Phylogenesis (Founding of the Commonwealth Series #1) by Alan Dean Foster
In the years after first contact, humans and the intelligent insect like Thranx agree to a tentative sharing of ideas and cultures despite the ingrained repulsion they have yet to overcome. Thus, a slow, lengthy process of limited contact begins.
Yet they never plan for a chance meeting between a misfit artist and a petty thief. Desvendapur is a talented Thranx poet who is bored with his life and needs new inspiration for his work. Venturing beyond the familiar, Desvendapur runs into Cheelo Montoya, a small-time criminal with big dreams of making a fast buck. Together they will embark upon a journey that will forever change their beliefs, their futures, and their worlds . . .
Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946 and raised in Los Angeles, California. After receiving a bachelor's degree in political science and a master of fine arts degree in motion pictures from UCLA in 1968-1969, he worked for two years as a public relations copywriter in Studio City, California.
He sold his first short story to August Derleth at Arkham Collector magazine in 1968, and additional sales of short fiction to other magazines followed. His first try at a novel, The Tar-Aiym-Krang, was published by Ballantine Books in 1972. Since then, Foster has published many short stories, novels, and film novelizations, including the New York Times bestselling Splinter of the Mind's Eye and Flinx in Flux.
Foster has toured extensively around the world. Besides traveling, he enjoys classical and rock music, old films, basketball, body surfing, and weight lifting. He has taught screenwriting, literature, and film history at UCLA and Los Angeles City College. He and his wife live in Arizona.
Phylogenesis (Founding of the Commonwealth Series #1) 4.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Did I mean to write THANKS in the headline?
NO.. I meant THRANXS. An alien species exclusive to Foster's scifi novel PHYLOGENESIS. A Thranks is 5 foot tall with eight useful appendages ( top two used as Tru-hands, next two called foot-hands, the rest are legs) that has the appearance of being your average intelligent and friendly preying mantis.
I couldn't believe I read this novel with great interest. I'm sixty years old for crying out loud! But, when I began reading Alan Dean Foster's novel about these alien beings and one young poet renegade Thranks named Desvendapur aka Desvenbapur, I was taken away a few parsecs to an unexplored universe not traveled to by anyone in my domain.
The Thranx poet Desvendapur becomes enthralled with the rumors of an alien species found somewhere a few light years left of nowhere. Through multi-segmented eyes of a Thranx poet did I begin a quest to learn as much as I could of the human species.
Unrequited love of Jhywinhuran drives a love story weaved into the central plot of exploration. As well as, possibilities of a bloody conflict between Thranx and their reptilian alien enemies the AAnn.
Allan Dean Foster's PHYLOGENEIS is an entertaining scifi novel for all ages. With slight aroma of C.S. Lewis's NARNIA (his books not the movie) versus PETER PAN, this makes for an excellents place to release your mind.
This is the 1st novel of "FOUNDING OF THE COMMONWEALTH" trilogy. I'm looking forward to reading the other novels in this series.
More than 1 year ago
Humans and Thranx have a great deal in common. Including disgust at each other's physiology. The two intelligent species that experienced first contact in Foster's earlier novel, NOR CRYSTAL TEARS, are working on a carefully planned continuum of establishing relations as PHYLOGENESIS opens. Meanwhile, the reptilian Aan - who have commonalities with both the insectoid Thranx and mammalian Humans - would dearly love to add either, or both, to their own growing empire. Thranx poet Desvandapur dreams of making himself immortal by finding unique inspiration, the kind that he believes meeting and interacting with Humans might provide. When he learns of a tightly guarded Human enclave on his home world, the Thranx colony of Willow-Wane, he maneuvers himself into that enclave only to be disappointed at the level of contact it actually offers. Then he's thrilled to find himself chosen to join a secret Thranx settlement on Earth itself, and disappointed yet again at not being able to spend time in Human company. So Desvandapur, who has already risked much for his art, sets off on his own into the heart of the Amazon. Where he meets a Human in an unsupervised setting, at last - who's not at all the kind of Human the rest of that species would have chosen to be their ambassador. This book is the first part of a trilogy, and as such it spends most of its pages setting up plot threads and establishing characters. It's a fun read just the same, because Foster's mastery at creating believable aliens (individuals and their social histories) is on full display here. One can feel Desvendapur's thrilled disgust at touching living Human flesh for the first time, right along with the character.
More than 1 year ago
Phylogenesis is the prequel to very many Foster books. In this series the founding of the Humanx Commonwealth and it's relations to other species of aliens are explained. The story starts on Willow-Wane, a thranx colony world on the frontier. One of the main characters is from a very prominent family, the Ven of Paszex, that unfortunatly is nearly wiped out by the AAnn who also have claim to the planet. Desvendapur is one of three survivors of the Ven family. He is an uninspired poet that looks at life for inspiration for his poetry when he comes across a rumor that there may be a colony of bipedal mammalians known as Humans living on Willow-Wane. Following a lead he decides to go in to have a closer look. In his attemp to stay he inadvertantly kills the pilot that flew him in and is forced to live at the colony as an eigth level food preparator. Being extremely adaptable he learns food preparation and all he can about Humans. After working for so long he is promoted and transfered to the Project. Unbeknownst to him the Project is on Earth itself, the Human homeworld. The Project is in the, now safe, amazon basin where few dare to venture except for tourists and scientists. Bored with not being able to interact with these strange creatures he ventures to the surface and meets a small time criminal trying to make it BIG who has accidentaly commited manslaugther and is hiding from the authorities. After a while they become freinds, and grow to like each others alien quirks. Frightened by the way the two species are getting along the AAnn, a reptilian menace from the frontier, decide to pay them a visit and things go downhill from there. I liked the way that Foster expands on the minds and customs of the, always shrouded in mystery, thranx. The book does however go into minute detail and there is not much dialogue. For that i am sorely disappointed. All in all it was a farely good book and I hope to read the following in the trilogy.