Multi-culturalism in space?

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Abigail Ann Young

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV (or film)
SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this one small
planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within those
races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal subgroups
with distinct cultures. We have a multiplicity of languages and dialects.
Yet the aliens we meet in SF are monotone and homogeneous. One race, one
language, one historic culture. Think Vulcan.

So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
part of the picture.

Abigail (trying to imitate James' good example but without increasing her
coffee intake)

--
Abigail Ann Young (Dr), Associate Editor/Records of Early English Drama/
Victoria College/ 150 Charles Street W/ Toronto Ontario Canada
Phone (416) 585-4504/ FAX (416) 813-4093/ abigai...@utoronto.ca
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John Hua

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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"Abigail Ann Young" <abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote in message
news:39DC77A4...@utoronto.ca...

>
> So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
> richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
> point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to
make
> cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
> series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
> Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
> cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an
integral
> part of the picture.

CS Freidman's _This Alien Shore_ were the aliens are really humans. But
like you said, the diversity plays a major part in the plot.

John

Jordan S. Bassior

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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Abigail Ann Young said:

>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
>point of a story?

Poul Anderson: "Day of Burning" is about how the David Falkayn saves a
(mid-tech) Merseia from a nearby supernova. The whole plot hinges on the
conflict between different Merseian cultures.

Poul Anderson actually wrote a _lot_ of this sort of thing: one of his
recurring phrases is "any planet is a world, with all that this implies in
terms of diversity." (as best I remember it).


--
Sincerely Yours,
Jordan
--
"Whoever would be a man must be a non-conformist" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
--

James Nicoll

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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In article <39DC77A4...@utoronto.ca>,
Abigail Ann Young <abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

snip


>
>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the

>point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
>cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
>series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
>Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
>cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
>part of the picture.

Chee Lan from Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League stories
complains bitterly in _Satan's World_ that the hotel she is in has
set the environment to the norm for some part of of her world other
than the one she is from. Too cold, I think. Presumably there must
be people from her world from that area or the hotel wouldn't have
made that error. I hope. Unless it was the lunar version of the
Tara.

>Abigail (trying to imitate James' good example but without increasing her
>coffee intake)

Coffee is a necessarly part. So is a netconnection which
doesn't crash in mid post....
--
My Pledge: No more than 2 OT posts to rasfw a day. No replying
to trolls and idiots. Start five good on topic threads a day to drown
out the crap. Drink more coffee.

Lucy Kemnitzer

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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On Thu, 5 Oct 2000 12:44:20 GMT, Abigail Ann Young
<abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

>One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV (or film)
>SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this one small
>planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within those
>races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal subgroups
>with distinct cultures. We have a multiplicity of languages and dialects.
>Yet the aliens we meet in SF are monotone and homogeneous. One race, one
>language, one historic culture. Think Vulcan.
>

>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
>point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
>cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
>series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
>Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
>cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
>part of the picture.
>

This is way too rich a post to count for just one. Here are a few
responses right off:

1. Actually, people aren't all that diverse genetically: it's only
culturally that we can make a big claim to diversity.

2. I do, however have the same complaint about a lot of science
fiction -- "on this entire planet, all the aliens do everything
the same way." Sometimes the whole planet has only one climate
and one kind of terrain, which I suppose must account for the
homogeneity of the aliens' culture, but it's not sensible.

3. In Cherryh's books in general, the aliens seem like true
aliens, and she give you a good sense of the political
non-unifiedness of their societies, but not until the _Foreiner_
books do you get the real inkling of cultural diversity. But the
Foreigner books, to my mind, have the clearest sense of how
history and culture really work of almost anything I've read, much
clearer than her own Alliance-Union books (which I do adore).

4. The other thing I notice sometimes is faked-up diversity -- the
only example I can think of right now is a movie one, the Star
Wars movies -- where there are way too many alien species, and
many of them not worked out really as to anything except how cool
they'll look on a lunchbox. Star Wars gets away with it because
visual swoop and zoom is what it's about, but it would be annoying
if one were to try to watch the movies for the experience of a
real story about real people (including real aliens).

5. I can't think of a good example of well-done alien diversity,
but I have a haunting sense that I've read something that does the
trick.

Lucy Kemnitzer

Stewart Robert Hinsley

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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In article <39DC77A4...@utoronto.ca>, Abigail Ann Young
<abigai...@utoronto.ca> writes

>One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV (or film)
>SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this one small
>planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within those
>races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal subgroups
>with distinct cultures. We have a multiplicity of languages and dialects.
>Yet the aliens we meet in SF are monotone and homogeneous. One race, one
>language, one historic culture. Think Vulcan.

* Vulcans might be homogenous, but they aren't monotone (see Tuvok,
ST:V).

* Skimming through my catalog, it seems that this shortage of diversity
is a feature of science fiction, as opposed to fantasy (fantasy's
corresponding vice would be racial/national stereotyping). As a problem
it's related to another one - planetary homogeneity.

* Sometimes the diversity is present off page, or at least we can
reasonably can assume it to be. For example, in _Speaker for the Dead_
and _Xenocide_ we only see one forest of pequinos. In _First Contact_
there's only one shipload of aliens.

* In some cases (e.g. Star Trek, B5) alien species play the role human
nations would play in 'mainstream' fiction. The lack of diversity in the
alien cultures is a consequence of the narrative structure.

* While skimming through my catalog I was struck by how little SF
contains aliens.


>
>
>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
>point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
>cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
>series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
>Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
>cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
>part of the picture.
>

>Abigail (trying to imitate James' good example but without increasing her
>coffee intake)

The hani and mahendosat, in Cherryh's Chanur sequence are diverse, but
this is mostly off scene - see the appendices.

Poul Anderson wrote diverse alien species regularly, e.g.

1) Diomedeans, in _War of the Wing Men_ aka _The Man Who Counts_, where
there a conflict between two cultures is part of the setting for the
story.

2) Ishtarians, in _Fire Time_.

3) Monwaingi, in _After Doomsday_.

4) Ythrians, in _People of the Wind_.

5) Merseians, in _Day of Burning_.

6) also to a lesser degree in _Territory_, _A Three Cornered Wheel_,
_The Trouble Twisters_, _Earthman's Burden_ etc,

Mary Gentle

6) Ortheans, in _Golden Witchbreed_ and _Ancient Light_.

