Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Yet Another Alien

(Googling for an image of a Ringworld cover, I found the cover of the graphic novel. That is so far out it's the other side!)

Larry Niven did a good job with his Puppeteers but they are rare in sf. Poul Anderson describes many alien races and we soon become used to familiar though oddly shaped body parts:

The Anthropard
The mouth is "...eerily humanlike..." (FLAG, p. 17);
the smile reveals pointed red teeth;
the eyes are amber with slit pupils;
the nose is flat with a single nostril;
the ears are upstanding and tufted;
the cat-like face has long cilia;
the naked body has orange, black-spotted fur and a large chest with no breasts;
the waist is narrow and the legs long.

But I do not expect any extra-solar organism to have recognizable mouth, teeth, eyes, pupils, nose, nostril(s), ears, face, fur, chest, waist or legs in the same relative positions as they are on Terrestrial organisms. Imagine if the Puppeteers wrote sf and thought that the galaxy was inhabited by two-headed, trisexual tripeds.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I truly don't think it's THAT unlikely for many non human races to have "familiar" body parts. Esp. if they were also oxygen breathers. I would argue that having similar needs would influence a species evolution. Hence eyes, mouths, limbs, etc.