World-Building Wonders – Principles as Religion

Welcome to another installment of World-Building Wonders! Find a Friday escape into an author’s awesome world — and worldview! Today’s featured author is Lelia Rose Foreman.

I’m a tree-hugger. As such, I have a ringside seat to watching people who don’t have the balance of Christianity take up the cause of trees and the world. Also, I was a home-schooler and under threat of arrest when we lived in Texas. For years I could not fathom why other people noticed or cared that I home-schooled, let alone wanted to arrest me. What I learned about world views through the decades has informed much of my writing.

I am working on a YA science fiction series with my oldest son Josh Foreman. The premise of Tales of Talifar is that an ancient machine buried in the crust of the planet Talifar has pulled down and crashed three human ark ships two and a half thousand years before the present stories. We further posited that the surviving humans in the remains of the ships genetically modified their children in a myriad of ways, each faction having a different idea of what sort of human would survive best on the alien planet.

One faction wanted their descendants to live in harmony with nature, to live lightly on the land. To that end, they shrunk the size of their descendants to a meter tall. They reasoned that smaller bodies would use fewer resources and would be less likely to cause the ecological disasters Earth had suffered.

As the centuries passed, the Littles’ desire for balance in nature became a religion where Nature was worshiped.

Instead of pastors or bishops, the Littles have interpreters. These high-ranked people interpret Nature, decide what plants and animals are abundant enough to harvest for food, and teach the children respect for the web of life. The interpreters expound the principles of ecology.

The greatest sin is the overuse of a resource. Any child born with a severe handicap, or any adult who becomes disabled is gently executed after a pre-funeral feast. The traditional Littles do not heat their homes and eat most food raw. They strive to create no pollution and create nothing that cannot decay or be recycled.

They do not expect mercy or kindness from Nature.

Many Littles rebel against the austere life the interpreters require of them. The rebels leave their villages and flee to the softer life in cities populated by Bigs. Even in massive cities filled with many types of humans and varieties of aliens, the Littles still tend to revere Nature.


Lelia Rose Foreman has raised and released five children, some of whom like science-fiction. She considers herself to be a boring person who tries to write exciting stories. After bouncing around in the Air Force, she and her husband make their home in Vancouver (not BC) Washington (not DC), across the river from Keep Portland Weird. Check out her blog and her Facebook page for more information!

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