I keep finding myself assuming that certain characters are AIs without meaning to. For example, in “The Obselete Man”, I kept on thinking that the librarian was an AI–his story seemed allegorical for the recent struggles AIs went through to gain rights–before I realized that this character, Wordsworth, was just a human man. Throughout studying the works of ancient Earth, it’s been difficult to place myself in the shoes of the characters. So much of the conflicts in the stories feel like products of another time and another species that I’ve never heard of. It helps to think of earlier works as building blocks; through layers and layers of past fiction, Donetta Behar was able to put together the masterpiece that is Dances on Draxghr. And someday, Dances on Draxghr will be the building block for another work (though I doubt it could reach the level of mastery that DoD has reached). By thinking that way, I’ve come to realize why the characters in these stories are so bent on preserving books; books are building blocks of their society and culture that they can hold in their hands.
I’ve decided that I want to make a print version of Dances on Draxghr, and see if that changes the experience at all for me, or if it will make me feel something different (besides the usual ecstatic joy). I’ve contacted Donetta Behar to ask permission…hopefully I’ll hear back soon.
Wish me luck!