Saturday, August 04, 2007

A clean slate

I love puns and word play! (So do my characters.)

Anyway, my blog today is not about the wholesomeness and hygiene of a very minor character in one of my alien romances. (War-star Leader Slayt.) It may end up that way, because this is a blog, not an essay.

I just re-read Margaret's post Improving On Humanity... and as I made my morning instant coffee, I considered the idea of "souping up" a human being. If humankind were a make of computer, I don't think we'd be "God's Mac". Then again, I don't want to offend anyone. Think of the patches and peripherals, extra DIMMs and SIMMs, external drives we need to make us better. And now, Margaret tells us, we can be fixed by a cell from the tail of a mouse? (!!)

I also thought about starting sentient life with a clean slate. Improving upon humanity by taking some of the best ideas (faces, hands, pecs, abs, penises) and putting those components into an all-new package.

Of course, being the low element that I am, I am especially interested in the intellectual exercise of designing and engineering a better class of penis. I've seen it written that our great-grandfathers' were larger. I dimly remember a newspaper photograph pinned up on my all-girls school news board showing the IceMan, which may go to prove that point. However, I'm not sure how practical great size would be if one spent one's life swinging through the trees... or charging through the thorny undergrowth on all fours.

One has to consider evolution. And the vegetation and climate of one's alien worlds.

I'm working on a superior shapeshifter, and the Incredible Hulk model doesn't do it for me. No matter how big, green and angry Bruce Banner grew, his pants always stayed on. That's not going to happen for a man who turns into a dragon... or a manatee. So, he needs to evolve some "adaptation", some natural "protection" for when he shifts back. (Unless he only shifts back for mating... in which case, one has to ask ones freshly shifted hero not only "Do You Feel Lucky?" but "Why?")

Small and hidden among coarse hair --the Bonobo solution (I think)-- isn't going to enrapture my editor. I read somewhere that moles have toughies. I've wondered if being literally "horny", like a rhino, would be romantically acceptable.

Going in the other direction, when I was young and impressionable, I read about ancient Japanese warriors who were able to voluntarily retract part of the problem into the iguinal canal. That might have been a canard. I haven't looked into it.

War-star Leader Slayt isn't a particularly well developed character. In FORCED MATE he had to move out of his suite, so that Ka'Nych the gynecologist and Grievous the Earthways Advisor could bunk near the Imperial Suite in case they were needed, which they were when the heroine broke the hero's nose.

Slayt reports, takes orders, does his job efficiently in the background. The only interesting detail about him --to me-- may be his name: Slayt. It wasn't the first name I gave him, but he ended up with it for all the connotations of "slate the stone, slate the gray, to slay/ slayed, and the pop group Slade.

The naming of characters is very important to me, and I might have written about that, too. Maybe I will another time.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that gorillas and chimps have smaller penises than human males. Elaine Morgan's fascinating book THE DESCENT OF WOMAN theorizes that men have such disproportionately large penises compared to other male primates as an indirect result of the loss of hair in human evolution. When we became mostly hairless, we grew a layer of fat as a substitute device to retain body heat. Women deposited some of that fat in large derrieres, probably to help protect the sexual organs from dirt and other discomforts associated with contact between a bare sensitive organ and bare dirt or rocks. Therefore, the entrance to the vagina became more recessed than in the great apes, and the man's organ became longer for the same reason as the giraffe's neck -- to reach something otherwise inaccessible.

    That story about Japanese martial artists being able to retract their testicles at will is mentioned in the James Bond novel YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. I wonder if it's true. Bond thought that would be a great talent to have, but he was told that a man has to start practicing from early childhood in order to master that skill.