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Thread: Genetics and Human/Non-Human Hybrids In SFF?

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  1. #1
    The Hobbit-Vulcan hybrid Lillith1991's Avatar
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    Mar 2014

    Genetics and Human/Non-Human Hybrids In SFF?

    This is inspired by a thread that sort of got my dander up over at the NaNoWriMo Fantasy sub-forum. The OP was asking about one of their half-fae characters, mentioned that pale and literally luminescent skin was a fae trait. I was all for it until they mentioned the other parent being black, because I frankly do not like the stereotype of light & bright being magical. It had me wondering what the purpose of the Black parent was in the first place if they were going to make the child look like a carbon copy of the non-human parent because magic.

    I think, in fact I know, that what got my dander up was the thinking behind such things. Which is coincidentally the reason you don't see many POC magical or human/alien hybrid to begin with, unless it is someone like Grover from Percy Jackson. To top it off, that just isn't how genetics works. If a human and non-human can produce a child there's no reason some traits would not be passed on from the human parent.

    Take for example the classic case of Tolkien's Peredhil or half-elven. Elvish lifespans and other things, but also human/mannish traits according to everything I've been able to find on what Tolkien intended for them. They are neither man nor Elve. Now, none are POC in any way shape or form. But I think it safe to say such things should apply across the board if the writer is going to try passing it off as a genetic thing. A dominant gene like say paler than average luminescent skin, would in theory mean the childs hair or height or some other feature would follow that of the POC human parent in some way.

    I don't know, maybe I am being unreasonable and maybe I'm not. I do know that I've come up with plenty of characters in my time that are non/half-human and POC as well. To me, just dragging a black or other POC parent out and saying so and so is half-black seems disrespectful. Not only for those who can't pass as white, but those who can and suffer grief in their community because of it. The character would still be part of the group, they'd be affected by internal politics. The way that particular poster and others phrased it shows a lack of understanding of stereotypes within the community, how people behave towards such a person.
    Last edited by Lillith1991; 11-28-2014 at 12:42 AM.
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