If you were to write one novel...

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Khemehekis
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Khemehekis »

I always imagined a novel I would write about the Lehola Galaxy as being a picaresque novel, in the tradition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye. There's this one lad who's traveling to many different planets and countries and having all these edgy encounters with different Leholan concultures.

I had a vision of one specific chapter in my story way back in 2003. This chapter would have the protagonist landing on a planet and finding that all the adults on the planet are currently under arrest. There is a force field that arrests all the non-government folks over the age of puberty whenever anyone commits a crime, to give the police time to investigate and find out who did it. He discovers that the planet has become authoritarian in the extreme, and the people have become very docile so as to accept their arrests. The protagonist then would take one little girl and her pregnant raccoon-tailed cat -- I imagined this breed of cat as being called a ferpa cat (rhymes with "Sherpa") -- onto his spacecraft with him. As he and she take off, he sets something off that will blow up the planet he and the little girl are leaving behind.

At other times, I've had visions of the protagonist meeting Kankonians and having old Kankonian mystics draw Kankonian letters for him to teach him the alphabet.
in what way does this story represent and show the world/culture that you have created?
I find this picaresque idea to be a good format for going from planet to planet and showcasing a wide array of concultures. It will show the whole gamut of peoples and countries, with only one character who is shown throughout the whole novel. The Lehola Galaxy is a whole galaxy, after all.
Why would you want to specifically showcase the things and characters that appear or happen in this story?
I would choose the planets, people, and elements of culture I chose as a sort of cultural tourism -- some of the most extreme forms of government, or laws, or religious beliefs, or technologies, or social attitudes, or forms of communication (i.e. languages) imaginable. Of course, I'd also want to show the "basics" for the major player concultures in Lehola (how the Kankonians write and what they wear and what a day at a Kankonian school is like; what it's like aboard a Pluosian ufopolis; how lifespeeding works for the various species that use it; Tentan corporations and their biggest brands; how the Bodusians speak, teach their children, live their day-to-day life, and so on).
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by MissTerry »

Aevas wrote: 06 Sep 2020 13:51 ... that was set in your conworld or featured your conculture, what would it be about? What story would you choose to go with? In what way does this story represent and show the world/culture that you have created? Why would you want to specifically showcase the things and characters that appear or happen in this story?
The story would begin in a very beautiful world, a vast world of many great big biomes of different kinds. The world is inhabited by a very neotenic [pedomorphic / child-like] race called the "Humraya," who speak a language called "Humrayan." The Humraya are an all-female race of people.

The Humraya spend the first couple centuries in total innocence, oblivious to everything, and enjoying the beauties of their world. They inhabit little cities spread across their vast world, populated with horses, horse drawn wagons; candles and oil lamps that light their streets and homes at night. On many of the walls of their buildings, and on their flag is an Ant or representation of an Ant. The word Humraya, which they call themselves, which they have always called themselves, comes from their word "Humra" meaning Ant, which like they, are all-female.

After a few hundred years, the Humraya collectively begin to become very curious about their world, and so they begin to explore its furthest reaches. One question they have is where their sun goes to and where it comes from. In the mornings the sun seems to come from the far east end of their world and in as the day passes, the sun is seen to travel to the far west end. The further their sun is away from them, the more tube-shaped they notice their world to be. And so, they travel to the furthest ends of the east and west side of what they suspect to be a cylinder shaped world.

At the furthest end of their world is a place covered in vast expanses of ice, ice deserts, and cyclopean mountain ranges that stretch upwards past the blueness of their sky, forming a ring of impenetrable mountains. The Humraya sees that their sun comes out of the eastern ring of cyclopean mountains and it vanishes when it enters the western ring of mountains.

Over the next many decades, many attempts were made to somehow travel beyond the great mountain ring, with many perishing from being frozen to death or from lack of oxygen as they go higher up the mountains. Until one century or so later, with more advanced technology, the Humraya penetrate the Great Mountain Ring.

