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Oct 10, 2015

Slaves of the Huaoshy

cover art by Nico Keulers
Gohrlay and I have once again been discussing one of our favorite topics, the question of whether we Earthlings are slaves.

Previously, I mentioned that I've never read Jack Vance's "Slaves of the Klau", originally published in 1952 as "Planet of the Damned". According to Rich Horton, the story starts with some humanoid aliens (the Lekthwans) living on Earth. The Lekthwans are so human-like that the human protagonist, Roy Barch, becomes infatuated with a Lekthwan female named Komeitk Lelianr. Before this unlikely romance can get off the ground, Roy and Komeitk get snatched up by the evil Klau, a third species that is trying to conquer the galaxy. (Maybe the Klau need workers to mine gold for them?) The plot of "Slaves of the Klau" sounds similar to that of a set of Vance novels that I have read, the Durdane Series.

in the Ekcolir Reality
From the perspective of this millennium (where we have computers that can fly spaceships or airplanes and drive automobiles) it is hard to imagine advanced space-faring aliens who would need to enslave humans in order to get cheap labor, but I suppose Vance just liked giving his heroes a challenge. For Roy, the challenge is to escape from the Klau and return to Earth, and maybe win the heart of Komeitk. However, based on my reading of Vance works such as the Demon Princes Saga, Vance is a much better science fiction story teller when he uses space aliens as subtle background elements rather than evil antagonists.

Deep Time
in the Buld Reality (ISFDB)
According to Gohrlay, in the Ekcolir Reality, Sam Jacky published a novel called Platinum and Iron that explained the link between sedrons and platinum and depicted Sedronites, including the Kac'hin and we Earthlings, as being slaves of the pek.

original cover art by Alan Atkinson and Brian Salmon
A science fiction story that has haunted me for four decades is Brothers of Earth by Carolyn Cherry. I don't think she set out to write a story about slavery, but I took it as a story that illustrates how people can become comfortable with slavery.

Special thanks to Miranda Hedman (www.mirish.deviantart.com) for the DeviantArt stock photograph "Black Cat 9 - stock" that I used to create the blue "sedronite" who is in the image shown to the left.

The Exode Trilogy
According to Gohrlay, a similar book was written by Cherry's analogue in the Ekcolir Reality: Sisters of Earth. In that novel, avenging Sedronites from the Galactic Core battled to free humans from enslavement by the pek.

The question remains, to what extent are we all, here in the Final Reality, slaves? This is a deep mystery in the Exode Trilogy. Related Reading.

Next: the analogue of H. G. Wells in the Ekcolir Reality.
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