Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

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Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Jelboy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:47 pm

The 1st person POV aliens in 'Fear the Alien' anthology were (barring a notable genestealer minor part) rather whimsical or tongueincheek IMHO compared to many human POVs. Considering alien 1st POV characters are pretty rare in WH40K could this mean BL towers deliberately want to downplay the nastiness of aliens, perhaps keep the viewpoint a bit fun-filled for a younger audience... or could the selected stories have JUST been selected because they happened to be Herr Dunn's favorites?

What I'm asking is - could it be actual policy to insist accepted alien POV submissions be kinda fun, and not too harsh a portrayal? Obviously this could affect any submission(s) I make.
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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Squiggle » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:31 pm

No idea, but look, shiny new forum. :D
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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Jelboy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:45 pm

In the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium - there is only eternal 'new forum creating'. :shock:
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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby kurisawa » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:52 am

I'd say it must be hard to alien POV - especially 1st person - any other way.

These are things that think in really different... alien ways. You know, they break a couple of legs, rip out four pages of a diary and then finish a puzzle to communicate. ;)

For a "straight" alien POV read "Path of the Warrior". While they seem a bit "space-elfy" in the first part (I almost thought Gav was poking fun at the pointy-ear-fanboys by making the protagonist an emo sculptor), it gets really weird when you get into the Aspect temple. Gav is actually disturbingly good at portraying essentially psychopathically unhinged characters.

And the eldar are possibly the closest species to having a semblance of human emotions.

I must say I don't see the point of a 'nid or ork 1st person POV tale unless it is some sort of joke. But that's just my opinion.

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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Dennis the Hamster » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:12 am

kurisawa wrote:Gav is actually disturbingly good at portraying essentially psychopathically unhinged characters.

K.


Lindsey had similar reservations about me whilst editing Kill Team... :D :oops:

On the subject, more than any other characters writing alien POV is about headspace. If you can shift your thinking, your emotional responses and reasoning, to a strange place, you can write aliens in a way that will resonate with the readers. It's impossible for us humans to literally think like non-humans, but we can try to pretend (and if it is too alien the readers will be ejected from any kind of sympathy or empathy anyway, so don't make them alien-weird just for the helluva it).

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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Tyrant » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:25 am

kurisawa wrote:And the eldar are possibly the closest species to having a semblance of human emotions.


I would argue that the tau are probably closer to humans in terms of emotions, given that the eldar weren't so much evolved as manufactured and the speed of their thoughts and intensity of emotions is so much greater than that of humans.
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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby LordLucan » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:12 pm

I was disappointed that the DE POV character in fear the alien came across as merely a cruel, insane noble human character imo. Far too human for my taste.

I was hoping for something like Gav's Eldar POV, but taken to an extreme of utter excessive mania. DE want to feel everything and do everything now! Every flicker of misery is sustenance to them. They should be perverse and so passionately alien, and should be constantly thinking of several things at once.
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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Eremite » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:28 pm

Tyrant wrote:
kurisawa wrote:And the eldar are possibly the closest species to having a semblance of human emotions.


I would argue that the tau are probably closer to humans in terms of emotions, given that the eldar weren't so much evolved as manufactured and the speed of their thoughts and intensity of emotions is so much greater than that of humans.


I would put these three similar races on a scale of selfishness - eldar are incredibly selfish, in the sense they put themselves as individuals before their society or race as a whole. Dark eldar are 'natural', craftworlders (despite being the dominant faction) a weird conservative offshoot of the old eldar society that tries to mediate and control the innate passion and obsessive personality for the common good. Humanity are, of course, in the middle, while tau are (due to both cultural conditioning and their evolutionary past as herd species) more concerned with the society and individually more selfless - their comrades, Caste and the empire are their herd, their adopted family. In terms of emotional intensity, I wouldn't say they were 'weaker' than mindkind in the same way eldar are stronger, but their not-quite herd-mindset is still alien.

Personally, I've always seen the main character traits of the dark eldar to be their selfishness (surely being so strongly emotional they struggle with empathy, making them an entire race of near-sociopaths) and their desperation. They are, after all, all having their souls gently sucked away leading to a terrible addiction.
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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Bloodsage » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:50 pm

For an interesting take on thinking like an alien, read Wil McCarthy's Agressor Six. It's a hard thing to do, for obvious reasons.
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Re: Flouncy Aliens in Fear the alien

Postby Jelboy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:22 am

Just because a species is a herd species, doesn't mean to say that it should necessarily look out for its kin that greatly. My huge expertise on this matter (having watched Attenborough wildlife programs on tv ;) ) reminds me that though hard species hang out together quite often the strongest try to push their way to the center of the herd, allowing the weak to be herd shield.

Many herd species don't defend en-mass, (and don't even think about coordinated defense en-mass). Many just hope the predator will be so confused by so many of the same species whirling and swirling in unison it wont be able to make a target fix.

So maybe a realistic evolved herd-based alien species would push its weaker members into the military, rely on mass formations and be full of very social but not really altruistic members. And that description reminds me very much of...
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