Vernor Vinge

7) tines, in _A Fire Upon The Deep_.

Less definite - the phagors in Aldiss's Helliconia sequence, the various
aliens in de Camps Viagens Interplanetarias stories, the hilfs of Le
Guin's _Rocannon's World_, and the Cetians of _The Dispossessed_, the
Getans in Kingsbury's _Geta_ aka _Courtship Rite_, the hominids in
Niven's Ringworld and sequels, some of Chad Oliver's work, Silverberg's
Majipoor sequence.
--
Stewart Robert Hinsley


Captain Button

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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Wild-eyed conspiracy theorists insist that on 05 Oct 2000 18:45:10 GMT, Jordan S. Bassior <jsba...@aol.com> wrote:
> Abigail Ann Young said:

>>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
>>point of a story?

> Poul Anderson: "Day of Burning" is about how the David Falkayn saves a


> (mid-tech) Merseia from a nearby supernova. The whole plot hinges on the
> conflict between different Merseian cultures.

> Poul Anderson actually wrote a _lot_ of this sort of thing: one of his
> recurring phrases is "any planet is a world, with all that this implies in
> terms of diversity." (as best I remember it).

He did it again in _The Man Who Counts_ (vt _War of the Wing Men_).
The flying sapient species (not the Ythri, a different one) has two
radically different cultures, one practicing the traditional migration
pattern they evolved with, and the other living on ships. This also
influences their sex and reproductive lives strongly, so each culture
considers the other a bunch of sicko sex perverts.

Nicolas Van Rijn gets stranded there, and starts meddling in a
war between them for his own purposes.

--
"You may have trouble getting permission to aero or lithobrake
asteroids on Earth." - James Nicoll
Captain Button - [ but...@io.com ]

mike stone

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/5/00
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>From: jsba...@aol.com (Jordan S. Bassior)

>Poul Anderson actually wrote a _lot_ of this sort of thing: one of his
>recurring phrases is "any planet is a world, with all that this implies in
>terms of diversity." (as best I remember it).

From Ch 3 of "After Doomsday"

"And never forget: any planet is a world, as complex and mysterious in its own
right, as full of its own patterns and contradictions and histories, as ever
Earth was."

A Character in "Orbit Unlimited" makes the same point. "I remember how glibly
they used to talk on Earth about this planet or that planet, as if it were a
kind of city - an entire world! Svoboda's special knowledge, his years of
experience, may fill one paragraph in the hundred-volume geographical text
which may some day describe Rustum"
--
Mike Stone - Peterborough England

"The English people are like the English beer.

Froth on top, dregs at the bottom, the middle excellent" - Voltaire

Gareth Wilson

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Oct 5, 2000, 3:23:44 PM10/5/00
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"Jordan S. Bassior" wrote:

> Poul Anderson actually wrote a _lot_ of this sort of thing: one of his
> recurring phrases is "any planet is a world, with all that this implies in
> terms of diversity." (as best I remember it).

Didn't he invent the sarcastic expression "It was raining on Mongo that
morning"?
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gareth Wilson
Christchurch
New Zealand
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Nancy Lebovitz

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Oct 5, 2000, 8:53:19 PM10/5/00
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In article <39DC77A4...@utoronto.ca>,

Abigail Ann Young <abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the

>point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
>cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
>series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
>Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
>cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
>part of the picture.

IIRC, Vance frequently has more than one culture per alien species. On
the other hand, he isn't exactly PC--he's got a tendency to portray
most cultures as equally silly.

--
Nancy Lebovitz na...@netaxs.com www.nancybuttons.com

Martin Bonham

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Oct 5, 2000, 7:06:56 PM10/5/00
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"Abigail Ann Young" <abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote in message
news:39DC77A4...@utoronto.ca...

> One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV
(or film)
> SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this
one small
> planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within
those
> races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal
subgroups
> with distinct cultures. [snip]

>
> So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the
kind of
> richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that
diversity the
> point of a story?

Have you considered Iain M Banks's Culture Novels.

That universe has [potential for] considerable richness and diversity.
It doesn't all appear in some of the earlier works, but it is more
apparent in the later books especially _Excession_.
(I haven't yet read the latest _Look to Windward).

Note that some confusion may occur in readers as while described as
Human the Culture are NOT Earth humans or descended from them. Banks
uses the word human where I might rather he said humanoid.

If you call people not born on our Earth Alien then the Culture is a
diverse Alien society (containing multiple species including a lot of
biological ones who currently choose to look humanoid), one of many in
a universe with lots of different Alien species.
I would accept that many of them behave like humans born on earth
would, but that must be an artefact of poor translation or our poor
understanding of their motives and objectives [Watsonian] or lack of
vision on the writers part [Doylist - to borrow some terms from the
Bujold mailing list - think 'as written by' Dr Watson or by Arthur
Conan Doyle].

A few random comments:
The Culture is contemporary with our recorded history on earth. A
Culture ship did visit here between November 1976 and January 78.
Many people would contend that the biological humanoid members of the
Culture are just the pets of the more intelligent Minds.

By the time of the events recorded in _Excession_ "Phage Rock [a
mobile habitat] had been wandering the galaxy for nearly nine thousand
years. That made it one of the Culture's oldest elements. It had
started out as a three-kilometre-long asteroid in a solar system which
was one of the first explored by a species that would later form part
of the Culture" [snip]
"Some years later ... and finally accepted as personally sentient by
its human [oid] inhabitants, it became one of the first space-based
entities to declare for the new pan-civilisational, pan-species
groupings which was calling itself the Culture."

Several minor humanoid characters do have minor body mods such as
functional wings or extra arms.

Note that the fashion currently is for the humanoid culture
biologicals to look like their genetic ancestors - past fashions in
the "fifty-four generations" some of Ulver Seich's ancestors had lived
in Phage Rock included people who "as the fashions of the times had
ordained - people who resembled birds, fish, dirigible balloons,
snakes, small clouds of cohesive smoke and animated bushes"

p104 - 5 in my Orbit hardcover.


The Culture splits off fragments with philosophical differences.
Several such are named in _Excession_ such as the AhForget it
Tendency, and the Elench, as well as lots of individual Eccentrics.


