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Sundreams and Myths -- Writers Block  Musings: DotV and other in-process works.

Terminology definition, etymology, story background, and other stuff

What's in a name...
One part of the DotV rewrite effort is to clarify some of the nomenclature.

'Gylarian' is neither the name of the race, nor the name of the home planet. Used in reference to the draconic main character of the DotV story, the term is a race-specific label indicating an immature or juvenile member of the species. In that sense, a cogent paradigm would put 'gylarian' equivalent to 'calf'.

As addressed in the story so far (that is to say, in the already published works), they are neither male, nor female, and not hermaphroditic. A Gylarian is a biogenetic construct - an artificial lifeform, made tractable by being devoid of sexuality.

Writing from the POV of a gender-less character in a gender-orientated language has been a point of challenge ever since the character's inception. Over the years, many rewrites have been done and discarded in a painstaking evolution to develop a satisfactory way to deal with a main character for whom the proper personal pronoun is, technically, "it".
In terms of character archetype, Gylarian is female.

To look at the history of the race and the linguistic development of the term:
The story starts a long time ago, in a galaxy not our own. In the beginning, there was a biogenetic development program established and directed by the Ancient Lords (a small group of beings from our galaxy -but that's another story). The primary goal of the program was to produce a slave-race whose bodies would be harvested and used by the overseers as replacements for their own.
The overall prgram was called "GY-x". "LARI" was the designation assigned to one particular project group (named after the team leader). The wyvern-like creatures (a draconic pterosaur) produced by said project were called "Gy-Lari" -and behind his back, "Gylarian" meant "Larry's sexless wonder".
In the language of the dragons, the term became emblematic of their time in captivity - which makes 'Gylarian' synonymous with/to 'negro' (and its less inoffensive synonym).
When judged by its own goals and criteria, the GY-x program was a failure. The objectives were not met and the Ancient Lords died off. Once freed from the rule of the ancients, the surviving specimens managed to continue the species. Ultimately, and in conjunction with another former slave race, a way was developed to transcend the initial design. As the dragons moved into their post-slavery epoch, the old name continued in use as meaning "an immature individual whose gender is still unformed and indeterminate", and/or "an incompetent individual who needs oversight and guidance". The secondary meaning of "calf" (an awkward or silly youth) would also be a close equivalent.

With transcendence and maturity, the physiognomy changes and the old designation ceases to apply. This distinction is reflected in the story dynamics. At the beginning of the "Dragon of the Valkyr", Ryanon is a Gylarian - a child, only a few years old and little more than a hatchling (and a bit of a klutz).

Regarding semantics and idiom of the term: Since a Gylarian is by definition an immature and incomplete being, use of the term in reference to an adult of the species (or a member of a congenital species, such as a human) carries a derogatory connotation. To call, label, or ascribe any such person, place, or thing as "gylarian" would be to infer said object to be undeveloped, incomplete, defective, or incompetent.

Gylarian and elder
Gylarian (immature) and post-GY:x (elder) forms

DRAGON OF THE VALKYR    [available from specialty comic shops and Sundreams and Myths]
First Book of the Valkyr. A story from the Valkyr Web, co-created by Steve Simshauser and Dan Mickle.
Written by Steve Simshauser. Artwork by Jim Mravec. Published by RAK Comics Group / RAK Graphics.

The story of Ryanon: a traveler of the stars, a non-human sentient, marooned on primitive world.
Dark secrets, cults, and hidden agendas interweave in this tale which ultimately explores a bond that transcends death.
   [to befriend the dragon - to become the dragon]

DotV #1
DotV issue 1
DotV #2
DotV issue 2
DotV #3
DotV issue 3
DotV #4
DotV issue 4
Images copyright © 1988-1990 by James Mravec. Dragon of the Valkyr copyright © 1988-1989 by Steve Simshauser.
Dragon of the Valkyr and related indicia, names, and elements are copyright and trademark protected intellectual property of S.C.Simshauser.
  All rights reserved.
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