Female Dominated Societies

Fantasy and science fiction tend to be dominated by male authors.  It seems that fantasy in general has cultures that are male dominated, mostly taking cues from history.  Science fiction is different, though.  It tends to have more balanced societies with neither being dominant.

I’m reading a couple of books right now that take things a bit differently.  In the science fiction book, the enemy alien is female dominated, and I actually haven’t seen any males at all. This has not been explained yet, but may be in the future.   In the fantasy book I’m reading, females dominate the culture, and men are considered to be inferior.

Looking at nature, there are species that are female dominated.  Many insects have much larger females, and even those that eat their male mates.  The same goes for fish.  It seems that most mammals and birds have larger males than females, though.  It seems as if endothermic animals (often referred to as warm blooded) are mostly male dominated, while ectothermic animals (known as cold blooded) offer a larger variety of both male and female dominated species.

In my Ariadne universe, there’s a tendency for women to have a particular advantage over men, which may lead to a more female dominated society.  I will likely explore that, in fact.

Are there any books you’ve read that have a female dominated society? Leave a comment with your suggestions.

No Need to Be Pessimistic, Be Optimistic

It’s cold out. It’s winter.  It’s my least favourite season.  Time to be pessimistic!

  1. It’s 2 1/2 months of cold.
  2. I turn 38 years old.  I’m soooo old!
  3. I have to spend a night at the in-laws.  What do I talk about? And in Japanese!! Ugh.
  4. I have a week off soon, but it’ll be filled with toilet training for my daughter. How tedious.
  5. I have to take a long train trip to the in-laws.  Pain in the ass with my daughter complaining.

Okay, enough of that.  I’m not a pessimistic person.  I’m actually an optimist, which annoys the hell out of some people.

  1. Daylight hours are getting longer now, which means spring will be soon!
  2. I have a lot of years left to do lots of writing.
  3. I’m going to be eating a lot of sashimi, drinking beer, and I can practice my Japanese! Great!
  4. I have a week off to do lots of blogging, writing, and when my daughter’s toilet training is finished, we can save money on diapers.
  5. Long train ride means lots of reading time.  I like that.

Can you brighten a pessimist’s day?

Naming Fictional Technology

A few hours ago, I was going over in my mind the plot of Part 5 of Journey to Ariadne.  As I was thinking, I ran into a little roadblock.  I couldn’t get past it, as I kept thinking about this.  I was trying to think of a good name for a future technology.

Looking back at science fiction of the past, we often have things named transporters, teleporters, warp engines, hyperspace, subspace, communicators, and so on.  I don’t want to repeat those names.

I already have a name for the propulsion system for the ships in Journey to Ariadne.  It even has a slang term for how it’s used.  The system is based on current hypotheses about faster-than-light space travel, although I’m doing a bit of a twist on it.  In Journey to Ariadne, they haven’t quite made FTL speeds yet.  However, the principles are the same.

The thing I was thinking about earlier was a communications system.  It can’t be a simple communicator.  We’ve gone beyond that in the 21st century already.  We have smart phones, which are compact computers that just happen to have phone capabilities.  They are in fact small personal computers with an incredible number of functions.  I need something similar, but advanced enough that they’re much more than what we have now.  I have a design in mind (I may even draw it), but I don’t have a name.  An acronym sounds reasonable, but I have no idea what it could be yet.  Well, I’ll have to brainstorm a lot.

If you write sci-fi, how do you name your futuristic technologies?

Flash Fiction #10 – Belittling Santa (Flash! Friday)

This week’s Flash! Friday is Christmas themed.  This is the second one of their third year, but it’s the first one I’ve participated in.  For this one, I actually used Google Maps to check that I was using real information for location.  However, the events are completely fictional.  Of course, it’s fictional.  This couldn’t really happen, could it?

So, here’s my entry:

Belittling Santa

“We bring you this breaking news tonight from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Is it an epidemic of home break-ins and robberies, or is it a prank? Brent Sabourin has the story. Brent?”

“Thank you, Debbie. Yes, here in the Mayfair area near the intersection of Thirty-Sixth Street West and Avenue C North, seven houses have been broken into. The items stolen? Christmas presents. Someone entered these homes sometime during the night and whisked away nearly ten thousand dollars’ worth of gifts. However, we may have a lead on this heinous crime. Barbara Jensen says she saw something very unusual.”

“I came out of the kitchen at about two this morning and saw someone with a bag standing in my fireplace. I couldn’t believe it! He looked just like Santa, but was only about four inches tall!”

He watched the television flicker as he listened to the news story. The little white-bearded man smiled. “That’s for belittling me, my dear brother.”

Let me know what you thought in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

The best list ever : learn almost everything for FREE !

Jay Dee:

Great list of free learning resources! Check them out. I haven’t seen a list this extensive and well-organised before.

Originally posted on Vaste programme !:

One day while I was browsing Tumblr, I found a G R E A T list of totally free resources to learn almost everything. I decided to republish it for you to enjoy that. A million thanks to girl-havoced.

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Authors Answer 7 – Christmas Gifts for Authors

Less than a week until Christmas, and I’m sure everyone is getting excited to see what they got.  Or more importantly, they’re excited about spending time with their families.  I’ll be spending my Christmas at home with my wife and daughter, and we’ll be having a Christmas dinner consisting of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a fine modern Japanese tradition.  But what do authors want for Christmas?

2002_Blue_Room_Christmas_treeQuestion 7: Christmas is coming! In your opinion, what would be the perfect gift for a writer?

