Friday, February 10, 2006

Plots and Polyamory

Anyone who's read The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton, published by Luna books, knows that the subject of polyamory rates discussion and, just perhaps, serious consideration in more than just the field of fantasy fiction. I'm keenly interested in the general perception and reception of these debates, not just because Gail writes such intriguing fantasy that takes place in a kingdom where polygamy is the norm, but because I also write fantasy that explores that same subject. Gail's site led me to another blog called "Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels" where this subject is addressed at least in brief, and I hope to stumble upon more in future. How refreshing to see open-minded people out there who aren't afraid to explore the idea that maybe love needn't be quite so limited in scope, after all. And it does make for a very interesting story, especially when the author treats each relationship with the care and sensitivity it deserves. It reminds me of a puzzle, really. All the pieces are different, but they fit together beautifully to form a complete picture.

The kingdom of Oantra in my books is a polyamorous society. Heck, Oantra's entire governmental system is based on a multiple-partner structure, with each member of the royal foursome responsible for a particular role and function in government. In the first two books, I wasn't able to delve into the family units as thoroughly as I wanted to because the main characters were away from home for most of the story. But in the third one, we're smack in the middle of the nobles' families, politics, and family politics. Many of their issues are the same as any other family's, they just take place within a slightly different structure.

There, my books are out, even before they're out.

I didn't write poly into the story just to yank anyone's chain, but rather because in the first book it just naturally wove itself into the plot. I think it's something that needs to be looked at with an open mind and treated with a sensitive and empathetic view. And I also think it's fresh and new and exciting compared to the more traditional romances that find their way into fantasy fiction. Whatever the case, I'm glad it turned out that way, and I'm glad that other authors out there are willing to take their fiction and their characters' relationships a bit beyond the pale.

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