I've just recently posted the fifth part of the Fouler serial. This one bears the first indications that this new world on which Athyr has found herself is not quite a utopia. I've had to do a bit of research for this since the main character is in the position of a type of racial privilege.
This is something I've never experienced in my life, so I had to ask people various questions about what it is like, and immerse myself in groups of people who have it in their respective areas. It has helped me to understand racism a bit better. I've come to understand other types of physicality based bigotry as well.
I've found that I'm alot less angry about it than I used to be. I've heard it said alot that it's based on ignorance, but I always got the sense that those saying that didn't truly believe it. I do believe it, but I think it's more than mere ignorance. I think it comes also from a sort of a tribal urge. There is this need to believe that their tribe has some sort of an advantage over others.
In part 5 of Fouler, I give the reader a little of a jolt by revealing that Rarkan is both non engineered and light skinned with mildly wavy hair. There is no such thing as "White" or "Black" on Khemet 9. There is, however, a distinct preference for historically subsaharan African features. Those unengineered people with clear genetic and cultural links back are considered special genetic and cultural prizes.
For this reason, Rarkan is considered as much of a genetic prize as Athyr even though they look quite different. Remember that all humans are originally African.
I'll get more into the history later, but at the root of it is that some of the first people to leave Earth (Artz) to colonize other worlds were of African descent, and this happenned before mankind had truly eliminated racism. In most science fiction, I've noticed that the technology comes after, so in mine I wanted to speculate on what would happen if the technology came before.
I'm beginning work on part 6 today. I think I'll take you to meet Rarkan's family.