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Facades and the Truth

Facades and the Truth

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A guest post by Jade Kerrion for Fragments of Life.
A guest post by Jade Kerrion for Fragments of Life.

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Published by: Precious Gabriel Banaag on Mar 19, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Guest Post Title: Facades and the Truth

Do you have facades? I do. I have a façade that stays pleasantly sociable at large gatherings even though I would rather be at home lounging in my comfy clothes. For some other people, the difference is even more pronounced. The “me” at work might be diametrically different from the “me” at play. In Earth-Sim, in a world when image enhancers can be employed to remove freckles or straighten a broken nose, facades are more than just the personality you display to the world. It can also literally be the face you display to the world, and Jem Moran is a girl with two faces. If you use a façade, can you still identify the truth? That’s the question that Jem has to contend with as she wavers between the two faces that she wears—one famous and the other unknown…one beautiful and the other not. The reason for her façade is legitimate, but the facades create complications for Jem (and lots of fun, too, but mostly just lots of complications). How do you know if love is love if the “you” isn’t real? Can the person who fell in love with one version of you eventually accept and love both versions? And what should you do when the façade you prefer isn’t the “real” you? In writing Earth-Sim, I wrestled with the idea of facades and their impact on the truth. I managed to stump myself on the very first question: what is the difference between a façade and a facet of your personality The determining factor, I think, is “Is it real?” A façade is ultimately false, and when destroyed, reveals the truth beneath. A facet, on the other hand, is just a different way of perceiving the same thing. Cut diamonds, for example, have facets. If worn for a long time, facades can become comfortable—just like your favorite pair of denim jeans. At that point, they may have integrated so fully into the person that they become a facet—just another way to perceive the same person. How does this apply to my novel? Earth-Sim takes readers on a frequently whimsical and occasionally irreverent romp through Earth’s history as seen through the eyes of the two students and android assigned to manage our planet. In a way, Earth-Sim, too, has multiple facets. On the one hand, Earth-Sim deals with serious life themes that include coming to terms with our true identify in spite of the facades we display to the world. The novel highlights the value of strong crossgender platonic friendships, and wrestles with the difficulty of maintaining them. It emphasizes the fact that we all bring something of value to the table, and celebrates the diversity of approaches in dealing with problems. On the other hand, Earth-Sim showcases Earth’s history in a seamless blend of popular culture, science, and religion. Fact and fiction fit together into a jigsaw puzzle that explains the extinction of the dinosaurs, the ten plagues of Egypt, and the Black Death. Did you want to know the truth about the Loch Ness Monster, the city of Atlantis, and that flying boy with the red cape? That’s in Earth-Sim as well. For a moment, I was tempted to ask the real Earth-Sim to please step forward, and then I realized, it’s sometimes just better to sit back and enjoy all facets of a book—or a person—for what it, he, or she is. I hope you enjoy Earth-Sim.

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