Re: Family Values

In a wonderful example of graceful worldbuilding,”Family Values“, by Sara Genge plunges you into an alien society without stopping to explain. An alien society where females gain power by bearing children and keeping house, and teachers are high status? That’s different. An alien society where males aim to ingratiate themselves with breeding females? That’s familiar. A good mix.

My only problem while listening to it is that I wasn’t sure if anything happened.

Senator Wu feels challenged by Aspiring Senator Brida, but most of the story is dominated by Teacher of Muddy Waters flirting with Wu so he can join her breeding creche. He is charming and bold, but my attention wandered and suddenly the story was over. I kept losing the thread at the same point: when Senator Wu decides she needs a nap. You can’t let your characters take a break!

Things do happen in a flurry after that break, and you’re left with the sense there might be more to come. I wonder if this was meant to be an episode in a longer work.

4 thoughts on “Re: Family Values

  1. I think that’s a fair criticism of the story. I was taken enough by the setting and by the incredibly smooth exposition on that setting — Genge never stops just to tell you how the aliens’ anatomy works or how it affects their culture, but by the end you feel like you know all about it anyway — to purchase it. Intuitively, I have to say that you’re quite possibly onto something, that a stronger plot with more external events and no pauses might have made the story great. But I’ll settle for thought-provoking and worth a blog post. >8->

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for listening and blogging about my story! I’ll keep in mind the thing about the pause for a nap: I feel you may have something there. It certainly amounts to a relaxation of tension, which I felt was needed at that point but which I knew had pros and cons. Anyway, thanks for caring enough to blog.

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