1. elfdragonlord
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    elfdragonlord Member

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    What do people think of these story/world creation ideas?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by elfdragonlord, Jan 10, 2007.

    I am getting fed up with writing fantasy and I wanted to free up my art a little. So I'm toying with mixing fantasy and science fiction in interesting ways. I have some ideas brewing for creating my fictional world. Thought I'd run them by people to see whether people think they are good, they suck or they've been done before or whatever...

    1. Gateways that open up in places and at times of spiritual significance (such as Ancient Egypt, Mt Sinai, Stonehenge, the River Ganges). These points in space and time can be travelled between - allowing the possibility of time travel, and also interstellar travel (these gateways exist on other worlds too, naturally)

    2. A bizarre variety of creatures can seep through these gateways from some other world, even though people from this universe can't seem to find a way to pass to that other world. These creatures are so bizarre as to be almost beyond human ken, and can't really be considered as good or evil (though ignorant humans have referred to them as angels or demons in the past). those who are truly wise about these things class the creatures in five sets - calling them red, yellow, green, blue or purple and claiming that these colours represent the true moral nature of these creatures if white and black are considered to be good and evil.

    3. A race of androgynous aliens - they have no gender and hence no concept of gay or straight - but they are divided according to submissive or dominant traits in sexual activity, depending on personality and preferences (but these divisions play a similar role in their society as gender does in ours). These creatures are also very pacifist, don't believe in good and evil but rather in ignorance and learning, and view God in terms of an impersonal energy or consciousness.
     
  2. Axis
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    Axis Member

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    I think having the distinction of Submissive and Dominant negates the impact of having no gender. The reader is likely to just appoint the submissive characters as female, and the dominant as male. If you want to create a race without these distinctions, then you should remove the distinction. It looks to me like you are just replacing physical gender distinctions with an emotional gender distinctions.

    Apart from that, I like the idea of the Gateways. It's been used before, but I wouldn't consider it cliche or overused in any fashion, so you should be able to get something fresh out of it.

    The second idea, monsters slipping through the Gateways, is a good one, and a reasonably logical progression from the Gateway idea itself. I'd like to see you try to connect more of the monsters with historical figures, they way you have with Angels and Demons. Look at other cultures and see if you can highlight any mythical creatures that can be related back to this idea (for example, the Rainbow Serpent from the Australian Aboriginal culture - can't think of the traditional name for it right this second).
     
  3. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    The third concept of gender neutral aliens is explored in the book "The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula LeGuin. It's one of the greatest works of science-fiction ever written.

    The second concept reminds me of Diane Duane's worldgate concept from her Young Wizards series, but there is enough new stuff to make me interested. If you develop a plot, it sounds like it could be an interesting device!
     
  4. elfdragonlord
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    elfdragonlord Member

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    Whilst I whole-heartedly disagree with the implication that submissive and dominant would be female and male emotional genders (being a submissive male myself) - I do agree that it would undermine the overall effect to have that distinction in a race that is supposed to have no gender. It would confuse the main point.

    I am now toying with having another race who are closely allied with the androgynous race but are not androgynous themselves. This other race of beings have male and female creatures but there are no gender distinctions in their society - no codes about how 'men' and 'women' should dress or behave. They do however have strong divisions in their society between submissives and dominants but both submissives and dominants could be of either sex.

    The androgynous race meanwhile all have characteristics of both sexes and can play either dominant or submissive roles, having no concept of gender or sexual difference at all.

    Splitting up my two main points there makes both ideas come across more clearly, I think. Namely, that what's between your legs shouldn't make a difference / sexuality (in the sense of straight or gay) is largely illusionary and that the difference between those who are sexually dominant or sexually submissive (according to personality and sexual needs) is a far more real distinction than gender or 'sexuality'.

    So, thanks:)
     
  5. elfdragonlord
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    elfdragonlord Member

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    I did think of that book actually, although I've not read it myself. When I found out about it - only shortly after thinking of my idea - I was worried that it might be too similar. But I think I'd go in a slightly different direction to that. Maybe I should read the book to make sure I don't go down too similar a path.
     
  6. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Let me guess: You have the "androgynous race" thing and the other race because you're gay. (The whole "submissive male" thing doesn't help.)

    However, the idea sounds great. Please post up a few chapters if you ever get around to it.

    Also, towards Spherical Time: Young Wizards rules.
     
  7. elfdragonlord
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    elfdragonlord Member

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    Actually I'm bi. But I am very fond of dominant women, being somewhat submissive in response to them.

    Hope that explains things better for you:p
     
  8. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    It does. Don't worry, I wasn't saying it was a bad thing.
     
  9. Mr Baatard
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    Mr Baatard Member

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    That was very Seinfeld of you. "NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT!"
     
  10. Axis
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    I didn't say that. I said most readers will simply substitute the labels. Most readers will see the submissive characters as feminine, and therefore female, and the dominant characters as masculine, and therefore male.

    In my opinion this is a much better idea, because it directly addresses the gender stereotypes that are evident in today's society, while the other idea (androgyny) decides to re-label it. Maybe putting the two together will be effective though, I don't know.
     
  11. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    I would. If nothing else, it's very well written.

    Yes, yes it does.
     

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