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Common Humanity

Discussion in 'Research' started by skip.knox, May 23, 2019.

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    So, I just found this list
    https://www.humanjourney.us/discovering-our-distant-ancestors-section/detailed-list/

    It was a bounce of a Reddit discussion about how to make non-human peoples distinctive. The discussion quickly wandered more toward SF and creating aliens, but one post made the interesting observation that if you took this list (211 items) and simply modified one or two, you'd have a folk both different yet still relatable. I think that's pretty valid. I plan to go through the list in detail myself, but thought I'd offer it up here for the rest of the Presently Assembled.

    As a postscript, I do tend to fall in the camp of making non-humans pretty close to human. Get too far away and you really are in SF territory. That's fine for some writers; it's just not for me. I'm more interested in letting my non-humans be bipedal, carbon-based life forms. Let the biology be pretty similar. It's the sociological (anthropological doesn't quite feel right in this context) differences that are the most interesting, because they offer the most opportunities for story telling. History tells stories; science just tells facts. (I know that's not really fair, but it's concise!)
     
  2. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    I like this list, thank you for sharing Skip. I wouldn't quite agree with the original poster that one or two changes would constitute a different race on most of these, considering how specific a lot of them are, but it's a good resource.
     
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Yeah, I think of them more as starting points rather than end points.
     
  4. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    It's also just an interesting topic for discussion in general - even for non-writers.
    Some of the entries had me raise an eyebrow, but I think in the end that's more about the way they were worded than about them being wrong. ;)
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Sure. I haven't looked closely--I'm deep into the final edit of Into the Second World--but I'm not going to worry over whether I agree with them or not. As I said, I'm taking them just as brainstorming points. I'm always looking for ways to make my elves, dwarves, orcs, etc. distinctive. The et ceterae are especially challenging. :)
     
    Svrtnsse likes this.
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