This week I’m reading Khe, by Alexes Razevich, which is one of those unusual SF novels which (so far, at least, and I’m 79% of the way through it according to my Kindle) takes place entirely on an alien world, with no human beings present at all. The majority of the characters are doumanas, members of a race which seems to be quite birdlike, only without the wings, the feathers, the beaks, or the claws. Umm, well, I guess they’re not actually birdlike at all, except that they can “see” the magnetic field of their planet, and they’re migratory, unlike African swallows. The story concerns one of these doumanas, Khe, who, after undergoing an experimental treatment to sort of help her lay eggs (it’s complicated) develops the ability to accelerate the growth of plants, at the cost of taking years off her own life. Upon realizing that she’s likely to die a very early death due to being continually pushed to improve crop production at her commune (yes, they live in communes … again, it’s complicated), she decides to take her chances in the wilderness.