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Although he originally began hanging out with Q’Zeiyn as a favor to his friend Quilq, Raljebi begins to realize he’s developing romantic feelings for her—which seems natural enough to him even though she’s a Menkarian, and a reptile. It’s a strange time for love to be blossoming, though, as the plague continues to ripple through the camp, and the inevitable revenge against the bandits known as the Raiders begins to take shape.

Original Music: George Kay

Length: 16 minutes, 10 seconds

(June 14, 2018)

Show Notes

The idea of a “Montague-Capulet” romance is even older than Shakespeare. Stories set against the backdrops of wars or other conflict often question what happens when two people on opposite sides become attracted to one another: can their mutual feelings overcome the very big issues that divide them? In this case, the issue is biological and racial as well as political. Can a humanoid man fall in love with a reptilian woman? The idea, gender-reversed, was used as a cheap plot point (and not used very well) on the 1980s TV miniseries V, but I hope my treatment of it here is a little more serious than that.

The Raljebi-Q’Zeiyn love affair is one of the pillars of the story that’s been there since the very first iteration of it, back in the ‘90s. I think it probably has more resonance today than it did then, given the strides that marriage equality has made since that time. Cross-species romances have a long tradition in science fiction from the golden age of pulp magazines until today. It does raise a question I was forced to confront here, though: how exactly do you kiss a reptile?