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Old Jul 8 2014, 01:27 PM   #1
D. M. Domini
D. M. Domini's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chicagoland
Gender: F
Fan of: Afra Lyon, and Robinton!
Now Reading: Sabriel by Garth Nix
Default Green vs. Yellow

In the short story "The Lady in the Tower" (if I recall's that or "A Meeting of Minds"), Afra is described as yellow-skinned. In the later novel Damia, Afra definitely becomes green-skinned. The original cigarette that Afra smokes becomes a piece of cake (lol) as well, between story and book.

Why do you guys think that happened? (The skin color, that is. Unless you have an opinion on the cake!)

Personally, now that I'm older, and the more I muse on it, I think Afra was originally intended to be of Asian descent, and probably Japanese in particular. The Method, despite superficial similarities to the word "Methodist", strikes me as derived from bits and pieces of Eastern culture; family honor is paramount, individuals are supposed to conform and subsume their personal needs, arranged marriages are practiced, and emotional control is strict. Also, Afra's hobbies are origami and calligraphy, which are certainly Japanese art forms. The only oddball is his surname, which is French. (And, his first name, which is feminine. And the name of a female saint.)

But why was Afra changed from someone with yellow skin, to someone with green skin? Why was he taken from plausibly non-white, to someone from an "alien" planet? Capella COULD have heavily been colonized by Japanese, yet when the book came around, Afra ends up a green-skinned (presumably white, if the cover art is any indication) kid who just happened to pick up unusual hobbies from a Japanese freighter guy passing through the Tower. So why did that change? Any theories or insights?

(I think the cigarette to cake change just reflects modern morals changing. The short story was written at a time when smoking was very, very commonplace everywhere. The novel came out when public smoking reforms were gaining a lot of momentum.)
Read my Pern and Talent fanfic on Archive of our Own.

Fanfic WIPs: The Day Benden Went to War (Pern/Talent); Slosh (Pern); Weyrbred Lads (Pern); When You Fall Asleep /Between/... (Pern)

Completed Fics: Flight (Pern), Flight v2 (Pern), Golden Glow (Pern)

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