The Aphorisms of Kherishdar
For the Ai-Naidar, a species of slim, gracile aliens, caste and tradition are not the shackles that imprison the spirit but the silences that make sense of the music of their lives. The Aphorisms of Kherishdar collects 25 short tales about what it is to have an Ai-Naidari soul: to find comfort in tradition, law and structure; to revere interdependence over individualism; to know one's place... to always have one. Also includes 5 full-color painted illustrations.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Heidicvlach - LibraryThing
These aphorisms are a collection of moments from the life of the Calligrapher, an alien being who is well aware humans exist and now translates his world for our benefit. Each chapter is a self ... Read full review
_The Aphorisms of Kherishdar_ is an excellent piece of sociological science fiction. It introduces the alien empire of Kherishdar through the perspective of one character, the Calligrapher. As a public-servant artist, he uses his talent to improve the lives of his lord's people. The "aphorisms" of the title are wise sayings that the Calligrapher renders in art and beautiful writing, usually as wall hangings but sometimes in other forms. They reveal much about the ideals of the Ai-Naidar, who value community and harmony, always seeking to place each person in precisely the right role within society.
This collection consists of 25 individual stories, each complete unto itself, yet forming a coherent story arc overall. Vocabulary words from the Ai-Naidari language provide an opening for each story, a treat for fans of alien/invented languages. Although the context is science fiction -- with planets, world-spanning Gates, and other tidbits of technology -- much of the flavor leans towards fantasy, with lords and illuminated manuscripts and gorgeous robes. Beautiful full-color illustrations accompany several of the stories, and the book itself is a treasure of creamy paper and delicate lettering.
Also worth noting is that _The Aphorisms of Kherishdar_ began as a cyberfunded creativity project. The stories appeared one at a time on the author's blog, with readers invited to sponsor them with donations. In the hardcopy collection, donor names appear in thanks for their patronage. Cyberfunded creativity is a fairly new and growing business model, with many variations; this collection is one of its more notable successes.
Most highly recommended.