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Characters / Doona

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Characters from Decision at Doona, first book in the Doona trilogy:

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     Humans/ Terrari — Doona Colony 

Kenneth "Ken" Reeve

Husband of Patricia, father to Ilsa and Todd, Ken is the viewpoint character for much of the novel. His official title on the Doona settlement mission is Jack-of-All-Trades. Ken is elected by the settlers to initiate first contact with the Hrrubans.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Ken's official job title for the Doona colony, and what he trained for while still on Earth. He mentions early on in the book that it can be risky to take as many general courses as he did, without specializing in a single field, but his gamble paid off when he and his family were selected for "active duty," i.e. being sent to colonize a far-off planet.

Patricia "Pat" Reeve

Married to Ken, mother of Ilsa and Todd. Patricia struggles to control her son Todd's behavior, but moving to Doona gives her hope for her children's future.
  • Hysterical Woman: Patricia is often described bursting into tears, needing to be comforted by her husband Ken.

Ilsa Reeve

Ken and Patricia's daughter, Ilsa is a quiet, sober 10 year old who has spent much of her life helping her mother look after her wild younger brother.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Polite and withdrawn, Ilsa is the responsible sibling. She's spent as much time worrying about her little brother as her parents.
  • Forgettable Character: Ilsa's parents spend so much time worrying about Todd's antics that they often forget or ignore Ilsa. When Marie McKee is poisoned by the native rroamal vine, Patricia even forgets Ilsa was told to stay in the Reeve's cabin and starts making dinner for the colonists gathered at the McKee's house.
    Full dark has settled when Ilsa knocked apologetically at the door.
    "I waited and waited and I'm awful hungry, mother, and is Maria alright?" She asked tentatively.
    "Oh good heavens, I completely forgot we don't have an automat feeder," Pat cried, full of remorse for her neglect of the biddable child.

Todd Reeve

Ken and Patricia's son, a wild and rambunctious 6 year old whose uncontrollable outbursts and put him at odds with the behavioral restrictions on Earth. As difficult of a time Todd has relating to his Terrari peers, he immediately falls in with the Hrrubans, particularly the young Hrriss.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Todd's boisterous, unrestrained behavior might have been considered typical fare for a 6-year old back when the book was written (1969), especially compared to the other children of the Doona colony who have learned to act meek and polite as is required of them on the overcrowded Earth. But taking into account the context of his actions, and viewing his behavior with a critical modern eye, they seem more indicative of an ambiguous social disorder. As evidence:
    • Todd's peers, and even his own sister, have no issues following the regimented behavioral guidelines that control citizens on the overcrowded Earth. Todd's outbursts are depicted as uncontrollable and undesirable, despite his family's attempt to use "tranquilizers, sleep training, everything" to get him to quiet down. Todd is also unconcerned or unable to comprehend that his family is punished for his outbursts, despite numerous visits from their sector's "behavioral proctor" and the extreme rationing they face whenever a complaint is made about Todd.
    • Todd repeatedly demonstrates issues with authority and following rules.
    • Todd displays a distinct lack of empathy for his human peers. When Marie McKee is painfully poisoned by a rroamal vine, his only reaction is to roll his eyes and tell the adults that he warned her not to touch it, expressing annoyance at Marie's screams of pain. While he does go to the Hrruban village to retrieve Mrrva (who has medical knowledge that can help Marie), his initial response to her pain is telling.
    • Much of Ken's inner monologue concerning Todd in the early part of the book revolves around his displeasure with his son's behavior: his shame over Todd's oddness, his anger at Todd's inability to follow orders, and his willingness to berate and physically punish Todd for social transgressions. Even in situations where Todd's actions were not the cause of harm, Ken notes with annoyance that his son always ends up looking guilty.
    • Todd's behavior only starts to improve once he becomes interested in the Hrrubans. His quick study of their language, customs, and behavior seems like a classic case of hyperfocus and hyperfixation. Ken learns that he can control Todd if he threatens to keep Todd from interacting with the Hrrubans, either by forbidding him from playing with his friend Hrriss or threatening to remove Todd from Doona altogether.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish sibling. Todd's wild behavior and lack of awareness contributed to many of the Reeve's issues back on the crowded Earth.
  • Going Native: Played straight in that Todd prefers the company of the native Hrrubans to that of his human peers, and is delighted when Hrrestan proposes that the Hrrubans will assume babysitting duty over Todd, and doubly so when his parents accept the offer. Played with, in that the Hrrubans aren't actually native to Doona, but are an intelligent alien species with a technological level surpassing Earth's — but Todd still excels in his study of Hrruban language, culture, and customs, to the point that he's the only human capable of serving as an ambassador to the First Speaker because he's the only human who can speak high/ formal Hrruban, better even than some of the Hrruban technicians themselves.
  • Interspecies Friendship: With Hrriss, a young Hrruban. The two are nearly inseparable.

