Sunday, July 09, 2006

The alien experience of... house cleaning

Would I want to see an alien being -- such as Mr. Spock -- vacuuming up my dustbunnies?

I don't think the spectacle would be either romantic or funny. Not for me, anyway. I'd be mortified. Also grateful for the help.

If, for some reason, he needed to use human household appliances, I imagine that a quintessentially logical alien would locate the appropriate user manual, study the instructions, and carry out the domestic operation with great efficiency and a deadpan expression. Maybe he'd raise a quizzical, flying eyebrow.

Actually, that might be romantic in a traditional Regency romance sort of way. His plight might not be. Why would an arguably superior being do my housework?

Loveslavery springs to mind.... Or not. If he's cleaning house for me, that doesn't reflect too well on my libido or my sex appeal, does it? He must be doing Research. Or perhaps a quest for some meteor-like small object that could be retrieved from my neglected carpet... I almost have a story, here! I do so love blogging.

Of course, in my home, a highly intelligent and efficient alien might have trouble finding instruction manuals. If I were to write a blow-by-blow account of the exercise, I think an alien would comment. His remarks would probably be very funny to everyone except myself, the butt of his cool wit.

I am sure many authors have written scenes where their aliens have issues with human housecleaning appliances.... I just haven't read all that many.

Dara Joy's splendid early novel, Knight Of A Trillion Stars, does come to mind. What was it her alien hunk attacked with his broadsword, thinking it was a rival? A TV? An answering machine?
That was a very funny scene, and seemed so "right"!

Is chopping up the furniture the closest that any alien hero has come to housework? Generally, I think alien heroes tend to be extremely macho. They are world rulers, starship commanders, space pirates, intergalactic diplomats or trading tycoons.... they have servants, or orderlies, or androids to do the domestic dirty work.

Maybe I just haven't read the right books.

No one seems to wash their clothes, or scrub toilets in an alien romance. Susan Kearney said -- that her aliens' clothing was self cleaning (smart!!! and with nano-technology, this is becoming a reality).

Intelligent spaceships have aircleaning devices that work a lot better than the monsters we keep in our human furnace rooms. I once thought of modeling an alien toilet on a whole-house vacuum.

Then I read a joke about a sexually adventurous man who did himself a mischief with a vacuum cleaner.

In FORCED MATE my alien prince does have a little bit of trouble drawing a bath, mostly because he takes a macho stand (sitting on its edge, waiting for the heroine to take her clothes off and get in) without realizing that human baths don't automatically stop filling once the water reaches a sensible level.

He also has trouble with a shopping list, and aborts the shopping expedition once he learns that Marijuana is not a feminine toiletry product.

And... he has trouble with the heroine when she discovers that his spacecraft toilets perform automatic urinalysis and a few other functions and announce the results.

Romantic? Maybe not, but it appealed to my low sense of humor.

And then, there's recycling. We all do it, I suppose. Like Susan Sizemore (who also blogs with the pioneers and best sellers on the alien romance blog at blogspot) , I like military books.

I find them a treasure trove for research, for instance for battlefield uses for urine (to make communications equipment work). My heroine of FORCED MATE is grossed out when she learns how spacefarers obtain yeast to make deep space bread. But that's getting into cuisine, and housekeeping, rather than house cleaning.

My "thing" is to gaze at the underbelly of an alien character's lovelife and poke fun at it. And, you might not have guessed it, but of all the sciences in science fiction, Biology is my favorite.

I'll be gone tidepooling for the next four weeks. Do you know the ins and outs of a crab's sex life? I do.

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Highlights~ Interview with Exotic Male Entertainer, Devin Yala; excerpt from Linnea Sinclair's An Accidental Goddess, except from Brenna Lyons' Last Chance

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