List of Humanx Commonwealth races
The AAnn are a fictional species of reptilians in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series. They are described as lizard-like carnivores with flexibility and speed superior to that of most men, although they are generally shorter and somewhat weaker physically. They are covered in small scales and prefer hot, arid worlds with plenty of sand.
Having a static appearance similar to that of a lizard, they do not have the capacity to display emotions via facial expressions as humans can, they have developed a rich variety of gestures which are used to convey attitude and emotion. In describing them, these emotions are broken down into descriptions (i.e. anger, approval, respect) and into degrees of the same (i.e. third degree anger, first degree approval, fourth degree respect). Nye is another term that AAnn use to describe themselves. It is a term that is used to describe a mature, usually adult AAnn. In much the same way that a human would say "man" or "men" in conversation or description, one of the AAnn might use nye to less specifically describe an adult or group of adult AAnn.
Although not always the case, personal advancement within the AAnn hierarchy usually entails the demotion and replacement of a higher up. To recycle an old cliché, 'It's an AAnn eat AAnn world' could accurately describe the process. On the surface, the process is similar to advancement in our world; any AAnn with aspirations of authority cannot simply kill a rival and take their place as this is against the law. They must use subterfuge; circumspectly using the law to their advantage, working closely with loopholes and ensuring that there is no evidence of any criminal activity on their part. Throughout the works of Foster's series, it is intimated that while all AAnn know this happens, it is rarely or never spoken of openly—as any implication that a nye was involved in criminal going-ons could result in his or her 'replacement' by an ambitious colleague.
Each AAnn family is identified by a length of subjunctives in the place of their surname. The subjunctives are given as a string and are composed of capital letters (i.e. VSBBLXK). As an individual rises in rank within the empire, subjunctives are removed to make the string shorter. This provides a rank and family identification mechanism and means an AAnn with two subjunctives would have higher rank and authority than an AAnn with five subjunctives.
It should be noted that not all AAnn subscribe to the particulars of the common culture and government. The Tier of Ssaiinn is an organization of AAnn that focuses on art. These artistic AAnn are considered outcasts, but are allowed to exist by the empire mostly as an unspoken truth. They survive on at least one world, Jast, and sell notably spectacular and unique artwork to private AAnn. This suggests that even through their stolid imperialist attitudes and primal instincts, and a reputation as merciless killing machines, they possess creative traits similar to those in humans. It is even hinted, in 'Sliding Scales,' that nye within the Tier of Ssaiinn have artistic techniques and expressions that are in many ways superior to those of Humanx-kind of the same period.
Not much is written regarding AAnn recreation practices. Nye do find immense pleasure in burying themselves in warm sand. This is also how they sleep, if they have the preference. While drugs are not mentioned in reference to the AAnn very often, the drug Bloodhype is addictive across most species, and AAnn are specifically mentioned as being prone to the addictive properties.
While they do have sex like most other bipeds, it is a practice surrounded equally in primal instinct and civilized control, every ritual a fight and dance combined, pushing the boundaries of what is safe. Prior to engagement, two prospective mates must be of equable rank, and of equable physical condition to find one another attractive. The two face off in a private chamber, and proceed to fight one another with teeth and claws, pulling punches and biting only gently. To some extent, it can be suggested that AAnn consider fighting to be a form of recreation as well; AAnn combat can just as often be ceremonial as to the death.
The Hur'rikku are a fictional alien race from Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth science fiction novels.
They are notable primarily as being ancient enemies of the Tar-Aiym and for creating an incredibly powerful anticollapsar weapon. The threat of using this weapon in their war with the Tar-Aiym forced their enemies to unleash an animate photonic storm that killed both races and created the Blight. The race died out approximately 479,000 years ago.
No accurate description of the race exists. They are thought to be half the size of adult humans and have three sexes.
Minidrags appear reptilian (though they are actually warm-blooded), resembling flying snakes, and come from the planet Alaspin, fully grown they measure about one meter long.
They are not sapient; nonetheless, they are empathic telepaths, or "empaths" who often bond strongly to a sapient being they deem worthy. Flinx, the protagonist of many of the Commonwealth novels, has bonded to a minidrag named Pip. Clarity Held is also bonded with a Minidrag, Pip's child, Scrap. Minidrags are quite capable of defending their companions, as they spit a highly corrosive, violently neurotoxic venom, which will kill a human in less than a minute if it enters the blood stream. The acidic properties of the venom enable it to burn through even titanium alloys with ease. Minidrags are extremely agile, which protects them to a certain degree against modern weaponry.
