Saturday, September 3, 2011

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday #11: Magic User's Guide to Educational Reform

Welcome to #SFFSat – Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday - a chance to post snippets from a piece of speculative fiction. Want to join in? Check out the site and links to other great speculative fiction authors at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday and follow the hashtag #SFFSat on Twitter.

In honor of completing the draft of my fantasy WIP, Mind Crafter, I'm putting up a snippet from that work that gives some insight into the protagonist, Shala. She's a scholar-mage who doesn't quite understand why everyone doesn't value knowledge and access to knowledge as much as she does (btw, a crafter is a type of magic user and silja is an abstract strategy board game kind of like a cross of chess and go):

     Ansa looked down at her hands, an uncomfortable expression on her face. “Mistress, I don't know how to read. I can write and read the characters for my name, but no more. I am sorry. You shouldn’t have been sent such a foolish girl.”

    “A mind that can grasp silja with such ease is never one I would call foolish,” Shala said, keeping her voice neutral. “Well, I suppose I must teach you how to read. You will find it a useful skill. With a quick mind like yours, I am sure I can teach you many of the most common characters in a rather short time.”

     The ways of the palace befuddled Shala. Not cultivating basic reading in the servants of the important officials seemed absurd. At House Lran, none of her fellow crafters would tolerate an illiterate servant.


Laurel Kriegler said...

Awesome snippet. Really feel for Ansa, and her awareness of her inability. Shala's irritation comes through really well - though she does well to keep a lid on it :-)

wearegoingonawitchhunt said...

Poor thing, I did feel for the poor girl.
Congrats on finishing your first draft btw :)

Sue Ann Bowling said...

Nice characterizations. Since this is a draft, I would suggest "must" instead of "shall" and there is no need for the split infinitive in the last paragraph. "Not to cultivate" works quite well, if not better.

elucian said...

Absolutely -- congratulations on the draft!

I really like how you show her lack of confidence in her intelligence, yet also that same intelligence of awareness shining through her words in the first paragraph.

J.A. Beard said...

Thanks for he comments.

Pippa Jay said...

This gives such a wonderful insight into the society, and the scholar's opinion of it.