By Robert Silverberg
Who knoweth the spirit of fellows that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? –Ecclesiastes 3:21
Okay, they did resemble elephants, it cannot be denied. That led many of us to underestimate the Nildoror and their evidently extra fearsome commensals, the Sulidoror.
But extraterrestrial beings shouldn't ever be judged via human criteria, because the corporation discovered to its rate while Holman's global, now once more referred to as Belzagor, used to be given again to the natives and the corporate despatched packing.
Now Edmund Gunderson, as soon as head of the Company's operation in this global, has come again around the galaxy to settle previous ratings with the Nildoror. If he also can get them to recognize his lifestyles.
Downward to the Earth is a vintage from the golden age of Robert Silverberg's profession within the Seventies. His homage to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, it is still as clean and robust this day because the day it was once written. Our Orb version can have a map of Gunderson's trip throughout Belzagor and a brand new advent via the author.
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The ceremony had become a mosaic of brief utterances blared forth from every part of the group in a random rotation. A few of the nildoror were up and moving slowly in place, lifting their feet, putting them down. Lightning speared through the sky. Despite the closeness of the atmosphere, Gundersen felt a chill. He saw himself as a wanderer on a prehistoric Earth, spying on some grotesque conclave of mastodons. All the things of man seemed infinitely far away now. The drama was reaching some sort of climax.
Gundersen, high atop Srin'gahar's broad back, considered telling the nildor to move along. The other four nildoror, having satisfied themselves about the cause of the commotion, had already done that and were nearly out of view at the far end of the lake. But he decided to stay a while; he knew that a display of snobbery towards his own species would win him no credit with Srin'gahar. Van Beneker turned to Gundersen and called out, 'Morning, sir! Glad to see you! ' The four Earth couples clambered down from their trailer.
He glanced at the tourists. They were eyeing Srin'gahar, who had wandered off towards the bush and was energetically ripping soft boughs loose for his midday meal. Watson nudged Miraflores, who quirked his lips and shook his head as if in disapproval. Gundersen could not hear what they were saying, but he imagined that they were expressing scorn for Srin'gahar's enthusiastic foraging. Evidently civilized beings were not supposed to pull their meals off trees with their trunks. ' 'That's very kind of you,' Gundersen said.
Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg