Bookish ABC: A is for Alien

Today is the first day of my Bookish ABC blogging challenge. It really snuck up on me! I am going to have to wing this one, because I was so sure I had so much time to prep a blog and then… boom, Sunday!

A is for Alien starts us off with one of my favourite authors, Becky Chambers! I just can’t shut up about her Wayfarers series, which is full of unique and incredible characters, many of whom are alien. The reason this series stands out to me so much is because Chambers has taken the time to create numerous intelligent beings who don’t just look like humans with odd faces. These are people who live and work alongside each other and have to figure out their cultural differences each and every day. I think for this post I’ll just tell you about each type of alien, with a little help from the Wayfarers Wiki and some incredible fanart.

The Wayfarer Crew by SebasP 

Aandrisk are reptilian, covered in green or blue scales, and have very flat features. They are androgynous, taller than humans, with large muscular thighs and clawed hands and feet. Their heads are covered with multi-coloured feathers, which they may give to people who have touched their life significantly. Aandrisk are very physical, and have a casual attitude towards sex. Their family structure is considered very complicated to outsiders, but can be summed up as follows: as children, they are raised in a “hatch family”, then move out into the world as adults to find a “feather family”, or a group of people they choose to live with. This may change over time. Finally, as elders, Aandrisk typically form or join a “house family” which raises children, becoming their “hatch family” in turn.

Aeluons have silver scaly skin (but are stated not to molt like Aandrisks), are bald, have large eyes, and small mouths. They are deaf and mute, so do not traditionally speak. Instead, they communicate with each other through patches of skin located on their cheeks that are capable of flashing different colors rapidly. After making contact with other creatures, Aeluons have taken to implanting voice emulators into their throats to be able to communicate verbally with other species. Aeluons have four distinct genders. Ones that can fertilize eggs, ones with fertile eggs, ones that can switch between, and ones that are infertile.

Harmagians are mollusk like blobs without bones. They have yellow skin, eye stalks, and chin tendrils that curl when they’re happy. Males and females can be distinguished by the spots across their backs. Despite Harmagians warmongering past, they are noted not to be very physically intimidating. Because they are invertebrates, they get around very slowly on their own. To keep up with the other species, Harmagians use motorized carts to get around. They also are known to have very finicky stomachs, avoiding hot food and eating a very restricted diet. While this all makes Harmagians seem very delicate, but it is theorized that their physical limitations have actually been a benefit to them, forcing them to create more advanced tech and allowing other species to underestimate them, making them easier to conquer.

Fanart by Matchewie

Sianats – Sianats have lanky, four-limbed bodies, with broad feet and long fingers. They walk on all fours, back bowed, similar to primates. They have a dense, ice blue fur, with coal gray skin beneath. All Sianats on their homeworld are infected in childhood with a virus called The Whisperer. This changes their brain function, allowing them to intuitively understand the multi-dimensional nature of space. Once infected, the host and virus are collectively referred to as a Sianat Pair. Sianat Pairs are famous for using plural pronouns to refer to themselves such as “they” as opposed to “he” or “she” and “we” as opposed to “I”. Sianat pairs trim their fur short and decorate it with shaved fractal patterns. They have large eyes that may appear glassy and wet when Sianats are paired, as overactive tear ducts were one of the Sianat virus’ symptoms, along with early death. Solitary Sianats, commonly referred to as “heretics” by Sianat Pairs (and sometimes in self-reference) are Sianats who were cured from The Whisperer. They retain their skill in understanding space-time, but are removed of all other side effects. Cured Sianats are ostracized and exiled from their homeworld.

Grum are large and round, with balloon-like cheeks and long whiskers. They have six limbs, all of which are identical and can function as arms or legs. Grum have branching windpipes, and six sets of vocal cords, and constantly vocalise a series of self-harmonising sounds that communicate their thoughts and feelings to others of their kind. Grum change biological sex over the course of their lives. They start their lives as female, then transition to male, and end up somewhere in-between. The transition from female to male is a difficult time. Grum were an old species, but a war among their kind has now reduced the population to the point that extinction is inevitable.

There are many more species in this series, but these are the main ones in the first book. I hope you liked this first instalment of my challenge! In two weeks I’ll be back with B is for Bookseller.

If you want to join along, just refer to my Prep Week post that will tell you what is coming up. And don’t forget to comment with a link so that I can check out your post!

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