Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Tweel. Tweel was created by Stanley Weinbaum (Adaptive Ultimate, Ham Hammond, Haskel van Manderpootz) and appeared in “A Martian Odyssey” (Wonder Stories, July 1934) and “Valley of Dreams” (Wonder Stories, Nov. 1934).
Tweel is a native Martian. Tweel's race looks vaguely ostrich-like, with a beak of sorts, and "a few feathery appendages," but the beak is flexible, their bodies have four-toed feet and four-fingered hands, long necks, small heads, and round bodies. They are intelligent, and are able to pick up English words far faster than humans can grasp their language, and they understand math and logic, even if they think somewhat differently than humans. They even make guns, a sure sign of intelligence in pulp science fiction. Tweel in particular is friendly towards humans, helping the narrator of "A Martian Odyssey" out of a couple of jams.
* I'm including the Tweel stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of their historical importance. Tweel is the first alien character in American science fiction who is legitimately alien in both looks and personality, in drives and motives. Previous aliens had usually looked like humans of various sorts and had always had very human personalities, cultures, and motivations. Not Tweel, though; he was genuinely alien and a genuinely new concept to American sf in 1934. Had Stanley Weinbaum lived longer he would no doubt have created several things as new and different to the genre as Tweel. But Weinbaum died too young, leaving Tweel as his main legacy behind. No small thing, that.
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