Is the Naked In School Universe dead?
To me, it would appear so. Is it that story concept has been fully explored? Somehow I doubt it. Yet, so few seem to be intent on exploring it any more. Instead, the newer stories are sci-fi based or, god forbid, moving it into middle school and earlier.
I can honestly say as I’ve written R&L that my ideas about the universe have changed considerably. My characters refuse to allow my original concepts to hold. It is not the “free-for-all-all-the-sex-you-can-get-away-with-world” as presented in the original stories. No, my characters taught me something greater. There are people involved. They have feelings, fears, concerns, and the rest of their life is still happening around them.
Don Lockwood explored these concepts in his series of stories. Many others have as well. I could only hope that others would take up the banner and do it was well. In the older stories, we see the program explored as it directly effects and affects people. How the program changes people and their perceptions. Some for the good, some… Well, not so good.
There is BarBar’s magnificent short NiS story exposing the ludicrous nature of the program being universally applied in a life-situation that doesn’t lead itself to the socialism aspects of casual nudity.
Shrink42 in “Molly & Curt” did an incredible exploration of the politics of the Program and took a huge stand for individual liberties. An alternate view, indeed, but to date, no one else has explored where the Program came from. Dr. Bill put the Program on its ear with his very dark exploration, yet very much in character for his characters.
I’ve got the notes for a backstory of NiS and, of course, the slightly alternate universe where R&L occurs (one should note that high school is different than it is today or has been in recent history – the clique mentality is broken as currently defined by popular culture).
From so much innovation and exploration, we’ve reduced ourselves to Naked in Pre-School? School Orgies in Space?
Don’t worry, R&L continues. The exploration of academics and sports in a society that values academics and places sports in proper position continues. As does the continued exploration of what happens when people get dumped into the Program against their will at a time that is any but perfect.
Yes, chapter 33 is a long time coming. Mainly because I’m wrestling with these issues as I deal with a chapter that all the little threads of the puzzle I’ve been weaving cross. Think a complex weaving pattern. And it was to be such a simple lunch. Sixteen naked people sitting around a table eating…
After all, NiS is all about Nakidity and Sex, right?