Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Short-Story: “White Queen”

My newest short-story could also double as a continuum to my previously posted short-story, “Red Hero.” Essentially a sequel, or even potentially a second chapter, “White Queen” is set within the same sci-fi reality, but is told from a decidedly female perspective. Still utilizing my second-person, present tense format, I continue the tale from the perspective of a character who discovers the “hero” from the previous story and continues advancing the narrative from her own point-of-view.

Unlike the anarchistic, loaner character of the first story, the woman in this tale represents a much more hierarchical culture, one with better technology mixed with a sort of neo-Buddhist faith. Here I continue the same theme from my previous story, the essence of these sci-fi tales, which emphasizes the struggle to identify oneself in a world turned upside-down. The new “hero” in this chapter must decide for herself who and what she is to be, alternatively seeing herself in terms of her relationship to her mother and also her place among her own unique people.

In a quick blurb, the hero in this short-story is an aristocrat, a talented and diplomatic woman of wealth and means within a somewhat matriarchal society. She commands her own ship and crew, but also has her own personal bodyguard who has been part of her life ever since childhood. In some ways she is free to make her own decisions and do as she pleases, yet at the same time has enormous expectations laid upon her by her status in society. She is expected to command subordinates, obey the tenants of her religion, and ultimately put the welfare of her world before her own personal needs or desires. In some ways, hers is a preordained life of duty. Yet when she rescues this “red hero” from the clutches of a deadly demise she finds herself straying into the realm of this defeated rebel and the chaos that his own life seems to provoke around him. With the hero of this tale and her people, the “Whites,” technically neutral in the ending war between the Reds and the invaders from Venus and Terra, the Martian’s enemies still hunt ardently for the refugee Red. It is up to the “white queen” of this tale to determine whether to help this bedraggled man at risk to herself and others, or to leave him to almost certain death. Now she must nonetheless decide what she thinks both politic for her people and in keeping with the tenants for her own conscience.

I’ve gotten some positive feedback from both of these tales and am now pursuing the idea of making them consecutive chapters in a longer narrative. I confess that I don’t know entirely where I’m going with this possible novel or novella, but I am thoroughly enjoying the experiment. So far I’ve written up several more additional chapters, keeping in tune with the same themes and narrative plotline. I’ve never written this extensively in the second-person before, but that is also partially what draws me to continue using this undervalued form of storytelling. For input or just simple curiosity on the progress of this and other subsequent chapters within this story, just drop me a line.