January 17th, 2020




Speculative Fiction Needs More Diversity

I came across this picture of a black Trill, which is very well reasoned in that the spots show up as lighter areas on a dark background. The artist observes that the Trill and other SF species need more diversity. I agree.

Happily, this is one of those problems that is very easy to fix. All it needs is people who like diversity drawing and writing it. Just make it a habit that when you design a new species, you include some diversity. There are all kinds of things you could choose -- different colors, genders, cultural practices, religions, mentalities, body shapes, and so on. Aim to represent at least two characters with divergent traits when you introduce a new species. That not only cuts down on monotyping, it helps distinguish them as individuals.

Here are a few of my examples ...

An Army of One: The Autistic Secession in Space has a huge range of neurodiversity.  They're all human, but not the kind that most humans write about.

A Conflagration of Dragons is a series where I made up six new vaguely humanoid species -- the Six Races -- plus the dragons, who are also sapient but nobody counts them among the Six so there are technically seven. Each of the humanoid races correlates to two of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) and that influences the traits they have.  I have posted details about the Madhusudana, Shu, and Beneberak.  The dragons are all one species, although they have different color phases (red, blue/green, bronze, black) depending on which elements they favor.  You can see a great deal of color variation in this series.

Feathered Nests features an alien species who resemble birds.  The males have three genders -- aleph, beth, faeder -- distinguished by both physical and psychological traits.  The females have two -- modor and gimel -- distinguished by sexual orientation rather than physique.

Frankenstein's Family has werewolves with at least two subraces: there are werewolves with light-skinned and dark-skinned human forms.

Poem: "The Great Growling Engine of Change"

This poem is from the August 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] fayanora. It also fills the "catching up" square in my 8-2-19 card for the End of Summer Bingo fest. This poem is posted here as the freebie for the January 7, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal, selected in an audience poll. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series and will make more sense if you have previously read "The Heart to Rejoice" and "A Perfection That Eludes Us."

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