Editorial Tweaks, Reverberating Consequences
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Around here, we can't stand the feminist science fiction tag. Remember, we're the ones who came up with that whole, profound 'we don't believe in race within a race' concept. Sure, we've flirted with that on about three eBooks or so, but the idea never really felt like it summed up or properly did these stories justice.
Dark science fiction - well yeah. These eBooks have some dark humor and an extremely dark premise to match.
Hard science fiction - I can see it. We hired a technical editor specifically to make it that much harder with regard to the technology, its application, and a surrounding explanation that happens to be somewhat believable. The terraforming story line from SpaceStation Thelion (2011) was proof of this.
Modern science fiction - most definitely. To us, this means that things look exactly as they do today, except that legitimate space travel was achieved. The writer wrote in his autobiography that you could be looking outside your window and see the events of these eBooks playing out. The savvy author who doesn't want to be (is never) pigeonholed into a category. If the characters visited a super futuristic planet or the the scenario occurred on a post-apocalyptic world, the modern perspective could still hold up. Or not - depending, but there's options, and that's the point.
One option that was explored back somewhere around the year 2000 was the revamping of SpaceStation Colt: Damnitio Exeum (eventually 2009) to more explicitly have Marileva become the hero of the eBook, the star of the series, and the franchise character of the imprint - perhaps the entire company because of what all she represents. This was quite the shift at Dope Enterprises because there had never before been a female lead character in any of the thirty plus stories which were released prior to our resurgence in 2009.
Today, with the current library - that's unheard of. Marileva is the franchise character of the SpaceStation Colt Imprint while Domina is the franchise character of the Dope KPC Imprint. My lady friend, Sylvia, even helps to headline the Enforcers series.
As for why this type of responsibility was never given to a female character prior to 2009 is a partial mystery. I believe this happened because the writer was not yet capable of broadening his horizons, the plot was spiraling into monotony and wouldn't have called for it, plus there wasn't an interesting person available to bestow the franchise keys too.
Things aren't always equality motivated however. Or ignorance demotivated. As writers gear up for bigger and better exploits, the process centers around creative growth. And growth as an author has to deal with expanding horizons. Not everything is meant to be a political statement, and not everything is done to uninformed intent.
Sometimes its about telling a good story.
With the original 1998 version of SpaceStation Colt: Damnitio Exeum, there was an opportunity during editing to bring out Marileva's part and role more. These were such subtle sequences, but their magnitude really cemented the eBook in her favor. There might've been some doubt as to who was the main character of that story, but not after those two scenes were added.
The first scene which was not in the original 1998 cut involved Marileva's rescue of a small child during the opening alien attack. Honestly, I can't remember how the original draft occurred without this part because directly after that, she met Edmund. Maybe, I'm just too close to the director's cut of the story - having read it so many times, but I believe that the writer didn't want a situation where he was rescuing her so early in the story. Although it was still a situation of coming to another's aid, this was more of an assist and the start of some incredible teamwork between the two main characters. Even back then, they worked together to ensure that child's safety, but this basically equalized the overall effort from both sides.
What tilted the sequence in Marileva's direction was the description of her willing the inevitable to occur when she covered up the bawling child and sacrificed herself for the well-being of another. It's also considered to be such a stark contrast from the behavior that this character exhibits throughout the rest of the story and series. But I've got my literary eye on for what I've reread here. A person that powerful knows how to use her resources and conserve energy - even and especially when things look their bleakest, nothing short of dire. Ha, you'd have thought that this was a deferral which net rosy fortunes from an unselfish act. I submit that it was the opening salvo of three-dimensional strategy, the first of many.
Regarding the first scene, I couldn't picture the eBook existing without it. However, with the second scene, I couldn't quite figure out why something like this was not originally included. The 1998 version ended abruptly after the fight in the Science/Medical Section. Sure, there was a happy ending and all was well, but it really was sudden. Even though the story was to be continued, the prose still deserved a better conclusion. For what this thing meant to Dope Enterprises, a couple sequences were added actually.
Really, I only want to write about the Marileva portion, but just know that the other part that happened after the scene in science/medical was also a part of this newer, extended version. Anyway, she needed to speak to Captain Cairce about her deceit throughout the eBook. It was not so much an admission as an acceptance of one coming into their own. Having witnessed this growth firsthand, the surrogate father figure in the Captain recognized the disobedient rite of passage as what it really was: Maturity.
To end on this note was solidify the fact that Marileva was the main character. There could be no mistaking this because Edmund was not even in that last scene. He was purposely nowhere near it. Sort of a last character standing-type thing, any further doubts should have been shed on whose eBook this really was, and increased perspective that the subtly changed dynamic offered really causes a reader think back through the various happenings of the story. Were some of those things planned - even what happened to him? I think I'll discuss these implications in another post, but it really makes me wonder how powerful she really is.
Circling back on the feminist science fiction aspect - again, we veer away from the 'strong female character' generalization because it doesn't do Marileva, Domina, or Sylvia justice. It doesn't do Edmund, NSFm-1 Alpha, or myself justice. The things that our characters go through and pull off are just freaking cool, regardless of the gender! If there's any political statement in there, it's that society really shouldn't be so quick to jump into making such a distinction. Honestly, why's it so far out the ordinary that it needs to be pointed out? Maybe we're better off getting down to the root of this than perpetuating the issue. I know that literature, and writing in general, is often used for extending platforms and possibly addressing those kinds of things. Perhaps, this is our way.
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