Tag Archives: science fiction

Let’s Get Complicated Part Two: The Positives of Being a Villain

So last time we talked about creating multi-dimensional characters and focused on the protagonist of my novel Sorrow’s Fall.  This week I’d like to help you look for ways to make you antagonist just as compelling and multi-faceted.  After reading my post about Sorrow you are probably wondering what kind of person could possibly be an impediment to him and his goals.  That’s a very good question. It’s also one you need to consider in your own story. For now we are going to assume that your antagonist is another person and not that your character is struggling against nature or something. Nature doesn’t really have a personality, though it might seem like it at times.

In Sorrow’s Fall we are quickly introduced to Qadira Fall. She is the daughter of Lady Zulyekha Fall and the Queen-In-Waiting. She is nearly as powerful as the Barendi Queen herself. She has been raised and groomed to be consummate royalty. She is gorgeous, highly-intelligent and disgustingly wealthy. She also hates Sorrow with a passion. In the book he has no idea why she detests him. All he knows is that she tries to kill him every chance she gets.

She is his antagonist. But outside of her hatred for Sorrow, what is she like?  We know she’s royalty, that she inspires great loyalty among her coterie and that she is driven by the need to save her race. But what core qualities does she possess that take her from just being the person who hates Sorrow to a force all her own?

Last time we started with a negative trait, since most heroes have issues with them. This time lets look at the positive qualities a villain could have.  Yes, even villains have positive traits.  Serious. I’ll prove it.

First I need to figure out her core moral value. The Postitive Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Buglisi offers some amazing insight as to why this is so necessary. Not just for villains, but for our heroes as well. In The Positive Trait Thesaurus Appendix B has a method for finding your character’s core moral value. This is the core belief that affects all their other traits.  After making my lovely list of her positive traits I went to Appendix A to see which of them were moral values.  The main one was professional.  I’ll be honest. That confused me. Until I went to the entry for it.  There they list the definition as: exhibiting specialized knowledge and applying it with courtesy and good judgement.

Whoa. Wait-a-minute.  Now I’m more confused. My villain is courteous and has good judgement?  Well, let’s think about this for a moment. She is extremely well educated by the best instructors money can buy. She’s talented, smart, career and success focused, she’s ambitious and mature for her age. She is confident with high self-esteem and is highly ethical.

She’s not sounding very vile.  And if you are not a threat to her, she’s won’t be.  So what associated behaviors might she display where Sorrow can see them?  Lets look at the list.

  • Having the education and knowledge required to be proficient at one’s job
  • Being experienced in a specific field of work
  • Reliability, trustworthiness and honesty
  • Having strong people skills
  • Objectivity
  • Working well under pressure
  • Having a strong command of language and being able to articulate oneself well
  • Adaptability
  • Keeping one’s promises
  • Maintaining control over one’s emotions
  • Being proactive
  • Thinking before acting
  • Treating others with respect and courtesy
  • Being proactive
  • Being a strong listener
  • Assessing the politics of a situation and acting accordingly
  • Using good hygiene
  • Being well dressed
  • Acting appropriately for the situation

I could go on but you get the idea. A couple of the ones I highlighted as far as things Sorrow sees are; being experienced, adaptability, keeping promises, using good hygiene and being well dressed. Each of these things on their own seems pretty neutral or at least positive. So how do we grow her character beyond just being professional?  Well according to Appendix B the next layer beyond the moral core is achievement traits. This was a new thought for me and it took me a little getting used to, but now I see how invaluable it is. So let’s look further into Qadira’s personality and see what achievement traits she’s might posses that build on her core trait of professionalism.

The first one that pops out for me is ambitious but decisive actually wins out as the dominant trait here. Mostly because you can’t get much more successful than she already is, though she does have ambitions. Her decisiveness on the other hand is partly her and partly her upbringing. She’s had to bear a lot of responsibility since she was very young and much is expected of her. Her core value also influences her decisiveness since she is driven by a strong sense of responsibility and has the desire to lead.

Cool, we are on a roll here. Can you see how working from the inmost core trait outward is helping us build her personality and keep her well rounded? Let’s move on to the next layer: interactive.