Martin.

--
Martin Bonham, Auckland, (Aotearoa) New Zealand.
Home of the America's Cup


Paul Clarke

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Oct 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/6/00
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On Thu, 5 Oct 2000 12:44:20 GMT, Abigail Ann Young
<abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
[snip complaint about one planet = 1 culture]

>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
>point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
>cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
>series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
>Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
>cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
>part of the picture.

Maureen McHugh's _Mission Child_ does this well.

Iain Banks has a multitude of cultures in one system in _Against a
Dark Background_

Delany makes a point of this in _Stars in my Pocket like Grains of
Sand_.

It occurs to me, though, the the McHugh is a lost-and-found human
colony and the race in _AADB_ is essentially human, as are most of the
characters in _SimPlGoS_. Multicultural alien aliens seem rarer -
Vinge's spiders in _A Deepness in the Sky_ have at least two major
cultures, but I'm having trouble thinking of other examples.


Steve Parker

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Oct 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/6/00
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On Thu, 05 Oct 2000 19:14:09 GMT, rit...@cruzio.com (Lucy Kemnitzer)
wrote:

>2. I do, however have the same complaint about a lot of science
>fiction -- "on this entire planet, all the aliens do everything
>the same way." Sometimes the whole planet has only one climate
>and one kind of terrain, which I suppose must account for the
>homogeneity of the aliens' culture, but it's not sensible.

That was one of the really cool things about LeGuin's _Left Hand of
Darkness_. All the Gethen's were the same, genetically, but she gave
them multiple nations all with differing opinions on whether to join
up with the galactic society. I was really impressed by that detail.

Steve
--
My Hugo-reviews Page (now featuring SPOILER SPACE!) can be found at
http://www.crosswinds.net/~sparker9/home.html

Abigail Ann Young

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Oct 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/6/00
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Stewart Robert Hinsley wrote:
>
> In article <39DC77A4...@utoronto.ca>, Abigail Ann Young
> <abigai...@utoronto.ca> writes

> >One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV (or film)
> >SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this one small
> >planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within those
> >races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal subgroups
> >with distinct cultures. We have a multiplicity of languages and dialects.
> >Yet the aliens we meet in SF are monotone and homogeneous. One race, one
> >language, one historic culture. Think Vulcan.
>
> * Vulcans might be homogenous, but they aren't monotone (see Tuvok,
> ST:V).

Good point, although I didn't think that having black US actors play the
roles of Vulcans and Klingons on ST spin-offs was intended to suggest that
there are races on Vulcan or in the Klingon Empire.

> [...]


> * In some cases (e.g. Star Trek, B5) alien species play the role human
> nations would play in 'mainstream' fiction. The lack of diversity in the
> alien cultures is a consequence of the narrative structure.
>

Another good point. What struck me when watching B5 (which I overall
enjoyed until JMS had his heroes ambushed by Oedipus on the road to
Armageddon and then went promptly downhill for the final season) what how
weak the 'rest of the aliens' were. What I mean is, he gave some attention
to developing the characters of individual Minbari, and of the other 2 main
alien races (Londo's and G'Kar's I mean, neither of which I can remember
the names of now!) and hence to their cultures. But the other aliens on the
council weren't far shy of comic relief. They were the funny foreigners of
old British and American plays and films; often Sheridan and Delenn's
'strategy' in council depended on the other aliens behaving childishly and
being manipulated accordingly.

[a number of very interesting suggestions munched here -- I can see I need
to reread Poul Anderson right away!]

Abigail

Jim Deutch

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Oct 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/6/00
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Paul Clarke wrote in message <39ddb35b.1314463750@proxy0>...

>On Thu, 5 Oct 2000 12:44:20 GMT, Abigail Ann Young
><abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote:
>[snip complaint about one planet = 1 culture]


David Brin has a bit of this, at least. Several of the species on Jijo
went there because of cultural differences on their home planets. And
when Alvin gets to his home world at the very end of the trilogy, he
starts changing their culture...

Jim Deutch

J.B. Moreno

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Oct 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/6/00
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Abigail Ann Young <abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

> So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
> richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
> point of a story?

_HellSpark_ by Janet Kagan, several mention of different cultural
outtakes because this or that person comes from a different continent.
Although on thinking about it, almost all of the people in _HellsPark_
are human.

--
JBM
"Moebius strippers only show you their back side." -- Unknown

Jorj Strumolo

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Oct 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/6/00
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Captain Button:
CB> He did it again in _The Man Who Counts_ (vt _War of the Wing Men_).

> The flying sapient species (not the Ythri, a different one) has
> two radically different cultures, one practicing the traditional
> migration pattern they evolved with, and the other living on ships.

_The Monitor, the Miners, and the Shree_ by Lee Killough
has a flying race where different groups are apparently
identical genetically, yet some are sapient and some aren't.
It's anti-Prime_Directive, in that the Monitor who was
supposed to stop the Miners from interacting with the Shree
learns it's only the interaction that brought some groups
over the edge into personhood. (Related is the race in
L. Neil Smith's _The Nagasaki Vector_, who worship as
a god the human who introduced them to coffee, since
in the absence of caffeine they remain nonsapient.)

aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.

Stewart Robert Hinsley:


> In some cases (e.g. Star Trek, B5) alien species play the role human
> nations would play in 'mainstream' fiction. The lack of diversity
> in the alien cultures is a consequence of the narrative structure.

One occasionally sees difference in media fiction. In Alien
Nation, for example, Cathy follows an "Eastern" religion, not
the Celine-and-Andarko faith most Tenctonese seem to.


Jim Lovejoy

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Oct 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/6/00
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Stewart Robert Hinsley wrote:
>
> In article <39DC77A4...@utoronto.ca>, Abigail Ann Young
> <abigai...@utoronto.ca> writes
> >One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV (or film)
> >SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this one small
> >planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within those
> >races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal subgroups
> >with distinct cultures. We have a multiplicity of languages and dialects.
> >Yet the aliens we meet in SF are monotone and homogeneous. One race, one
> >language, one historic culture. Think Vulcan.
>snip<

_Mission of Gravity_ shows different cultures, at least different levels
of technology in the ??alien's name?? that traveled to the Pole.

