Unicorn Jelly: A scifi-fantasy comic strip. It is completed. Starts out cute, but gets a little dark. Okay, it becomes extremely dark and creepy. If there is an atrocity a main character hasn't done, I can't think of it.
Unicorn Jelly: A scifi-fantasy comic strip. Starts out cute, but gets a little dark. Okay, extremely dark and creepy. Includes a well-thought-out alternate cosmology that goes down to the molecular level. Finished.
Pastel Defender Heliotrope: Very strange, very philosophical story from Jennifer Reitz, perhaps better known as the creator of the earlier Unicorn Jelly. Recurring themes of both include questions about the nature of gender and identity, and what it means to be human. One of the recurring villainous organizations is the Roman Catholic Church -- specifically, the Inquisition -- with the serial numbers filed off, which may or may not leave a bad taste in the reader's mouth.
Jennifer Diane Reitz is known to have an antipathy toward religion. Her strip Pastel Defender Heliotrope has a monolithic Corrupt Church which is keen on the oppression and persecution of virtuous sexual minorities, such as the protagonists, and which worships an entity known as -- wait for it -- Godan. It is then debunked repeatedly. Come on, girl, put some effort into it.
Odd use of the spoiler tags.
Petey had the very same problem. It killed most of him, but then things got interesting.meatwhichdreams wrote:So glad they cleared up that question for the rest of us though. I couldn't sleep at night not knowing.
The one where two characters are sitting in the sand, next to this crappy little tree, waiting for their savior to show up (as they have apparently been doing every day for quite some time) and an angry dude shows up with 'lucky' on a leash and they all gripe about how good stuff just stops happening for no obvious reason, and then Lucky freaks out, the angry dude leaves, the sun sets and they go back to whatever it is they do.
Alikat wrote:I am guessing that "fargnax" translates loosely into "fucknax." Who knows, maybe I have the talent of Universal Translation, why not?
Jennifer wrote:Alright, Alright, I will tell the story of 'Farg'!
You are correct, I use 'farg' in the same way that 'frell' is used in Farscape...the creation of an alien language swear word is a very, very old tradition in Science Fiction, you know. Back during the fifities and sixties, author Zenna Henderson used to have her alien 'The People' use "Adonday Veeyah!" as a swear word, heck...in more modern times, programs like 'Alien Nation' had the Tenctonese 'Nk'Syks', Star Trek has the Klingon "Ptakh!" and...well...it is a very old tradition...and a tool, too.
A culture is defined as much by its swear words as by any other cultural artifact. Perhaps even greatly so, because what is forbidden, or nasty, tells us instantly something of the values of a given culture!
However, 'Farg' is actually a private, inside 'gag'. I could have used any word in it's place in Unicorn Jelly. It is not important to the story in itself, other than it suggests that the Gryrnese have a different, non-earthly sense of what is good and what is bad, or forbidden. Which is important because the reader must realize that the people in Unicorn Jelly have their own, unique rules and beliefs, ones that are not always expected.
So where did my placeholder word 'Farg' really come from, and what did it mean originally?
For that, we must go back to my days as a Dungeon Master, and the campaigns I ran in my own universes. One of these universes was the Gorbald Universe, a median-entropy, Mundis-like pocket universe that featured galaxies of about 100 stars, and about 50 galaxies in the entire cosmos. It was a 'recycler' style cosmos...big black hole at one 'end' that sucked in matter, and a big white hole at the other 'end' to spew out that very same matter to form new stars and galaxies. It had all kinds of details, and I have a set of handmade books that list those details, for virtually every planet in the universe. I had a lot of time back then, and I was much sharper than I am now.
Anyway, one of the many worlds in the Gorbald cosmos (which was my standard game cosmos at the time) was a little planet (all the planets were little, by that I mean about 4000 mile diameters) called 'Fargnax' which circled the stars Nexalibur, Chrysthinimee, and Velderfar. The Fargnax system was only a short jaunt from one of my most poetic inventions, 'Balocampaspe' the World Of Forgotten Dreams. Goddess, that was a cool place. Anyway, I digress...
Fargnax was home to the Fargnaxians, the Kfyll, who were a purplish biped about seven feet tall. They had dolphin-like heads on a vaguely reptillian body, six fingers arranged like a Venus-Fly Trap on each arm, writhing tendrils where eyes would normally be (these could percieve electrochemical variations in their surroundings, including moods and even distance) and a set of five eyestalks at the top of their elongated skulls that could sense four-dimensional space.
The Kfyll were super-intelligent artisans who built hyperdimensionally folded houses, and they were kind, generous, wise, and utterly without guile. Lawfull Good. Nice folks, if a bit alien on the whole.
They had one thing about them that upset my human cultures in the Gorbald universe though: how they ate.
The Kfyll raised sheep-sized animals called Glicks. A Glick looks like a bright red mass of squirming sea-anemone tenticles all wrapped up into a ball...their body is hidden inside the tendrils...and the only things that peek out of the mass of tendrils are two big floppy ears, five eyes, and a long, twin-tubed elephant-trunk with which they feed.
Now the Fargnaxian Kfyll who breed the Glicks have these dolphin-like faces, only with the 'beak' or 'snout' ending in a long, flexable trunk as well... all animal life on Fargnax follows a similar morphology, as you can imagine...its only logical.
This trunk is used to feed...on Glick fetuses. The Kfyll use their snouts to root about inside pregnant Glicks and gobble their unborn fetuses. This is how they feed, and it is natural to them. It does not harm the rapidly reproducing Glicks at all, and makes for a pretty bloodless way to get meat.
However, at the first human-Kfyll confederation banquet, there was an unfortunate incident of culture clash involving the pregnant wife of a human diplomat and the Kfyll ambassador, and well.... the Kfyll were never admitted to the local version of the 'Federation' in the Gorbald universe. Ever. Their planet was listed as forbidden, and the word 'Fargnax' became one of the worst epithets known. Dirty rotten Fargnaxian Fetus Eater. They could Detect Fetus By Smell, as a basic ability, you know.
Which is all a shame, because the Kfyll had long ago figured out the solution to issues like immortality and the elimination of all disease, as well as multiversal travel and how to achieve lasting peace and so forth.
Fargnax was oft abbriviated to simply 'farg', and so it was in my games, in my worlds, in my campaigns for many years.
In doing Unicorn Jelly, I knew I needed a proper, common swear word for folks to use. It would be too cliche to just have everyone say 'shit' or 'damn; or whatever all the time...a unique word can express so much, give such a feeling of otherworldliness. I remembered the poor Fargnaxians and their Glick herds, and the word that came from them. I remembered how much fun those old games were that I once ran....
So...since some word had to be used...I used 'Farg'. Happy memories for me every time any character swears.
That is the story of the word 'Farg', and where it comes from.
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