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June 5th, 2005, 08:58 PM
A number of years ago I read some fantastic sci-fi novels by an author who had training in (animal) ethology -- the study of the strangely different ways animals think. This author used this knowledge to create aliens, based loosely on animal behavior, who were more alien than any I'd seen before. I've forgotten this author's name and the titles of any of her novels (I think it was a woman). I'm hoping someone on this forum might know her work and be able to help.

David C.

June 7th, 2005, 10:03 AM
I'm guessing Julie E. Czerneda. From website:

Author Homepage (http://www.czerneda.com/author.htm)

Formerly a researcher in animal communication, Julie has also written non-fiction, from biology texts to the use of science fiction to develop literacy. She currently lives at the edge of a forest with her family, enjoying rocketry and canoeing whenever there’s time. Julie attributes her love of writing to the advice of her mother. "When I didn't like the ending of a book, Mom gave me a typewriter and suggested I write my own. I never stopped.

It's funny in that I thought the same thing about her aliens, but had no idea of her background. As soon as you mentioned it, however, her name came to mind.

June 7th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Geez, that's another one I've never even heard of that sounds like they've got the goods.
Time to buy a newer Encyclopedia of SF for me!

PS: Hokey smoke!
There aint one!
The 1995 is the most current! Jeepers,it's time to put out a new one, isn't it?!!
I guess it's a good thing I come around here!!:D

June 8th, 2005, 07:07 PM

A newbie to this forum, I didn't realize I accidentally added a "thumbs down" logo on my query message. I thought it was a question mark.

Thanks for the post above about Julie Czernada (sp?). I've checked her books, they look good, but it was impossible to tell from the descriptions whether they were the ones I was thinking of.

I remember one of the novels I read featured aliens based on owls. Sounds funky, but I recall it worked.


June 9th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Was the owl connection explicit? If so, then I don't think Czerneda.

C.J. Cherryh focuses alot on the disconnect between human and alien thought processes, but I don't think she has a background in ethnology, more anthropology/archeology.

Nobody else much comes to mind. A google search brings up several SF writers with ethology backgrounds, but I don't see any women in the lists.

Any other details you can remember about the books?

June 9th, 2005, 10:22 PM
Are you sure it was a female writer? David Brin's Uplift saga uses many aliens based loosely on animals (some avian). Also, Larry Niven has done so on several occassions (Ziniti-Tigers, Aliens in Footfall were based on Elephants). Finally, there is also the Dinosuar Planet Books by Anne McCaffrey which feature two Avian races (I don't recall the particulars).