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The Silk and the Song is a 1956 short story by Charles Louis Fontenay.

The descendants of human explorers have been reduced to beasts of burden and transportation by the native Hussirs. Only a small band of humans living in the wild who possess a couple of ancient artifacts and nursery rhymes linking them to their glorious past. The Star Tower of their ancestors however may deliver their kind to salvation.

A young man named Alan risks all everything to flee his owner and plays a key role in challenging the Hussirs and reclaiming humanity’s destiny.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Ambiguous Ending: The resolution of the story is left for the reader's interpretation.
  • Born Into Slavery: Alan born and raised on a human farm as a mount and slave.
  • Giving Them the Strip: Mara had to drop down her pants to escape being shot at by a Hussir when they got caught in a branch.
  • Enslaved Elves: The descendants of the humans on the Hussir world were originally explorers but where later captured and stripped of their technology and reduced to animals.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Wild Humans can be considered this, as the Hussirs told lies that the Wild Humans were cannibals to prevent their human slaves from siding with them.
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon: The Wild Humans of Haafin use zirds, bird and reptile hybrid, to convince human slaves to escape.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Alan had a brief dalliance with a young woman from his herd before the Hussir caught them.
  • La Résistance: The Wild Humans of Haafin that seek to free their enslaved brothers and sisters.
  • Malicious Slander: Hussirs telling lies that humans were cannibals that the human slaves rose to fight against the Wild Human liberators.
  • Murderous Thighs: Mara tries to fight a Hussir by leaping behind and locking her legs around its body and grappling for its spear.
  • Naked Camouflage: The Wild Humans of Haafin are forced to strip their clothes to avoid being caught by the Hussirs when their plan to take the city fails. They hide amongst an angry mob of human slaves making it impossible to locate them.
  • Naked First Impression: This is how Alan met Mara and her vice versa. The first time when he was ridden by his owner. And the second when he escaped from his ranch.
  • People Farms: The Hussirs use humans as transportation and food. Ranches of humans exist for the sole purpose of breeding them and producing milk.
  • The Prophecy: According to the ancient tellings of the Haafin, if one was to bring a special silk shawl to the Star Tower humans would be free.
  • Prophecy Twist: Mara and Alan make it to the Star Tower which they believe once they entered some form of magic would be cast and free the humans from Hussir rule. It wasn't simple, but following an ancient song, they manage to start the Star Tower which was actually a ship to a return course to Earth. They then use injections to go into hibernation with the silk relaying a message for help once they get to Earth.
  • Rebel Leader: The Refuge.
  • Shameful Strip: The Hussirs did this to the ancestors of Alan and Mara. After being stripped of their clothes and technology they were reduced as animals.
  • Slave Race: The humans in this story.
  • Suspended Animation: Alan and Mara undergo this to reach Earth.
  • Undercover As Lovers: Alan uses this to fool a Hussir, telling him that Mara is his mate.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Mara and Alan obviously have feelings for each other. Alan's is more apparent as the two sneak through the city in their birthdays clothes after the failed.
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