I envisioned a species that had no evolutionary imperative towards competitive behaviors, and as such thrived on constant, snail’s-pace communication routines that similarly kept all members of any given community bonded at all times.
I decided to make it clear that one of the reasons why anyone would go to space, given that living there would lop years off one’s life span, is that life on Earth is much less attractive in the world of the story than it is in our world.
I do think that children are especially hard on their parents. My theory is that because we are so similar to our parents, we see their weaknesses as magnified versions of our own failings (and hints that we may turn into versions of our parents some day).
This story is intended as a tribute to and retelling of Robert A. Heinlein’s YA short story, “The Menace From Earth,” in which a teen girl, Holly Jones of Luna City, loses and then regains her boyfriend.
Rural isolation lends itself to clandestine activities; so does Nevada’s laissez-faire brand of rugged individualism. Were I writing the story now, I’d have to explain why Welly’s selling pot instead of meth.
Some of the more intelligent speculations about their silence are in the story, shortly before the Sayings of the Elder: that they don’t speak because they are listening; because they are hiding something.