Posts Tagged ‘writing’

A very interesting blog post regarding “Alpha wolves” and why biology just-doesn’t-work-that-way. As someone who majored in biology (although I’m specialized in molecular biology and genetics), I find myself cringing every time I read the same paranormal tropes about this now subverted ideas about wolves. Please authors, go and read an updated paper on the subjects before you start writing about “hierarchy” in the animal kingdom. Science may try to be objective, but scientists are still human beings, full of biases and prejudices.

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

Regardless of what historical epoch their populations and culture are either based on or situated in, epic fantasy landscapes tend to be populated by a very specific subset of animals: big cats, horses, wolves, bears, deer, birds of prey, European livestock (cattle, sheep, chickens), domestic pets, rabbits, and dragons. Though you might occasionally find some ferrets, snakes or crocodiles to spice things up, generally speaking, there’s a profound Eurocentrism to the kind of animals you’ll encounter in fantasy novels, partly because the default fantasy environment is itself Eurocentric; and partly because, once you’re using less common animals, there’s the joint question of how to describe and reference them if their English names are either very clearly colonial or derive their meaning from a clearly real-world scientific canon (Thompson’s gazelle, the red panda, the Pallas cat, for instance); but mostly, I suspect, because we view such creatures as being universally generic…

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