Ep8 – Language and Race in Speculative Fiction

Oliver gets into universal translators and “The Common Tongue”, Robert Howard’s prose, reads a few cool paragraphs by Howard and a handful of his S&S contemporaries, gets into writing while not being entirely aware of the precise terminology for the techniques you’re using, our old friend racism, and doing your best to avoid the inherent potholes in representing large groups as separate species instead of simply humans with a different culture.

In the listener question segment Oliver answers a request for details on how many short stories will make up “Untitled Sword & Sorcery Novel” and how much variety there will be between them in length & tone.

And here’s, as promised in the episode, a link to where you can read The Dark Eidolon by Clark Ashton Smith for free.

Please consider: Supporting us on Patreon and Buying Oliver’s Books!


  1. During the planning and initial design of the first Trek novel I’ve put to keyboard by my fingers, I designed two different Caitian homeworlds, planetary and regional governments, technological bases and specialties, core languages and sets of dialects, planetary biome-regions and racial subgroups on Cait/Ferasa in those regions of cold, hot, dry and wet, by physical stature, build and more than a dozen regional cultures of the descendants of the planet’s feline pouncer-carnivores; one therein in the Mirror Universe and one in the Positive Universe.
    I’ve also been studying Swahili, part of the contextual linguistics and binding between two of those Federation-folk and close friends, or Terran Imperial officers met in distortions of trust, sometimes crutches of familiarity or siphons of honest emotional need, in either of those mirrored dichotomies of their realities’ functional archetypes; therein each the prizing of kindness, positive action and optimism without selfishness or ego, or set to the beat of cruelty, treachery of emotion or physical action, and the conceit of one’s superiority set to personal power, abuse and violence upon their subjects and inferiors of rank
    My lesson is simple, as it has been throughout my lifetime before or after I began my writing habit: be kind, by understanding horror, by surpassing horror, and becoming what horror cannot stand against, however much the horror tries to pull from your heart, from your bones, from your past and present. Be kind, for kindness is becoming. And when kindness is becoming, smile outwards, as part of kindness’ vanguard, a foot soldier of living sunshine and human positivity.
    In the end, and in the beginning: be kind.
    -Garth Gilmore (Twopaw), Toronto, Sunday Evening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t argue with that! I’m always fond of Kurt Vonnegut’s quote, “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”


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