I liked it. It's a very well written piece of work, and the setting in Cardassia's past is certainly something I haven't seen before.
I think on this board, only Gul Re'jal and I have written in that timeframe.
Imagine if that rate of progression had continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s? A landing on Mars a few decades after landing on the Moon seem to be unfeasible given those circumstances.
Overall a nice piece of work.
Thanks for reading.
I'm truly not sure
if, given the right impetus, we could've gotten to Mars and started serious colonization efforts (assuming we had a more hospitable "Mars"), so it could very well be infeasible as you say--but I can dream.
Deranged Nasat wrote:
There's a real depth to this story; it might not have the pure emotional power of some of your work, but it's very subtle in the complexity it implies.
I'll admit it is not one of my better works, which was another reason for not entering it in the contest, but I appreciate your reading it anyway.
The characters are engaging; it's charming to see a well-adjusted married couple, and their conversation and concerns are very "humanizing" while retaining the alien edge that your Cardassians/Hebitians always have.
I'm glad to know they still seem alien despite the resemblance to our own Victorian age.
I've been very blessed in that, while they are not at all artistic, I've had the example of my parents and my mom's parents to observe for a long time, to see what a stable--and fun--marriage looks like. It's good to know others see the same thing.
Miti was actually not a character I planned
to have. When I sat down to write, I knew Tehir would have a newspaper (I have my Hebitians call it a "broadsheet" to imply that maybe their term for it is different). It was all on his own that he started running upstairs to show it to his wife. And when I looked in the room and saw her drawing, and then she started talking, it was a done deal.
The religious divisions in the Mejuraks' society were particularly interesting, with the large number of sects and individual people challenging the usual script, without rejecting the core faith (indeed to many of these dissenting voices they see themselves as reaffirming the true intent of the Records). That's a very Hebitian/Cardassian way to behave, isn't it? - to step outside the structure of society is near unthinkable, but that certainly doesn't mean they're stagnant or unquestioning (the relatively rapid success of their drive to reach another world demonstrates that).
They're not stupid, so no, they're not stagnant. They are slower than humans to throw away traditions, though. Sometimes that's bad...but other times that's a good thing.
I would say that it would take something even more
drastic than what's currently going on to get most Hebitians to throw out faith altogether. And it was a global catastrophe, in my continuity, that broke down the social order and caused Tret Akleen to get the upper hand with his hate. Presented with a Union-wide catastrophe at the Dominion War, one hopes they'll find a way to change again...
They have a lot of investment in the desire to better themselves and are every bit as varied in opinion and willingness to change as any other race - only the variety operates within a framework of order that to the ignorant outsider might appear rigidly inflexible.
I would say that aside from the horrible revolution that plays out in Earth year 1870 in the Sigils
universe, they are less prone to throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. They prefer not to invalidate entire concepts without evidence; they would rather edit and refine their understanding.
One thing I thought was very well played: "The Tan Man of the Sand". That's a great label, in the sense of conveying the attitude held by a lot of people towards the Hăzăkda. It has just the right balance between a worryingly casual dismissal and a sort of awe or at least fascination at the "almost-like-us-but-funny-coloured" being. An "exoticism" that is nonetheless considered vulger somehow, and a perception of the Hăzăkda as balanced between savagery and civilization. Almost respectful in an odd "look at the fascinating man-creature" way, but ultimately pointing to an inability to fully grasp their humanity (well, Hebitianity) and concealing a rather ugly sense of outrage or disgust. It really does sound like something you'd read in British literature of a century back, for example. It really rang true.
I am glad you didn't take personal offense, because British literature was EXACTLY what I had in mind, in particular the offensive material written by Rudyard Kipling and his ilk.
In a lot of ways, Rudyard Kipling is my big example of what not to do
when talking and thinking about race, and that sounded exactly like the way he'd talk, about the "tan man" and the "grey man." He's not the only British author that does that kind of stuff...sometimes even C.S. Lewis, as mild as he often is, manages to strike a really wrong, discordant note every so often. More often in his case with gender, but occasionally with race, too.
"The Tan Man of the Sand," though, was most definitely meant to be offensive, and that's the epithet that earned the disclaimer at the top. I mean, sure, there aren't any swear words in it (and there are
swear words used towards the Hăzăkda, one of which even got a man killed for using it in The Thirteenth Order
), but there's no way to interpret it that could possibly not
be racist. Either it implies a demon, a sub-Hebitian...or
a romanticized "noble savage," which is racist too.
Overall, this is another inspirational piece. There's a sense of deft creativity and compassion, and subtle power. I really liked it.
Thank you for reading.
Gul Re'jal wrote:
Actually there is and it's more disturbing then the problem with clergy. Namely, the attempt of biological/evolution justification that Hăzăkda are sub-Hebitians and it's perfectly fine to exterminate them. I find it especially horrifying, because I had met once someone who used the same kind of pseudo-scientific BS to justify his racism. It's just
I think it's as much bad religion as it is bad science. It's a sort of evil confluence of both. And yeah, some people unfortunately still think that way IRL.
As for the Hebitians and what happens to them...Miti's question about what happens if they find life on another world is certainly a disturbing one...