These entities without arms and without legs came about after a sustained period of doodling in a café when their creator was supposed to be working on a short story. She was working in the company of other creators who were more studious than her, so she felt bad about surfing the internet and had to do something. The doodles became the foundation of these creatures without arms and without legs, and fulfill a need she didn’t know how to articulate. They are entities made for the pure pleasure of making them.
Their arrival did not come out of a void, however. Their creator to loves play with characters that do not have any gender pronouns associated with them. She sort of slips these characters in and often it goes unnoticed, although future projects will have bolder genderflumphing choices.
At Norwescon 2012 she was chatting to fellow writer about when to define a character’s gender/skintone/morphology/ethnicity etc in a text. She was talking about how the speed with which you need to define attributes intersects with assumptions and privilege and how she didn’t think it was fair that masculine pronouns or blonde hair could be suddenly be used on page 6 without comment, but it would throw the reader out if the pronoun was female or if the fairytale princess was revealed to have curly dark hair after we’d known her for have a story. She thinks it’s rude to throw someone out of a text they might have placed themselves in. Privilege sometimes makes that stuff invisible and she discovers new iterations of assumption all the time.
She went on to say she just wanted to write about characters with no physical description or gender, and he said ‘So you want to write about amorphous blobs.’
The creator said ‘That’s probably why I love writing about alien intelligences.’ … and that got her thinking and wanting to write about amorphous beings. Amorphous blobs sound awesome!
The world would be a very dull place if we just wrote about amorphous blobs, or if amorphous blobs were immediately defined by the cookie cutter shapes of the dominant hegemony… and the creator promises that as part of her body of work she will write about sapient entities with genders and ethnicities and ages and and specific sexualities and consistent skin tones and all sorts of things.
But this space, is a special space where the world can be a bit more amorphous, a bit more blobby – although the blobs might shift, congeal, reblobulate and flow (as blobs are want to do). The creator likes to hang out here sometimes and maybe you do to.