Additionally, the exact abilities of the minidrag are under some debate, as in some books Pip merely acts as a lens for Flinx while in others Pip is able to sense on her own.
A highly scientific alien race which seemed almost identical to humankind in appearance and biology. At a ratio of 99.99% similarity. They inhabited two densely populated planets in the Orion sector and their similarity was considered the most remarkable congruent evolution ever witnessed. In looks, they came close to the Terran ideal with the men tall, muscular, handsome and exceptionally structured. The women were 100% feminine and at least as attractive as the men. Humanity went through what was described as a brief hysterical phase in which anything even remotely Pitarian was the subject of slavish imitation. Limitless offers of aid and undying friendship were proffered by humanity, though the Pitar were more reserved. The true reason for this was revealed to be that the Pitar considered the humans to be barbaric and inferior beings; their apparent friendship was merely a front to gain closer access to humanity in order to strike more effectively. They secretly attacked a human colony planet, wiping out the entire population leaving hardly a trace of their involvement. There was only one survivor who could tell the tale of what happened to the planet and of the atrocities committed by the Pitar against its inhabitants, particularly the women. Upon learning the truth, humanity declared war on the Pitar though the war quickly stalemated. The Pitar defended their system ferociously, relying on the advantage of fighting near their supply lines whilst humanity was stretched thin. The war would have been lost had not the Thranx entered the fight against the Pitar; they were motivated by outrage over the treatment of the human females by the Pitar, due to the Hive's instinct of protecting a Queen, and because they hoped to secure reciprocal support against the AAnn.
The tide of the battle turned, yet the Pitar refused to surrender and fought to the very last. The Pitarian race seemed to be unable to understand concepts such as mercy, compassion, openness, and equality. They believed themselves to be the only race worthy of existence, and therefore refused to surrender to another. This forced the allies to exterminate them, despite wishing not to. The Pitar's xenophobia would have led them to attempt to put an end to all other races.
The Tar-Aiym are a fictional alien race from Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth science fiction novels. The race is commonly described as appearing a cross between a large Terran bear and a crab with four armored legs, two tentacle-like arms and generally covered in short white and brown fur. They have four eyes and a curved beak.
The race died out approximately 479,000 years ago during a war with the Hur'rikku when they released an animate photonic storm that spread like a plague through their portion of the galaxy before the storm burned itself out. This disaster occurred in what is now known as the Blight. (However, at least one Tar-Aiym survived in a form of suspended animation to play a role in the events of Bloodhype.)
They are also notable for creating the Krang, an unusually powerful sapient (but not sentient) weapon and musical instrument that has recently been discovered by the Humanx Commonwealth and twice utilized by Flinx. Operated in weapon mode by an "A class" mind, the Krang can generate a destructively powerful gravitational field that can be targeted anywhere within a few light years. It rips matter apart by stripping it of its electrons. Originally believed to be unique, Flinx discovered an abandoned Tar-Aiym warship disguised as a gas giant planet. The weapons complement of this vessel included "more than a hundred" Krangs.
The Thranx are an insectoid species featured in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth book series. While at war with the reptilian AAnn, the Thranx discovered a human space vessel, and captured the occupants. Through the efforts of rogue thranx, the humans were liberated and returned to Terra, and the alliance between the two species was initiated, eventually resulting in the formation of the Humanx Commonwealth (Humanx takes the first three letters of human and the last three letters of thranx to represent the union between the two races). Unity between the humans and the thranx provide equal benefits, with the two races forming a near symbiotic existence with one another.
Visually, the Thranx are an insectoid race resembling large praying mantises, about 1.5 meters long when on all six legs. Chitin color differs between males and females, being blue for the males and aquamarine for females, deepening to purple in old age. If a Thranx is in a profession that offers a great deal of stress premature purpling of the chitin may be visible, as is the case with Major Orvenalix in Bloodhype. Their exoskeletons are able to withstand most common accidents, making accidental cuts or scrapes unlikely, but if their chitin is breached they bleed far more profusely than their human allies. They can also mend broken or cut chitin with a false chitin substitute.
