In the second half of the twenty-fourth century, diplomatic relations proceed cautiously between thranx and humans. But the insectlike beings are nearly forgotten with the sudden discovery of an ideal planet to colonize-Argus V-and the startling appearance of a new race of space-faring aliens. People are dazzled by the beautiful, glamorous pitar. Then tragedy strikes.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
May 29, 2001
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Dirge by Alan Dean Foster
Kairuna was kneeling beside a flattened blue-brown bush that rose no higher than his knee, watching half a dozen dull yellow slugs with legs combine their efforts to spin a mutual home out of what appeared to be cerise silk. The nature of the instinct that impelled them to effortlessly meld their minuscule exertions would have to be identified by the xenologists. Absolved by his work classification of the need to analyze or classify, he was free to marvel and wonder at the intricate beauty of the delicate alien phenomenon. He felt sorry for the techs who were required to stop, stand, and interpret. Sometimes it was a lot better just to be able to look.
Straightening, he let his gaze rove over the endless forest. Well, not literally endless. The Earthlike pseudo evergreens only occupied the broad temperate belt that followed the planet's equator. A traveler journeying to north or south would eventually run out of forest and into one of the great ice caps that dominated the surface of Argus V. But since preliminary surveys from orbit had indicated that the forest belt varied between two and three thousand miles in width, there was plenty of room left between the brooding ice for trees.
And for ambulatory life, not all of which was as inconspicuous as silk-spinning slugs. In the two months they had been exploring the planet the surveyors had encountered a number of interesting and exotic larger life-forms. The local carnivores were efficient but not especially impressive-nothing the team couldn't deal with. Their presence added to the ambience of what was proving to be a chilly but otherwise hospitable world.
"Norway." Idar came up behind Kairuna, puffing hard and lugging her tripod-mounted census taker with her. "Western Canada. Tasmania." Slapping her gloved hands together, she began to set up her instruments. Depending on how they were calibrated, they could take an image of a chosen section of ground together with an approximation of every kind and variety of life-form that dwelled therein.