Michael J. Sullivan

Oh writers are so easy to buy for when it comes to gift giving. Some things off the top of my head:

  • Moleskine notebooks – No, I don’t mean notebooks made out of small, blind rodents. These are bound blank pages with an elastic band to hold them closed. Each time I start a new book I buy one. It keeps all my notes in one place before I start writing. You can expect to pay $8 to $12 for one.
  • Software – I highly recommend Grammarly. A program sold through a subscription model. If the writer in your life is already using it, extend their subscription.  If they aren’t, start them off with a few months, the length of which can be tailored to your budget. My subscription is $11.66 a month, but that’s because I bought a full year. Shorter subscriptions are a bit more per month.  Another “must have” tool is Scrivener. It’s an amazing program for writing books. It runs $40 and is a bargain at three times the price. This program has revolutionized how I write books, and I couldn’t imagine going back to writing in something like Microsoft Word after using it.  There are separate versions for Windows and the Mac.
  • Books on Writing – If the writer in your life hasn’t read Stephen King’s On Writing, it’s definitely something to get for them. The retail price is $16, and Amazon has it for sale at $10 and change.  If they have read it (and many have), then I’ll suggest The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker.  It’s a modern-day version of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, which is starting to show its age. I found this new book both entertaining and educational.

S. R. Carrillo

Honestly, I’m not a high maintenance kinda person. I don’t need much – just time to spend with my family back home and time to catch up on reading and just writing and relaxing. Which I am getting this year! So yay!

H. Anthe Davis

Time, heh.  Barring that, coffee.

Paul B. Spence

A movie deal would be nice.  Otherwise, I’m partial to gingerbread cookies and 28mm models.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are lots of things I could think of…for someone who doesn’t already have it, I’d definitely suggest a copy of the Scrivener writing software because it makes life so much easier and more organized. For myself? Well, I wouldn’t at all mind a new laptop, or even something smaller and more portable like a netbook, so that I can write on the go without having to write by hand, which is so much slower for me!

Amy Morris-Jones

TIME! If I could ask Santa for one gift, it would be more time to write. As a wife, mother, and full-time employee, sitting down to write feels self-indulgent. I would love to have a weekend away somewhere—maybe a boring hotel room or a writer’s retreat in a scenic location—where I could just focus on my writing without having to feel guilty. Think Santa could fit that in his bag?

D. T. Nova

It’s unlikely that this would happen, but a professionally done book cover would be a pretty great thing to receive as a gift.

Most writers also read more than the average person, so a book that’s hard to find for one reason or another would be a good one too.

Jean Davis

Uninterrupted time, or if Walmart is out of that, a clone would be most welcome. If either of those isn’t an option, someone to cook and clean the house. When I do get time to get lost in writing, I forget to eat and nothing else gets done.

Caren Rich

Time and space or a new laptop.  I think we sometimes get bogged down with all the new toys available to us.  They’re great and all, not that I have anything more advanced than Word.  But I think most writer’s would like to have time to write without feeling guilty about ignoring the responsibilities that are trying to crush them.  I know that’s what I want.  Space runs a close second.  I live in a cracker jack box, the only space I have is the kitchen table.  Hey, it works, as long as the kids are not home and my husband’s not trying to read over my shoulder as I write.  So, time and space would be the best Christmas present for a writer.  Unless, you have a week escape to the beach, then I say “I’ll pack”.

Elizabeth Rhodes

There is no “perfect gift” for every writer.  Writing is a personal endeavor and each has their own needs, method, and thought processes.  If you want to get something perfect for the writer in your life, take a good look at how they write (assuming they’ll let you.)  Do they prefer a pen and paper or prefer to type?  Can they write in any setting, or do they need silence?  Or do they have a preference for background music?  Do they like to keep drinks or snacks on hand while they’re working?  Failing that, there’s no harm in asking what they’d like.

Linda G. Hill

Continues to be off this month.

Jay Dee Archer

In a fantasy world, incredible editing abilities, artistic abilities for making cover art, and an isolation chamber that blocks out all bothersome noise and interruptions.  I don’t think we can get those, though.

In reality, this is what I want:

  • A desk and chair.  I want to sit comfortably at my computer so I can write.  My current situation isn’t ideal for that.
  • Good pens.  That’s right, I want some good pens that don’t stop working on me.  I have bad luck with that. Anyone know of some good, but cheap pens?  And what’s better, ball point or gel?
  • Graphics software.  I want something good that I can use to edit my maps and any art I do for both my website and novels.
  • Writing software.  I keep hearing about Scrivener, but I’ve never used it.  I currently use Microsoft Word.  I’m curious about it.

Of course, the biggest thing I’d like to have is time.  I think that’s what everyone wants.

How about you?

What do you want for Christmas?  If you’re a writer, is there anything special you suggest for other writers? Leave a comment below with your suggestions.

Also, can anyone tell me where the Christmas tree picture was taken? It’s easy.

 

Stop Treating Other Writers as Your Competition

Jay Dee:

This blog post says everything I’m thinking. Other authors should be your friends, not your competition. If you think that you must compete against other authors, then read this. It is very true.

Originally posted on Courtney Herz:

There’s a trend that I’ve noticed, and I feel it needs attention. In cyberspace as in social space, it seems that writers like to consider other writers their competition. While this might initially make some amount of sense on the surface when it comes to writers within one’s own genre, it makes little to no sense when looking at writers in other genres. However, I’m here to tell you that no matter what genre the fellow writer across from you or next to you or on the next Amazon listing as you writes in, they are not your competition.

Ready for me to prove my point by asking one simple question?

Good.

Name one person you know who exclusively reads books from one author.

I’ll wait.

No, seriously, take your time.

Nobody? No takers? Nobody you know ONLY reads books from ONE single author?

Wow. Shocker.

Now, tell me how…

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