Hu Shih

A Metropologist and leader of the Doona Settlement. He is fiercely devoted to upholding the Non-Cohabitation Principle, and advocates for the settlers to leave Doona in order to avoid inflicting lasting cultural harm on the Hrrubans. He is married to Phyllis.

Phyllis Hu

Wife of Shih.

Sam Gaynor

One of the men assigned to the Doona Colony. Sam turns out to be highly allergic to the Hrrubans, requiring a "massive dose" of antihistamines before he can interact with the furry, cat-like aliens. His wife, Aurle, arrives on Doona after the first winter.

Aurle Gaynor

Married to Sam Gaynor.

Victor Solinari

The storemaster of the Doona Colony. Married to Anne Solinari.

Anne Solinari

Victor's wife.

Lee Lawrence

The socio-psychologist of the Doona settlement mission, married to Sally Lawrence.

Sally Lawrence

Wife of Lee Lawrence, Sally brings her guitar from earth.

Macy "Mace" McKee

A settler assigned to the Doona Colony, Mace is a man of many talents — including glass blowing and gem cutting. His wife Dot and twin daughters join the colony after the first winter.

Dot McKee

Mace's wife and mother of the McKee twins.

Marie McKee

One of Macy and Dot's twins, Marie nearly died when she was poisoned by the native rroamal vines of Doona. Mrrva's medical knowledge saved her life.

Ezra Moody

The doctor assigned to the Doona colony. Ezra is also mentioned to have brought a violin from earth. He is married to Kate Moody, the colony pediatrician.

Kate Moody

The colony's pediatrician and Ezra's wife, Kate Moody arrived with the women and children after the first winter. Though she has a stern demeanor, she's fiercely protective of the colony's children (even Todd, with whom she quickly became fed up with during the long journey from Earth).

Bill Moody

Ezra and Kate's son, Bill is often given the job of running messages between the adults of the Doona Colony.

Martin Ramasan

One of the men assigned to the Doona colony. Married to Fawzia.

Fawzia Ramasan

Married to Martin Ramasan.

Alfred Ramasan

Martin and Fawzia's son.

Ben Adjei

Veterinarian and animal handler assigned to the Doona Colony, Ben's animal expertise comes from years of training on Earth. Married to Akosua.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Rides a bull at one point — see Horseback Heroism.
  • Horseback Heroism: When Commander Landreau's Spacedep forces have rounded the colonists up in the barn and have started herding the huge snakes of Doona towards the colonists, Ben and his wife lead a charge out of the barn while astride the bull. The charge distracts Spacedep for long enough that the colonists are able to turn the tide of battle.
    "The main door had been flung wide and from the barn charged every head of the stock— horses, cattle, pigs. Leading them on the bull, a pitchfork carried like an archaic lance, was Ben Adjei, his wife clinging to him on the back of their improbable mount. The guards were overrun by this unlikely cavalry before they could recover their rifles."

Akosua Adjei

Wife of Ben Adjei.

Abe Dautrish

One of the men assigned to the Doona colony. Married to Becky Dautrish.

Becky Dautrish

Wife of Abe Dautrish.

Buzz Eckerd

One of the men assigned to the Doona colony. Married to Anne Eckerd.

