1. Amor has finally locked the doors as per the very sad [Closing Announcement]. You should still be able to read threads and conversations (just in case you are late to getting things saved) up until AUGUST 1st. All subscriptions have also been cancelled so no one is donation billed for a dead site!

WORLDBUILDING SERVICE Koori's, like, whatever kinna culturalingosocio differences stepping off point?

Discussion in 'Inspiration' started by Kooriryu, Nov 5, 2016.


    Hey, have you ever had a hard time stepping out of your gross, fleshy human worldview but you're super into making non-human and non-humanoid peoples with their own cultures to give your worldbuilding that much more credibility? Of course because “If we can't write diversity into sci-fi, then what's the point? You don't create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.” - Jane Espenson

    I mean Espenson was talking about race, orientation etc. in that quote but for those of you who squirm around this subject y'all are free as a bird to go and twist that shit to mean you really wanna create a race of cat people but you don't want them to be a group of smooth-talking, tricksy, mystical whatever lithe, slender human-made assumption whatevers.

    Also this shit ain't mine-"mine" so any y'all that ran across some kinda writing exercise prompt post that had you stop for a minute going, ".... Huh. I hadn't really considered that angle." drop this shit off in here

    Like so:

    via http://official-data.tumblr.com/post/142347083254/a-thought-i-had-about-alien-languages-on-earth

    "A thought I had about alien languages. On Earth, there are many languages that distinguish elder brother/sister from younger brother/sister. There are also some languages that distinguish between an uncle/aunt who is older than one’s parent vs younger than one’s parent (e.g., in Chinese, father’s older brother is a different word than father’s younger brother). However, there are, to the best of my knowledge, no languages that distinguish “uncle/aunt who is older than oneself” vs “uncle/aunt who is younger than oneself.”​

    Not surprising, of course, since it’s rather unusual to have an uncle or aunt who is younger than oneself. It does happen, of course, but it’s rather the exception to the rule, and “uncle/aunt” is generally understood to mean an older relative.​

    However, in many animals this is by no means uncommon. A cat, for example, can easily have a kitten at the same time that it’s a several-times-great grandmother, since a cat’s reproductive lifespan is many times longer than its childhood.​

    Suppose you had an alien with a life cycle more like that. I suspect that most sapients wouldn’t have quite that much overlap. Most sapient species are likely to have significantly extended childhoods, since intelligence requires greater time for learning. Still, one could readily imagine a species where it’s quite common to continue having children well after grandchildren begin being born (it’s theorized that menopause in humans evolved to enable mothers to help raise their grandchildren, so presumably such a species would have, in its evolutionary past, less grandmotherly assistance, or possibly that pregnancy/childbirth would be much less taxing - perhaps an egg-laying species?). Thus, it might be quite common to have an uncle/aunt who is younger, and conversely, a nephew/niece who is older.​

    In fact, they might not even *have* words for uncle/aunt or nephew/niece. Relative age might be more important for them than generational differences. So they might have a word for “relative of approximately the same age”, which would include siblings as well as uncles/aunts/nephews/nieces/cousins close to one’s age, a word for “relative close in age to one’s parent”, a word for “relative close in age to one’s children [or young enough to be one’s child]”, etc."​

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  2. oh shit, finally happened upon that one post that was the inspiration behind this shit to begin with

    via: http://galaxa-13.tumblr.com/post/152353751775/you-know-what-i-want-more-of-variety-in-aliens

    You know what I want more of? Variety in aliens. No, I don’t mean more designs for alien species. I mean variety within a species. They always seem to have the same government, the same culture, the same religion, the same language. Come on, humans don’t work that way!
    “Say, there’s a Qualar over there. What are they saying?”

    “No idea.”
    “That’s a Kinzian Qualar. I’m a Surolian Qualar. You’d have just as much luck understanding them as I would. You’re lucky I even speak Human.”

    “Human isn’t a language.”

  3. woop


    Humans have always had the impulse to cast alien life in our image, says British science writer Philip Ball. It’s a tendency that goes back centuries, and has only been propagated by modern science fiction. In this video by Adam D'Arpino for Aeon, Bell argues that this tendency could actually be limiting us in the search for aliens. “When we start speculating about what advanced extraterrestrials are like, we’re really just talking about ourselves,” he says. “Such failures of imagination can become a straightjacket for our thinking. How can we move beyond solipsism and Hollywood tropes?”​
    • Agree Agree x 1