Transliterations of Alien Texts


People ask why I use human referents in my stories about aliens. Why, for instance, did Archie take the name Archimedes when his history doesn’t include Archimedes? Shouldn’t Archie have named himself after a great mathematician from his own world? The answer is, he did, and I’ve substituted that alien name with one we recognize immediately. I have communicated why he chose the name without having to write an explanation of his history into the story. I have saved the reader a lot of reading, and myself a lot of writing, if only we agree to imagine the alien equivalent when we see a human referent.

Rather than thinking of these stories as translations of alien texts, I think of them as whole-text transliterations, where I present the human equivalent and not the raw result. So, if you will agree with me to use this shorthand, we will save ourselves both a lot of work.

rjb

About arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Transliterations of Alien Texts

  1. Laird Smith says:

    We have too much time on our hands when people ask an author why he did such n such. I hope your explanation satisfies the detailed readership. Maybe that required explanation was fostered by a book club?

Please let us know what you think. No registration required.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.