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Theoretically, all pretties get along with one another. But in any large group of human beings, there are different types of people who want to spend their time in different ways. So it didn't take long for cliques to form in Tally's city, organized around all the typical new-pretty activities: ballooning, partying, and other kinds of socializing.
Also, it made sense to me that pretties would form cliques. That's the sort of thing that the pretties I knew in high school liked to do.
So here are mini histories of all the cliques mentioned in the Uglies series. (At least, I hope I got them all.)
Being crim can change the world.
The Crims are one of the few cliques that started in Uglyville, about a year before Shay and Tally met. That group ran away to the Smoke, except for Zane and Shay, who chickened out. Zane restarted the clique in New Pretty Town, where Tally later joined. As Tally and Zane become famous for their bubbly exploits, the Crims expanded to become one of the largest cliques in New Pretty Town. Many of these new members wound up as Cutters under Shay's guidance (see "Cutters").
The Crims are most famous for their mass balloon escape from New Pretty Town, and although Zane was soon recaptured, he returned to find the Crims still thriving. Tricks and other forms of rebellion had at last become a part of pretty culture. The Crims became a vital conduit between Tally's city and the New Smoke, distributing the cure to tens of thousands of new and middle pretties. Once Dr. Cable was finally ousted from power, many Crims became, ironically, part of the new political leadership of Tally's city. But by that time, Zane, the Crims' founder, was dead, a tragic victim of the Diego War.
The Cutters were my pride and joy, my special Specials.
The Cutters were originally a pretty clique started by Shay. When she saw how Tally and Zane were becoming less pretty-minded, Shay tried to create a cure for herself. But the only thing that reduced her bubblehead haze was the extreme pain of cutting. She spread the practice to a few other Crims, including Ho and Tachs, and to many other pretties who had not been voted into the Crims. Together they became the Cutters.
After the Crims' mass escape, the Cutters were recruited by Dr. Cable to become a new division of Special Circumstances. After undergoing her brain-washing, they were dedicated to hunting down the New Smoke. They lived in the wild, even hunting animals for food. In a way, the Cutters lived a twisted version of the Smokey life that Shay had been torn away from (thanks to Tally). Many of the Crims recaptured after the mass escape, including Tally, were given the surgical procedure that turned them into Cutters.
Just before the Diego War, the Cutters were infiltrated by Fausto a former member who had been captured and cured by the Smokies and he cured all of them. In their new form, they became the heroes of the Diego War and have since helped the New Special Circumstances in many missions against cities that expand too far. They no longer cut, but the name remains.
If Shay hadn't introduced her to the Crims, Tally figured she would have been a Hot-air. They were always drifting off into the night and landing at random places, calling a hovercar to pick them up from some distant suburb or even past the city limits.
Hot-airs are obsessed with ballooning and all forms of flight. They hate to be on the ground, and even when they aren't in balloons, they prefer to be on balconies or rooftops, and they always live on high floors. They call everyone who isn't a Hot-air a "groundling." As the cure spread through Tally's city, a few Hot-airs took up hoverboarding, a pastime previously unheard of in pretty culture. After the mind-rain, many Hot-airs joined the Extras' space colonization project. Some still prefer the traditional hot-air balloon, and vast fleets can be seen taking off from the cities, filling the night sky with wild colors and tiny spigots of flame.
Of course the Swarm was everywhere, all jabbering to one another on their interface rings.
The Swarm is a tight-knit clique that uses skintenna surge to create social bonds. Their skintennas are all on one shared channel, so that anything one Swarmer says is heard by all the others. They go places only in huge groups and generally don't talk to anyone outside the Swarm. Because of the lack of privacy, the Swarm has lots of infighting, and several groups have broken off from the main clique. To make things confusing, they all call themselves the Swarm. All claim to be the original group, and nobody knows which one really is. Since the mind-rain, the Swarm has started to experiment with group-think software, hoping one day to hear one another's thoughts. It is unclear how the clique will evolve if they ever get that to work.
A mostly naked clique of Bashers were pretending to be pre-Rusties, building bonfires and drumming, establishing their own little satellite party, which was what Bashers always did.
Bashers are an all-male clique who like to drum and who often camp in pleasure gardens rather than living in mansions. Since the mind-rain, many Bashers have joined the pre-Rusty societies kept in reservations by the scientists of Tally's city, trying to recapture their true primitive maleness.
...Twisters as sick puppies wearing big cone-shaped plastic collars.
Twisters are the most perverse clique in New Pretty Town, doing outrageous things like making them-selves look ugly for parties. They throw impromptu drum-machine bashes where people wear horrible masks: devils, scary clowns, monsters, and aliens. (We first meet them in the opening chapter of Uglies.) Since the mind-rain, most Twisters have become major surge-monkeys.
Tally stumbled into a clique of Naturals plastered with brittle leaves, walking last days of autumn who shed yellows and reds as she shoved through them.
Naturals are pretties who are into gardening and camping. Not as adventurous as Rangers, certainly, but more likely to go into the wild than a normal pretty though they always bring along lots of champagne.
