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Flier Misjudges Reefworld

Dreamed 2018/12/16 by Wayan


An Atlantic article startles me: Kate Julian's The Sex Recession. She describes it as a Millennial problem, and assumes it's an attitude thing--basically a whole depressed culture. I'm not so sure. Why such low sex rates even in couples? Just once a week on average? Once or twice a day would be fine with me. But I'm a health-food weirdo--to me, normal people look puffy & sick. Sex drives suppressed? Hormone-mimicking plastics in the food...

Also, I see massive new dating barriers. Social rules changed! Talking to strangers is now rude, even alarming--you're either crazy or out to sell something. "Why don't you use social media like everyone else?" Uh... because social media are crap. Like being sent back to high school--cliques, nudges, gossip and shunning. I'm not sexually disinterested, I'm discouraged. By isolation enforced by unspoken rule-changes I never agreed to. Did you sign a waiver swearing never to talk to strangers?

Switch to TV! 1: an 'extinct' striped fish returns to Monterey Bay. 2: Marshall Islanders in Oregon are losing their language because much of it is reef-specific. 3: a Texas veg/herb garden whose master gardener is African. 4: an interview with writer Holly Black, who has blue hair and pointed elf ears. Living ones--cosmetic surgery. "I saw geeks at a party in fake ones and just realized they were just more beautiful than ape ears and I wanted them and could HAVE them. At the cost of always standing out. So?" Hmm. I'm not the only weirdo. Yay! Sleep on that. See what my dreams think.

Flier stretches artificial wing. Dream sketch by Wayan.

Civilization's galactic, and I have a free starship pass!

First I visit a world where everyone flies--low gravity, high air pressure. The local people are humanoids using strap-on wings. For large cargoes they have fat little zeppelins with big gondolas. Hardly any roads; no need. A clean, quiet, yet busy place. Fun.

A local girl leads me to another world, recently discovered. Recently as in just a couple of generations ago--Galactics think long.

It's a warm sea-world, with plenty of Polynesian islets but not one landmass bigger than New Guinea. Rich coral reefs. Land plants and animals have evolved, but we've found no people, unless they're abyssal--secretive giant squid or krakens. It seems open for settlement. But so far, just a few outposts of Polynesians and marine biologists, half villages, half research stations, centered around the no-tech spaceport--just a lagoon safe to land in. We boat and snorkel around...

One local faction wants to build a small, low-key hotel for visiting researchers and a few tourists. I support the idea; it'd do well. Sailboats and tropical islands. Dream sketch by Wayan.

Explore a big machine shop by the harbor. Notice fire safety is lax, neglected; hoses installed long ago are visibly frayed--they'll leak. But the walls are coral rock, the climate's wet, the air humid, and what's to burn? A few building supplies and a dewy garden?

Pools, artificial little beaches. Square stone planters, various local herbs and greens. The gardener says "Taste them." Yum! All good, strong flavors. One rather minty.

Cement for mortar--most buildings are made of coral chunks. Black clay with lots of fine black sand in it, a locally patented soil amendment "Guaranteed even here on Reef World"--where nearly all soils are either basaltic or coral. I finger & scoop it... rich.

This world has such potential! But Flier Girl disagrees--sees limited settlement value. She wouldn't live here. You can't easily fly! Earthlike gravity & air pressure keep you grounded.

She doesn't get that for nonfliers--the Galactic majority--the easy sailing, while much slower than flight, exempts this world from needing to develop a transportation infrastructure--just like hers. A small boat is all you need to wander the whole world. And a fertile, lovely world too. Applying her world's unusual standards makes her underestimate this world's subtler attractions...

So what am I, an Aspie from Earth, blind to?

Humanoid in T-shirt saying 'Give me wings NOW and keep nassty ships!' Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.
NOTES IN THE MORNING Art footnote: her T-shirt echoed a line in The Lord of the Rings: Sam promises Gollum fish and chips someday; Gollum says "Give me fish now, and keep nassty chips!"

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