The Humraya discover that beyond the Great Mountain Rings is another world, alien to the natural one they were born and raised in. It is a world of metal, electricity, machines of different size. They learn that their sun is artificial, created by this vast machinery and otherworldly technology. Having discovered this, the Humraya encounter their first mystery: Who had build their cylinder world and who created them and for what reason?

They explore the machine side of their world, which was operated and controlled by vast armies of billions and billions of non-sentient robots and machines. One day, they discover that their cylinder world had a shell, a hull. And so, the Humraya begin to work on finding a way to breach the hull in order to see what is on the outside of their world.

During the process of trying to breach the hull of their world, they discover that a vast network of great tunnel and cities exists throughout the hull, and those cities were inhabited by a humanoid race of robots who called themselves the "Latsekai" which meant "Custodian" in their Humrayan language.

The Humraya learn from the Custodians that it is they, the Custodians, who built their world and who maintain it and keep it functioning. And that in ancient times, their Custodian race had been instructed by a queen of the Organic Race to build an Ark in order to preserver the living organisms and people of her planet, for the planet was dying. The Custodians were instructed to never make their presence known to the race of Organic people who lived in the natural portions of the cylinder world. And so after being asked, the Custodians show the Humraya the outside of their world, outer space, which orbited a big round world with great rings of ice and stone and many moons. And in that outer space was the Real Sun, far away.

The Custodians eventually lead the Humraya to the dead planet their ancestors had come from. It was the third planet from the Real Sun. And so, the Humraya begin scientifically digging this dead world, searching for their past, and trying to solve a second mystery: what had happened to that planet that it died.

After man years of digging around, they discover that the dead world once was home to many civilizations of Organic people... but that those ancient Organic people were different: there were two genders, male and female. The Humraya eventually learn that they themselves are genetically related to the dead world's Organic race of males and females, and that their own language of Humraya was an artificial language based on an ancient language once spoken on that dead world called "Sanskrit."

Thus, were the Humraya confronted with a great mystery: what had happened to the males? Why did the ancient queen of the dead world only save the female Organic people in the Ark? What had happened in their ancient past? They learn that clues had been left encoded in their artificial language itself.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Foolster41 »

I was working on a story that's a bit of a fish out of water story about a kid (I tend to write kid protagonists naturally for some reason).
I Actually shared some it here a long time ago.

I love the idea of exploring this world (or any world) from an outsider's POV and trying to adapt. Unfortunately, it is a bit weird with some of the subject matter, especially since it' s a kid character (involving nudity taboos, or lack of) I've had writing friends tell me it's fine and publishable, but it still feels weird to me. Changing to an adult would mean completely starting over.

IDK otherwise what I'd write for my conworld. I'd considered a historical story of the time of the rebellion how the last king Kakela was overthrown, or some sort of fantasy epic in-world of when the representatives of the divines walked the earth, and there was magic. Maybe one day I'll write one of those.

I think mainly I;d want to focus on cultural practices, biological differences that influence that culture (being cold-blooded) and religion, since I;ve done quite a bit of work on them, and the ideas of two cultures meeting and adapting is interesting to me.
Glenn wrote:In my “current” conworld (that is to say, the embryonic setting that has been kicking around inside my brain for some 20 years now), I have an idea for a novel stemming from a idea that dates back even longer. The starting point was a desire to see a story, not about a war (a theme which I had seen often enough before), but about diplomats attempting to prevent a war (one which I had not).
I really like this idea. There can still be still conflict and dangers (assasins) without outright war.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Khemehekis »

Foolster41 wrote: 22 Apr 2022 06:41 I was working on a story that's a bit of a fish out of water story about a kid (I tend to write kid protagonists naturally for some reason).
I Actually shared some it here a long time ago.

