I accept that my creative works—and bara in general—will not appeal to a “mass audience” in the gay world. Some gay men have said that they especially like how I depict men so realistically. Others not so much. I accept that gay men who prefer feminized men and the many related affectations and behaviors of feminized gay men might be put off by my depictions and stories of masculine gay men. I use the bara genre (originally from Japan) to be provocative with deliberate intent.
Provoking readers is a very different process compared to provoking viewers with visual works. I chose the science fiction genre deliberately so that my novel would turn out to be emotionally challenging and not at all “safe” in the intellectual or visceral sense. I did not attempt to create something that would make money for me or for others. But, I did attempt to create something that would make readers/viewers think about issues that they otherwise might not think about while enjoying spending time with masculine male characters.
Baja Clavius is a science fiction time travel adventure, but it is also true to the bara genre. This is because I depict gay male same-sex feelings and sexual identity with masculine, muscular males that sometimes are violent and exploitative. What does that say about me? Most writers will admit what I admit here: We do not like violence and exploitation in everyday living. We write about violence and exploitation. It’s fiction. It’s only pretend. It’s only art or make-believe. As such, I do not advocate for violence and exploitation in real life.
My target audience is gay males, but straight females also are known to enjoy the bara genre.
I suspect that Baja Clavius probably will not be made into a traditional Hollywood movie because the story and characters do not fit into the framework of major motion pictures that tell science fiction stories. Yet, I definitely can imagine Baja Clavius would make show business sense as a miniseries for streaming on Amazon or Hulu or Netflix.
This all started when I began writing the story in 1995. At first, I crafted the story so that it would be a straight-line narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. But, that format did not suit my storytelling needs and I became very frustrated.
So, as the new century arrived I chose a different approach. I revised the story so that I could use nonlinear storytelling. That’s when I started using the science fiction genre and time travel as the framework for telling the story. Pretend or make-believe violence and exploitation are readily found in the science fiction genre.
Don’t conclude that science fiction advocates for violence and exploitation. That is not true.
And, I ask you to accept that I am not writing about the kind of civilization or people that I hope actually will exist hundreds of years in the future. What I wrote is fiction that is rooted in science. It’s all intended for you to escape in your mind to a place very unlike where you live right now.
I’ve been told that my work seems similar in feel to the BBC’s Doctor Who and Torchwood television series. I was not trying to emulate any particular science fiction time travel storytelling. If I did anything consciously, I chose to entertain and challenge my readers with storytelling that is unlike most of what you can find today in print, on television, or in movies.