Of course, cliques are different in every city and region. To completely understand the world of Extras, you should probably know a little about the social forces in that part of the world. So here are a few of the cliques that appeared in Asia after the mind-rain.
Great, another cult of me. Just what the world needs.
The importance of fame in Aya's city, combined with the fact that Tally is the most famous person in the world, has led to the rise of the so-called Youngblood Cults. Some of these cliques are simply historical clubs, trying to learn what they can about Tally as a revolutionary and as a person. Other cults, however, are more focused on surging to look like Tally did when she was an ugly, a pretty, or a Special. They seem to have forgotten that Tally's true message is one of self-determination, not hero-worship and imitation.
You Sly Girls don't cry when you watch the big-face parties on the feeds, just because you weren't invited. You don't stay friends with people you hate, just to bump your face rank. And even though nobody knows what you're doing out here, you don't feel invisible at all.
The Sly Girls are an all-female secret clique dedicated to doing tricks without becoming famous. The clique was started by Ai (last name unknown), but the Sly Girls' official leader is whoever has the lowest face rank at any given moment. Although the Girls are personally anonymous, their tricks, like bridge jumping and mag-lev surfing, made them famous as a group, and their name became synonymous with mysterious forces at work in the world like gremlins or faeries.
After Aya Fuse's story that featured them kicked, the Sly Girls became annoyingly famous and had to relocate to another city for a while. But they were soon recognized (for their tricks, not their Plain Jane faces) and became famous there as well. Now they are reconciled to their fame, though they disappear from the public view for long periods of time. And they are rumored to be working on a really big trick.
Maybe Frizz's intense gaze made everyone feel this way. His eyes were so huge, just like the old Rusty drawings that manga-heads based themselves on.
Manga was one of the great popular art forms of the Rusty era, so it isn't surprising that after the mind-rain, many people wanted to look like manga characters. Small noses, big smiles, and huge eyes are the main characteristics of manga-heads, and some sport gravity-challenging hairstyles as well. (Note: Manga-heads are split into many subcliques, depending on the style of the source material.)
So let me get this straight, Aya-chan. You want me, a person who can't lie, to lie about the fact that I can't lie?
To solve his own problem with truth-slanting, a manga-head named Frizz Mizuno requested that city surgeons perform a new type of brain surge on him, one that eliminated his capacity to lie. A side effect of the operation was that he had to share everything about his life on his feed, which made him a very popular kicker, and this in turn spread the popularity of his surgery. Frizz ultimately reversed the surge, preferring to rely on his own willpower to tell the truth, but his clique, Radical Honesty, is still growing in popularity. Offshoot cliques include Radical Hilarity, Radical Loyalty, and Radical Niceness.
Every change we've made adapts us better to our future home. We're the first extraterrestrial people.
The Extraterrestrials (generally known as Extras) originated in Southeast Asia. Founded by an environ-mentalist named Udzir, they have been planning for space colonization since the beginning of the Expansion, slowly altering themselves to live in a zero-g environment. They also are dedicated to moving much of the metal in the Rusty Ruins into space, both to use as building materials and to slow down the Expansion of the cities. Their major surgical alterations include: replacing their legs with an extra set of arms, moving their eyes for wider peripheral vision, and removing the pigment from their skin for improved vitamin D production with minimal sunlight. Their headquarters is in the ruin of the ancient Rusty city of Singapore, but most Extras now live in space in a group of orbital habitats that they call the New Expansion.
Randoms reject all forms of surgery and gene therapy no matter how old and broken-down they get. They believe that life-extension treatments are leading to overpopulation and that no one should live for more than a hundred years. But a surprising number of them change their minds in later life....
As the mind-rain unleashes creativity, more people are becoming interested in innovative technologies. The clique system is the best way to share resources and new ideas. The tech-heads are actually a loose confederation of cliques, including Inventors, Physics Otaku, NeoFoodies, and Mag-Lev Spotters. Recently, many tech-heads have joined the Extras in space.
The Reputation Bombers are a tech-head clique devoted to figuring out how the city's fame algorithms work. They experiment every night by bombing chanting a different member's name in hope of boosting his or her face rank. Most of their members fade back into oblivion after being bombed, but a few have become permanently famous, because they turned out to be really interesting people once everyone got to know them. The city council has set up a permanent committee, the Fame Spam Board, to fight this and other abuses of the face-rank algorithms. Spin-off groups include Slam Bombers and Hovercam Bombers.
A new cult first made famous by Aya Fuse's brother, Hiro, Immortals believe that the technology exists to enable human beings to live forever. Their lawsuit against the global government has in fact turned up evidence that many untried life-extension treatments exist, and that people can live into their mid-two hundreds. Where we're going to put everyone is less clear.
The Plain Janes are an all-female group who reject all cosmetic surgery, makeup, and hairstyling. Unlike Randoms, they're okay with eyescreens and health modifications, just not with things that would make them pretty. (I stole the name from Cecil Castellucci's excellent graphic novel of that title.)
NeoFoodies are tech-heads who experiment with food, separating flavors from structure and using unexpected processes. (And they're real! See "Miscellany.")
Text copyright © 2008 by Scott Westerfeld