Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand traces the lives of two characters born on planets light-years apart but drawn together by forces beyond their control. The intersection of their lives and the lives of those with whom they interact forms the central thrust of the novel.
The novel opens on Rhyonon, where Rat Korga, a social and sexual misfit, has undergone Radical Anxiety Termination (RAT) and been placed in institutional slavery. For years, Rat Korga labors in menial jobs, demeaned by employees of the organization that owns him. Sold illegally into personal slavery, Korga is captured and returned to what would have been a life of unremitting manual toil had not Rhyonon been completely destroyed, perhaps by the Xlv, an alien race with whom humankind has yet to establish any communication.
Rat Korga’s rescue by the Web, an intergalactic organization, and his return to higher cognition through the use of the rings of Vondramach Okk seem to fit some larger pattern. The wealth of Dyethshome, the huge ancestral residence of the Dyeth family, is owed in large part to the service of Marq’s ancestor Mother Dyeth to Vondramach Okk, a ruler of many worlds, including Velm. There is a sense of appropriateness, then, when Korga appears wearing these rings at Dyethshome as part of a new group of students who regularly engage in research at that historic landmark. Immediately, Marq Dyeth is drawn to Korga; the Web’s determination of their erotic compatibility is accurate. A willing student ready to be introduced to his new world, Korga carries with him an aura of mystery and reserve. The brief stay on Velm presents Korga and the reader with an introduction to an alien culture.
Velm is home to both humans and evelm, an indigenous race. The evelm, six-legged and multitongued creatures bearing vestigial wings, have established an uneasy relationship with humans. The southern...
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