I love the idea of exploring this world (or any world) from an outsider's POV and trying to adapt. Unfortunately, it is a bit weird with some of the subject matter, especially since it' s a kid character (involving nudity taboos, or lack of) I've had writing friends tell me it's fine and publishable, but it still feels weird to me. Changing to an adult would mean completely starting over.
Hey, I think I remember that! That was the story about Zach, right?
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Foolster41
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Foolster41 »

yeah! Zack was the human character who visited Saltha.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Piero »

I think it would be about how an army general in the multi-species society of a politically declining country on the Dumir subcontinent finds himself having to choose between loyalty to the principles he has always believed in and the emerging values of anti-speciesism (and anti-racism). I don't know what the plot would be like in detail, but I think it would involve at least one clandestine trip to the nearby and more successful rich colonial power (also multi-species) of Sidmay, to the west of the Dumir subcontinent...

It would be very nice if members of the Kasnara people, organised in sect-communities generally located in isolated places, tirelessly animated by a holistic and rationalistic cult of Curiosity, would also appear as characters. Among the Kasnara people, under certain conditions, some members leave far away to found a new community through a complex process of "sowing". Kasnara communities are mostly found in the Carienos, thousands of kilometres away from the Dumir and across a huge desert, but imagine what an incredible story it would be if these curiosity seekers discovered the Dumir and its failing multi-species societies...

Oh, I forgot: the general torn between tradition and justice... is a bird.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by HopeCPressF »

Well, I've already written this one.

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https://books2read.com/u/b6vZEx <- Here it is.

And I plan to write several more. The Ancient Wound is a sort of personal story of two young people involved in/trying to avoid the fallout from a growing revolution in their city. The thing is, a lot of my worldbuilding has sort of developed perpendicularly to the novel, so the city it takes place in, Cinura, is developed in great detail - even though, for it to be a good book, I can't just info-dump splurge that into the text.

The story's representative of the industrial era and growing age of revolutions in the setting, as well as the constant change in technology, both mundane and magical - in this first book, train tracks are only just starting to be built. By book three, they'll stretch hundreds of kilometres. The focus characters are products of their environment, and play into my desire to create fantasy where the focus isn't on kings or lords or the privileged - the two main characters are an amateur naturalist and a homeless revolutionary.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by prettydragoon »

One novel set in Rireinu. It would probably be...
a murder mystery, full of clichés, like:
  • set in an opulent manor house
  • run with an iron hand by the Colonel, an aging matriarch
  • the erapoya, her eldest daughter, tired of waiting for her mother to move to the ancestors' side of the family altar
  • the hermit in the nearby forest, suspiciously well-informed of local goings-on for one who has allegedly renounced the world
  • the incompetent local police, either a bumbling yokel or a drinking buddy of the Colonel
  • the grizzled Detective Inspector from the City with her unerring eye for psychology
  • her dashing young assistant with her unerring eye for the local maidens
I mean, what else could I write about a Jungle Planet full of Puritanical Naked Lesbians... IN SPACE!
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Torco
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Torco »

HopeCPressF wrote: 03 May 2022 10:00 Well, I've already written this one.

Image

https://books2read.com/u/b6vZEx <- Here it is.
sounds cool, tbh.

I think something might be wrong with the publisher, the ebook seems, for lack of a better word, to be out of print ?

___________________________________

I used very much to think I'd someday write a book set in one of my conworlds, these days not so much. In a way, a good test of a conworld is whether you can set any type of fiction in it, so if one were immortal -or retired- a fun thing would be to do that, perhaps even in an explicitly random manner. Cause think about it, worlds don't have genres... not real ones, at least. anyway, so if you can't set in a conworld, say, a cattle-drive western, or a post-apocalyptic young adult coming-of-age story, or a holiday romance movie... well, that's probably cause you haven't explored some particular aspect of your setting.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by eldin raigmore »

prettydragoon wrote: 05 Jun 2022 21:21 I mean, what else could I write about a Jungle Planet full of Puritanical Naked Lesbians... IN SPACE!
I didn’t remember it’s a jungle planet.
I never got the impression before that most of them are puritanical.
If it’s rainy and hot and there’s plenty of shade, being naked is just practical.
Does it technical count as “lesbian” when there’s no one else to be attracted to? Though of course the average Galactic would probably use the term for shorthand in-story, and the average reader would use it IRL (for instance, I would).

