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Old October 29 2012, 09:27 PM   #17
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Aliens of Trek Lit, Chapter Two: Tzenkethi!

One thing I mentioned in the Brinkmanship review thread was that I think it's interesting to consider the Tzenkethi in comparison to the Breen. Both are Typhon Pact nations explored in the novels through a vehicle of espionage. One of the two societies, the Breen, insists on citizens hiding their biology, consigning their genetic heritage to the shadows while random, noncontrollable talents define who you are. They accept a sea of variants behind an outward conformity, celebrating diversity but being morally opposed to exhibiting it openly, and its people are all walking around in identical full-body suits. Yet this society is difficult to infiltrate. The other society, the Tzenkethi, is by contrast ordered and structured entirely on the basis of biology, where your genetic heritage determines who you are, where a form of diversity is celebrated precisely because all the myriad variants know their function and place, and where they advertise that function - and thus their biology - openly through visual cues, like the accepted range of their luminescence. Yet this society is relatively easy to insert operatives into.

There's so much ground here for consideration; I hope future stories place the Breen and Tzenkethi in context with one another.
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