Dear readers, tonight with me are two characters that sprang out of their books to confront their authors. One, a handsome rogue, is the last chauvinist left in the feminist fantasy realm; the other is a space defender, struggling to be a strong female protagonist in books written by a pulp-fiction author.
They are here to tell us about their adventures.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
Xander: My background is of little importance.
Xander: Oh, all right.
I was born in the village of Scrubbleypot, a three-day trek from the Landrian capital. My father was a knight in the old king’s royal guard, and died a warrior’s death on the battlefield, leaving behind his wife with child, a farm, and a cow. I was the child, and I had a miserable upbringing. My mother thought little of me because I reminded her of Father. I, in turn, think little of her.
Lyra: I was born on Terra in the year 5740. After years of rigorous training, I was inducted into the prestigious League of Space Defenders, a special force that protects the galaxy from alien threats. In ’75, I and a team of seven other Space Huntsmen were dispatched to the Jerome Moon Outpost, in preparation of a future civilian colony. Unfortunately, there was a … devastating incident on the base that left everyone but myself dead. With our comms destroyed, I had no way to call home and report what had happened; instead, I’ve taken it on myself to identify the culprit and avenge my team.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
Xander: A great warrior does not require such … intricacies…. Actually, we were too poor to buy toys, and I hadn’t a father to carve gewgaws and baubles from fallen branches as the other lads did. I never did learn to carve my own, but perhaps I shall when I meet a woman worthy of bearing my children.
My most cherished memories are those of solitude. When I’d finish milking the cow and letting it out to pasture, I would run to the untamed forests surrounding our land and listen to the birdsong. It is possible to lose track of time in there, for it is always dark beneath the canopy of trees. Thus ends the cherishable portion of any such memories, for Mother detested when the cow got out from being left unattended.
Lyra: My favorite toys growing up were my model starcruisers and VR headset. We all got them as space cadets for training simulations, but I figured out how to add a variety of entertaining games to my system….
What do you do now?
Lyra: I may have no contact with the League of Space Defenders, but I’m still a Space Huntress through and through. I’d dreamed since childhood of going to space, colonizing the moon, and expanding our access to the world as much as I can. I just hope I’ll make it back to Terra with my findings someday.
Xander: At this time, I am my own master. After a brief juncture in the Landrian army, I took up service as a rogue mercenary. I serve whomever I please, but unlike many, I am still a man of great honor. And alas, my heart belongs the fair ruler of Landria, Lady Jen Mondegreen. Continue reading “Xander Portmanteau & Lyra Jones (of Cliche, by Allison Rose)”