When traveling through Snoqualmie Pass of the Cascade Mountain Range here in Washington, I became somewhat enamored with ski towns. Snoqualmie Pass is an impressive blend of the commercial and the unrelenting beauty of Washington’s outdoors, the ski resort and parking lots cutting into acres upon acres of mountains. It’s this forced mixing of humanity that, much like airports, I find fascinating.
The Pass is only an hour or so away from Seattle so it’s not terribly isolated. Telluride in Colorado is well over an hour from its nearest city, Montrose, which is only about 20,000 large. There are actually two entities, the Village of Telluride itself (pop. 2,303) and the Gondola-accessible Mountain Village which encompasses the resort (pop. 1,114). Being one of the premier skiing destinations in the United States, it’s immensely touristy.
So what do you do if you’re born there? You grow up interacting with all these people from the far reaches of the country, you probably work for part of the resort when you’re a teenager. Leaving is probably very difficult. Do you love it, do you hate it? Is the isolation a condemnation or a blessing?
The story is written, it just needs editing, though I think there might be one or two more in the future following different characters.
I’ve tried to focus a bit more on short stories as of late, but I am, at my core, a novelist, and novelists write novels. I’d always wanted to do a superhero piece but could never quite figure out the angle. The answer ended up being: do a superhero piece that isn’t really a superhero piece.
Comic books are filled with heroes and villains, and while I enjoy them and their movie counterparts, that didn’t strike me as something I cared to write about. The average person, when given such an immense gift, becomes neither I think. But what do they become? What does someone, given great power, do with it? I mean really do with it, especially without a foe.
The truth is, a superhero doesn’t need a foe. The world is the foe, the complete compendium of human and natural awfulness that exists is the foe and an inevitable and indefatigable one at that. So what does one do? What do they do if they don’t have the strong (unrealistic) streak of altruism of a Gary Hobson?
I intend to find out.