Sunday, 18 July 2010

Future Access for All

I'm in the [very] early stages of devising a plot for Redstone's Accessible Future contest. I haven't actually written a differently-abled character before, a fact I'm frankly rather ashamed about (another failure is my lack of coloured characters) so this contest is firstly a challenge to myself.

What I want to avoid is a plot that is "positively discriminative", because I believe that would imply a negative difference in ability. That disability is something to make allowances for, rather than accepted as fact.

It's not even a case of "disability" when you're dealing with science fiction - just think of the different forms of aliens that could be encountered. Non-humanoid aliens that might not have legs or other limbs. That have different senses.

The question is - do I make it obvious that such things are accounted for, or would that negate the point of the challenge?

As I've been thinking about this aspect, one of my favourite sci fi shows has come to mind. In Farscape, the main ship has ramps between floor levels, a natural occurence since she's a biomechanoid, but something that makes her accessable for all species. It's never mentioned, just there.

And I think that's the tone I want to aim for.


  1. This contest sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe I can cook something up in time ^_^

    I agree with the tone of "It's never mentioned, it's just there" and I'd say it's a great aim to take.

    Your point that it's not a disability with scifi = excellent. Scifi expresses open-mindedness more than anything else I know of.

    Here's an idea:
    A character unfamiliar with a given "disability" can ask questions, etc. while everyone else shrugs their shoulders in a "That's just how it is"/"Never really thought of that" way.

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks. Good luck if you decide to try ;)

  3. Hello from one sci fi author to another *parts fingers like Spock*

    What do you write about?

  4. I write science fiction romance: heavy on the characters, light on the technology.

    My current novel-in-progress, TRtS, is about redemption.

  5. I write the EXACT SAME THING. Wow.