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{holographic-synthesis-waltz} is a story written by Himawari and illustrated by aspectabund. It ran in Yes, And 2 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/280961.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/holographic-synthesis-waltz/ and at http://archiveofourown.org/works/2416109.


Sun-Mars L5 Station is a small city that happens to be spinning at a libration point in Mars orbit. Jensen is fond of the friends and family he has there, in ways he doesn't quite know what to do with.

From fairyninjas.wordpress.com: "Hey, remember a few issues back where there was a guy, and a space station, and some AIs–it must have been the AI issue, yeah? Great story, that. Anyway, this is a sequel! It’s a two-part sci-fi tale of two AIs trying to sort out their place in a human world."


If you like this cast of characters, you might also like $LoveStory from Issue_48.

Author's Notes[edit]

First of all, aspectabund knocked it out of the park AGAIN this time. I basically wrote and said "Hey, you're not signed up for this issue but I wanted to give you the chance to illustrate these characters again, here's a partial and completely messy draft....?" And she came up with absolutely adorable illustrations. Is that cool or what? And second, while he didn't even know this story was in progress until after it was submitted, thanks to a_dodecahedron for introducing me to the two writers who influenced this the most, and for generally encouraging my science fiction related explorations of sexuality and gender for fifteen years now.

There are two writers whose use of gender in science fiction informed this story. The first is, unsurprisingly, Ursula K. LeGuin. Even though it's been years since I read Left Hand of Darkness, it was in the back of my head as I worked out how Gino works with gender the way ze does. Seminal work in feminist science fiction, yo.

The other is Lois McMaster Bujold, who already taught me that bisexuals could be all kinds of things, yay! Also, her book about an all-male planet, and the man they send away to find more egg cells when they run out, is a riot. But the character that inspired me the most was Bel Thorne, who shows up in "The Warrior's Apprentice" and many books after. Bel is part of a group of people deliberately engineered to be biologically hermaphroditic. Bel is brave, smart, incredibly kind, completely sassypants, and let's face it, totally hot. Bel is also successful and more well-adjusted than a lot of the sorry souls in the books. Thing is, this group uses the term "hermaphrodite" and the pronoun "it" to refer to themselves, and I realize that might be a tall order to deal with, if anyone has ever used those terms on you or someone you love without permission. I know people who just can't read about Bel because of this, and I get why. Seriously, don't call people "it" unless they ask you to, what is your problem? But yeah, one step along the road to realizing I was attracted to people who might be trans, or genderqueer, or intersex, or androgynous, or simply genderfabulous, was reading Bujold. (I say again: totally hot!)

I found out during writing this how deeply rooted binary gender is in my own brain and in my muscle memory. My hands do not want to type ze or hir easily, even now. This was maddening, because every time I mistyped I could feel my mental perception of Gino, a character I had created and whom I was writing, shift a bit.

I know from feedback on $LoveStory that some folks wondered if there might be some inclination toward open relationships in this cast of characters. I'm now even more curious as to what people have been imagining. I could see it? I haven't written anything like that before, but I'd like to talk about it? You can comment here or at the end of the story, either's fine with me.

And finally, if you have never seen pictures of sensory and motor cortical homunculi before, check out this awesome creepiness.