Iyesta Observatory:

—written while “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” playing in the background.

Todays preview is part of the redone introduction to Illitock.

Before I go any further, I have to say that I love Illitock. In some ways, I think the grumpy old bug is my favorite character, and he looks absolutely wonderful here. Yeah, Jessica Tindal is looking pretty slammin’ as a friend of mine recently said, but Illitock is the king.

The idea of the Threllichock came about from the premise of ant farms

Years ago, I was looking at one in a science class and I started to wonder what would happen if they evolved into sentience. I watched them for a number of hours as they dug tunnels and stuff and began picturing them really big…and still digging tunnels and burrows,

Then, I wondered what would happen if they discovered that there were other intelligent beings out there as well. Would they continue to build? Only this time would they build like the other beings out there…in an attempt to understand the other creatures in their world?

That was how a large early chunk of the Threllichock culture came about. I kept picturing micro-cities spread throughout the empty areas of the world. Scaled down replicas of human cities…exact to the smallest detail…perfectly habitable…none of which were built by human hands. A totally alien psychology, based on the concept of a former hive mind that gained individuality. A society where memories had been passed down through duplicated neurons to cocooned young. A society where the concept of individuality or “singularity” has a very important meaning.

My whole understanding of hive mind psychology, and how I wanted to integrate it into the Threllichock was heavily influenced by one of my favorite authors: F. Paul Wilson. People, you owe it to yourselves to check his incredible Repairman Jack series, and the novels that are tied in with it (The Adversary Cycle). The inspiraton for how I pictured the Threllichock hive mind comes from his novel “Hosts” (A Repairman Jack book). Wilson’s influence has wound it’s way throughout all of this work so far (as well as the man from Providence who has been an influence on Wilson as well.) But the Adversary Cycle though, taken in it’s entirety is an incredible piece of work (and surpasses the Dark Tower series in a number of ways) And Rasalom is a bad ass. You think Bellisarius is fucking bad, just read about what this guy is capable of…he makes old Berand look like fucking Mr. Rogers.

But back to Threllichock.: Threllichock speech, native speech is a proto-Sumerian dialect that was spoken by the original citizens of Hamoukar (and has been distorted to their own needs and physiologies) Of course, due to their mouths, and teeth, they tend to speak with a SSSSSS sound to human speech. (Something I remember hearing a lot of from speech therapy when I was a child) Their writing is pictographic, and is based off of Sumerian Cuneiform. While scientists talk about Sumer and it’s cuneiform, I’m shadng things a touch by putting pictographic writing in the hands of the Hamoukar people and their descendants in order to give the characters in my story a common language, and a common source. (Though with commentary I’ve seen about things coming out of the Ubaid Period, the common source may not be a fictional conceit of the author after all ;) )

Threllichock are matriarchal, and still have shared memories and impressions through cloned neurons. And while all sentient Threllichock sprang from Illitocks exposure to the Well of Possibilities not all Threllichock have reached Singularity yet. In a number of Hives, there are still members who are part of a dwindling collective, the last members of the Unity.

In conclusion…I abso-fucking-lutely love them. I would give a lot to see Illitock on the big screen someday ;)