I suppose we’ll find out next week whether or not SCIENCE is up to the task!
On an entirely different subject, I’ll be participating in a virtual queer media convention March 12-14. If that sound like your jam, check out the Rainbow Space Magic Con website for more information. Attendance is free!
As I have mentioned before, one of the most important features of the Valley, at least as far as humans are concerned, is the high level of biodiversity that in turn enables the development of a great deal of medicinal technology. Anything that might dramatically alter a particular ecosystem could have major deleterious effects on access to medicinals, which means the humans have to be very careful regarding how their own actions impact the environment.
So when Razi says they can’t kill the yonge because it’s a keystone predator, what xe’s getting at is that it’s a species with a significant impact on the ecology despite a relatively small population size.
Check back next week to see if our protagonists manage to come up with a better plan than “explain complex ecosystem interactions to the yonge.”
I know I’ve said this somewhere before, but Razi would be the person bleeding out in the middle of the street after getting hit by a bus, rasping out xer dying words: “I had right of way.”
So yes, yonges do not live in caves and you shouldn’t expect to see one there, but when you do you can be pretty sure it’s a very hungry yonge. This is likely to be a problem for you whether the yonge is supposed to be there or not.
Will our protagonists escape this pickle and/or jam? Is pickle jam even a thing, and if so, why?? Tune in next week for some answers to at least one of those questions!
[spoilery stuff to follow, so read first, then come back here]
Why yes, the creature our protagonists are currently fleeing from is indeed based partly on the star-nosed mole. This has less to do with wanting to incorporate mole-like characteristics per se, and more to do with making a dangerous animal look extremely ridiculous. Sort of like how a hippo is a killing machine but looks like, y’know, a hippo.
The yonge (for it is called a yonge) does have some mole features, most notably the predation of tasty critters it finds underground. Oops!
Check back next week to find out if it’s snack time.
I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but to recap: the Pocalo Valley is widely renowned for its advanced medical treatments for all sorts of conditions, including trans medicine. When Razi references hormone treatments, that’s what xe’s talking about.
Also, the last panel is referencing the Valley of the Silk Sky short story “Medicine; Run,” though you don’t need to have read it to follow the events in “Extraction.”
As promised, the Valley of the Silk Sky short story “Extraction” begins today, and runs weekly for the next couple of months. This story originally appeared in black & white in the Monster Journey anthology, and is presented in full color here for the first time.
Sorry for the long radio silence (you can just blame 2020 in general), but I will be posting new Valley of the Silk Sky comics soon!
I’m currently finishing up the colors on “Extraction,” a VotSS short story that originally appeared in black & white in the Monster Journey anthology a couple of years ago.
Now that the rights have reverted, I’ve been working on colorizing my original b&w art and prepping the comic for dispersal upon the web. I’m just about done with the pages (a few minor edits left), so I’m gonna start running the story next week. $1+ Patrons will see new pages on Mondays, starting January 11, while the general public will get ’em on Thursdays, starting on January 14.
Chapter 13 is in the works, but it’s early days. I had to design a new environment which required researching some Things, and then figuring out how to retrofit those Things to the technology available to the fine folks in the Valley.
All for an element in the background that is unlikely to garner much notice, ha ha. BUT IT WILL BE A FUNCTIONAL BACKGROUND THING, OKAY.
Anyhow, thumbnailing has commenced. As per usual, I’ll be posting work-in-progress stuff for my $1+ Patrons, so if you want to follow along, a single dollar a month is all it takes.