Monte Davis

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Oct 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/7/00
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rit...@cruzio.com (Lucy Kemnitzer) wrote:

>But the
>Foreigner books, to my mind, have the clearest sense of how
>history and culture really work of almost anything I've read

Yes. Her people (and aliens) spend much of their time, remarkably,
thinking about and reacting to what real people spend much of their
time thinking about and reacting to: the workings of power -- broadly
defined -- in their personal relationships, in their work, and in the
governance of their societies.

One theory of the development of human intelligence that says we were
intensely social primates who developed, for social advantage, the
trick of modeling each other: "what would A do if I were to do x?"
"will B be my ally against C if I tell her D said y about her?" etc.
It became a runaway feedback loop: more complex behaviors required
more sophisticated modeling, which drove more complex behaviors. So
our brains, consciousness, and language are hyperdeveloped (compared
to those of other primates) because they have to contain multitudes.

I find it plausible that that is indeed a decisive factor in what we
are; IAE it's certainly what all Cherryh's sapients have in common.

-Monte "I hope you'll find this convincing, but if not..." Davis
mod...@bellatlantic.net


eol

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Oct 7, 2000, 10:58:20 PM10/7/00
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On Thu, 5 Oct 2000 12:44:20 GMT, Abigail Ann Young
<abigai...@utoronto.ca> wrote:

>One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV (or film)
>SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this one small
>planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within those

Actually, in conformance with the current trend of political fascism
is the U.S., there are NO RACES, just ethnic groups. Most current
encyclopedias have been updated ala George Orwell, to include this
new double-speak concept. It USED to be Caucasian, Negroid and
Mongoloid, but this is no longer acceptable practice. I am quite sure,
as is portrayed on TV, every alien race has negroes and mexicans etc.
If say an alien race was discovered that only had say, creatures of
one complexion, we would have to ban them as being racist and
multiculturally insensitive. As on earth we are allowed 'people of
color' but NOT 'colored people', it might create terminal confusion
to have only one race, or ethnic group or a given planet.
I agree with you, if you are going to populate a planet with orange
sentient beings, you, by jolly, had also better create black and brown
sentient beings or a group of earth people with enormous free time
will be marching around your house with placards.

>races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal subgroups
>with distinct cultures. We have a multiplicity of languages and dialects.
>Yet the aliens we meet in SF are monotone and homogeneous. One race, one
>language, one historic culture. Think Vulcan.
>

>So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
>richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the

>point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
>cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
>series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
>Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
>cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
>part of the picture.
>

Ide Cyan

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
Jorj Strumolo wrote:
> aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?

Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.

> I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
> as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.

I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)

(I don't like coffee. I like tea if it fulfill a few conditions; I had
indian cha once in a restaurant, and that was quite good.)

Deann Allen

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to

Then there's the hot cocoa fetish in Weber's Honor Harrington
series, in direct (and sometimes funny) competition with coffee.

D.
--
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
-----------------------------------------

Sea Wasp

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
Ide Cyan wrote:
>
> Jorj Strumolo wrote:
> > aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
>
> Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.
>
> > I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
> > as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.
>
> I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
> frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)

David Weber's Honor Harrington makes a point of drinking hot
chocolate instead of coffee, which she considers vile.

--
Sea Wasp http://www.wizvax.net/seawasp/index.html
/^\
;;; _Morgantown: The Jason Wood Chronicles_, at
http://www.hyperbooks.com/catalog/20040.html

Jason Bontrager

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
> Jorj Strumolo wrote:
>
> > I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
> > as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.

Anderson's Dominic Flandry is an inveterate tea drinker. He's
been known to sip Lapsang Soochong while riding on a rocket.
(Yes, that was supposed to say "on":-).

Jason B.

--

"What sort of rites?" I enquired.
"*Unspeakable* ones," he said reproachfully.
ala Joe Slater

Eimear Ni Mhealoid

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to

Ide Cyan <sp...@dmeb.net> wrote in message news:39E065EC...@dmeb.net...

> Jorj Strumolo wrote:
> > aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
>
> Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.
>
> > I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
> > as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.
>
> I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
> frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)
>
> (I don't like coffee. I like tea if it fulfill a few conditions; I had
> indian cha once in a restaurant, and that was quite good.)

There's tah in Doris Egan's Ivory series, which is tea-like but more
addictive.


--
Eimear Ni Mhealoid

James Nicoll

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
In article <%Y0E5.6525$Bw1....@news.indigo.ie>,
Coffiest [?] in _Gravy Planet_ is like coffee but much -much-
more addictive.

James Nicoll

Lucy Kemnitzer

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
On Sun, 08 Oct 2000 08:17:48 -0400, Ide Cyan <sp...@dmeb.net>
wrote:

>Jorj Strumolo wrote:
>> aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
>
>Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.
>
>> I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
>> as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.
>
>I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
>frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)
>
>(I don't like coffee. I like tea if it fulfill a few conditions; I had
>indian cha once in a restaurant, and that was quite good.)


Is it perhaps because there is such a shortage of stimulants which
do you little damage?

Lucy Kemnitzer

Pete McCutchen

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
On Sun, 08 Oct 2000 10:32:42 -0400, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net>
wrote:

>> I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
>> frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)
>

> David Weber's Honor Harrington makes a point of drinking hot
>chocolate instead of coffee, which she considers vile.

Though she likes the smell of coffee.

I wonder if Honor has ever tried Caffe Mocha?

--

Pete McCutchen

ed...@localhost.localdomain

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
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jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) writes:
> Coffiest [?] in _Gravy Planet_ is like coffee but much -much-
> more addictive.

Then there's the scary stuff in the Hitchhiker's Guide which makes you
"knurd". The very idea gives me the shivers.

--
Edwin


ed...@localhost.localdomain

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
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Ide Cyan <sp...@dmeb.net> writes:

> Jorj Strumolo wrote:
> > aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
>
> Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.

