(To read "The Confessions of Miss Dish" click HERE.)
Other Novels of the NUIT Omniverse
Titanic space-dwelling creatures called cloudwhales of the Oberon Ceti star-system are the only natural source of a meta-conducting material that makes faster-than-light communication possible throughout the human-inhabited galaxy. To synthesize this substance is so-far almost impossible and enormously expensive when the process does succeed. However the cloudwhales are something like living space colonies whose life-process is mostly outside-in compared with a planetary biosphere. In fact a complete inner ecology that thrives in micro-gravity is totally internal. These amazing living worlds periodically recharge their energy through a sort of cometary, sundiving life-cycle. There are even colonies of human beings living inside some cloudwhales. However there are also those in the same solar-system that harvest the calves of the cloudwhales for that extremely valuable metaconductor . . .
The cloudwhales spend most of their existence in the inner Oort clouds of diffuse cometary dust and ice surrounding the Oberon Ceti star-system. Periodically in order to recharge their total energy and renew the vigor of the inner ecosystem, each cloudwhale encysts and inserts itself into a cometary sundive. The cloudwhales usually enter this process in groups, which become chains of serial, living comets. At perihelion, or closest approach to the star, following what human colonists call the "Halcyon Days," of emergence the cloudwhale absorbs a blast of raw solar energy during "starbite." This also triggers the conception of twin calves that are born decades later during the outbound journey.
External view of a group of Cloudwhales in the Oort Cloud.
Inside the Cloudwhale
(Flying tailward along the inner tunnel through the forest toward the Horns of Tao)
More Images from inside the Cloudwhale:
The brothers Jib and Keter exploring the inner forest of the cloudwhale called by humans, Walt Whitman.
The flipsides native to the microgravity environment within the cloudwhale, like many of the faunal forms, are six-limbed and bear multiple eyes on their surface, as well as having quite a few brains within their light, spongy bodies.
A feature of the inner world that only appears during the periodic "winter" of the sundive cycle, the array of bioluminous accretions within the open cavern inside the cloudwhale's headend is called by humans "Paisley Sky Mouth."
Young Jesse Surplus lives on Shell Island on the oceanic planet Tefnut. As the moister and slightly smaller partner of a Rocheworld, or double-planet, Tefnut inter-orbits with the dryer and slightly larger planet Shu. Jesse is the son of a hereditary squire and he lives a life of patrician privilege at Paradise Park, yet he suffers intense loneliness and frustration. His primary consolation and joy is his close friendships among the alien natives, an amphibious species called by human, Shellcats. Jesse hides personal and family secrets he feels terrified of having discovered. Furthermore, the Shellcat species as a whole conceal a truly bizarre secret about their reproductive behavior; they keep this hidden from humans at any cost. The worst challenge arises for this young man one night when he learns that secret of the Shellcats, and the repercussions convulse both worlds . . .
Solo asteroid miner Nathan Goldminde has terrible secrets in his past. A native of Ring City that surrounds the Earth in geo-synchronous orbit, in his early youth Nathan fell in with the wrong crowd. Then in a terrible accident where a young woman died, though he was ruled innocent of responsibility, he carried the terrible burden of knowing he was responsible. Neverthless he was assigned rehab and the young woman's father, the famous Dr. Nicholas Stableford, became his counselor and personal mentor. Now, several decades later, Nathan is alone in his asteroid mining ship between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter when he receives a distress call from the cometary snowball Chiron, believed to be uninhabited and lifeless. When he responds and speeds toward Chiron, a tractor beam seizes his ship and he crashes into the surface. Regaining consciousness, he finds himself within a hollow world full of alien life…