Wednesday, September 09, 2009

An Answer for Everything

That is the title for chapter four.  Here the characters are all staying put and the action from previous chapters slows down by a lot.  There are only two major characters interacting throughout this entire chapter: Briok and Amar.  It's a question and answer session that of course answers some questions, but then reveals many more of them for the reader to dig into.  My only qualm about this chapter is that I may be putting too many questions in the book that WON'T be answered until much, much later in the story.  I'm talking next book later.  It's a major concern, but hopefully the coherent thematic story I'm trying to weave is going to lift the book over such a tremendous hill.

So I promised I would explain to everyone how two species can have a baby together.  And I promised it wouldn't involve sex.  Well, the concept I'm getting at is a controlled genetic environment presided over by the parents and conducted by a skilled geneticist.  Basically, the two species are genetically engineering their kid.  The ethics of this are pretty complex, but I'm not planning on ever discussing the ethics of the procedure itself.  The story is set in the year 3096!  Aliens have been around for millenia!  Love is bound to happen and sooner or later we're going to get used to seeing a two-legged fish looking thing with tentacles on its head walking down the street, while the aliens, after being in such close contact to a culture that surrounds them on every side, will eventually adapt to our customs and even take on some of our own traits.  The reverse will also happen.  So a genetic way of creating a kid from the love of two different species is going to be pretty accepted in the 31st century.

Of course, the kids themselves may not be.  The general populace may understand why the genetic engineering must happen, but they won't necessarily like it.  The concept comes from two radically different places: a television show in the 90s called Space: Above and Beyond, and Naruto, that over-the-top, melodramatic anime that half the world is in love with.  Space had a pretty cool concept, that there were these clones developed and they were stigmatized.  Essentially, they became slaves, and then they rebelled.  They joined forces with the AI (Artificial Intelligence) and waged war against normal humans.  Well, I don't want anyone waging war, but the stigmatization part was pretty interesting.  In Naruto, a kid is basically genetically engineered (he is imbued with the spirit of a demon wolf) and even though his plight just saved the entire village everyone still hates him.  Again, the concept is pretty interesting.

Hopefully next week I can publish another excerpt from the book.  I just might be having too much fun screwing around on campus.  I hope you've enjoyed this week's post.  If you have any comments about the concepts I talked about today, suggestions about what I should put in the blog, how I should structure it, please leave a comment below.  I love criticism, honestly, and I really do want to be the best I can at this.  Until next time then.


  1. I think the genetic engineering concept is pretty cool. And if you write about love I will so totally read it! Where's the rest of the book? Did you only post part of it?

    Ps. I like the names of the characters.

  2. Hey Sheba! Thanks so much for your feedback! It's very much appreciated. And yes, the book will definitely involve love. But the rest of the book hasn't been on here yet. I have it on my computer. I've posted an excerpt from Chapter 5: The Ties That Bind in a previous post. The link is here:

    If you have the time, comment! Critique! I'd love to hear from everyone, especially you!

    And thanks, I like the names too :D

  3. On the topic of questions that you raise that will be a long time answering: think about if whether they are actually necessary or not. You might find that after some contemplation that the issues can either be answered sooner than you previously anticipated or are kind of superfluous; in that case, your problem will be solved. If they are necessary, you could downplay them or just hope that your readers will be so interested in other things that the unanswered questions are not too bothersome.

    Other than that, your idea of genetic engineering—and its basis in that humans and aliens have been living alongside each other for a long time and that love is inevitable—is really nice and believable. I completely understand where the idea came from and think it’s cool. :D Are you going to talk about this a bit in your novel (the first one) or is it more of an ‘implied’ or ‘glossed over’ idea?

    As for your last paragraph: one of your top priorities should definitely be to have fun. ☺ Of course make time for writing, but you can’t be a good writer if you aren’t out in the world having experiences. I know you know that, I just think it’s a good thing to remember.

    For your subsequent posts, I liked what you did today. You could use other posts to talk about some novel concepts presented in your work, like cultural characteristics of the aliens or things of the like. The other thing that would work nicely is posting more excerpts, especially parts of the novel that have some ‘problem’, as in when you read them there’s just something about it that you don’t like but can’t figure out what it is. Your readers can be helpful in identifying how to address these problem areas. Of course, also posting your favorite passages would be good for entertaining us. ☺ Oh! And you could post examples of those questions that go unanswered that you mentioned earlier and see if we think that we’d be too curious if we had to wait to learn the answer/if we would be angry over not learning the answer.

    Off-topic: did you get my e-mail? I recently switched e-mail addresses and was concerned that it never actually reached your inbox (I have bad luck with e-mail for some reason).