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Literature: Terra
Terra is a science fiction novel by Mitch Benn, which tells the story of a young human girl growing up on the planet Fnrr, where she was taken when a Fnrrn scientist believed her (constantly arguing) parents had abandoned her. It was published in July 2013. The sequel, Terra's World, was published in July 2014.

Not to be confused with the webcomic of the same name (which is what the Trivia and Character pages refer to).


Tropes found in this work include:

  • Alien Blood: When Terra sees a dark blue grav-bubble, her first thought is that it's the colour of Fnrrn blood.
  • The Alternet: Fnrrn society has the Source, a planet-wide information network accessed through the tablets everyone carries. The scientist who invented gravity-manipulation published his work on the Source, so that no one group would have access to it.
  • The B Grade: After she's done her homework, Fthfth calls her academic record up and spends her evenings glaring at the two occasions she only got a single star instead of a double, and vowing it will never happen again.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Defied Trope. Someone suggests this to Mrs Bradbury and turns out to be completely wrong. The baby just gave them new things to argue about, to the extent that they never actually gave her a name.
  • Fnrrns Love Shakespeare: Once the Fnrrns realise people can make up things that never happened and write them down, they become fascinated with the one planet that already does this.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: The Fnrrns (except the G'grk) create food with "protein manipulators", and view "eating animals" with distaste.
  • The Greys: The Fnrrns fit the physical description, apart from being tall: Lppb is "a tall, thin figure with a large bald grey head, large shiny black eyes, and a lipless mouth, clad in a shimmering one peice garment. They don't do Alien Abductions though, unless you count rescuing Terra.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: The second chapter is Lppb's perspective on planet Rrth. His main conclusion about the dominant life form is that Ymns Are Bastards.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Compositor Vstj is an academic rival to Lppb who disapproves of him bringing Terra to Fnrr, and is later rather detached and sarcastic when dealing with her. It becomes apparent by halfway through the book that he doesn't really bear her any animosity as such, and has his own problems. (This gets foreshadowed in Terra's play, where she carefully doesn't write the rival to Fnnr's greatest scientist as a villain, and the student playing him seems to be doing an impression of Vstj.)
  • The Klutz: Terra's friend Pktk, who can be relied upon to lose control of his grav-bubble, drop his computer slate, and get tongue-tied when asked a question.
  • No Accounting for Taste: The Bradburys' friends can't understand why they're still married.
    Some of them came to the conclusion that the Bradburys must like it that way. Arguing all the time was the thing that made them happy. But it didn't seem to make them happy at all.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: One of the things the other Fnrrns consider as marking the G'grk as hopelessly backward is that they believe in "invisible overlords".
  • Parental Substitute: Lbbp is this to Terra, raising her after he takes her back to Fnrrn. He doesn't consider himself her father though, and the one Fnrrn who does refer to him as such clearly does so because he's noticed it makes Terra uncomfortable.
  • The Perfectionist: Terra's friend Fthfth, who is the child of two brilliant scientists. Not only does she want to achieve academic brilliance and "invent time travel", she's also a very competitive athelete.
  • Proud Scholar Race: The Fnrrns are this. They have a democratic government, but the people vote for the politicians who are most likely to listen to the scientists, since they're obviously the sensible ones. The exception is...
  • Proud Warrior Race: The G'grk, a society on Fnrr that still believes in honour and glorious battle and a manifest destiny to conquer pretty much anywhere they want. Only they can't, because the Scholar Race areas of Fnrr have all the cool gadgets. Or so everyone thinks.
  • Punctuation Shaker: In addition to the lack of vowels in the Fnrrn language, there are also a lot of apostrophes.
  • School Play: Once the Fnrrns discover fiction, Fthfth suggests the Lyceum students put one on. When they don't feel any Ymn drama is exactly suitable, Terra writes one about the scientist who invented gravity manipulation.
  • Shrinking Violet: Pktk. One of the first Fnrrns to create his own stories, he never shows them to anyone, much less tries to get them published. He's panic-stricken when he's selected as the lead in the Lyceum play.
  • Stranger in a Strange School: Our proper intoduction to Terra as a character is when she's eleven Earth years old and starting at the Lyceum, which is Fnrrn high school. Terra grew up on Fnrr, but she still feels like an outsider sometimes, and her first day at school makes it worse.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The FaZoon, who have a Prime Directive, but occasionally come down to lesser civilisations and leave revelations they think they can handle. Lbbp finds them unbearably smug. When they visit in the book they leave a recipe for soup. It's very good soup, though.
  • Translation Convention: Spoken Fnrrn is represented as English in italics with a dash at the start rather than in quotation marks (which represents spoken English).
  • The Unpronouncable: The Fnrrn language has no vowels. Lbbp finds Earth language just has hard to parse (pronouncing "Earth" as "Rrth" and "Human" as "Ymn") and chooses the name "Terra" for the human child because it can be pronounced relatively easily as "T'rr".
Terminal WorldLiterature of the 2010sTerra Mirum Chronicles

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