What would a childhood be like, if everyone around you could fire balls of plasma from their hands? What if your race never had to deal with some certain social biases, like sexism, the way we have? What would boys and girls be like if they were both expected and encouraged to play both childhood games of House and War? What if your gym class consisted of you sparring to the point that you went home with bloody noses and bruises, but that was the norm? What would your imagination consist of if you went to class and studied the cultures of thriving alien civilizations throughout the galaxy; civilizations that possess technology thousands of years ahead of yours? That’s the universe I created in “Evaluations of the Tribe.” That’s the norm for a girl named Alytchai (Aly).
In case you can’t tell by the pictures, Aly (the one with the blue tentacles) and her people aren’t human beings. No, she’s a Goolian from Planet Gooliun, a world readers were able to venture to after I published my first novel, “Prossia.” On Gooliun, the natives know that they aren’t alone in the galaxy, but they can’t do much about it beyond tending to their daily routines. “Why,” you ask? Goolians haven’t even invented the light bulb yet! As a matter of fact, they haven’t even bothered with learning how to make the equivalent to gun powder. To be fair, why would they? They can create nuclear fusion right between their palms!
In spite of the many differences these “greenies” have, however, they’re not much different from us. Sure, the illustrations you’ll see indicate that Aly and her people would be considered humanoid – sharing physical traits that we humans have. Just don’t ask them to help you get a fruit from a tree, because they’ll either freak you out after they leapt two stories up to grab it, or after they used a very long purple tongue to snatch it for you. :P
Still, in spite of these differences, Aly and her people are just that; people. And like most of us good ole’ fashioned Earthlings here on Planet Earth, she’ll grow up feeling out of place and different from others. Like us, Aly will find herself envying those around her, who seem to be a natural at a certain task, while she struggles to do the same thing. She’ll watch one of her classmates walk by, and wish that she was perhaps shorter, skinnier, more defined; prettier. Like so many of us, Aly will cry alone in her bed, hiding the fact that the children at school pushed her, called her weird, or even ugly. Some things, like growing up – even in another galaxy – are universal.
The good thing, however, is the fact that Aly lives in a world that offers the chance to overcome such obstacles, just like ours. She’ll realize there are multiple methods to do it, but the end results are still the same. She can win. It won’t be easy, though. It’s not like she should expect the people who’ve wronged her are going to break down in tears, begging for forgiveness, one day. More so, she may not even end up being the better athlete, the smartest student, or the prettiest girl in class. No, Aly’s win will be hard. It’s the sort that may take months and years to obtain. Either way, once she earns that victory, no one, not even her worst enemy, will be able to take it away from her.
Why don’t you grab yourself a copy of “Evaluations of the Tribe” to see how Aly seizes the day in the end? After all, growing up is a universal thing.
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