The title character of Kelvoo’s Testimonial is a kloormar. Kelvoo’s species are collectively known as the kloormari.
When I started writing Kelvoo’s Testimonial, I had an image of Kelvoo in my head. I created a rather crude line drawing of a kloormari as you can see here.
You’ll notice that the drawing includes an artist’s signature. If you wonder who Y. Sakamoto is, she’s a minor character in the book who was part of the human science team that initiated first contact with the kloormari. Yuki drew the sketch based on her observations of the kloormari.
The kloormari are intellectually superior to humans – vastly superior! Paradoxically, before first contact, they lived a stone-age existence in terms of technology. To thrive and survive, the kloormari had no need for advanced technology since they and their planet were perfectly adapted to one another. If necessity is the mother of invention, the kloormari could be thought of as orphans.
Kloormari intelligence is the result of their hyperthymestic memories. From the moment of birth, a kloormar will remember every sight, sound, and other types of stimuli. A kloormar only needs to be shown or told something once to have it committed to memory. As a result, the kloormari rapidly learned to communicate with the humans and embraced human technology at a pace never seen before in other species. The kloormari do have difficulty understanding human emotions and many aspects of human behavior… just like many humans themselves!
On first sight, humans typically find the appearance of a kloormar to border on grotesque or frightening. The same is true when a kloormar first sets its eye on a human.
At the top of a kloormar is a dome-shaped structure on a stalk. Humans tend to assume that the structure is a head on top of a neck. The dome is actually the kloormar’s segmented eye. The eye has a 360 degree horizontal and 180 degree vertical arc of vision. To humans, a kloormar’s eye is the most striking feature due to its bright yellow coloration. A kloormar has no distinct structure that would be equivalent to a head.
Four flexible cone shaped structures are found on a kloormar’s shoulders. These are the auditory organs (ears). The kloormari can swivel their ears to increase the clarity of a sound and to determine the direction of its source.
The kloormari have no front or back side due to their double-sided torsos. A kloormar can move “forward” or “backward”, relative to an observer, with equal ease. On each side of the torso are four vocal outlets of varying sizes. This allows a kloormar to produce polyphonic sounds with frequencies from the human range of hearing and beyond, well into the ultrasonic range. The kloormari can perfectly imitate any sound that a human is capable of hearing. This includes all manner of speech, music, and even sounds from mechanical equipment and nature. A kloormar can hold a conversation with a being on one side while simultaneously conversing with another being on the other side.
Below the middle of the torso, a kloormar has a pouch on each side of the body. Although the pouch appears identical on each side, the pouch on one side is for ingesting food and the other is for reproduction. The reproductive pouch can host a developing kloormari embryo while it grows into a fully formed child.
A final pair of openings at the bottom of the torso are used for breathing and to detect odors.
Like a human, a kloormar has two upper and two lower limbs. Unlike a human, each arm has two elbows and each lower limb has two knees. On the back of each kloormari hand are several dozen tendrils that can be moved independently. Six manipulators extend from the palm of each hand with each manipulator resembling an index finger and thumb.
Between the topmost and lowest limbs, a kloormari has a total of eight clasper limbs, each tipped with a manipulator. In addition to being able to move quickly in an upright position, a kloormar can lie down and move very quickly using all of its limbs, “centipede style”.
The external surfaces of a kloormar may appear to consist of exoskeletal plates, but on closer examination, a kloormar is covered in a tough, thick epidermis, similar to the skin of a rhinoceros. A kloormar’s skin is medium grey, with tiny specks of red and blue. The number of blue specks tends to increase as a kloormar ages. A kloormar’s lifespan usually extends just beyond 300 years.
The accompanying diagram is my own very poor color rendition of the frontal view of a kloormar, drawn in pencil crayon. Some say that my illustration has a certain “homespun charm”. Personally, I think it’s absolutely awful! While I’m writing this blog post, I’m starting the process of finding an illustrator who can create a quality, professional image for use on the book cover and elsewhere.
I’ve enjoyed designing the kloormari species. Their intelligence and physical attributes will be featured prominently in various parts of Kelvoo’s Testimonial.
Blog posts in chronological order
What is Kelvoo's Testimonial?
A bit about me
The publishing process - Editorial Evaluation
Who or what are the Kloormari?
What's the twist that differentiates Kelvoo's Testimonial?
Which issues does Kelvoo's Testimonial address?
Where did the idea of Kelvoo's Testimonial originate?
Is Kelvoo's Testimonial intended to reflect the experiences of native people in the Americas?
Book cover - Initial concepts
Depicting Kelvoo - My work with an amazing artist
Book cover - Final selection
Kelvoo.com website launch!
Original Song #1 - The Boys of Jezebel's Fury
Original Song #2 - Home on the Yangtze
Original Song #3 - Flying Away
My First Printed Copy
My First Review and Bookstore Order!
Now Available at Bolen Books!
Kelvoo's Testimonial gets a Kirkus Starred Review!
Official Launch Day!
A Sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial?
Come Visit Me on Mastodon
Phenomenal News from Kirkus Reviews!
First Draft of Kelvoo's Terra Completed!
Kelvoo's Terra - Cover Reveal!
Kelvoo and Kindle Unlimited
Kelvoo's Terra - Official Launch!
Kelvoo's Books in your Local Bookstore
Kelvoo's Terra - First Amazon Reviews