Middle Damned
A novel by Shane Stilson
In his mind Blake heard Tolmath greet him congenially. “Well met Stillwater. You fight with honor. I am glad. You will surely be one of us.”

Tolmath lived in a remote corner of the galaxy, on the moon of a giant gas planet. The relative time for the moon to orbit its parent planet, and the planet to orbit the blue sun created an asynchronous pattern of night and day. The cycle only repeated every fifty seven earth years. Tolmath's species, the Olimant, called the moon Blossnock, in respect to the giant trees covering the planet's surface. In fact, there was no discrimination between the trees and the moon itself; the forest was the moon and the moon the forest. Many lifeforms populated the environment, but the Olimant where the only higher functioning creatures there.


Tolamth and his tribe lived high in the tree tops, building homes from the three inch thick leaves of their benevolent, arboreal mother. The altitude of their abode obscured the ground below in darkness. Other things lived in the gloom beneath; large things, skulking in the shadows, nocturnal and voracious.

The setting seems angelic if reminisced, with soaring houses in the boughs of the trees. But fierce, war-like creatures dominated the ecosystem, ever in a struggle for survival. The Olimant were no less so. They lived on the knife's edge, where a slip meant a one thousand foot fall, and an appreciation for living in the moment had evolved in all creatures and societies. The residents of Blossnock understood to well the relationship between death, life and living with honor.

Tolmath led a secluded tribe of creatures who worshipped the trees and coexisted peaceably with all except those dwelt in perpetual shadow. The Olimant hunted these massive nocturnal beasts for sport. Tolmath was the most skilled warrior among them and wore the Pelvic bone of the deadly eight armed Versant as a head dress to prove it. 

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