ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the August 6, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chordatesrock and LJ user Kelkyag. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] librarygeek. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.


"The Space Traders"


The Lacuna has cut itself free
from the Carinan and Orion armies,
cutting off its supply lines in the process.

What remains are the freelancers,
space traders near enough to pirates,
the ones who count the whole galaxy home
so long as they have a ship to sail
through the endless night.

There is Short John
who deals primarily in drugs,
some with legitimate medicinal uses,
and related supplies for keeping people alive.

He is self-conscious about his stature,
always yearning toward normal
even though it recedes like a mirage
the more he chases it;
he doesn't fit in any better here
than he did planetside,
but that doesn't stop him from trading.

There is Anne Goede,
a smuggler given to luxuries,
who is happy enough to traffic
food and seeds and garden supplies
once she stops laughing over the request.

She is tall and graceful and dangerous,
and she never gave a damn about fitting in,
except now she suddenly does.
She just wants to expand her shipping potential
and the secessionists are glad to help with that
if she can get them the things they need.

The Lacuna has its share of wanderers too,
people who liked the military because it took them places,
only now there is no military and a shortage
of going anywhere at all.

A few of them ship out with the merchants,
and that's all right with everyone,
because there are immigrants
filtering in slowly from outside
and new traders already sniffing around the edges.

These paths, too,
are made by traveling them.

Laughing

Date: 2015-01-18 09:48 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The laughing over the requests for food, seed and tools strikes me as ODD. I'm not sure why she's laughing, and it makes me wonder what she's like beyond "indulging in luxuries."

That's the image which sticks in my mind the clearest, and one of the questions it left behidn.

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-18 10:44 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
See, THIS makes the whole universe more interesting!

I have GOT to get some of my work done today so I can treat myself to reading more in this 'verse!

Thanks for fleshing out the details, too!

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-19 12:25 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I generally don't mess with microcreens; I find them a waste of resources because they're NOT thinnings from a natural garden, but bulk-grown for a pricier market. Yeah, they taste differently, yeah, they're "special" and for those of us who can't really grow radishes, for example, beyond our typical culinary experience.

It's rather like my opinion of lamb: /you/ raised it and hired a butcher you trust (or rarer, now, did the slaughtering yourself?) Pass the mint sauce. If it's mass produced for a certain market, I won't touch it. (Nor veal, for the same reasons.)

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-19 01:12 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
EXACTLY!

Frankly, the way I shop according to my morals is to throw a BUNCH of meat into the freezer when it's on sale, and simply do without when it climbs above a certain price.

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-20 01:21 am (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
Some church-going hunters will offer a deer (or part of one) to their pastor's family each season as part of their church experience, whether as a form of tithing or as "the pastor's family is church-family too"; my parents have been able to put a lot of meat on the table from that sort of thing over the years thanks to the various rural and semi-rural churches my father led.

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-20 02:22 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
That's so wonderful- it goes back to when a pastor's wages were /really/ low, though, now it's more a friendly gesture. It makes me wonder what my stepdad would've done with the first family to do something similar for him!

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-19 03:22 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I can see feeling that way about root vegetables. But what about tree-fruits, which -- although the tree's roots are in the ground -- never touch the dirt if they're properly processed? Corn on the cob? Tree nuts (especially if pre-shelled)?

ObSF: Isaac Asimov wrote a story based around that particular spacer's prejudice, which he titled "Good Taste".

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-19 01:17 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I think they'd either have worked out a way to grow rhizomes like strawberries hydroponically, NO dirt at all, and love,love, love them, OR avoid those in particular.

But I speculate that they actually rely on engineered crops, seaweed- or algae-based, to create a "flour" with a very specific nutritional profile, which would also affect their view of "eat five a day" or "eat a variety of fruits and vegetables" as wildly -inefficient-.

There's simply not enough cubic volume of space to waste on something just because it tastes good. Unless, of course, you're rich enough to indulge the luxury.

Re: Laughing

Date: 2015-01-20 03:51 am (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
Other common protein sources are mushrooms, which need only minimal lighting, and insects (careful what you let crawl around in your station, though! Creatures have a tendency to get loose). Since some plants need pollination before they'll produce, it would be common for workers to pollinate them directly instead of letting insects or the wind do it like they would dirtside; that's a tedious job good for someone who likes work that is routine, delicate, and repetitive.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-20 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
I like this one!
It shows your ability to tackle a wide variety of genres. You keep coming up with new and different situations to put your characters in--makes it a pleasure to read your work.
Best of all--your work is distinctive. It's not the cookie-cutter adventure stuff that has been standard fare for the past 70-80 years now.
:^}

Thank you!

Date: 2015-01-20 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> I like this one! <<

I'm happy to hear that.

>> It shows your ability to tackle a wide variety of genres. You keep coming up with new and different situations to put your characters in--makes it a pleasure to read your work. <<

I can write darn near anything. What becomes a series, or a long and popular one, depends on my readers. You-all buy a LOT of fantasy, occasional science fiction and mundane lit, and seem to have minimal interest in horror. Dark fantasy, no problem; dark SF, only a little, but the creepier it gets the less popular it is with my current audience. So I'm pleased to see a science fiction series developing a following, because the diversity helps me reach more readers.

As for situations, well, my characters are very good at getting themselves into trouble without any help from me! So of course the trouble they get into is based on their different personalities and opportunities.

>> Best of all--your work is distinctive. It's not the cookie-cutter adventure stuff that has been standard fare for the past 70-80 years now.
:^} <<

Yay! A key reason why I write is because so much of the mainstream frankly bores me. I like a far wider range of challenges in literature than are typically offered. Part of the credit goes to my audience, though -- you folks ask me for some things I would never have thought of. For characters that aren't a direct match for my personal experience in this like, like the neurovariant ones in this series, I can rely on research (the results of which were only so-so early on) or fan input (the results of which have been spectacular).

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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