My guess is that it's a Dischism. Here's the definition from Bruce
Sterling's "Workshop Lexicon":

Dischism. The unwitting intrusion of the author's physical
surroundings, or the author's own mental state, into the text of
the story. Authors who smoke or drink while writing often drown
or choke their characters with an endless supply of booze and
cigs. In subtler forms of the Dischism, the characters complain
of their confusion and indecision -- when this is actually the
author's condition at the moment of writing, not theirs within the
story. "Dischism" is named after the critic who diagnosed this
syndrome. (Attr. Thomas M. Disch)

--
Edwin

Jaquandor

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
>On Sun, 08 Oct 2000 08:17:48 -0400, Ide Cyan <sp...@dmeb.net>
>wrote:
>
>>Jorj Strumolo wrote:
>>> aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
>>
>>Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.
>>
>>> I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
>>> as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.
>>
>>I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
>>frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)
>>
>>(I don't like coffee. I like tea if it fulfill a few conditions; I had
>>indian cha once in a restaurant, and that was quite good.)

Not SF, but I seem to recall that in the Ian Fleming books, James Bond hates
tea to the point of considering it a major reason for the collapse of the
British Empire.

And there is Mark Helprin's novel "Memoir From Antproof Case", the narrator of
which has waged a lifelong war against coffee.

I enjoy coffee, but only with a lot of sugar, and as I am trying to avoid sugar
these days, I stick to green tea and Diet Pepsi.


--
-Jaq.

"Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their
incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive
because we've given them too much money." -George Carlin


Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
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In article <qvd1usgtrc0ueaprf...@4ax.com>,

Pete McCutchen <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>On Sun, 08 Oct 2000 10:32:42 -0400, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net>
>wrote:
>>
>> David Weber's Honor Harrington makes a point of drinking hot
>>chocolate instead of coffee, which she considers vile.
>
>Though she likes the smell of coffee.
>
>I wonder if Honor has ever tried Caffe Mocha?

I can't speak for her, only for myself. I consider the taste of
coffee vile; this includes coffee-flavored ice cream, etc.

But I do like the smell of it. Long, long ago in the Upper
Pennsylvanian when I was a girl, as you drove from the East Bay
across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco, on the waterfront there
was a Hills Bros. factory that continually filled the air with
the smell of roasting coffee. Lovely.

The flavor of the stuff, however, gak.

As to mocha, my reaction is "What a crummy way to ruin some
perfectly good chocolate."

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com
http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt

James Nicoll

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
In article <m3aecfr...@localhost.localdomain>,
<ed...@localhost.localdomain> wrote:

>Ide Cyan <sp...@dmeb.net> writes:
>
>> Jorj Strumolo wrote:
>> > aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
>>
>> Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.
>
>My guess is that it's a Dischism. Here's the definition from Bruce
>Sterling's "Workshop Lexicon":
>
>Dischism. The unwitting intrusion of the author's physical
>surroundings, or the author's own mental state, into the text of
>the story. Authors who smoke or drink while writing often drown
>or choke their characters with an endless supply of booze and
>cigs. In subtler forms of the Dischism, the characters complain
>of their confusion and indecision -- when this is actually the
>author's condition at the moment of writing, not theirs within the
>story. "Dischism" is named after the critic who diagnosed this
>syndrome. (Attr. Thomas M. Disch)

James Blish described this as 'false realism' long
before Disch.

Captain Button

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to

I don't recall that in the HHGthG books, but I'm sure "knurd" occurs
in one or more of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Some kind of
super-coffee which makes you truly wake up and see what reality
is *really* like. Sorta Lovecraftian in genteel fashion.

You may be thinking of the bit in HHGttG where a witness in court
is going to testify under a truth drug, and they give him an overdose...

ObSheckley: Some short story about "The Answerer" a machine left
by a long dead race which can truthfully answer *any* question, but...

<SPOILER>

Y
O
U

C
A
N
'
T

H
A
N
D
L
E

T
H
E

T
R
U
T
H
!

You have to properly form your question to avoid any inherent
misconceptions. And the Answerer won't assist you in working
out what they are.

The point being that to ask a question you need to know most
of the answer already.

--
"I invoke the rule of eighteen!"
Captain Button - [ but...@io.com ]

Luke Webber

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
There's the Oolong tea in Tea With the Black Dragon. It doesn't loom as
large as coffee in the Moat books or the Callahan's stories, though.

Luke

Ide Cyan <sp...@dmeb.net> wrote in message news:39E065EC...@dmeb.net...

> Jorj Strumolo wrote:
> > aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?
>
> Good question. Starting it a new thread for it.
>

Tyler Dion

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
In article <8rqje7$ssh$1...@watserv3.uwaterloo.ca>,
jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) wrote:

>Dischism. The unwitting intrusion of the author's physical
>surroundings, or the author's own mental state, into the text of
>the story.

I guess that makes Mary-Sueism an intentional intrusion, then.

--
Tyler Dion
E-mail: tfdion at syr dot edu

Proudly endorsing the use of casual sex as a means to avert
war since about five minutes ago.

Sea Wasp

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Oct 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/8/00
to
Pete McCutchen wrote:
>
> On Sun, 08 Oct 2000 10:32:42 -0400, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net>
> wrote:
>
> >> I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
> >> frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)
> >
> > David Weber's Honor Harrington makes a point of drinking hot
> >chocolate instead of coffee, which she considers vile.
>
> Though she likes the smell of coffee.
>
> I wonder if Honor has ever tried Caffe Mocha?

Probably. I LOVE the smell of coffee. It's one of the most lovely,
appetizing smells in the world. The brew itself is one of the most
vile substances in existence. All that Caffe Mocha does is try to
cover up the taste of coffee with chocolate -- a sin against the
chocolate which is doomed to fail.

Jorj Strumolo

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Oct 8, 2000, 11:02:00 PM10/8/00
to
Eimear Ni Mhealoid
ENM> There's tah in Doris Egan's Ivory series,

> which is tea-like but more addictive.

There's caff (or 'kaffe' or some spelling to the same end)
in somebody's stories. Piper, maybe.

Lucy Kemnitzer:
LK> Is it perhaps because there is such a shortage


> of stimulants which do you little damage?

In SF, I'd expect any society only slightly more advanced than
our own to be able to come up with any number of substances with
positive effects and negligible side-effects. I can see a
social drink enduring, but why coffee? I don't think caffeine
can be the answer, since decaff exists. Yes, for us it's probably
mostly inertia, but given a few centuries and some habitable
worlds, I'd think better things would be devised or found.

