And what is with the Klingons? Remember, in the day
They looked like Puerto Ricans and they dressed in gold lamé
Now they look like heavy metal rockers from the dead
With leather pants and frizzy hair and lobsters on their heads
– Aurelio Voltaire, U.S.S. Make Shit Up
This form of inconsistency never bothered me, but it sure seems to bother a lot of other people. There were attempts to refer to the 60’s TV Klingons as Human-Klingon fusions, but I always found this to be an excessively complex explanation for something that was merely an artifact of an imperfect lens. If the film makers of the 60’s had better technology, then it would have come closer to later efforts.
This philosophy has a lot of impact on my writing, especially in areas where I have to translate concepts. In the second book, Clempson visits a place called Hell. Is it really the biblical place described in Dante’s Inferno? Of course not. That would be boring. It is, however, a very punishing place that is spoke of very poorly in any place where they know it exists. When shown through the lens of my writing, that’s the best word for it.
This is a standard literary technique that allows authors to create a richer world by harnessing people’s expectations. It’s why elves and goblins are so common. The pitfall of this technique is where the author relies too much on prior art. Elves that are tall, skinny, long-lived, pale skins with pointy ears and a haughty attitude. Goblins that are short and green-skinned with few smarts and fewer morals. Archetypes or stereotypes, it’s all still the Planet of Hats, the implication of mono-culture, so I avoid relying on it too heavily.
If I’m not going to lean on the stereotypes, then why would I include them? There’s more to the archetypes than cultural flavor. They’re also allegorical. I’m exploring the concepts of Good and Evil, as they exist beyond the concept of good and evil people. The second book isn’t about evil people, it’s about what makes people evil.