Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Starmen Of Lyrdis - Leigh Brackett


Number of words : 60000
Percent of complex words : 7.0
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 11.6


Fog : 7.5
Flesch : 75.3
Flesch-Kincaid : 5.6



Michael Trehearne is discovered here by the Vardda, at a bonfire festival.


"Llyrdis is our home world, the fourth planet of the star you call Aldebaran."

Silver Tower

Shairn's family home on Lyrdis.

Hercules Cluster

Trehearne's first trade mission and trouble is to here.


Small town in Cornwall, Varddan base.


Varddan exile world.


Michael Trehearne

An Earthman of Varddan descent. "Even," said Edri gently, "for a Vardda. Trehearne, we're alone in the galaxy. Generations ago our race was founded by a man named Orthis, whose system of controlled mutation made us what we are, the
Vardda—the Starmen. It's a difference, a condition of the flesh. With us there is no doubt. With you—your blood is mixed. But you're a throwback in every other way. The mutation may have bred true, also."


An older Vardda man in Cornwall. A Council agent.


A Vardda woman in Cornwall. Falls for Trehearne, and vice versa. A conservative.


A Vardda man in Cornwall, and Orthist.


Vardda on Lyrdis. Secret Orthist.


An Orthist leader, banished to Thuvis.


Radar crew on the Saaga. Kerrel's hired killer.


Low man in the generator room on the Saaga.


Astrogation-Computer Technician, Second Class.


Communications officer on the rescue ship.


An Earthman with a theory. He advanced the idea that most stars have planets.


A hunter with dogs.


Boy who saves Trehearne, but stows away on the Saarga.


Varddan rebel original, opposed Varddan monopoly control of spaceflight.


One of the last pursuers of Orthis.


Varddan Councillor.



"I know it must have, but I don't believe it." Trehearne shook his head. "Of all the incredible…
What were you doing there, Edri? How can you come and go on Earth without anyone knowing? What are the Vardda, besides—well, mutants?"
"Trailers. Merchants. The most commercial race in the galaxy." Edri lifted the cover off a tray on a small table by the bunk. "I brought your breakfast. Go ahead and eat while I gabble. How we come and go is fairly simple. We land at odd intervals, here and there in the waste spaces of which Earth has a number. We do our business, and after a while are picked up again. As I told you before, we're exceedingly careful, and the fact that hardly anyone on Earth would believe the truth if they were told it is a protection. Of course, trading in secret that way, we're limited in what we can take, and Earth exports—the genuine articles and not mere copies —command very high prices. You'd be
amazed at the value of French perfumes, Scotch whiskey, and American films on planets you never heard of."
"Do you trade with them all in secret?"
"Good Lord, no! Most worlds, even the very primitive ones, we can deal with quite openly. They might not like us, but they benefit enormously from our commerce."
"Then why not Earth?"
"Well," said Edri, "I don't like to offend your sensibilities as a native of the place, but Earth is a crazy planet. Oh, it's not the only one. There's a number of them scattered about, and we avoid open contact with all of them. You see, Trehearne, most worlds develop, or remain undeveloped, more or less homogeneously in the matter of civilization. I don't mean they're entirely peaceful, because they're not, but in the long run their populations are more predictable, more stable than on the Earth-type worlds that have grown up all out of joint. You know what I mean—on one side of the world atomic power, on the other the wooden plough and the blowgun. Too big a gap, and it makes trouble
all down the line. Now, a primitive society regards war as a sport and takes an honest pleasure in it. A society in a high state of culture regards it as something outgrown and obsolete as hunting game for food. Everybody knows where they are. But when you get a world with great big overlapping mobs of population, every one of them in a different stage of cultural development and every one of them subject to a constant bombardment of outside stimuli they can't assimilate, you have got a mixture that keeps exploding in all directions. We have a healthy desire not to get blown up, and besides, it's impossible to establish any profitable trade with a world continually torn by wars.
So—does that answer your question?"
"I take it," Trehearne said sourly, "that the Vardda don't think much of Earth."
"It's a good world. It'll settle down some day. Nobody can fight forever. They either knock themselves back into barbarism again, or they grow up."


"See those black-skinned, hawk-nosed chaps with the bronze wings?"


"That little bluish fellow is a merchant-prince from Zaard, the outermost planet. See his diamond caste-mark?"


Vardda Council

Tasked with controlling Varddan bloodlines and rules.

Orthist Party

Varddan opposition. "Long after Orthis disappeared, one of the life-skiffs of his ship was picked up in space. There was nothing in it but a message, painted in big letters on the walls. It was addressed to his enemies, and it said, 'You have not destroyed me. The peoples of the Galaxy will yet be given the freedom of the stars.' You understand? There was still hope, from the Orthist point of view."


"The lawgivers. The wise men. The speakers of the last word." Parapsychics of Saarga.



A star.


A star.


A star.

Omega Centauri

A bad trip.



Joris' ship.


Ship taken to Thuvis for the rescue.


Vardda Trade Laws

Manual of rules.



Varddan ship generator.

3.5 out of 5

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