I think I would enjoy the novel, more for local color than anything plot-related. I already like the hermit!
But I think the local color would give the perpetrator(s) some difficulties!
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by k1234567890y »

I already have ideas: one of them is a girl that was caught by alien cyborgs and converted into one of them before her birth, but she ran away and tried to fight against those alien cyborgs
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by prettydragoon »

CW: Tvtropes links
eldin raigmore wrote: 21 Jun 2022 20:16
prettydragoon wrote: 05 Jun 2022 21:21 I mean, what else could I write about a Jungle Planet full of Puritanical Naked Lesbians... IN SPACE!
I didn’t remember it’s a jungle planet.
I never got the impression before that most of them are puritanical.
If it’s rainy and hot and there’s plenty of shade, being naked is just practical.
Does it technical count as “lesbian” when there’s no one else to be attracted to? Though of course the average Galactic would probably use the term for shorthand in-story, and the average reader would use it IRL (for instance, I would).
As You Know, Bob, it's difficult to do infodumps so that they don't feel like infodumps. Or at least, at my level of writing skill it is. And my habit of using first person narration makes it feel even more contrived, or to me it feels so. So what's stopping me from doing literal infodumps, like excerpts from the Encyclopaedia Galactica, or writing in third person omniscient or something? That's a very good question, I'm glad you asked, that is exactly the kind of question I'd like to see more of, next question please.
(She writes, comfortably ensconced in her book-filled home at the edge of a vast boreal forest.)

Well, there's puritanical and there's puritanical. I guess I've left the puritanism largely at the level of Informed Attribute because it's not as much fun. I mean, Sanevisa or the Book of Sayings is pretty heavy going, even in modern translation, not to mention its centuries worth of commentary. There is still heavy pressure for conformity, even if the specific standards you're expected to conform to can be rather different. Although the emphasis on monogamy and rejection of gaudy adornments are not that different after all.

If you are member of a One Gender Race (even if that isn't technically quite accurate), attracted to your fellow members, are you then homosexual? I submit you are, even if heterosexuality is not an option. I have occasionally used the phrase 'obligate lesbians' to describe the Rireinukave. (Also 'obligate female supremacist', which is another thing they didn't know they were before meeting some galactics.) You may remember I made a big deal about creating the word for 'lesbian' in Rireinutire (and made sure to make it as unwieldy as possible).
I think I would enjoy the novel, more for local color than anything plot-related. I already like the hermit!
But I think the local color would give the perpetrator(s) some difficulties!
Wise of you to concentrate on the local colour rather than the plot. The plot is so incredibly hackneyed, you'll see every "surprise twist" coming a mile away (that's about three kusi (speaking of local colour)).

Of course, difficulties are what make things interesting. If you're thinking of concealing the murder weapon, that may well not be as difficult as one might imagine. Unlike Humans, who wrap their bodies in cloths with no pockets (and thus have to carry purses as well), Rireinukave simply gird their loins with pockets (or pouches, I guess is the word). And blood stains (if any) are much easier to clean off skin than cloth.
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KaiTheHomoSapien
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

I think mine would read more like a historical novel. My conworld isn't particularly fantasy or sci-fi-oriented like many. It's more modeled after early medieval Europe. Part of the reason I enjoyed ASoIaF so much was its lesser reliance on fantasy and its realistic world-building that made me feel like I was there. I've thought about writing a fictionalized account of the War of Succession (also called War for the Empire) that lasted for a few years in the mid-7th century. It was essentially a nationwide civil war that erupted as the Mantian Empire disintegrated (ending with the creation of the Second Kingdom, which continues to rule in the "current year"). All the major players in this event would be interesting I think and it would force me to do an extensive amount of world-building.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Egerius »

I have countless short stories set in Úrageard on my Amiga 500 (either written on ancient hardware or transferred from my ailing MacBook). It's only a matter of time...
Úrageard is (as for now) a Standard Medieval Fantasy Europe, technologically comparable to 1450s Europe with magic (the system is currently work in progress).