These traits develop through interaction with others and the world in which the character lives. These traits help her work with her subordinates, handle conflicts, convey ideas and create healthy relationships. So building on our core trait of professionalism and our achievement trait of decisiveness what might be her dominant interactive trait? Here I run across several that are worth noting such as bold, flirtatious, inspirational, patriotic, persuasive, sophisticated and traditional. She is all these traits to varying degrees, but which one is dominant and why? Looking through the book both patriotic and sophistication are good choices, but sophisticated wins.  This is mostly due to her upbringing and the culture in which she was raised. She was brought up to be royalty so sophistication is not only needed, it’s demanded.

Now we come to the out most layer, the identity layer. The book describes this layer as “attributes [that] are tied to a personal sense of identity, leading to satisfaction and contentment with who one is. Traits emerge to allow the character to explore and better understand what makes them unique.” (The Positive Trait Thesaurus 2013, Ackerman & Puglisi, Appendix B page 233). It’s in this layer that I would put patriotic along with traditional. Here traditional actually compliments patriotic. She is very concerned with keeping her native culture untainted by outside influences which is directly tied to politics. She even went so far as to disown her mother who went against the established tradition and is willing to start a war to keep things as they have been.

You’ll notice we’ve not once considered the negative side of any of these traits, yet we already have a very good basis for her character. And she doesn’t seem all that evil does she? 

All of this just from a core value of professionalism.

The Devout Decepticon: Religion in Science Fiction

It’s often considered that science and religion cannot be in the same room without a fight breaking out.  Yet, many aspects of science fiction involve belief in a greater power or veneration of something.  In fantasy it’s often a given that there will be a religious aspect, some stories even involving gods/goddesses themselves.  Science fiction hasn’t shied away from this either often exploring themes of faith, recreating history and delving into deeply religious cultures.  Yet science fiction in general is seen to be the antithesis of spirituality.  One cannot be analytically and religious at the same time.  One is said to be exclusive of the other.  Science dealing with fact and observable phenomenon while religion deals with faith and belief in the things unseen.

Many people have used science fiction to explore religion, either to deride and mock it or to question it’s place in our cultures.  It cannot be ignored that humans have an innate desire to look to something greater.  It’s shown in every culture, race and people the world over. This is often reflected in our literature.

As an avid fan of the Transformers franchise in all it’s forms I’ve noticed something.  I’m not the only one either.  Many fans have pointed out the fact that the base story line in Transformers can be compared to the Christian allegory. Optimus Prime as the Savior who is sacrificed. Megatron as the devil from the Pit bent on world domination. Being either an Autobot or a Decepticon has over arcing moral implications. The Cybertronian culture as a whole was very religious for a bunch of oversize sentient robots. They had their gods The Primes.

It was a deeply personal decision for a Cybertronian when it came to choosing a faction to join.  According to the new aligned continuity most of the Decepticons came from the working class or the slave laborers in the Pits.  Megatron promised freedom from the elitist tyranny that had existed for eon.  Then he granted it, but at a tremendous price.  Many Cybertronians looked upon him as a god, their Savior.  Others new differently.  The true Savior had to be chosen by the Matrix. The Matrix chose Orion Pax the humble clerk not Megatronus the proud gladiator.

If any of this sounds familiar, it should.  Its the same trope used in Star Wars and many fantasy novels/series. The unsuspecting and humble hero is plucked from obscurity and told Destiny awaits. Its the story of the Messiah told with metal and energon instead of flesh and blood. Star Wars had Jedi and Sith instead of angels and demons.

Religion factors heavily into everyone’s life whether they are aware of it or not.  Science fiction doesn’t gloss over this and shouldn’t. We crave a god but also fear having to be responsible to that god. Just be glad it’s not Megatron.

Killing Sorrow

Something has been nagging me lately.  A disquiet that I wasn’t sure how to quell.  So, this morning I decided to write the final scene of Sorrow’s Fall from Sarin’s viewpoint. This might have been a bad idea because it was intense.

Warning:  Major Spoilers for Sorrow’s Fall including the end and several major revelations.  Do not read if you have not read the book.

The book is only $.99 on Amazon so fix that then come read this. 😉

Below is the music playlist I wrote the scene to.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Killing Sorrow

The air hung thick and heavy with the smell of ozone.  Blaster fire seared the air.  The Hyperian shock troopers were no match for the Sal’Ori but they just kept coming.  Holding a hand to my side to stem the flow of blood I tried to locate Sorrow.  I’d never imagined he would be powerful enough to kill an Ancient.  Even as an Amalgam I’d been helpless before her.  Rinkin and Diedre had received the worst of it. It would take some time to heal from Ophelia’s poison.

