Tuesday, December 05, 2006

So, well then WHAT if....????


Linnea brought up that one thought process I will be talking about in my review column the first half of 2007 -- hypothesizing.

http://www.simegen.com/reviews/rereadablebooks/2007/ will show you the list of books to be reviewed the first half of the year. The columns will be posted after they have been printed in the magazine that paid for them, then posted to THEIR website -- finally on simegen.com for archive.

Hypothesizing is a cognitive function that animals don't have -- the ability to think about something that is not, might never be, should never be. It's the ability to think abstractly (i.e. do algebra).

In this blog we discussed what it is that a human could possibly see in an alien (a real non-human but intelligent person) that would be sexually and romantically attractive.

I mentioned a shapeless blob, and everyone immediately chimed in ODO -- well, yeah, I'm a serious Odo fan (STAR TREK DS-9 -- if you haven't seen it, get the DVD's from the library at least! Odo is something else!)

So for writers and readers of Alien Romance it isn't the appearance that ignites the spark.

We write about how it is that "love at first sight" can operate even with an alien (maybe one you can't even see!)

We write about that sense of soul-to-soul recognition. And we write about it emotionally.

But Linnea put her finger on exactly what it is that could be recognized over that biological gulf that could set off the total romantic attachment of "love at first sight." It's the cognitive function that has to tie all "intelligent" life in all galaxies together -- the ability to hypothesize.

It is our imaginations that unite us - even as imagination divides us. Imagined slights, insults, and the "well she thinks she's so great!" cognitive error of believing you know what another person thinks just from what they do.

So imagination would make the main axis of conflict in an Alien Romance.

Mostly we believe that those fabulous lovers we imagine in the night aren't real.

But what if they are? I mean what if they ALL are real?

Jacqueline Lichtenberg


  1. JL wrote: In this blog we discussed what it is that a human could possibly see in an alien (a real non-human but intelligent person) that would be sexually and romantically attractive.

    I'm an Odo fan, too! :-) As for what human(oids) could find attractive in an alien species...hell, ask the millions of guys in love with their CARS. Or boats.

    I know guys with more photos of their cars or boats on their desk than photos of their kids.

    I personally don't think humans have as much an issue with an attraction to an non-humanoid being OR an inanimate object as many people would believe. Look how many of us reaction to our pets? How have we been (pre)conditioned since childhood to respond to animal faces by the fact that we're given stuffed teddies, etc.?

    I'm toying with a (future) book with a felinoid hero who is predominantly human in appearance save for a light furring and more feline-type features (and yes, I know Lisanne Norman has her wonderful Sholan series). My agent squirms over that and says my readers won't accept it. I wonder...

    ~Linnea, who can also be found playing NEOPETS :-)

  2. Anonymous6:14 PM EST

    The secret to good fantasy and science fiction is making totally created worlds and creatures FEEL REAL. Bring on the cat people, Linnea! I'm a reader and I'm bored to death with buff 20something, caucasion humanoids! The reason Odo worked was because of his very human feelings for Kira and his friends, the conflict between those he knew were good and those who were bad but were his 'family.' It's the depth and dimension of the character that matters to me. Good science fiction and fantasy takes reality and turns it on its ear.


    Kimber An

  3. Linnea, I'm astonished at that editor who thinks a felinoid hero wouldn't be acceptable. Aside from several highly successful books featuring that type of intelligent alien, hasn't he/she ever seen or heard of the TV series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? One thing I loved about it was that there was no chance of Vincent's being "cured" (i.e., transformed into an ordinary man).