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"Is it golden?" I said.

"I don't know. It is Odin's disk and it has only one side."

— J. L. Borges, The Disk.

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Thursday, July 29th, 2004

I'm still working on drawing an Eaiean skull;  nothing showable yet... I'd like to comment further on something I asserted last time:

"The challenge is harder because the central requirements are hard to balance: the aliens will appear as characters in a story written for humans, and must be accessible in some way by a human audience; thus they must share some characteristics with humans."

Is this the case? Or would it be sufficient to have human observers who interpret the incomprehensible things that the alien does, in effect translating the alien's behavior for the benefit of the audience?

This could be a solution in a text-only work, since it relys on detailed presentation of a character's internal state. "She felt...  He thought that..." This sort of thing doesn't play well in a graphic novel, in which internal states are mostly hidden, revealed on occasion by wavy-edged thought balloons, which are best not overused. Even more than in standard literature, I am relying on 'show, don't tell.'

I do intend to show very alien sequences, in which the Eaie interact with each other in the absence of humans.  But I intend these mainly as brief vignettes shown for humorous or mood-setting purposes. Their meaning would not be solid enough to serve as structure for a story of great length. (There's a paradox at bottom, of course; if you thoroughly understand something, it isn't 'alien' anymore.) My stories will mostly involve the actions of humans struggling to master their environment; a broad theme which is capable of carrying much weight. The aliens will form a very interactive and responsive part of this environment.

My thinking is likely to be influenced shortly by Fiasco, by Stanislaw Lem. If you like, locate this book and read it; I'll be ready to talk about it two or three entries from now.

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