Hello, dear readers! Welcome to the inaugural post of A Man Wrote This, where we look at different volumes of geekery that said something so absurd and glaring about women that it caused me to set the book down, roll my eyes, and go, “A man wrote this.” Simple, yes? But so amusing. Join me in our snark adventure!
Today’s specimen is HC SVNT DRACONES 2.0, or HSD 2.0 for the remainder of this little post. HSD 2.0 is a role-playing game that takes place in the far future after mankind has effectively destroyed themselves and been replaced by genetically crafted creatures called Vectors. Vectors are anthropomorphic animals that were created from a combination of human and animal DNA, originally as sub-intelligent servants but later as their own fully intelligent and autonomous species. The book makes a very big, important point about the fact that Vectors are one race – whether you’re a lion, bear, cat, snake, bird, whatever, you’re still just a Vector.
HSD 2.0 is basically Furry Cyberpunk. It takes place on Mars, which has been terraformed to just be another Earth (Earth was lost, it’s complicated). Everything is owned and run by corporations. There’s shady dealings, genetic and cybernetic augmentation, corporate espionage – all we need is Billy Idol in a fursuit. (Because of the Cyberpunk album? Anyone? Okay, never mind.)
Since this is new, let’s break down the metrics – we’re going to rate this book (and all following books) accordingly: How Soon, Which Phrase/Passage, How Much Cringe (on a scale of 1-5 twitches), and Did A Man Actually Write It. There will also be special awards given out for books where I was forced to set it down and walk away. So let’s do this!
How Soon: Very early. Intro, “From Our Time On” (Lore), Vectors, pg 13.
Which Passage: “Birth method is determined by the father; if he is a male of an egg-laying species, the child will be born in an egg, regardless of the species of the child or the mother. Likewise, if the father is a live-birth species, the child will be born live regardless of its, or its mother’s, species.” The book goes on after that to explain their reasons for why this is perfectly acceptable.
How Much Cringe: 3 Twitches. This isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, but its complete disregard for biology is a little unsettling. Also, there’s something inherently twitchy about a race where your partner’s penis is so overwhelmingly powerful that it will transform your oviduct into a uterus and birth canal. Seriously.
Did A Man Actually Write It: Sure did! All editions of HSD are written by Pierce Fraser, with no other writers credited.
Did Walking Away Happen: No. The book made me twitch a bit, and I expect to write up a post-play review full of other comments and criticisms, but I was able to keep reading. A lot of the book is actually very interesting, despite my frequent protestations of “biology/physics/science doesn’t work that way!” but you expect that in almost any speculative fiction.
So that’s it! I may make these more of a review in the future, but I wanted to test drive this idea first. See you soon, my geeky darlings!