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Re: Name Space

by thraxil (Prior)
on Dec 13, 2003 at 06:56 UTC ( #314499=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Name Space

'Thraxil' is a very minor character in an obscure sci-fi book that i once randomly picked out of my dad's bookshelf and read.

the book is 'Stress Pattern' by Neal Barrett Jr. written in 1974. the basic plot is that a space traveller crash lands on a desert planet inhabited by dull, stupid little creatures whose society is based entirely on uniformity and conformity (the book is a pretty thinly veiled commentary on communism/totalitarianism). Thraxil is a sad, misshapen creature living as a hermit outside the village after being cast out for being different. while ostracized and reviled, Thraxil is clearly an enlightened being, showing greater curiousity and intelligence than his peers.

Tall. In Places. One arm short and powerful. One gaunt and bony. The left hand stubby and multi-fingered, the right long, slim, tapering to a single digit. Legs equally varied. His face was an egg crushed in the middle and hurriedly patched. A nose that began as a stub, angled off into the beginnings of a beak, then gave the whole thing up, and fell off into a snout. One eye grossly larger than the other. A mouth full-lipped on one side, a gap on the other. His head and body were covered with random patches of hair. He was dun, beige, khaki, brown, or umber--depending upon where you looked. He'd made a sorry mess of the sex problem. The less said about that the better.

Poor bastard, i thought. He was stuck together as if he'd never quite decided what he wanted to be. Nevertheless, I followed him into the hut, thinking, ironically, that he had the friendliest smile on the planet.


I was filled with sudden pain for this creature. He was the ugliest, most grotesque being i had ever seen. But that was on the surface. There was no ugliness inside. Phretci and the others might be too detached from the world to care. But Thraxil knew there were places to go, and questions to be answered. And that's why the eyes filled with anguish. He sensed whatever was there was beyond his reach.

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