Okay, so in part one I discussed the basic concept of the Outsiders–non-material entities that feed on order and that have destroyed the worlds that created them by creating so much chaos that intelligent life could no longer survive.
Being unbounded by time and space, it really doesn’t matter where the worlds they came from are located in space. I haven’t thought about the issue much–they are just from elsewhere in the universe. (I do like the way the name Aldebaran sounds–if I ever find a reason to tie a particular Outsider to a particular star I’ll probably use that one. I have no clue what kind of a star it is, though.)
Consequently, I have just been thinking of the Outsider home worlds in terms of colors, such as:
The Green World: The Green Outsiders are the creators of the ambimorphs–humans who are infected with an alien symbiote to become hermaphroditic human/plant hybrids. They don’t actually bring alien life forms to Earth, they alter the DNA of existing Earth plants to make them into copies of plants from their home world. They work primarily through the physical desires of humans, sex, food, sensation.
The Yellow World: The home of the minraudim, insect-like creatures made of hot metal. Again, nothing material is transported from the Yellow World, instead the Outsiders tell humans how to construct duplicates of the robotic insects that originally spawned them.
The Black World: The Outsiders from the Black World have given rise to the necroidim, a form of undead that were inspired in part by Clive Barker’s cenobites. The necroidim are created by using specific torture to keep a human being conscious past the point where his body dies. They weren’t featured in Catskinner’s Book, but a necroid is a major character in Cannibal Hearts.
The Blue World: The home world of the Outsiders who created the Blue Metal Boys–the “tin man” character in Catskinner’s Book. (Influenced by Uranian Willie in Burroughs’ Nova Express). Blue Metal Boys are humans who have the minerals in their bodies replaced with trans-uranium elements over time. This makes them very heavy, very strong, and very tough.
The Gray World: Home of the Outsiders that build “nests”, groups of humans who are all under the control of a single mind. Think Camazotz from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time.
The White World: The moon. In this cosmology, the moon was inhabited up until about fifteen thousand years ago, when it was rendered lifeless during the Selenite/Pangean war. Both sides used doomsday weapons, the Moon was stripped of its atmosphere and the Earth’s crust was shattered, breaking the one world continent into the grouping we have today and destroying the civilization that existed at that time. (Yeah, everything that is written in science textbooks is a plant by Outsiders to keep the truth hidden–didn’t you know that?)
Now, there are a couple of reasons why the Earth hasn’t been destroyed yet. First, there are several groups working at cross purposes and fighting continually with each other, so that no one master plan ever is brought to fruition. Second, and more important, the Outsiders have learned not to kill their hosts too quickly. As parasites, they have an optimum virulence–it is in their best interests to keep humanity continually building and being brought down, to keep the flow of disorder into the orthovore ecology at its height.
Okay, again I see I have rambled on longer than I intended. Looks like there will be a part III, so I can talk about what Catskinner is and how he is different from the Outsiders.