Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Princess of Amathar - Culture

One of the great things about writing a science-fiction story, is creating new and interesting cultures and societies. In Princess of Amathar, I created the Amatharians. They are an advanced human culture. I wanted them to seem human enough to identify with, but to be alien enough to make them interesting. First I took all the things that I thought, when I was a kid, we would have on Earth by the time I was an adult, and gave them to the Amatharians. Moving sidewalks. Flying battleships. Laser guns. Monorails. I also gave them swords, because I knew I was writing a sword-swinging homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs. Finally I gave them all the quirks that I myself have. I hate talking on the phone, so the Amatharians have no phones. I like to write, so every Amatharian writes letters every day, and most have written books. I'm not a cat or dog person, so the Amatharians don't have pets. I have no money, so the Amatharians don't use money. In the end, creating the culture of this alien people was one of the most enjoyable parts about writing the book.

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