Dorothy J Heydt:
DJH> I can't speak for her, only for myself. I consider the taste of


> coffee vile; this includes coffee-flavored ice cream, etc.

I don't mind coffee ice cream, and I'll drink coffee milk. I
prefer chocolate in both cases, but coffee dairy products are
acceptable. It's just coffee itself I never developed a taste
for. But then, I'm the sort who'll eat ham salad, but would
never make a plain ham sandwich.



James Nicoll

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Oct 8, 2000, 11:16:46 PM10/8/00
to
In article <tfdion-9205AE....@newstand.syr.edu>,

Tyler Dion <tfd...@SPAMMENOT.syr.edu> wrote:
>In article <8rqje7$ssh$1...@watserv3.uwaterloo.ca>,
>jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) wrote:
>
>>Dischism. The unwitting intrusion of the author's physical
>>surroundings, or the author's own mental state, into the text of
>>the story.
>
>I guess that makes Mary-Sueism an intentional intrusion, then.

I did not write what you show me as saying above. I disagreed
with it. Please be more careful.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 8, 2000, 11:59:16 PM10/8/00
to
In article <7F5BBA6324...@yifan.net>,
Jorj Strumolo <jo...@yifan.net> wrote:
>
> ...But then, I'm the sort who'll eat ham salad, but would

> never make a plain ham sandwich.

I'll cheerfully eat either one, if they don't have pickles in
'em.

Old Toby

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Oct 9, 2000, 1:40:23 AM10/9/00
to
Sea Wasp wrote:
>
> Pete McCutchen wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, 08 Oct 2000 10:32:42 -0400, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >> I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
> > >> frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)
> > >
> > > David Weber's Honor Harrington makes a point of drinking hot
> > >chocolate instead of coffee, which she considers vile.
> >
> > Though she likes the smell of coffee.
> >
> > I wonder if Honor has ever tried Caffe Mocha?
>
> Probably. I LOVE the smell of coffee. It's one of the most lovely,
> appetizing smells in the world. The brew itself is one of the most
> vile substances in existence. All that Caffe Mocha does is try to
> cover up the taste of coffee with chocolate -- a sin against the
> chocolate which is doomed to fail.

I, too, generally find coffee repulsive (although, strangely, I love
coffee ice cream and coffee yogurt). However, through mocha lates,
I am slowly building up a tolerance. For the record, I only drink
coffee for "medicinal" perposes (i.e. staying up all night writing
papers) and still find that the coffee in the mocha is somewhat
unpleasent, but it is a far cry from how intrusive it seemed the
first time. Still, were I free to do my own bidding, I would doubtlessly
never drink coffee again.


Old Toby
Least Known Dog on the Net

Luke Webber

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
to
Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote in message
news:39E13A...@wizvax.net...

> Probably. I LOVE the smell of coffee. It's one of the most lovely,
> appetizing smells in the world. The brew itself is one of the most
> vile substances in existence. All that Caffe Mocha does is try to
> cover up the taste of coffee with chocolate -- a sin against the
> chocolate which is doomed to fail.

I'm a barbarian. I love decent freeze-dried instant coffee (with lots of
milk) or latte or a weak cappuccino, but good old freshly-brewed coffee is
off my list. OTOH, I generally drink tea.

Luke

Nigel Arnot

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
to

Abigail Ann Young wrote:

> One of my on-going complaints about SF, especially in made-for-TV (or film)
> SF is the lack of diversity in alien cultures. After all, on this one small
> planet we have more than one race in the human species, and within those

> races there are still and have been in the past ethnic/tribal subgroups
> with distinct cultures. We have a multiplicity of languages and dialects.
> Yet the aliens we meet in SF are monotone and homogeneous. One race, one
> language, one historic culture. Think Vulcan.
>
> So, are there SF writers out there that do try to give aliens the kind of
> richness and diversity that we see in humanity, or make that diversity the
> point of a story? The only writer I can think of off-hand who tries to make
> cultural distinctions with an alien race is Cherryh in the Foreigner
> series, in which there are some hints that the Raigi of the Western
> Association represent only one, albeit the dominant one, of several
> cultural and linguistic groups. But it's more a throw-away than an integral
> part of the picture.
>

Plenty of folks have already posted many of the exceptions. (In fact, are
they exceptions, or is the original observation simply a restatement of
the well-known law that 90% of SF is crap because 90% of everything
is crap?)

But, playing devils advocate, I wonder how long racial diversity will
persist in a world where global travel becomes available to all?
In the wealthy parts of the world, humans are outbreeding apace, and
I suspect it's largely lack of opportunity and inter-tribal emnities born
of poverty that stop this happening elsewhere. (There are of course
loud but small minority groups who disagree, some violently).

Ditto, how long will cultural diversity persist in a world of cheap
communication? Especially if the domonant culture is like
Iain Banks' "culture", extremely tolerant of those who want to
be different, rather than actively imposing a norm, and thereby
producing a homogeneity that repression can not!


thomas...@bluetail.com

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) writes:

> Coffiest [?] in _Gravy Planet_ is like coffee but much -much-
> more addictive.

Would GP also be known as The Space Merchants, by any chance? I seem
to recall Coffiest and two other products forming an evil marketing
triangle in that book.

Thomas
--
Thomas Lindgren thomas...@bluetail.com
Alteon Websystems Sweden http://www.bluetail.com

"The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the
bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle
everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere."
-- Communist Manifesto

Lucy Kemnitzer

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
to
On Mon, 09 Oct 2000 03:02:00 GMT, Jorj Strumolo <jo...@yifan.net>
wrote:

> Eimear Ni Mhealoid
>ENM> There's tah in Doris Egan's Ivory series,
> > which is tea-like but more addictive.
>
> There's caff (or 'kaffe' or some spelling to the same end)
> in somebody's stories. Piper, maybe.
>
> Lucy Kemnitzer:
>LK> Is it perhaps because there is such a shortage
> > of stimulants which do you little damage?
>
> In SF, I'd expect any society only slightly more advanced than
> our own to be able to come up with any number of substances with
> positive effects and negligible side-effects. I can see a
> social drink enduring, but why coffee? I don't think caffeine
> can be the answer, since decaff exists. Yes, for us it's probably
> mostly inertia, but given a few centuries and some habitable
> worlds, I'd think better things would be devised or found.

