Challenging the Impossible by Christian Hofsetz
Challenging the Impossible
When I was 8 years old, my best friend asked me a serious question.
“What would you do if everybody in the world was held hostage, and the only way to save them was to turn yourself in. But then, you’d be killed.”
As any young child would do, I ignored how nonsensical the question was, and how he had come to such a high-stakes hypothetical situation. Instead, I considered the possibilities, like any best friend would do. The truth is, in my mind there was only one possible answer.
“I’d turn myself in,” I said.
But it doesn’t matter what I said. When someone asks these types of questions, they really want to give their own opinion about it.
“Not me,” he said, matter-of-factly. “I would investigate it.”
8-year-old me was fascinated by his response. It didn’t even cross my mind that such a young kid would have absolutely no chance against people who imprisoned the whole world. He would challenge the impossible.
That conversation stayed with me to this date. It turns out that getting out of impossible—or nonsensical—situations is one of my favorite themes for movies, TV shows, comics, and books. But it’s not just the impossibility of the situation that matters to me. I want to know how far the characters go, how many principles they’re willing to break to avoid their doomed future.
The Mission Impossible movie series is an obvious implementation of this idea. I really like them, but they’re still too straightforward. I also need the mystery of not knowing exactly what’s going on.
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The 4400 TV show is a better example of that. Most episodes start with an outlandish situation that doesn’t make sense, but by the end of the episode everything is explained and fixed.
(Image source: https://chracatoa.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/4400.jpg)
Finally, the TV series Lost is another favorite of mine. It was not just about how the passengers were lost in an island. The viewers were also lost for a while, and it took several seasons to straighten it out.
(Image source: https://chracatoa.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/lost.jpg)
And that’s how my debut novel Challenges of the Gods starts. The main character is thrown into a hopeless scenario that forces him to go against his principles. No matter what he does, a lot of people will die. But will he just give up, just like I suggested when I was 8, or perhaps will he investigate the situation?
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Jeyran Main’s review of Challenges of the Gods immediately identifies this theme: “The underline of the tale revolved around how far people were willing to go before they would begin to question their own belief.” And I was delighted to see that the Kirkus Review of my novel also picked it up: “(…) this impossible-mission tale features an appealing hero.”
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time just to give the right answer.
“Yes, friend. I would fight against the bad guys. I would investigate it.”
About the author
After working for several years as a professor in Brazil, C. Hofsetz moved to the United States and changed careers. Currently, he is a Software Engineer Manager at Microsoft by day, and a writer by night.
Software engineering and computers have been his passion since he was a teenager, but he’s been reading novels for longer than writing code. One day, he couldn’t help it anymore. He wrote the first chapter of a book. How bad could it be? But things escalated quickly. Next thing he knew, he was writing yet another chapter, and then the next. He tried to hide it, but his family knew he was up to something.
When they figured out what he was doing, it was too late—he accidentally had written a whole book.
The result of this journey is Challenges of The Gods, a story about a fantastic world of gods meddling with humans.
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Categories: Guest Blog