Sorrow was several yards away on his hands and knees in the grass.  Qadira stood over him.  She was saying something, but I couldn’t quite make it out.  His dark hair was much shorter, barely brushing his shoulders.  I wondered who had cut it and how they’d known it would hamper him. The dark vest he was wearing glittered with blood, more pooled under him. She’d already stabbed him twice from what I’d seen.  How was he still moving?

“No!” Sorrow’s voice reached me clearly. Whatever she was saying it was upsetting him enough to drive him to speak.  I started forward grabbing up a discarded phase rifle as he got to his feet.  He staggered a few steps his determination flickering around the edges of his aura. It wasn’t as tumultuous as I remembered.  He’d managed to find some emotional balance.

“…the fact that you are already powerful enough to kill an Ancient will please Grandmother.”

I steeled myself and pointed the rifle at Qadira.  “And that is why we cannot ever let him fall into your hands again, Qadira.”

She laughed and took a few steps back as she looked at me.  She wasn’t going to take me seriously.  Swallowing hard I looked at Sorrow.  He was so different now.  Rinkin and Diedre had done a lot to help him but that darkness was still there, just waiting to be unleashed.  I’d just witnessed how devastating it could be. What would happen if it was used-if he was used to further the war? He had no control. He would obey any order given by someone in authority over him.  I would have to report this to Zaryfa.  Her plan had failed. There was no way to save him.

Her only grandson. The first male child born in nearly three generations.  And I was going to have to kill him.  Drake had done too good of a job rendering him useless as anything but a weapon. Even though I had seen the potential within him, he couldn’t see it for himself.  Gods why did it have to be me? The rifle shook in my hands as I selected my new target.  He was facing Qadira his back to me.  He trusted me. Why in the seven Hells did he have to trust me?

He staggered forward as the bolt hit him in the back.  His shock lit up the area blinding me for a moment.  Oh gods.  I pulled the trigger again watching him sink to his knees. Gods this can’t be happening.  Please don’t make me have to kill him. Please.  I’ll do anything. Anything at all just don’t make me kill him.

The choice is not yours child. Zaryfa’s voice reached me from the ship orbiting overhead.  He must die.

But he’s your grandson.

And Qadira is my granddaughter.

Why can’t I kill her?!

We spoke of this Sarin. She cannot become a martyr for the Purists.  He has to die. Implicate me as you must for those who are listening.

Yes, My Queen.

So, you’re going to kill him yourself, is that it?”

Sorrow’s fear and pain was difficult to ignore as I stepped closer to him.  My throat was tight and speaking took effort. “If I have to I will. I may not be able to defeat you right now, but I will take away your chance of using him.  If I had not seen him transform like that I would never have believed it, but he is too dangerous of a being to be allowed to live.  No one should have that kind of power.”

Especially not you, I thought to myself.  She was already more powerful than any Barendi before her.  If she succeeded in gaining Sorrow’s help either willingly or not, there would be no stopping her.  The Hyperia would fall and with it the fragile balance with the outlying systems.  It would be the chaos of the Clan War all over again.  Only this time the galaxy itself might be destroyed.

“You have no idea Sarin.  Why do you think Our Queen destroyed the Aram when she had the chance?  This,” She pointed a finger at Sorrow, “this is the embodiment of what they were.  Beings so beautiful and powerful they had to be destroyed at all costs.  Yet, who could have foreseen the price?  I know why you feel you must rebel.  All the clans are dying out Sarin, not just yours.  The Queen is well aware of this.  That is why she allowed him to be born, why he was not aborted the instant it was discovered what he is.  She will make sure that the clans prosper once more.  The Barendi will once again rule the galaxy as they did centuries ago.  You Baroness, could have your place in that galaxy.”

It wasn’t even a temptation.  She had no idea who was working to thwart her.  I looked down at Sorrow. He was staring up at me blood trickling out of his mouth as he fought to breathe.  I could feel him trying to reach out to me, soft tendrils of disbelief and anguish. He’d thought I was dead. I could see the flicker of relief fading as he continued to look at me. I blinked back tears, forcing down the searing pain in my chest.  I’d already felt him die once, I wasn’t sure I’d survive a second time.  I kept the rifle pointed at him watching the hope fade from his eyes.  His aura was flickering between fear, pain and despair.  I kept myself tightly shielded. If he or Qadira discovered what I was actually doing all our plans would fail.  Xenazia’s mental touch caressed my mind, her concern flooding me.