1) there are a lot of people who actually adore the taste of
caffeine as it shows up, a bitter nuance in whatever mix: so the
idea of "something better" isn't really relevant. And coffee
itself is delicious to lots of people.

1a) one of the things sf writers who do futures like to do
is to project what tastes will be retained as well as what will be
replaced. Sometimes they choose tastes they themselves actually
like: sometimes they choose things they themselves don't like.
Depends on what's useful for the story.

2) It's to the advantage of sf writers to assume that there are
some limits as well as vast vistas in the possibilities of future
technologies: it helps shape things. When you look at the
stimulants that we know now, a pattern does emerge: most of them
are damned toxic, and only a few of them are, like caffeine,
manageable by most human bodies without unacceptable short or long
term damage.

2a) one of the things sf writers who do futures like to do
is to project what limits will remain as well as what limits will
shift.

Lucy Kemnitzer


James Nicoll

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
to
In article <lzg0m6x...@lammgam.bluetail.com>,

<thomas...@bluetail.com> wrote:
>
>jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) writes:
>
>> Coffiest [?] in _Gravy Planet_ is like coffee but much -much-
>> more addictive.
>
>Would GP also be known as The Space Merchants, by any chance? I seem
>to recall Coffiest and two other products forming an evil marketing
>triangle in that book.

Yup. Couldn't remember if it was TSN or Merchants of Venus
but could remember it had been _Gravy Planet_ back when.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
to
In article <lzg0m6x...@lammgam.bluetail.com>,
<thomas...@bluetail.com> wrote:
>
>jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) writes:
>
>> Coffiest [?] in _Gravy Planet_ is like coffee but much -much-
>> more addictive.
>
>Would GP also be known as The Space Merchants, by any chance? I seem
>to recall Coffiest and two other products forming an evil marketing
>triangle in that book.

That's the one. ISTR _GP_ was the title it was serialized under.

But I didn't like it when I read it in serialization, and never
read it again. _Gladiator-at-Law_, on the other hand, I liked a
lot, but I was *furious* (hey, I was ten or so) when in the book
version they changed the ending.

James Nicoll

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
to
In article <G267p...@kithrup.com>,

Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>In article <lzg0m6x...@lammgam.bluetail.com>,
> <thomas...@bluetail.com> wrote:
>>
>>jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) writes:
>>
>>> Coffiest [?] in _Gravy Planet_ is like coffee but much -much-
>>> more addictive.
>>
>>Would GP also be known as The Space Merchants, by any chance? I seem
>>to recall Coffiest and two other products forming an evil marketing
>>triangle in that book.
>
>That's the one. ISTR _GP_ was the title it was serialized under.
>
>But I didn't like it when I read it in serialization, and never
>read it again. _Gladiator-at-Law_, on the other hand, I liked a
>lot, but I was *furious* (hey, I was ten or so) when in the book
>version they changed the ending.

!

How so?

Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
to
In article <8rsrcd$aem$1...@watserv3.uwaterloo.ca>,

James Nicoll <jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca> wrote:
>>
>>But I didn't like it when I read it in serialization, and never
>>read it again. _Gladiator-at-Law_, on the other hand, I liked a
>>lot, but I was *furious* (hey, I was ten or so) when in the book
>>version they changed the ending.
>
> How so?


***HERE ENSUES WHAT EVEN I CAN RECOGNIZE AS A MASSIVE SPOILER****


In the book version, it was Shep who gave his life to save the
others.

In the serialization, it was Norvell Bligh---and a bit of text
was appended, a politician's speech or some such, evoking the
great name of Norwell Blithe. He had already begun to be
forgotten.

Mind you, I liked Norvell and I was glad he survived... but even
at the age of ten or whatever I realized that the story had been
weakened.

carl Dershem

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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Dorothy J Heydt wrote:

> In article <7F5BBA6324...@yifan.net>,
> Jorj Strumolo <jo...@yifan.net> wrote:
> >
> > ...But then, I'm the sort who'll eat ham salad, but would
> > never make a plain ham sandwich.
>
> I'll cheerfully eat either one, if they don't have pickles in
> 'em.

So...
A pickle sandwich and cup of coffee is *not* to be placed at Dorothy's
place setting.
Check.

cd
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This post is copyright 2000 by Carl Dershem. Permission to
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Sea Wasp

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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Dorothy J Heydt wrote:
>
> In article <lzg0m6x...@lammgam.bluetail.com>,
> <thomas...@bluetail.com> wrote:
> >
> >jam...@babbage.uwaterloo.ca (James Nicoll) writes:
> >
> >> Coffiest [?] in _Gravy Planet_ is like coffee but much -much-
> >> more addictive.
> >
> >Would GP also be known as The Space Merchants, by any chance? I seem
> >to recall Coffiest and two other products forming an evil marketing
> >triangle in that book.
>
> That's the one. ISTR _GP_ was the title it was serialized under.
>
> But I didn't like it when I read it in serialization, and never
> read it again. _Gladiator-at-Law_, on the other hand, I liked a
> lot, but I was *furious* (hey, I was ten or so) when in the book
> version they changed the ending.

Oh? What was the old ending? I only read GaL in book form.

Matthew Austern

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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Jorj Strumolo <jo...@yifan.net> writes:

> aside: Why the coffee fetish in many stories?

> I've never seen a tea one, and while it's not great
> as a drink, either, IMAO, it at least isn't as bad.

You might want to read Le Guin's latest novel, _The Telling_. One of
the things she does in that novel (quite deliberately, she has said in
interviews) is poke fun at the coffee fetish.

Mark Reichert

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote in message
news:39E13A...@wizvax.net...
> Probably. I LOVE the smell of coffee. It's one of the most lovely,
> appetizing smells in the world.

Ditto.

> The brew itself is one of the most vile substances in existence.

Among myself, my brother, and my parents, my dad is the only coffee drinker,
but even he says he has coffee with his cream and sugar rather than the
other way around. That's how much of the latter he puts in the coffee cup.
--
Please respond only in the newsgroup. I will not respond
to newsgroup messages by e-mail.


