|cover art by Rowena Morrill|
According to Gohrlay, Prelands were designed so as to be easily guided by religious beliefs. Preland societies formed around tribes or Clans and each of the Preland Clans had its own special religious traditions. In Preland societies, the behaviors of individuals were heavily constrained by "the collective and anonymous force of the clan".
|"Reason" by Isaac Asimov.|
While she was growing up under the care of the orbho, it soon became obvious that Gohrlay did not have the appearance of a typical Preland. As a young girl, she was told that she was a "throwback", a genetic mutant who would grow up to have a body form more like a human female than a Preland. This led to Gohrlay's early interest in genetics. Also, Gohrlay was never forced to participate in the juvenile pre-Clan training exercises that were forced on the other children at Observer Base.
|Sedronite sex chromosomes (source)|
During the time when Gohrlay was receiving assistance from the scientists, she began making plans to visit Earth. She wanted to obtain cell samples for genetic analysis from both humans and the Prelands who lived on Earth. She won a position among the Observer Corps, but after her first year in the Corps she received a rejection of her request to begin training for on-Earth assignment. Her Division Director (Cliph), the Chief Planetary Observer, was among many Clan leaders who offered Gohrlay membership in a Clan. Gohrlay toyed with the idea of joining Cliph's clan as a ploy that might gain her an on-Earth assignment.
|Rol, Jaqy, Meppen and Gohrlay|
Within Clan society, resorts such as Water's Edge had a negative reputation. By convention, sexual relations were supposed to be carefully guided and shaped by the Clans. Resorts such as Water's Edge provided a way to explore sex outside of the Clans.
|In the Ekcolir Reality|
original cover art by Terry Lee
In the Ekcolir Reality, an extensive account of religion in the First Reality was published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction magazine.
|Future of Earth|
Gohrlay was familiar with the literature of the Escapists, but she had never previously met a writer of Escapist stories. Gohrlay quickly became friends with Rol, Jaqy and Meppen. Soon they were experimenting and trying to discover if they could form their own Clan.
Next: The Future of Earth in the Asimov Reality.
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