oh, thank goodness. the printed version of issue 2 arrived in just in time for Wondercon!
Issue 2 of The Center for Otherworld Science is up today on Gumroad!
It collects Chapters 3 and 4 of the story. Chapter 3 is Remains, which is about Jen and Blue(who is a giant bug monster). Chapter 4, Botany, is about Mags and Dani, and their attempted date.
It’s been interesting to me to see how people react to these characters. In my mind, they’ve always been women(of color, as well), but since they all wear biohazard suits and do not have any noticeable physical characteristics that are clearly female in most scenes(except in Chapter 3, where Jen takes her helmet off), I have to rely on their dialogue, their non gender-neutral names, and the occasional unhelmeted scene to convey that they are actually women.
Still, I get messages referring to both Mags and Dani as “he,” especially after Chapter 2, where Mags has to deal with processing her less-than-sympathetic feelings about her acquaintance’s death. And after Chapter 4, I got a note complimenting me for letting Dani be an indecisive and non-aggressive man. Even when her sister calls her “baby girl” twice in the chapter!
I’m not sure where my thoughts really are on this. I have no significant plans to take Jen, Mags and Dani out of their biohazard suits for any extended period of time. I’m a bit perturbed as the view of male-as-default-unless-stated-otherwise, but that still doesn’t really change what I’m doing.