There are going to be a lot of aliens this release season, and not entirely aliens.
Angel, why? Why do you write them?
If I lived inside a science fiction story, I'd be a xenologist, studying alien cultures. I love this stuff. Where are the pitfalls? Where are the common points? Where does it look like a common point and sheers off unexpectedly?
But I can't. So I write aliens. Sometimes they're very alien, like the saurian Drak'tar in Gravitational Attraction. Sometimes they're enough like us that the cultural differences blindside humans, like with Teer in A Christmas Cactus for the General, who is so much like, and not like, us.
Which brings me to Een, who at least shares four limbs and bilateral symmetry with us, and that's about it. I won't spoil anything for those who haven't read Eating Stars, but for this story I wanted a true first contact event, a meeting with someone entirely alien to us.
And yet, it's still possible to connect and find common ground. Kind of a theme there - and honestly, one anthropologists have always struggled with. Where's the real common ground, the place where I'm not bringing my own biases and we're coming to an actual understanding.
Then there are the dangpo, who are not aliens. They're altered humans - altered not by their consent and marooned on a planet by their creators.
Genetically, they're us. But cut off from human society, their thought processes became alien. They are not us in so many ways which made them easy to misunderstand and then easy to dismiss in a colonial situation.
Yes. Sometimes you have to go there.
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.