story fixes & Writing thoughts
This story centered around a ruined center of community. (You could use this as a town, planet or castle.) To make it not overtly cliché, I'd suggest maybe:
- Create the situation so that everyone is happy about it and don't care to think about their home
- Consider the option that perhaps they've been given some kind of magical/holographic/chemical delusion so no one even remembers where they're from.
- Maybe you will tell us nothing about the destruction, or the home that was destroyed, and let us figure it out as we go.
- Make everyone have moved on advanced emotionally and technologically really well, instead of trying to eek out a meager, ruined existence.
- Make it so destroying the home was best thing that could ever have happened to the characters in question
Well, Animus started out as something of its own universe with an evolutionary tree of anthropomorphic animal humanoids. Now the humanoids are all actually separately created, but I kept the tree idea to exist as an ongoing belief system of one or more people groups in question. That's one way to solve an issue like that!
I feel like I may have missed something, but it seems the only cost factor is that of the person being reconstructing forgetting everything and EVERYONE they knew since their time of youth. That could be a big cost factor. Some would choose to grow old rather than forget new things and people they had come to love.
Most "effective"—Police it by tying everyone into a borg-like internet where their minds are controlled directly—only to do what is beneficial to all. Defend it by making a massive impenetrable, undetectable Dyson sphere (blackbody radiation notwithstanding), and living on the inside.
Most ethical? That's going to take a bit longer to answer.
OR maybe you don't protect your solar system… and you like it that way.
(This would create an anarchy, a land grab. I remember one fascinating story about transhuman children making a rush for Jupiter's moons—and without any other policing out there—being able to set themselves up as petty despots of the Jovian system. Bonus points to anyone who can identify this story in the comments!)
OR maybe you simply can't. Space is large. Very, very large. You might know where the threat is coming from, but even that might not be enough to help you.
You could make the apes time travelers too! So they can pursue the astronauts back to their own century and start an invasion of the past!
You could make them not really apes, but some sort of mutant mix of things that looks like apes. Maybe they can be made of something other than flesh—like android-metal, slime, or glass.
Maybe the Earth has been split by magical energies and their are two halves of it, the other half includes regular humans, or androids, or other apes, or giant sloths! You name it.
Maybe instead of going into space, and through time—the explorers—are sailors who go to the bottom of the ocean and find apelantis!
Maybe the apes are actually saving them from something else by taking them to the camp!
Maybe the apes are actually humans, and the explorer look like apes to them.
In this example, the question was about hyphenation. I said that "jewel-toned" sounded rather chintzy, made me think of rhinestones, and probably undercut the grandeur of the heavens too much. But then again, maybe that was what they were looking for.
That's just how Narnia handled it—a plethora of races, even more than you have, all in the background. Now, as Tolkien said, fantasy is about *rediscovery,* so I highly recommend that you take a look at each of your 34 races and try to come up with something unique about them, some twist we've never seen before. A good way to do this is to throw away your first four or so ideas on each one. Once you've discarded the first concepts, you'll start to get to things that feel fresh and new and right and free. Also, having a race be present in your book doesn't need to be more than a sentence, like, "they walked past the bleeding unicorn marks on trees, under which mindbadgers had left bottles to collect the drops." Sometimes a glimpse out of the corner of your eye is all you need. You can easily tell a story about four or five major races, while the rest of your races are portrayed in 29-30 little glimpses like that throughout your 50-150 thousand word manuscript.
The possibility of us regressing is terribly real to me. Our civilization is based three very wobbly pillars—1) oil, which is running out, which powers most of our trade and commerce, 2) electronics and electricial grids, which are vulnerable to a big enough solar flare which could put us back into the dark ages, 3) antibiotics, which seem to be the tentpole of modern medicine—which are rapidly losing ground to evolving bacteria with immunity.
Society has regressed before. The Roman Empire made enormous advances, that were lost in times of medievalism. Many groups seem to have lost their technology—often leaving technologically-primitive tribes eeking out a minimal existence among the lofty ruins of what must have been a once physically-flourishing civilization.