Authors are often (well, sometimes) praised, ridiculed, or loathed for the morals inherent in their books.

As I mentioned, I’ve been reading about Sookie Stackhouse.  In the series, there are many types of were-animals, and they have an interesting genetic problem.

Only the firstborn child of any pure-bred were couple is a were.

So, if all of the weres were monogamous, the population would very quickly decline to the point of extinction.  To get around this, the weres, especially packmasters, consider it their duty to procreate with as many different purebloods as possible.

Sookie, having been brought up as a Good Girl (and a Methodist), has a slight problem with this, but she comes to the conclusion that she doesn’t have the right to judge them.  Charlaine Harris has had her heroine consider the matter, so it’s clear that she’s thought about it.  No matter what conclusion Sookie came to, the fact that she’s thought about it is no doubt a good thing.

I’m also thinking about aliens.  Aliens, coming from different social structures, often have different morals to humans.  But usually, at least in the books that capture my attention, they have morals of some sort.  They may not be recognisable at first glance, but once you learn how they think they make sense.

People worry about violence on television causing children to become more prone to violence, and occasionally the same is said about a book (“Harry Potter lies and cheats, and defies his teachers!”, for example, although, really, he’s a teenager, what do you expect?).

All of this rambling is leading up to this question: how much do the type of morals pictured in a book matter, versus the fact that the morals exist at all?

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