Barebones TL;DR synopsis
Spoiler:
The stories recount the life, hopes and troubles of a student that fled the war in his home country just after finishing his bachelor's degree (in the trivium and in the Arcane Arts). He returns after two years, gets his master's degree and struggles with lycanthropy after finding out that the cursed son of a long-dead (and equally cursed) religious leader killed the protagonist's dog. Eventually, the protagonist (finally) finds love at the very end of a futile search for a cure (well, technically he is successful) — in the Authoritarian Elven Realms, from which he returns.
The protagonist is my current LARP character (and thus my alter-ego), whose world I've been fleshing out since 2016.
Lots of very obvious allusions and references to Fullmetal Alchemist, Harry Potter, many antiquated Germanic/Latin names, the spells are/will be written in an alliterative style, in West Saxon (which is evolving backwards from Southern early Middle English because the sources get better as we go along with the story).

Parts of the lore are flying around on the unofficial CBB Discord server.
Edit: Cover art and illustrations will be limited to 64 colours as per Extra HalfBrite limitations on the above hardware.
Languages of Rodentèrra: Buonavallese, Saselvan Argemontese; Wīlandisċ Taulkeisch; More on the road.
Conlang embryo of TELES: Proto-Avesto-Umbric ~> Proto-Umbric
New blog: http://argentiusbonavalensis.tumblr.com
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Salmoneus »

prettydragoon wrote: 27 Jun 2022 21:27 As You Know, Bob, it's difficult to do infodumps so that they don't feel like infodumps. Or at least, at my level of writing skill it is. And my habit of using first person narration makes it feel even more contrived, or to me it feels so. So what's stopping me from doing literal infodumps, like excerpts from the Encyclopaedia Galactica, or writing in third person omniscient or something? That's a very good question, I'm glad you asked, that is exactly the kind of question I'd like to see more of, next question please.
This is an issue a lot of fantasy writers have - particularly those with conworldy inclinations - and a lot of it really has to do with feeling locked in to a particular style of writing (that is, a typical modern style), which is typically not well suited to the style of storytelling (that is, old-fashioned, encyclopaedic) that they are drawn to. I really encourage reading more widely in the genre (and outside it) for inspiration here (not that I'm saying you, or anyone else, aren't "reading widely enough" or anything; just that, in my experience, reading older and stranger books can be really eye-opening in terms of what is possible, for those of us (most of us!) who instinctively read a certain style of modern fiction).

Specifically, modern writing tends toward what I think of as "the invisible narrator": the narrator gets out of the way of the action as much as possible, creating an effect almost like watching a film (where the director is invisible, and their only intervention is to decide where to point the camera - the content of the screen itself is, in the conceit of the film, usually only "what's actually going on", without external intrusions). This works well to create immediacy and intimacy. However, it's awful for exposition! If the narration is just telling us what's happening, the only way to sneak in exposition is to squeeze it artificially into the corners of the screen. That can work, of course, and work well - but it works best when the amount of exposition needed is minimal. This style works best when it's used to drop the reader in the middle of things and not bore them with extraneous details - let them work out the important things for themselves, and the rest doesn't matter.

But SFF has a tradition of really exposition-rich storytelling, where the exposition - the worldbuilding - is part of the story, and where readers can be hand-held and spoon-fed a little more than in other genres. This is probably because a lot of the key texts in the history of the genre - Middle-Earth, Narnia, Earthsea, etc - were written by authors intentionally looking back to older styles of writing. And it only just about worked then (c.f. how damn much Tolkien felt to need to just dump into appendices!).

