My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Caterpillar is a short science fiction story set on a desolate planet with two suns. It was invaded by Earth and the native society was torn apart in the aftermath. All of the natives go through several stages of development, and can only mate and reproduce in one of them. The remaining king of the Levelers is traveling to the caves where this mating takes place. His caravan is attacked, and he is the only survivor. He is rescued by a reclusive member of the Summoners. The days they spend together cause both to re-think many of their former notions about themselves, their world, and society, and the invading Eathers.
The most intriguing thing about this story is the characters. The focus is completely on Lyndel, the Leveler, and Aton, the Summoner. They are well-drawn and complex. The character growth is subtle and unfolds slowly, something not easy to do in a short work. Neither is completely likable, nor completely unlikable. The world is developed well, and the desolation and barren feel is quite real. The development takes place well withing the context of the story, without resorting to long passages of information that could detract from a short work.
This is a good short read. It will make you think about a lot of things, including how we see others and ourselves. I do feel that I have to give a warning about male-male adult content, for those that may want to avoid it, but the story is far more than the brief instance included. It is worth a read.