Thranx also possess vestigial double sets of wings, ritually removed after mating. The head is valentine-shaped, with large, compound golden eyes sometimes banded with red. They have four pairs of appendages; two tru-hands, four trulegs, and a set of intermediaries that can function as an additional pair of arms or legs. Like insects, they have no lungs and breathe through a series of openings at about waist level. Because of this, Thranx are unsuited for exposure to deep bodies of water and most of their population fears it; they are not naturally buoyant and because they breathe through openings at the waist they are easily susceptible to drowning even if their upper body remains above the surface.
Thranx cities are primarily subterranean in nature, though on occasion they may possess some surface structures to indicate the hive's existence. Hives may have as few as four underground levels, such as the small city of Paszex on Willow-Wane, while the capital city of Daret on Hivehom's number of levels well surpasses seventy.
Their home planet is Hivehom, the capital city of which is Daret. Human settlement on Hivehom tends to be restricted to the high plains, titled the Mediterranean Plateau, as it possesses cooler, drier climates that the thranx can't stand.
Willow-Wane is one of their major colony worlds, and the home planet of several of primary Thranx characters in the series. It is an Earth-like world with higher humidity and a warmer climate than Earth. Most areas are much like Terran rainforests, so that visiting humans wear minimal clothing.
The Thranx evolved from a hive based social system, with each individual hive being controlled by a single egg-laying Queen. During this time, like insects of Terra, the Thranx relied on a class system (drones, workers, soldiers, etc.). Development of true intelligence for the Thranx coincided with the development of egg-laying ability in all Thranx females. The biological diversity offered by this new means of reproduction lead to liberation and individuality, but always honoring their heritage, the Thranx still pay homage to their Hivemother and Clanmother, a reflection on the matriarchy that their species originally came from.
Education and Occupations
Thranx begin their education during their larval stage. It is expected that all Thranx choose a profession to pursue through adulthood before they've left the Nursery of their hive. Before first contact with Man, if a Thranx larva doesn't choose a definitive profession by the time they have become an adult their mental health might be evaluated. Prior to the founding of the Commonwealth the Thranx looked down on the notion of an individual attempting to generalize and become adept in multiple subjects of education, a trait that may have been carried over from their origins as a strictly hive and class based society.
Thranx communicate using a complex language consisting of clicks, simple whistles and complex whistles (a combination of clicks and simple whistles utilized simultaneously). Due to their limited facial expressions, the thranx rely also on a complex series of gestures which utilize their true-hands and foot-hands to represent emphasis as well as the speaker's emotions. Due to the difficulty in learning both Thranx gestures and languages very few outside races have mastered it.
Thranx names are usually constructed as follows: The name of the individual, family name, his/her clan name, and hive name. For example: Ryozenzuzex, protagonist of Nor Crystal Tears is Ryo (name) + Zen (family name) + Zu (clan name) + Zex (hive name). Usually thranx communicate by reciting each other's full names, but among casual acquaintances (including humans) they may use their individual name or a combination of the individual and family names (for example: Desvendapur of Phylogenesis might be referred to as Des or Desven among casual acquaintances).
The Ulru-Ujurrians are a fictional race of ursine humanoids in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series described as bear-like and two to three times as tall and broad as a human, they are capable of either bipedal or quadrupedal locomotion. They are covered in a brown fur dotted with black and white spots. Although they are a very peaceful race, they are naturally armed with short, thick claws on their seven digits. The Ulru-Ujurrians communicate largely by telepathy which helped Philip Lynx befriend the aliens but they can communicate verbally as well.
They are highly intelligent, but they have not yet built a civilization as defined by most sentient races in the Humanx Commonwealth. However, once introduced to the concept they were quick to catch on and started establishing their own version of civilization on their home planet of Ulru-Ujurr, a world Under Edict by the United Church. (Just for venturing on the planet's surface Flinx was opening himself to selective mind-wipe if caught by a Commonwealth Peaceforcer.)
Not having a strong technology base has not been a hindrance to the Ulru-Ujurrians; they are able to use and adapt any technology they find; this being a particular benefit for Flinx who found himself gifted with a spaceship, Teacher, which they built for him. Apparently related to their telepathic abilities, the Ulru-Ujurrians are able to teleport via their tunnel digging on their home planet, but are not restricted to just their own home, they have ventured to other planets as well by this means of traveling.
- Weaponry at Alan Dean Foster's Page
- Foster, Alan Dean. Bloodhype. Del Rey Books: New York. 1973. p. 20.