Because what I think a lot of us don't realise - I certainly didn't for a long time - is that back then, when that sort of story was expected, people didn't write the way they do now. Specifically, much more intensive forms of "narratorial intrusion", to coin a term, were used. That is: the narrator was much more of an independent character, and so could, in character, tell us things that the main characters had no reason to say.

[people can confuse this with an omniscient narrator, but it's an orthogonal issue. An omniscient narrator need not be intrusive, although Victorian ones often were; an intrusive narrator is very often intentionally not omniscient (they may be ignorant, or highly biased)]

The best modern example I know of in this regard is Terry Pratchett. Pratchett is an absolute master of exposition: his novels are packed to the gills with memorable, evocative infodumps (it's one reason why his novels led to maps and encyclopedias and endless tie-in products: there's so much worldbuilding to mine, and it's so good). But the reason why he can do this is that he's intentionally aping a much older style of storytelling, in which the narrator (here a 'version' of Pratchett himself) is omniscient, highly opinionated, insanely talkative, and prone to rambling off on totally irrelevant tangents (which allows him to hide the foreshadowing he often using both humorously and dramatically, because there are so many damn red herrings that the foreshadowing doesn't become obvious).

But it doesn't have to be done that way. Another great example is something like The Left Hand of Darkness, which actually uses two techniques: firstly, the narrator, who now is also the protagonist, is actively attempting to explain the weirdness of the world he finds himself in to his readers; but also, the story itself is interspersed with chapters that are nothing but worldbuilding, in the form of things like unrelated legends from the local culture. These 'asides' give us a lot of worldbuilding without bogging down the main narrative chapters. An even more extreme form of this is found in a novel like China Mountain Zhang, in which about half the novel consists of chapters that have absolutely sod-all to do with the main plot whatsoever. The author has basically just inserted contemporaneous short stories about aspects of the world into every second chapter (iirc one chapter is outright set on Mars, when the rest of the novel is about an architecture student on Earth).

There's also the technique of the framing story. A novel like Ash: A Secret History intersperses its gritty, heat-of-the-action mediaeval adventure story with brief framing interludes of e-mails between historians, who are able to provide entirely new perspectives and contexts for what's going on in the main story (do not skip these interludes, reader! They become really important!). And then there's the 'scholarly' footnote technique - famously, in Pale Fire the footnoted text is secondary, and the footnotes themselves are the main novel. Or you can go the whole way into something like The Dictionary of the Khazars where (almost) the entire novel is just encyclopaedia entries (iirc there's a bit of conventional narrative but it's stuck in an appendix rather than vice versa). Not to mention the 'nested narrator' concept, in which a meta-narrator can comment on the narrator's commentary.

I'm not saying anyone should automatically adopt an extreme approach to narration per se, but it's really worth bearing in mind the range of what is possible, and considering straying a little from the pure-dry-camera approach.

For example, a less extreme instance of a story that breaks away from the invisible narrator, effectively but far less obviously, is Robin Hobb's trilogy-of-trilogies about FitzChivalry Farseer. Each trilogy has Fitz as the protagonist, but is also narrated by Fitz - but a version of Fitz who is considerably older, and who does not always agree with the actions of the younger Fitz he's looking back on. The narrative Fitz - or a meta-narrative editor - is also able to insert various entries at the head of each chapter, often entries from in-world history books or encyclopaedias, or sometimes otherwise hidden texts like diary entries and the like. And then again, the protagonist-Fitz in each trilogy is in turn older than the narrator-Fitz of the preceding trilogy - so neither the protagonist nor the narrator of the second trilogy, for example, necessarily agrees with either the protagonist or the narrator of the first trilogy. And the chapter-heading entries are in some cases given more context (and either strengthened or undermined) by later books, in which the source texts may appear or be mentioned. It's actually a fairly sophisticated set-up, and it adds a great deal of emotive resonance and narrative intrigue - not to mention enough wriggle-room to facilitate a great deal of exposition without it feeling too unnatural. But equally importantly, it feels like a fairly standard epic fantasy - it doesn't feel like a literary experiment, because it's done subtly. It's more something you gradually start to think about than something that immediately hits you in the face - but, in the meantime, it allows the author to do a lot more than an invisible narrator could have accomplished.