“Sarin, don’t!”  Xenazia pleaded, “Didn’t you hear what she said!  We could save our clan.  He’s no threat to us any longer.”

“She is a liar Xenazia.  You know as well as I do that we are both dead no matter what happens.  The only thing I can do is make sure Zaryfa cannot use him to make war on the rest of the galaxy.”

“There has to be another way, Sarin please!”

“What other way, Xen?”  I screamed at her part of me needing some outlet for this horrible pain, “Tell me another way then.”

“I . . . I don’t know.”

Qadira snorted, “You are pathetic.  Hurry up and be done with it, or I’ll kill you both where you stand.”

“You are going to anyway so what does it matter?”

She laughed again.  A horrid gloating sound, “I’ll let you live as long as you kill him.”

I let out the breath I’d been holding.  It almost became a sob as I felt Sorrow give up.  His will flickering out like a snuffed flame. I wanted to scream at him to tell him to run, if only to save myself from having to do this. I wanted so badly to touch him.  To comfort him and tell him how much he meant to me.  To tell him that I would always love him, love that part of him that tried so desperately to be more than what he was allowed.  I blinked, tears burning down my cheeks.  Taking a step closer I raised the rifle to point it at his head.  I couldn’t let him suffer any more.  He looked up at me his eyes pleading and my resolve threatened to disappear.

I can’t do this Zaryfa.  I can’t.

There was no answer. I stared down into those deep green eyes and wondered when I’d fallen so completely.

“I never meant to hurt you.” I could barely get the words out, “I wish-I wish so desperately things could be different.  Goodbye, Sorrow.”

Closing my eyes I pulled the trigger.

There was a soft thump.  I didn’t dare open my eyes yet.  Tears were still streaming down, I couldn’t stop them any more than I could block out the cold pull of his energy evaporating as he died.

The rifle thudded to the ground next to me.  Qadira made a soft sound and I opened my eyes to see her kneeling next to him.

“I can’t believe you actually killed him.”  Her voice was soft, full of wonder.  “I’ve always wondered what it would feel like when he died.”

It felt like winter, like the infinite cold of space, like being ripped apart from the inside. Nothing would ever be the same.

“Are you happy now?” I choked on the words.

She cocked her head up at me. “Happy?  You just killed my brother.  My twin brother…this really hurts.”

“You expected something different Qadira?” I’d forgotten about Sher’Ak.  “You spent all those years forging that bond and then expected to be able to sever it at a whim without backlash?”

She got to her feet but I didn’t miss the tremble.  Her eyes glistened as she looked at me. She looked terrible.  It seemed Sorrow had gotten in a few hits of his own.  “I won’t kill you Sarin but you are still a traitor.”

I didn’t move as she turned and walked back toward one of the Barendi drop ships. I wanted to throw up.  Sher’Ak was glaring at me.

“Nicely done Baroness.”

“Do not speak to me.”

“Sarin, lets go. There is nothing more-“

“Just…leave me for a moment Xen.  I need a moment.”

“Of course.”

Sher’Ak snorted.  “Stupid. What a waste. Do me a favor Baroness and never contact me again.  I might kill you.”

I nodded but my entire focus was on Sorrow. Collapsing on my knees next to him I reached a trembling hand toward him.  How had this happened? I could still remember the first time I saw him.  The jolt at realizing who and what he was had left me reeling for days.  I was supposed to be his guardian, not his murderer.  A sob caught in my throat as I ran my fingers through his hair. What was I supposed to do now?  How was I supposed to go on?  Slipping my arms around him I pulled him close.  He was limp and warm and I was reminded of the last time I’d killed him. Stopped his heart with a kiss.  I wasn’t going to get another chance to hold him.  I clung desperately to that memory as I shook with sobs.  He’d always been so brilliant and powerful but now there was nothing.  No bright colors and shimmering energy.  Staring down at him through the tears I knew I would never feel like this about another being. I’d never meant to hurt him.  At least now he felt no pain and could finally rest.

“I’m so sorry-so sorry.”

