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.
We walk in two small knots–Nool and I side by side, Pinched-face and Pinkling together behind us. We don’t talk.
This book is not to be confused with any 1980s “B” epic fantasy movies starring Sandahl Bergman that may have a similar name.
|One of these is a cheesy 80s fantasy flick||And one is a science fiction novel.|
|Can you tell them apart?|
And of course here’s this week teaser from The War of the Ravels!
Mercy wasn’t quite sure if the Cynidece’s legs stretched or her arms extended or both, but the already-wiry Pelt became a gangly and ungainly thing, as if imitating Brennendah’s bone and joint structure within her own body, and at last it dawned on Mercy that this was how Cynidece had rescued Bernard and Nebandalex from the sea caves, how she could see in the dark, how she could keep her footing in the mud, how she could make instantaneous altitude transfers with no ill effect: She changed her anatomy to suit the needs imposed by the environment. With an adaptational skill like that, how did Pelts not rule the world? It almost made Mercy wish she had chosen Peltish from that list of races, way back at the beginning of this game.
Almost, but not quite!