2014 | 1 | 219-226
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Talking Animalish in Science-Fiction Creations. Some Thoughts on Literary Zoomorphism

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I would like to point out an interesting technique in picturing the aliens in SF books and TV series. In order to differentiate the humans and the extraterrestrials, writers give the latter animal traits: they “talk animalish,” borrowing from the animal world elements that would serve as a way of describing what is not human. The first part of the below text presents some of the most popular animal aliens in the recent SF history. The second is concentrated on writings of China Miéville and Stanisław Lem. Miéville’s world, Bas-Lag, abounds in curious animal sentient races. The writer has defined in detail one more race, Ariekei, for the needs of his latest book. Lem, on the other hand, is a great and humorous theoretician of how they aliens would look like and what the ways we think about them are.
  • Faculty of “Artes Liberales,” University of Warsaw
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