Friday, September 10, 2010

Jack Vance's "The Mitr" (short story): Man is sometimes so heartless

This is the second Vance story I've read about rape; parts of "The Languages of Pao" has women in far worse position.

Story summary.

Mitr is the only human at a place full of large intelligent talking beetles; beetles who are friends, even though they sometimes suck her blood! She's living an animal existence here; apparently, she's been alone since she was a baby.

On this fine day, 3 men arrive in a spaceship - the first she's seen of her own kind. Her curiosity brings her to their notice; their reaction is to rape her!


  1. There is a Hindi word pronounced "mitr", meaning "friend". I don't know if that is related to title of this story, but beetles use of this term for all humans suggests it might be.

Fact sheet.

First published: Vortex Science Fiction, Vol 1 No 1 (1953).
Rating: A.
Related: Stories of Jack Vance.