Language & Culture: The Alien in Fiction

#Alien #Language and #Culture – Oh My!

s a gibson

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This week I thought about how we portray alien cultures in our writing. How do you handle different cultures, or alien groups. Should we use the spelling and pronunciation of names to distinguish the cultures we want to write about? Do we create a dialect, a patois that sets the culture apart, that conveys their foreignness? How do we indicate this is a different culture?

I believe an advantage for science fiction and fantasy writing is that we can infuse our stories with different creatures and peoples. This opportunity to explore different types of beings is wondrous. But the challenge is complex and difficult to clearly show aliens in ways that are understandable and interesting to the readers. We must carefully approach the steps we take, the words we use, and the names we choose in our writing. Too much detail and accuracy could bore the reader. Too little information…

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