an_owomoyela: Escher's rendering of two hands drawing each other. (Default)
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We would not harvest your forms. But you would keep your colony to the lands prescribed for you, and you would make your own shells against our atmosphere, and you would accept our law should you venture out.

That which touches the air belongs to us.

When I was sixteen I was studying hydroponics and genetic selection. In the heat of the greenhouse it wasn’t exactly subtle that I preferred long clothing, high collars, and gloves.

That which touches the air belongs to us.

This first week of the Write-a-Thon had me completeing - at 7400 words - the first draft of That Which Touches The Air, a somewhat claustrophobic space opera about a boy and his phobia of parasitic colonization. Surprisingly, it's not actually a metaphor for colonization.

Well. Not a conscious one, anyway.

A few of the influences in this story were easy to trace, and a few have become decidedly muddled. Fairly obvious ones include Endria, the thirteen-year-old prodigy, who seems to be several Connie Willis youngsters rolled into one and given an interest in governance, who's alternately "a pain in the rectum" and someone the (unnamed, ungendered) main character and narrator comes to rely on for advice and insight into the sentient but parasitic Vosth.

Vosth-menley put his hand against the porthole; his silver fingers squished against the composite. "If you're such a know-it-all, why don't you tell me who's supposed to be notified if an infested colonist tries to walk into the habitat?" I said.

Her face screwed up. I guess that hadn't been on the civics exam.

"I'm going to find out," she said, and turned on her heel. "Don't create an interspecies incident while I'm gone."

Perhaps less obvious are the threads of body-politics woven through (or, admittedly, sometimes crowbarred in – it's a first draft, and I'll fix it in revision); issues of exposure and ownership, and who's justified in making claims based on what provocation. That's actually the inspiration for this particular fic, though if I had a nickel every time I started writing one thing and wound up writing something only tangentially related...

It wasn't against the law to go for a walk outside the compound, and some people liked the sunlight. As for me, I blame the constant temptation of the front door I passed by every time I got off work, and the nagging questions about why Vosth-menly had chosen that one day to squish his nose against the airlock's porthole, and the fact that if I didn't step outside to reassure myself that the Vosth weren't coming with an army I might sink into a paranoid fugue, and then I'd have a mental health inspection, and then I'd have to deal with at least three branches of the colonial government I really didn't want to.

I'm powering on into my next work of fiction; today, at least, it looks like it'll be a short story called Redacted. We'll see by this time next week what I actually end up finishing!

I've garnered a few sponsorships in my name already, and I extend a hearty THANK YOU! to people who have sponsored me. I'd love it if people would keep donating – find my author page, and throw some money to a worthy cause! Also, it's tax-deductable, so that's awesome too. I'm matching the first $100 to be sponsored in my name.
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an_owomoyela: Escher's rendering of two hands drawing each other. (Default)
An Owomoyela

May 2011

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