How long I stayed there holding him, I’m not sure.  When I finally let him go his body was cold, the once brilliant green eyes faded and dull.  I kissed him and brushed the hair back from his face. The blaster burn was an ugly mark on his forehead and I resisted touching it, wanting to erase it.  Doing so wouldn’t fix what I’d done.

“We need to go Sarin.” Xenazia’s voice was soft, her mental touch hesitant.

“I-I can’t just leave him here like this.”

“Sarin, please. He’s dead. There is nothing you can do.”

“Don’t you think I know that?”

Her mental touch faded but she didn’t move away, instead wrapping an arm around my shoulders.  I couldn’t fight her as she pulled me to my feet.

I cannot do this My Queen.

You must child. Believe me when I say it was for the best.


Sorrow's Fall Cover

Sorrow’s Fall is available on Amazon in both paper back and digital.  Audio book coming soon to Audible.com.

Transformers, Sex and Why Science Fiction is Socially Relevant


The Role of Science Fiction in Literature

I’ve been reading science fiction since I was very young.  I honestly don’t even remember the first sci-fi book I read.  I do remember the first one that made a huge impact on me.  It was a short story by Ray Bradbury called All Summer in a Day.  After that I couldn’t get enough.  Somewhere along the way I read I, Robot and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick and realized that science fiction wasn’t just great stories.  It was a commentary on our society and our place in that society.  The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge further cemented this in my mind.  Then I read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  My whole perception of myself and my world view changed with that one book.  It was profound thing for a young preteen to realize that other people, other beings, even those vastly different could have the same emotions.  They might not be expressed the same way or be overtly recognizable as such but they were there if you kept an open mind.

In the years since, I have read much science fiction.  Some of it was just fun others of it required a more cerebral approach. I also expanded my reading selection to include literary novels, mysteries and non fiction.  I discovered something.

Science fiction is our modern day fairy tale.

Its the morality story, the cautionary tale.  It serves as both entertainment, enlightenment and instruction.  It takes a social problem, stigma or perception and shines the light of truth on it in a way that is not always obvious.  Now this is not true of all science fiction.  Not every novel can be The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) or Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes).

Transformers, Sex and Intimacy

I was recently introduced to the IDW Publishing line of Transformer’s comics.  Among them was the title More Than Meets The Eye, written by James Roberts.  At first I was put off, nearly incensed by the story line, but I set aside my prejudices and allowed myself to be caught up in the story.  I would have deprived myself of so much, had I not.

The way Roberts writes these characters is fantastic.  As good as any of the sci-fi novel’s I’ve mentioned.  The stories are in turn funny and poignant and at times down right sad.  The issue that came out yesterday encapsulated all of that.

Issue #13 brought up some interesting discussions among fans about gender roles, sexuality and what makes a character identify ‘male’ or ‘female’ when their species has no gender bias.  The interpersonal relationships have been expanded upon in ways that I had only ever seen in fan fiction.  He treats these giant non-organic lifeforms as if they are actually people and not just giant weaponized automatons.


It is these relationships that intrigue me.  Much is implied, and in issue #12 it was even stated that they have a relationship status called conjunx endura that is sealed by a ceremony involving the two ‘bots in question.  Yet they are an alien race.  They do not have genders or a need for genders of any kind.  What they do have is a basic need for intimacy as any intelligent life does.  Intimacy does not have to equal sex.  Being intimate can be as simple as holding hands or as complex as taking care of someone with a chronic illness.  Both require trust, commitment and love.


This point was eloquently stated in the latest post by DorkDaddy.com entitled:  It’s Just Sex, Dammit!

“There are a thousand things necessary for a successful day and a successful life. Balancing the checkbook. Reading to the kids. Visiting your parents. Maintenance on the house. Laughing. Resting. Playing. Growing. Learning. These are the things of life. These are the things that determine whether we are fulfilled, whether we are successful in life. None of them require intercourse. And yet still we venerate sex as the ultimate goal in life, as if everything else is just a way of occupying time between sexual interludes. We high-five our friends when they “got lucky” or “got some” or “got some action” as if to say “Well done. You got that taken care of. Now you can move on to all the other stuff.”

Granted, there is no better way to foster intimacy with your partner than sex. It connects you and makes you vulnerable and draws you together with another person like no other way can. But when considering intimacy, it isn’t even necessary for that (blasphemy, I know). Imagine the potency of your partner gently running her fingers through your hair, or down your back. Picture those moments when you’re lost, looking into your partner’s eyes, and neither of you has to say anything. Think for a moment on the lasting rewards of gently holding hands, or on the way you can totally lose yourself in a deep, committed kiss. These too are the things of intimacy. Because of them, even if you never knew sex, surely you could still know intimacy.”

