Since our literary movement is rapidly being crushed by the ongoing juggernaut of the New Human Wave movement, another post trumpeting the New Space Princess movement is long overdue!
Without any more ado, let us do the overdue post.
First, let us see how many Space Princess questions have come flooding in the mail bag! And by flood, I mean there is exactly one letter. And it is from the other member of the movement, Mr Willet.
Edward Willet writes:
Hey, isn’t it about time, o classical scholar, that you coined a Latin motto for our movement?
Aha! The answer is no. According to my records, the New Space Princess movement already has a motto, and it was written by a man named Edward Willet, aka YOU. It reads:
Nobody Likes to Read About the Beautiful Daughters of Elected Officials!
Now, how to translate that into Latin is beyond the reach of my scholarship. I should dearly like to have a catchy Latin motto, but I do not know how to say ‘Absolute Sovereign Power and Bare Midriff’ in Latin.
We should be careful to note that our unstoppable literary movement only deals with young and attractive and alluring princesses, like Dejah Thoris of Barsoom or Aura of Mongo, or Leia of Alderaan, not with plainjane married middleaged space princesses name Lady Dumpy.
I don’t even know if there is a word ‘princess’ in Latin. ‘Regis Filia’? ‘Regina’?
Another possible choice for our motto is this:
If Outer Space is filled with nubile, fertile and comely yet lonely royalty, able to reproduce comfortably with Earthboys, and eager to be rescued, then even a loser can get a date!
In this regard, Mary writes:
Are bare midriffs absolutely necessary? A steampunk space princess might revolt at such un-Victorian attire.
Are they indeed necessary? The topic is a delicate one, requiring a scientifically and scrupulously accurate statistical study of Space Princesses, to see how often the official court costume of the young female royalty exposes the midriff to the hard vacuum and radiation of space.
Instead of performing such a survey, which would be tedious and time-intensive, I propose instead to post a bunch of pictures of half-clad Space Princesses and merely call it a survey.
On with the survey!
First, consider Dejah Thoris of Mars. As we all know, the Red Planet has a subarctic temperature, and a thin atmosphere that sends hurricane-force winds ripping across vast desolation of rust and rust-colored sand, which would scour the flesh from the bones of any unprotected organism.
Clearly the most reasonable costume for any humanoid life on this remote, ancient world would be a pressurized parka with a face-concealing breathing helmet.
YOWZA! Erm, I mean, can this be what Edgar Rice Burroughs originally intended for his demurely dressed royal yet egg lying aliens from a nonhuman planet called Vavoom, er, Barsoom? Let us find a more demure picture:
This picture is more demure because, um, Dejah Thoris has four inches of bare flesh on her upper arm covered with an armband. Trying again.
Perhaps these are only the costumes worn by Martian Royalty when they are vacationing on the beaches of Brazil, or pole dancing in nightclubs. What would a princess wear to her wedding?
To answer the question posed above, no, this is not what Edgar Rice Burroughs intended, because according to the text, the Martians run around as naked as jaybirds, except for their jewel-studded war-belts, baldrics and weapon harnesses. It is an R rated red planet. So these pictures are actually more in keeping with Hayes Office guidelines than the originals.
If the Martians reproduce by laying eggs, why are the ample mammary glands of the females necessary from an evolutionary point of view?
Because in the little known first draft of the story, Edgar Rice Burroughs attempted a more realistic or “hard SF” type novel. Immediately upon the advent of John Carter, clean-limbed fighting man of Virginia upon Mars, he started dying from the subartic cold and lack of breathable oxygen, but was rescued by a she-mollusk riding in the tripodal fighting machine. Rather than marrying him, this more truly Martian version of Dejah Thoris instead drained his blood and injected it into her own veins, causing herself to die of diseases borne by the microscopic animals that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. As this story would not have satisfied the minimum requirements of the New Human Wave (or the New Martian Wave) school of writing (see previous post) it was quietly dropped.
The results of our survey so far: not only does the Princesses of Mars have a bare midriff, she has pretty much a bare everything.
But, dear reader, no doubt you are saying: Hold your Thoat, John Wright, unclean-limbed non-fighting man of Virginia! Dejah Thoris is not the only princess in space! There are other planets in space! There are nine planets in our solar system alone!
To which I answer: aha! There you are wrong! There are only EIGHT planets! Pluto, otherwise known as Dis or Yuggoth-on-the-Rim, was destroyed by Kzanol the Thrint when he accidentally ignited the entire frozen atmosphere of the surface with his lander’s exhaust, destroying not only the advanced base of the Wormfaces and colony of semifourthdimensional yet cowardly organisms from Palain VII, but exasperating the Mi-Go civilization that reared the unholy monuments facing the ghastly and impious moon Charon.
