Am I taking too long to write a 2000 word short story? Probably at the moment. I haven’t had the time to write any fiction in a while. Even though it’s only been six months since I’ve put detailed thought into getting a final product on paper, I already feel rusty. Still, given the necessity for reader votes in this Epic Worlds competition, I’m probably going to bang out this story over the weekend.
I’m glad I took this pause of a few days, though, to bounce some of these ideas off my internet comrades in weird, unwieldy writing projects. In particular, I’m glad I got to hear some of the ideas of Josh from Vaka Rangi after my first post about this story on Monday.
|If we're going to trace ideas through the pop-culture, I'm|
playing with similar ideas as Fritz Lang did 90 years ago.
He talked about the potential of my character Alice as a divine ideal, the living embodiment of what the reader, and what other characters in the story, aspire to be. It’s more than simply a stereotypical Mary Sue, and functions with a constant sheen of meta-fiction, rather like Kei and Yuri of Dirty Pair. She’s a character in her own singular right.
The different character of her mind* means that she understands the world differently than humans. This affected her moral sensibilities, making her radically different from humanity in that she has no desire for revenge or retribution against those who do wrong to her. She simply makes the wrong end as quickly as possible, and repairs the damage done to herself, her world, and the perpetrator (whatever of him may survive).
* Alice being an android with a particular philosophic-technobabbly reason I discussed in another post and another story.
She is benevolence, and restorative justice in a person. But she’s still a person. For example, she knows she’s ethically superior to humans, and can be a little smug about it. But she remains basically kind enough that you aren’t even sure if you should be offended at her smugness.
When you say something funny and Alice laughs, you’re never quite sure whether she’s laughing with you, laughing at you, or if somehow they’ve become the same thing.
Josh wondered why a human, as flawed as he is, could never approach and understand such an advanced being. The principle of the shaman is that someone comes from a corrupt society, encounters an embodiment of a better ideal for living, and returns to the world with what he’s learned from that contact to make it a better place.
I think now I have a better sense of how this will play out in the short story. Jorge, the human protagonist, comes from a corrupt world that resembles our own quite a bit. He does leave that world for a career in space as a wanderer. He encounters Alice and the world she’s part of, a world operating according to a different morality. He understands that this might be a better morality than his own world, android society inherently more peaceful, harmonious, and happy than his own.
What if he also cannot escape a terrible sense of certainty** that this revolutionary morality would find no home on his world, and he’d return even more alone than before. First he was a self-exile. Now, he’s an alien.
** However, one man’s certainty gives no sign of what the truth might be.