…greetings from the Planet of Moths.

February 12th, 2012 7:12 pm by Kelly Garbato

2012-02-01 - In Other Worlds Excerpt - 0007

A(nother) page from Margaret Atwood’s In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011).

excerpted from the short story “Cold-Blooded.”

To my sisters, the Iridescent Ones, the Egg-Bearers, the Many-Faceted, greetings from the Planet of Moths.

At last we have succeeded in establishing contact with the creatures here who, in their ability to communicate, to live in colonies, and to construct technologies, most resemble us, although in these particulars they have not advanced beyond a rudimentary level.

During our first observation of these “blood creatures,” as we have termed them – after the colourful red liquid that is to be found in their bodies, and that appears to be of great significance to them in their poems, wars, and religious rituals – we supposed them incapable of speech, as those specimens we were able to examine entirely lacked the organs for it. They had no wing-casings with which to stridulate – indeed they had no wings; they had to mandibles to click; and the chemical method was unknown to them, since they were devoid of antennae. “Smell,” for them, is a perfunctory affair, confined to a flattened and numbed appendage on the front of the head. But after a time, we discovered that the incoherent squeakings and gruntings that emerged from them, especially when pinched, were in fact a form of language, and after that we made rapid progress.

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2 Responses to “…greetings from the Planet of Moths.”

  1. Book Review: Good Bones and Simple Murders, Margaret Atwood (1994) » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] from the Planet of the Moths.” A page from “Cold-Blooded,” which also appears in In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). […]

  2. fuck yeah reading: 2012 books » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, Margaret Atwood (2011); blogged here and here […]

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