Let us therefore look at other planets, and see how they dress their space princesses. For example, is there a Princess of Pluto?
Since we not longer have Pluto as a planet, due to the treachery of evil space scientists, we have invited the planet Mongo to enter our solar system to make up for the loss. I am sure that will not go badly.
Hail Ming! Ruler of the Universe!
Well, the women of Mongo don’t seem to be over-burdened an over-abundance of clothing, but perhaps the royal family dresses more conservatively.
Bah! But this is a toon! (A really, really hawt toon.)Perhaps we can find other depictions of the Evil yet Beautiful Space Princess.
At first glance, the royal attire of Mongo, at least for the evil distaff she-devils on staff, seems to consist of a shiny hat and a bare midriff.
… And a Space Rocket.
(Do not read too much Freudian significance into the buxom space princess posed next to a thrusting hard cigar-shape of a space rocket penetrating the moist atmosphere with sultry screams of re-entry heat! As Freud said, sometimes a space rocket is just a cigar.)
By the Death Moons of Mongo, I must be able to find at least ONE image of a Space Princess who is dressed in a sober, conservative, demure and yet utterly non-alluring garment!
Okay, maybe not. So, the Space Princess count is now two for two. Both Mars and Mongo have Bare Space Belly Buttons. There must be some space reason for it. Maybe the navel is where the space alienesses plug in their life support.
But wait! There are more famous Space Princesses out there depicted by more well respected authors! Surely one of them is fully dressed?
Oh, come on! There must be a picture of her not exposing her midriff on file somewhere!
Okay, admittedly Princess Ardala is not one of the more famous Space Princesses from the more well respected authors. But she does seem to have plenty of bare space showing.
Here is Princess Irulan, from the award-winning Frank Herbert epic DUNE. Virginia Madsen played the utterly useless Voice Over at the Beginning, which all studios insist on putting into every space flick from BLADE RUNNER to DARK CITY to JOHN CARTER, trying to explain the space weirdness to the muggle audience, usually to no avail.
Unfortunately, this particular image does not show her midriff to confirm whether it is bared or no. But we can find another image in our stock Space Princess photo files.
Even more famous than DUNE, albeit considerably more lowbrow, was perhaps the most famous Space Princess of All. What about Princess Leia of Aldebaran or Aldermen or whatever her dumb planet was called?
Leia would never be happy wearing a slinky yet skanky space bikini, wearing love-chains and appealing to the lowest instincts of lonely yet prurient fanboys everywhere!
For purposes of size comparison, here is a picture of Leia with me in the background.
Okay, moving right along…
Well, if famous Princesses from highbrow classics like DUNE or lowbrow popcorn flicks like STAR WARS avail us naught, what about some simple and innocent children’s funnybooks like TEEN TITANS? There must be a demurely dressed Space Princess there? What about that cute Koriand’r, princess of planet Tamaran?
Well, maybe that is just her beach attire. For more formal occasions, she wears…
… she wears hocking huge jewels on her gloves, armbands, loincloth and high stiletto-healed thigh-highs, just like Dejah Thoris, the Space Dame who started this whole trope.
Checking the Space Princess Wardrobe count so far, it looks like none of them wear dresses with enough fabric to use as a hankie to flag down a taxi, but all of them wear enough jewelry to choke a space-horse.
But to return to the question which started all this, what do I suggest as a motto for the movement? Let this be our motto: ne oublie. Never forget where you come from, space fans.
You might pretend space fiction comes from HG Wells or Olaf Stabledon or Homer or Oriosto some other prestigious origin. Claim that legacy if you wish.
We in the Space Princess movement come from the place where space heroes fight space tyrants with swords to save the planet and get the girl:
We come from the literary tradition of that least common of things, the Common Man. If your taste are too haughty and refined to write or enjoy a story about gorgeous redheaded Amazon of Mars or something, then go join the Mundane SF movement, you muggle, and pimp your socially conscious social message of dullsville elsewhere.
And if you would be ashamed to write a story graced with a cover where some dude in rocket pants is making re-entry — and he is so tanj hardcore that he can withstand the re-entry heat just with the FACE and a grim yet manly grimace, all I can say is that the notes of true space opera may be too high pitched for your ears, bucko.
We come from the tradition of pure, unabashed escapist entertainment. Of course we space fans are escapists. All astronauts are escapist.
We are sick and tired of what you have done with the mundane world called Earth, and we wish to depart it for the heavens, to find other worlds and brighter.