leaflitter: Nanowrimo, just keep writing (nanowrimo)
[personal profile] leaflitter
I'm attempting the first draft of a fanfic novella/novel for NaNoWriMo this year. It's more Ursula Le Guin fic; it's set on the world of O, the original setting for the sedoretu concept. There's quite a few sedoretu AUs, but not as far as I can tell any fic set on O.

I don't want to spend too much time here when I could be making word count there, but in my last big writing project (a dissertation) I did find inconsequential blogging a little bit helpful.

So, a few things.

First, I'm a bit shy of 5000 words right now, which means of course that I need to up my daily word count. As of today, it needs to be 1800.

Second, I need to work out how a technologically advanced civilisation that apparently still uses upwards of 90% of its population on agriculture and completely lacks cities works, at least to some degree. There's mention of Centers rather than cities, I'm not clear on what the distinction is. I think they may be universities without townships attached to them.

Third, why does Le Guin bother to specify in Another Story that brother-sister marriages are taboo? They're actually a special case of the moiety taboo: all siblings and half-siblings would share a moiety (absent an moiety-incest violation, even half-siblings that share a father would be born to different women who share a moiety and therefore also share that moiety). I thought for a time she meant that a brother and sister cannot be on the same side of a sedoretu, but in that very same story, that's what goes on to happen: Hideo and Koneko, full siblings, are the Evening spouses in their sedoretu. So that half-sentence bugs me every time. The moiety taboo is a society-wide sibling-marriage taboo to the point where you don't need to separately specify things.

Fourth, it seems unlikely to me that there is really no word in the ki'O language(s) for one's not-spouse, as in, the other person in the sedoretu with your own moiety. This person would be one of the most significant people in your life. They are married to the same two people as you. The potential for both teamwork and jealousy is beyond saying.

Le Guin doesn't give a word, and the Mountain Ways introduction says "The forbidden relationships are between the Morning woman and the Morning man, and between the Evening woman and the Evening man, and they aren't called anything, except sacrilege." Funny to not acknowledge the intense and fraught social relationship there, especially since that story has the only example of it shown from the point of view character. (Hideo and Koneko in Another Story, per above, are siblings already. Hadri and Sasni in Unchosen Love are never seen to speak.)

And there would be two of these highly charged non-romantic relationships in every sedoretu. It almost makes me wish my story was about an established one. Perhaps some other time.

Date: 2014-11-06 09:35 am (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
OMG yay! I am eagerly looking forward to this story. If you need a beta, I am your woman. : )

Fourth, it seems unlikely to me that there is really no word in the ki'O language(s) for one's not-spouse, as in, the other person in the sedoretu with your own moiety. This person would be one of the most significant people in your life. They are married to the same two people as you. The potential for both teamwork and jealousy is beyond saying.

Le Guin doesn't give a word, and the Mountain Ways introduction says "The forbidden relationships are between the Morning woman and the Morning man, and between the Evening woman and the Evening man, and they aren't called anything, except sacrilege."


I don't quite agree with you here. I read her as saying that there's no word for the forbidden sexual relationships between the Morning man and woman and the Evening man and woman, because they're just sacrilege. That doesn't mean there's no word for the non-sexual relationship that they have, though Le Guin doesn't give one. The natural thing would be to call it the Morning and Evening relationships, I guess? I agree that they would be interesting relationships to explore. : )

I do agree about the weirdness of the special taboo on brother-sister relationships. I would probably just pretend that bit wasn't there. La la la.

I wrote a due South sedoretu AU a while ago, and it was a lot of fun. In that story, there was a bit about what trashy romance novels would look like on sedoretu-AU Earth, and I guess that's the part I'd most like to go back to in that story. *g*

ETA: This also sounds completely fascinating to explore: Second, I need to work out how a technologically advanced civilisation that apparently still uses upwards of 90% of its population on agriculture and completely lacks cities works, at least to some degree. There's mention of Centers rather than cities, I'm not clear on what the distinction is. I think they may be universities without townships attached to them.
Edited Date: 2014-11-06 09:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-11-06 12:12 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
The heterosexual marriages are already called the Morning marriage and Evening marriage in canon

Oh right, I forgot about that. *facepalm* Yeah, I agree the non-sexual relationships need a good name.

Date: 2014-11-06 12:14 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Oh, awesome! I'd read that. : )

Date: 2014-11-08 05:45 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Ha, yeah, that one seems easy to transplant.

Date: 2014-11-06 12:25 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
Re: the advanced technology. It's been a while since I read these stories, but do you think they rely on the other Hainish civilizations for trade and technological know-how?

I do like the idea of a old civilization which is stable and has honed its (still advanced) technology down to something that works and is sustainable. Like, our society is locked into (unsustainable) technologies that are not actually the best possible because of historical contingencies and the way our economic system works. For example, it's a bad idea to drive refrigerators with high-grade energy such as electricity. You could do it with just heat, and when refrigerators were first invented, there were such models, but the electricity companies wanted profit and backed the electric models.

I wonder though about spaceships--wouldn't such a thing require a huge technological underpinning?

Okay, I'd love to geek out further, but now I need to work...

ETA: Gethen is also such a society, when you think about it, although perhaps on a lower technological level. Think about Chabe stoves, though! I'd certainly love to have one. : )
Edited Date: 2014-11-06 12:28 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-11-07 03:08 pm (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
I don't tend to think of having a really high percentage of the population engaged in farming as an especially sustainable practice, I guess.

I think it's sustainable in the sense that such a civilization could last a long time and also be compatible with the rest of the ecosystem. But I don't think it would be compatible with having lots of advanced technology and education, because that would need a fair amount of labor and education, too. Unless maybe they've streamlined the technology to the point where much less labor is needed than with us?

I guess in some sense they (as a society) choose to do physical labor in the fields? Because otherwise they could prioritize the energy that goes into (for example) the ansible to instead go into lessening the agricultural labor? I find it hard to imagine that there wouldn't be conflicts over that, at least.

Now I want to reread these stories. : )

Date: 2014-11-08 09:54 am (UTC)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
From: [personal profile] luzula
So, probably conflict on O over their conservative norms has been reduced in the couple of millenia they've been in contact with the Hainish this time around, because rebels are expected to, and often want to, leave entirely. It helps that O is near-unique in that like Hideo you can come back after as few as ten or twelve years and only be eight years younger than people who were your age-peers when you left. On O alone in this universe, you don't have to say "Goodbye, I'm dead" when you take a ship to Hain.

That makes a lot of sense, yes.

and isn't a non-stop marriage market

Ahaha. I would probably hate that in reality, actually, no matter how much it makes for intriguing reading material.
Page generated Jun. 24th, 2017 05:13 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios