William Hunt Jr. has created a gallery of character portraits from my novel The Last Legends of Earth using Wonder, an AI image generator. This medium is so condign with science fiction, I’m moved to display some of his portraits here along with quotes from the novel. The images occupy the synapse between text and our wordless selves, which urges me to keep accompanying quotes brief.
The Last Legends of Earth takes place seven billion years from now, long after the Sun has died. Alien beings reconstruct homo sapiens from our fossilized DNA drifting as debris in deep space. Upon an artificial planetary system called Chalco-Doror, we are reborn to serve as bait in a battle to the death between humankind’s re-animator and a predator that feeds vampire-like on the suffering of intelligent lifeforms.
Gai, the re-animator, in its natural morphology:
“They jumped about and faced a mass of lashing cilia far bigger than a man and jointed like an upright centipede, eyes two black lenses above scissoring mouthparts.” … “They gazed at the mountainous and alien shape of convoluted insect-parts and viper coils.”
Gai in the human form adopted for interfacing with human bait:
“They whirled about as one and faced Gai in her human guise smiling benignly, star-gleam eyes bright as laserpoints. ‘Better that we part like this, and you remember me as an alien that learned something of being human.’ “
Chalco-Doror, a binary system, consists of a radiant star and a gravitationally collapsed object, a black hole. Each is a machine intelligence capable of assuming human form:
“The Aesirai, who currently dominate all of Doror and parts of Chalco, are humans selectively bred to imitate the tribe of their founder, Egil Grimson, a man who had lived and died on Earth as a Viking, a sea rover in the third millennium before human extinction.”
The Weed Woman
“The Weed Woman only looked human. She had been created by one of the many powers—the spiders, lizard angels, Fire, the Face of Night, or maybe even the World Eater. She was already there when the first people arrived.”
“The besieged hamlet had no one to appeal to for help but a legendary figure called Sword, reputed to wander the wild worlds seeking evil distorts to slay.”
“During the sapiens era on Earth, their primary ancestor, a gecko (family Gekkonidae), fairly reliably traces their origin to the island of Vanua Levu. A billion years after the end of the sapiens era, the Tryl evolved from that small creature. They had the stature of humans, though far cleverer and more compassionate. Earth’s preeminent intelligence, the Tryl produced the greatest technological artifacts in world history.”
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