Anyway, I'm wittering on and on about what was only a minor point, but I really wanted people who might be considering writing themselves to think a little about what is possible, and not just barrel ahead with the default option. Because there's a lot of potential in these narrative tricks, and in paticular they're really helpful in letting you integrate narrative and exposition.
If you are member of a One Gender Race (even if that isn't technically quite accurate), attracted to your fellow members, are you then homosexual? I submit you are, even if heterosexuality is not an option.
You certainly have homosexual behaviour and desires, yes. The key thing to bear in mind here is that 'homosexual' is an English word, so English concepts apply: a conculture without a certain distinction cannot meaningly have words that relate to that distinction (they cannot have a word for 'woman' without a word for 'man' and so on; if there's no gender distinction they just have a word for 'person'); but of course whenever we talk about a conculture in English, our English distinctions do (and, vexingly at times, also must) apply.

However, arguably such people would not be homosexual in one way, in that they would not have a homosexual identity. Identity is built upon the rejection of the Other, and without an Other there can be no identity (just as nobody on earth identifies as a wing-lacker or a matter-eater...). So they would certainly be homosexual, but they would not be homosexual in quite the same sense as anyone in modern Western culture (in which questions of homosexual and heterosexual identities are unavoidable and must be negotiated in some way (even refusing to answer a question is still engaging with the question)).
I have occasionally used the phrase 'obligate lesbians' to describe the Rireinukave.
The bigger issue there would be that of course these people, while homosexual, would not really 'be' lesbians, because they are not women. There are no women without men - without a contrast, we have no good reason to call them women rather than men. We could do so, of course, but that would only be a statement about Western culture and the English language, and what the speaker considered important, rather than a meaningful statement about the people being spoken of.
(Also 'obligate female supremacist', which is another thing they didn't know they were before meeting some galactics.)
Until they encounter people with a sex distinction that they can recognise (whether or not the people they meet have a gender distinction on that basis), they don't only "don't know" they're female supremacists, they literally AREN'T female supremacists. You can't, even subconsciously, advocate the supremacy of one group over a second group if you have no idea the second group do or can exist.

Conversely, the moment they DO develop a sex or gender concept, they are no longer 'obligate' anything! They may be xenophobes who hate outsiders and their oddities, or prefer outsiders they see as more similar to themselves over those they see as more distinct, but that's entirely a choice, not anything in any way obligatory.

[sidenote: I suspect they'd never actually develop the idea of sex or gender at all. I suspect that either they'd see humans as a single gender with many non-gender variations (after all, there are many 'types' of women, biologically and culturally, but we don't call every type a gender), or they'd see men and women as different species, and reason that the two species are interfertile (but not fertile within their own species). The thing about cultural concepts is that there's never really any facts that can dictate one worldview or another, so a non-sex culture has no reason to ever invent - or accept, if told about - the idea of sexes.]


...sorry, tangential rambling on pedantic matters of hypothesis are a downside of a philosophy degree...
Khemehekis
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus, from what I recall, Prettydragoon's Rireinu people do have biologically male and female sexes, it's just that all the males of the species are genetically inferior and have low IQ's -- about the level of monkeys, from what I glean from her writing, perhaps? As a result, all the true love is female-female, and all the child-raising (raising fine young daughters, basically) is done by two women. I recall Prettydragoon saying Rireinu people use (somewhat learned) words for homosexuality, heterosexuality, etc. when discussing other species from other planets with whom they come in contact, who usually have both intelligent females and intelligent males.

EDIT: That was a great post about exposition in speculative fiction, though! Would you say that the current trend to indoctrinate writers with "Show, don't tell" has created SF writers who are too exposition-shy?
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