did seem a bit of a retake on Ariel from the Buried Age in both character and plot. I'm not unhappy about it. Different enough, but the two characters did seem to be very much cut from the same pattern.
Well, the major difference is that
Ariel was more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist
whereas Lirahn is simply power-hungry. If anything, with Lirahn I wanted to go against
my usual pattern of writing antagonists and feature one who was an out-and-out villain. Though I ended up portraying the other major villain in the book the same way, so I wondered in retrospect if maybe I should've gone a different route with Lirahn.
I guess they both use their superior intellect and personal allure to manipulate people, but with Ariel it was subtler. Lirahn is much cruder and more blatant about it, more coercive, in that she actually imposes her will telepathically rather than simply being ultra-persuasive in her speech and body language.
Well, those have different origins. The Choblik were a race I created for my original SF back in the '80s; at first I just wanted them to be terrific engineers, and eventually it occurred to me that it would fit their mindset if they modified their own bodies with technology. I later refined that into the version of the Choblik seen in my Trek fiction. As for the Manraloth and the
I just figure the integration of technology with biology is the future. We're already at the point where the line between nanotechnology and biotechnology is blurring -- researchers are making nanostructures out of DNA molecules, things like that. So I figure eventually the distinction will be blurred to the point of meaninglessness, that biology and technology will be one. (I think the Borg are a really, really crude way of portraying cybernetic organisms -- it was an obsolete portrayal when it was new.)
Besides, it's just different
. We've seen so many hyper-advanced Trek races that evolve huge brains and psi powers or go incorporeal or whatever. It's a cliche, and it's evolutionarily silly. So when I deal with hyper-advanced species, I want to do something different from the convention.
As for the
future security troops, I actually based them on the security forces from the unsold Final Frontier animated series proposal
that was in the news a few years back, with 26th-century security officers using "bugs," cybernetic implants derived from Borg technology, to link their minds. There's another more direct reference to that later on.
Not sure what you mean by that.
But I'm glad you liked the character. I really enjoyed writing her.