourself, right?"

"You can't understand something fully if you haven't experienced it. You can try and relate, but it's not always the same. They say you write what you know, but I don't. I write what I don't know so that people who are in the same boat with me can understand as best as possible," Savannah explains, leafing through a paperback on the bestseller's display. "But my life's just as complicated as anyone's. I might not have certain issues that other people face, but danger certainly exists in my life."

Matt blinks a couple of times and then nods, clearing his throat. "Well, it's still New York," he offers with another shrug. "If it's not gangbangers wanting to lift your wallet, it's cops wanting it for your ID." Or something. Matt adjusts the lapels of his jacket and offers another smile, albiet a strained one, along with a hand. "It was nice to meet you, Miz Burton. If she likes your stuff, maybe I'll bring my daughter to your release party." Maybe.

There's a warm smile, though she shakes her head a little. "Sometimes trouble's a bit more than that," Savannah explains, reaching out to take his hand gently. "It was nice to meet you too. I hope to see you and your daughter there… it'd be nice to have some young people around for it. I'm hoping that they enjoy it."

Matt gives Savannah's hand a squeeze rather than a shake. "Matt," he says, remembering himself. He should be polite - and it's not really fair for her to walk away not knowing his name when he knows hers. But he doesn't provide a last name before he gives her another nod in farewell before he slps away to the fiction section - it's not a bad idea to soften the nonfiction blow with a novel.

Then again, the ex-secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and known Telepath isn't exactly a hard face to recognize.

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