Taking catgirls seriously...

draconispax asked, "What is the Yowlerverse?"

The Yowler series is a collection of short stories set in "the real world" that I've been doodling with for a few years now, but haven't really gotten all that serious about until recently.  I've finished about 70,000 words or so (don't worry, I won't ask you read them all at once) in about a dozen short stories, plus about a half dozen more "in progress" and one fragmentary novel.

The point of the series was to take catgirls and catboys seriously.  I'm of the One Big Thing school of writing: your readers will forgive you One Big Thing in their suspension of disbelief.  My One Big Thing is that catgirls and catboys exist.  There is an entire backstory that explains how we got a contemporary universe with catboys and catgirls, and the explanation even solves the Drake equation, which I think is bizarre but fun in a way.  And it sends a big bright red raspberry to Copernicus.

As I wrote it, though, I realized that being a catgirl or a catboy, although fun, if you take them seriously it kinda sucks.  Because they have to, by tradition, be youthful and beautiful their whole lives, their lives must be short.  They're as smart as human beings, but because of their biological incompatibility with humans (both reproductively and as carriers of disease), they will have proven conveniently useful to the decadent and unscrupulous rich over the centuries.  Their feline nature makes them very sensual, so this isn't as bad as it seems, which drives the humans who want to "free" them crazy.  It also drives wedges between the "we're as good as humans" camp and the "we're different from them and we should enjoy that difference" camp.

Which brings me to the most difficult aspect of the series, that whole writing the other stuff.  I've been reading a lot of what some bookstores call "Black fiction," which is that section where Terry McMillan and Eric Dickey and Samuel Delaney all get pressed together on one shelf because they all happen to be, you know, black, rather than a romance writer, a mystery writer, or a science-fiction writer (cue George Carlin's "Where's the surprise?" monologue).  Most of the stories I've written involve caucasians of American or European descent interacting with Bastet, and there's one really unpleasant story set in the midst of the Hutu/Tutsi slaughter, so I'm a little queasy about where I've gone with some of these stories, but hey, if I didn't write challenging stuff I'd get bored.

Anyway, that's the Yowlerverse: Contemporary fiction that takes catgirls seriously.  The first episode, Black Tattoo, comes out Friday.

Earlier: Knowing when to stop.

Later: New engine installed...