This is what I find so fascinating about this comic and the way Mr. Roberts has written these characters.  They are realistic, deeply thought out and interesting.  I care about them.  I relate to their struggles, their insecurities, their quirks in ways I have never related to ‘human’ characters.  They allow us to explore relationship dynamics without the added pressure of sex.  There is no sex for the sake of intimacy.  The intimacy comes from other means but is no less potent.

The Wordsmiths Forge on Livejournal lists multiple ways of displaying non-sexual intimacy.  Among the things she lists are personal care, spacial closeness including sharing the same sleeping space.  Living arrangements which include a measure of trust involved such as sharing passwords, bank accounts and/or living quarters and cleaning someone else’s room.  She also talks about urgent situations up to and including risking  your life or making medical decisions for someone.

Each of these things have been featured in the comic.

Comradewodka on Tumblr had some interesting things to say about the ‘married’ couple in the comic:

” . . . Chromedome and Rewind. I’m not sure what I could say about them that hasn’t been said, so— let me just say this. Any sentient race, regardless of whether they’re mechanical or actually capable of anything sexual or not, is going to feel emotions and form relationships, even to the point that they feel romantically about someone. Even to the point that they want to spend the rest of their lives with that someone. Every sentient race, if they find something pleasurable in life—even if that something is as innocent (and non-sexual by our standards) as fond, platonic or romantic touches—is going to seek out that pleasurable something with others. It’s biology.

Chromedome and Rewind aren’t “male”. They don’t have genders. They’re not unusual in considering each other “spouses” either, if everyone else’s reactions are any indication. But to a whole heck of a lot of people, they LOOK “gay”—and sometimes it’s almost easier for us humans to refer to them that way—so them being canonically in a romantic relationship isn’t just a big step for a franchise in which we’ve generally been given a grand zipola about how relationships work, it’s a big step for comics and media in general. One more pebble on the pile of change.

That being said, though I and many others really freaking appreciate Chromedome and Rewind for a number of reasons, I don’t think Roberts had some big overt gay rights agenda when writing them. Which brings me back to my main point— that he’s just THAT good at writing them as what they are—fully fleshed out characters that just happen to be giant gender-less robots. So they happen to look kind of masculine by human standards? Roberts don’t care. Roberts don’t give a fuck. He just write what he wants.”



Are all Robots Male?

She made a good point.  Just because something ‘looks’ male in our perception does that mean it is male?  Some fans had their worlds turned upside down by the appearance of holomatter forms of the Transformers.  It was stated that these new forms were an exact representation of the robot’s psyche.  So in other words, the human forms the program assigned them was based on their personality.  Not all of them identified as male or even adult.  Tailgate was an infant being carried around in a backpack by Swerve.

Comradewodka on Tumblr made some excellent observations on this subject as well:

“Yeah, most of them have features we associate with masculinity, and that’s fine and dandy, but they actually do not fall into any kind of gendered roles in their culture.

So why the hell CAN’T big warriors like Ultra Magnus or Whirl relate or identify, psychologically speaking, with representation as a human female—just so long as that human female still accurately represents who they are as a character?

Answer: there’s absolutely no reason why they couldn’t. They’re a blank slate, gender-wise. They can have the biggest most “masculine” bodies ever, be called “he”, have what I assume to be masculine voices and features, and still feel like a human female body is a more accurate representation of their psyche.”

Assigning gender roles to gender-less species is like saying pink is feminine.  Pink is pink it has no gender.   A hundred years ago women would never wear pink.  Men did.  Pink is a color that societal norms have shifted into a different perception.  The terms male and female  differentiate sexual reproduction roles.  They do not apply to colors any more than they apply to a species that does not reproduce sexually.

The fact that giant robots might see themselves as better represented by a human female form should say a lot.  I will leave that topic for my next post.

This is why I love science fiction so much.  It allows us to explore themes that would be and are taboo in other forms of writing and it does so in a way that is digest able for the larger audience.  It illuminates aspects of society that might otherwise go unnoticed and in doing so educates us about being human.  Yes, we can learn from giant alien robots how to be more human.