Dragaeran Animals

Created 14 Jul 1999
Modified 25 Mar 2008

The Seventeen Animals of the Cycle

Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.written
From: rvf@execpc.com (Richard Frueh)
Subject: Re: Brust: Various Topics (Animals)

in _Dzurlord_, the Crossroads adventure book, Brust has an introduction, in which he describes all of the animals:

All houses are noble except the teckla.

Richard Frueh rvf@netcom.COM -- Just imagine a really neat quote here --

(This is Damien typing) Presumably the orca is good old Orca Orcinus, the killer whale. (Or maybe not.) The phoenix is my beloved phoenix. Exactly what it looks like is hard to say, partly for the respectable reason that descriptions are varied, and it is impossible to know which one Brust has chosen. Here's a picture, though. As has been pointed out, the birds on the covers of the first two Khaavren romances are probably phoenixes -- stone decorative ones? Somewhat eaglelike, apparently. But as far as the house goes -- most of the Phoenix emperors are "decadent", not that we have any idea what other emperors are like. Aerich makes reference to the inimitable dignity of the Phoenix -- apparently it is the natural ruling House, even if they aren't good at it. And of course, while Zerika I is said to have provided the Orb to the Empire at the First Cycle, Zerika IV recovered the Orb to begin the second Great Cycle, in the process escaping the Paths of the Dead in rather obvious symbolism.

13 August 2001 -- In Issola Sethra mentions some animals being native -- dzur, dragon, and jhereg. (And the Serioli.) She also mentions their having been modified (but which ones? We know the Jhereg. Perhaps the dragons and athyra, if all telepathic ability is artificial. The Serioli?) Whether this means that the weirder animals, such as the tiassa, are also native or even unmodified is an open question. Stuff like horses and orcas probably came with the human colonists. Teckla seem like mice, so who knows. Mice could have evolved on Dragaera.

Other Animals

On 25 Apr 1994, Fred A Levy Haskell wrote:

I personally believe that the norska owe their existence to a comment James Blish, writing as William Atheling, Jr., made in The Issue at Hand or More Issues at Hand. He commented negatively about authors who, in an attempt to seem more "science fictional" or more "fantastic," would call a rabbit some funny-sounding name instead of just "rabbit." So Steve, with his particular sense of humor, created the norska--a creature which would lure the reader into thinking they were identical to rabbits (and that Steve had therefore violated this rather reasonable rule-of-thumb promulgated by Blish) until their important difference was revealed....

Besides, how do we know that Earthly rabbits wouldn't eat dragons if they were available...?

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