Story News 1 May 20 by Lorenzo Samuel, author of speculative fiction and science fiction writings. In the last (1 Feb 20 issue) advice blog in the category Story News, I laid out the speculative science that lies behind the story "Mother Eve" (working title) and how the scenes would be laid out when I develop the story. I said that I should be at a point to tell you a fuller story line and that I was considering turning it into a novella rather than a short story.
We'll take up the 2nd point first. The story takes place in 3 parts: 1) on an alien planet that's doomed because one of its two suns will nova in the next 10,000 years, 2) in the so-called dark field made up of dark matter and dark energy and packets of "nothing," all created in the Big Bang and 3) the random destination earth of 70,000 years ago. The tale is too big for a short story, which would be from 5,000 to 15,000 words. There is enough to place each of the 3 parts at around 15,000 words. All together the tale would be around 45,000 words, just novella length. What I plan to do is add a strong wrap-up climax at the end of each part, making in effect 3 short stories, each of which could stand alone.
Nevertheless, the parts will segue together, part 1 into part 2 and part 2 into part 3, making one novella. Right now, part 1 stands at nearly 5,000 words. I will complete that into a full short story with inciting incident, twists, reversals, danger points, progressive complications, crisis, climax and resolution.
The theme of this novella is "the grass is sometimes greener on the other side of the fence." The narrative question for part 1 is "Will the protagonist Fehla go into the dark field on a mission to discover a suitable planet for her people?"
On Fehla's planet, females are dominant; males are subservient. Couples do procreate, although males must be sexually enhanced in order to do so. The woman of the pair will be the one who decides if she will bear a child. If she decides to, she will use drugs to adjust the male's hormones to make him temporarily dominant and sexually adequate. He will become aggressive and unrelenting in sexual drive. After he copulates, he will revert to his passive demeanor.
The female is the breadwinner and holds all the important jobs in society. She makes all the major decisions. She raises the children. The male is referred to as an effete. Fehla has an effete. She calls him “my effete” just as we call our marriage partners, “our spouses”. Females and males do not consider this unusual; it is just the way it is. Effetes are useless for major tasks and decisions. In critical moments or dangerous situations, they simply shake in place, their minds shorted out.
Laws are in place to protect effetes from abuse and misuse. A firm tradition exists for proper relations among members of society. Fehla is a non-conformist however, and she will be charged and imprisoned for violation of her effete's and her children's rights. Nevertheless, she's flexible, and that will be why she is chosen to head the mission to travel into the dark field in search for another planet.
Just as men and women are not looked down upon when fulfilling traditional roles in our society, females and males are respected for who they are in Fehla's world. A female has certain traits. A male has certain traits. They are equals under their laws just as male and female are here.
Positive and negative emotions are the same as with us. These aliens might get angry over something that would not make us angry. However, that is normal for them. Their abilities are not more advanced than ours; they are simply different. Briefly stated, they are normal in their milieu.
In the beginning scenes, the reader will view this normal life and activity, which will be the setting for the story. The tale will develop against this normal backdrop in which suspense and turning points will show up to pull us along.
In the next issue of Story News, I expect to have completed the guts of Part 1 and tell you how I did it and the result thereof.