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GeoDjinn posted a topic in Introduce Yourself!Are there any official images that Sanderson has approved to help with this? I think i have most of them down but I would like to not have to wonder wehn i come to a part with Natan or some other races that aren't mentioned that often. Thanks in advance
Inhuman. Funny word, isn't it? In an age in which the concept of animal rights is quickly gaining traction and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence slowly gets off the ground, it seems odd that we still use the word "inhuman" as a synonym for "cruel" or "evil". One of my favorite concepts in speculative fiction is the idea of inhuman life--and by that I mean, intelligent lifeforms which are just as precious and remarkable as human beings, but are also different in fundamental ways. However, many works of speculative fiction attempt to do this, but fall victim to the strong temptation of anthropomorphism. Vampires, for instance, are often portrayed as something alien and mysterious, but are anthropomorphized with more human traits such as romantic love. The recent Star Trek movies aim towards making Spock more sympathetic by emphasizing his more human traits, in contrast to the classic series which appears to embrace the character's alien nature. There are comparatively few works of fiction which portray other sapient lifeforms as beings very different from humanity, but nonetheless valuable and precious creatures in their own right. There are few works which seem to say "this creature isn't human at all, and doesn't even act like it, but he's a pretty cool guy anyway." What few there are take their rightful places as my favorite stories. Brandon Sanderson (you may have heard of him, his name's on our logo) has written what are in my opinion genius representations of this concept. The kandra of Mistborn come across as brilliantly alien and difficult to understand, but somehow still manage to be sympathetic. The spren and Parshendi of the Stormlight Archive similarly display very little in common with humans, but are still intriguing enough to be just as sympathetic as the human characters they share the novels with. The question I pose to 17th Sharders is as follows: what works of fiction have made you sympathize with something that is completely inhuman? I speak not of anthropomorphized animals from cartoons, or similar "non-humans" that act like the guy down the street. This variety of fictional nonhuman can be easily identified when you realize that replacing them with human characters would make no difference towards the general plot or their characterization. I speak specifically of characters whose thoughts and behaviors could never be mistaken for those of human beings, yet are not depicted as monstrous or as somehow less than Homo sapiens. I know 17th Sharders are a fictionally literate lot, so I expect a lot of answers. At least, I hope for a lot of answers--I'm always looking for more stories about inhuman creatures.