Terrell Miller

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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"Gareth Wilson" <gr...@ext.canterbury.ac.nz> wrote in message
news:39DCD540...@ext.canterbury.ac.nz...
> "Jordan S. Bassior" wrote:
>
> > Poul Anderson actually wrote a _lot_ of this sort of thing: one of his
> > recurring phrases is "any planet is a world, with all that this implies
in
> > terms of diversity." (as best I remember it).
>
> Didn't he invent the sarcastic expression "It was raining on Mongo that
> morning"?

that was Pournelle.

--
Terrell Miller, Ordo Pantheris
terrel...@mindspring.com

"One writes a story to find out what happens in it."
-Samuel Delany

Terrell Miller

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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"Monte Davis" <mod...@bellatlantic.net> wrote in message
news:3t6utsghqa2eolrcu...@4ax.com...

>
> One theory of the development of human intelligence that says we were
> intensely social primates who developed, for social advantage, the
> trick of modeling each other: "what would A do if I were to do x?"
> "will B be my ally against C if I tell her D said y about her?" etc.
> It became a runaway feedback loop: more complex behaviors required
> more sophisticated modeling, which drove more complex behaviors. So
> our brains, consciousness, and language are hyperdeveloped (compared
> to those of other primates) because they have to contain multitudes.

So basically what you're saying is that Richard Hatch is the pinnacle of
primate evolution. Ohh God!

<g>

Terrell Miller

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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"Stewart Robert Hinsley" <{$news$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ihuJWPAg...@meden.demon.co.uk...
> the
> Getans in Kingsbury's _Geta_ aka _Courtship Rite_,

nitpicky point: they were humans, not aliens.

Kate Nepveu

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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Captain Button <but...@io.com> wrote:
> Wild-eyed conspiracy theorists insist that on 08 Oct 2000 12:13:36
> +0100, ed...@localhost.localdomain wrote:

> > Then there's the scary stuff in the Hitchhiker's Guide which makes you
> > "knurd". The very idea gives me the shivers.

> I don't recall that in the HHGthG books, but I'm sure "knurd" occurs
> in one or more of Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Some kind of
> super-coffee which makes you truly wake up and see what reality
> is *really* like. Sorta Lovecraftian in genteel fashion.

I think it's _Guards, Guards_, but I can't confirm.

Kate
--
http://lynx.neu.edu/k/knepveu/ -- The Paired Reading Page; Reviews
"I can't promise that I'll grow those wings
Or keep this tarnished halo shined
But I'll never betray your trust
Angel mine" --Cowboy Junkies, "Angel Mine"

Mark Atwood

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Oct 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/9/00
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Monte Davis <mod...@bellatlantic.net> writes:
>
> One theory of the development of human intelligence that says we were
> intensely social primates who developed, for social advantage, the
> trick of modeling each other: "what would A do if I were to do x?"
> "will B be my ally against C if I tell her D said y about her?" etc.

One aspect of intellegence, maybe. Some of us are rather handicapped
in that kind of modelling. I personally have to live with a "zeroth
order" approximation by doing X if I want to, not if A wants me to,
and to always tell the truth as I see it, uncaring of the feelings
of B, C, & D.

ObSF: _Distress_

--
Mark Atwood | Freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom from choice.
m...@pobox.com | Is that the freedom you want?
http://www.pobox.com/~mra

Wim Lewis

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Oct 10, 2000, 1:04:44 AM10/10/00
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In article <39E07802...@pcisys.net>,
Deann Allen <dal...@pcisys.net> wrote:
>Then there's the hot cocoa fetish in Weber's Honor Harrington
>series, in direct (and sometimes funny) competition with coffee.

It seems to me this might be a historical note; the Honor Harrington
books are Hornblower in disguise. IIRC, chocolate was used (unsweetened)
like coffee as a stimulating drink by European seafarers for a while
before it became common to mix it with sugar and make it into a
confection. For all I know it _predates_ coffee as a
hot-brewed-stimulating-bitter-drink (at least in Europe).

Wim Lewis

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Oct 10, 2000, 1:19:00 AM10/10/00
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In article <%Y0E5.6525$Bw1....@news.indigo.ie>,

Eimear Ni Mhealoid <eime...@eircom.net> wrote:
>Ide Cyan <sp...@dmeb.net> wrote in message news:39E065EC...@dmeb.net...
>> I can think of the cha in Gayle Greeno's Ghatti series. (And Dr. Who has
>> frequent mentions of tea, albeit not to the exclusion of coffee.)
>>
>> (I don't like coffee. I like tea if it fulfill a few conditions; I had
>> indian cha once in a restaurant, and that was quite good.)
>
>There's tah in Doris Egan's Ivory series, which is tea-like but more
>addictive.

And, let's see, _gfi_ in the Chanur books (they're not even human!),
and klah in the Pern books, are other coffee-analogues.


On the other side of the coin, I was greatly amused by the passage
in Egan's _Distress_ in which the protagonist boggles at the drinking
habits of earlier ages and decides that caffeine psychosis could
go a long way to explaining the events of the twentieth century.

The Blue Rose

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Oct 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/10/00
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On Sun, 8 Oct 2000 19:29:44 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
inscribed upon cyber virtuality:

*snip HH and coffee*

>I can't speak for her, only for myself. I consider the taste of
>coffee vile; this includes coffee-flavored ice cream, etc.
>

>But I do like the smell of it. *snip*

>The flavor of the stuff, however, gak.

I too like the *smell* of coffee. However I cannot stand the taste
literally. I have drunk 3 cups of coffee in my life and thrown up
half an hour after each cup full. I didnt enjoy the taste or the side
effects and have never touched the stuff since.

I will also never eat anything with coffee flavouring in it, even if
there is only the so called merest amount. I am *very* sensitive to
bitter tasting things and I have a much lower tolerance for coffee
flavoured stuff than coffee drinkers.

>As to mocha, my reaction is "What a crummy way to ruin some
>perfectly good chocolate."

Absolutely agreed!

Stacey

PS Cant drink tea either, but only cos I hate the taste, even those
fancy fruit teas with honey in *shrug*

John Scott

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Oct 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/10/00
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In article <54l4us0iddk6ieqph...@4ax.com>, Kate Nepveu
<kate....@yale.edu> wrote:


> I think it's _Guards, Guards_, but I can't confirm.

It's also mentioned in Sourcerer, to explain the Luggage.

John

David Goldfarb

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Oct 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/10/00