Anne "Anneck" Eckerd

Buzz's wife, everyone calls her "Anneck" to avoid confusion with Anne Solinari.


     Humans/ Terrari — Other 

Captain Ali Kiachif

Captain of the passenger and cargo transport ship Astrid, Ali Kiachif is brash and practical. His ship's schedule is packed tight with the amount of deliveries he has to make, and he doesn't have time for the "nonsense" the colonists are spouting about upholding the Non-Cohabitation Principle.

Commander Al Landreau

A militaristic man in the employ of Earth's Spacedep (Space Department), Landreau doesn't believe the colonists when the tell him they've found sentient aliens inhabiting Doona. As Spacedep was in charge of surveying Doona prior to clearing it for colonization, it's Landreau's people who would get the blame for missing something as important as a sentient alien species on the surface of the planet (not to mention the other dangerous fauna discovered by the colonists). Landreau is quick to look down on others, and is even willing to subject children as young as Todd to invasive interrogation techniques if it means he gets answers.

Mr. E. K. Chaminade

A representative of Earth's Codep (Colonian Department), Mr. Chaminade leads a contingent of investigators to Doona to suss out whether the colonists' claims of intelligent native life are true or not. Without proof of a sentient alien species, Doona would remain under Codep's jurisdiction.

Admiral Afroza Sumitral

An admiral in Earth's Alredep (Alien Relations Department), Sumitral's people would take control of the Doona colony should evidence of a sentient alien species be brought to light.

     Hrrubans — Doona 




Son of Hrrestan and Mrrva, Hrriss is young Hrruban who befriends Todd Reeve.
  • Interspecies Friendship: With Todd Reeve.
    "Hrriss has ever been a lone cub— which happens to some— but in Zodd he has found a heart that reaches to his, and a mind that understands all that is not easy to say in words. This is rare."
    Hrrestan, on the friendship between Hrriss and Todd




     Hrrubans — Other 

Hrruna, First Speaker

The highest authority among the Hrrubans, Hrruna is a senior Hrruban charged with leading the council of speakers. He has worked tirelessly to stave off the decline of his race, and opening Rrala (Doona) up for colonization is a project he has taken a personal interest in.

Hrrto, Second Speaker for External Affairs

The speaker whose department handles Exploration, Defense, and colonization. While the best and brightest of Hrruban youth are interested in joining the department, many have to be rejected due to poor physical condition, and those that do make it in to the program are underutilized due to a shortfall of "appropriations." Second Speaker Hrrto's goals are fully aligned with the First Speaker's in regards to opening up more planets to colonization.

Third Speaker for Internal Affairs

Curmudgeonly and suspicious, the Third Speaker is totally opposed to wasting resources on a pastoral colony like Rrala.

Fourth Speaker for Education

The speaker who reports on the state of education among the Hrrubans, Fourth Speaker has only bad news for the council. According to his report, less than one half of one percent of the maturing generation has so much as expressed an interest in "additional training" beyond mandated education, falling far short of the numbers needed to replace aging doctors, teachers, engineers, and specialists who do mining and exploratory work on far-off planets. The Fourth Speaker's interests align with the First Speaker's, in that he fears for the future of the Hrrubans when the majority of the population has grown complacent.

Fifth Speaker for Health and Medicine

The speaker charged with representing the health interests of the Hrrubans at council meetings, Fifth Speaker reminds his fellow council members of the increasing rates of crushing apathy, insensate violence, and suicide among the Hrruban populace (restricted as it is to overpopulated dormitories with insufficient nutrition and little stimulation). His concerns align with the First Speaker's, in that he believes that sending colonists to Rrala will allow Hrrubans to thrive under conditions that will promote health and vitality.

Sixth Speaker for Production

The speaker who reports on the Hrruban production and manufacturing capabilities, his news is not as grim as that of his peers — at least not yet. Although most the the production lines are automated, Sixth Speaker is wise enough to realize that personnel training will quickly become an issue.

Seventh Speaker for Management

Eighth Speaker for Computers

Hrral, Senior Scout Chief

Charged with finding planets suitable for colonization by the Hrrubans.


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