I read this story as a serial in Analog (or possibly Asimov's), probably around the year 2000.

It was set on an alien world that had received at least two waves of human settlers. The second wave conquered the first, whom they saw as docile and subservient.

A young man visiting his relatives on the main continent awakes to a rebellion by the servants, who kill almost all of the family and loyal retainers. I believe the boy is smuggled out of the property. I'm not sure who else escapes with him, but very shortly he is on his own. After discovering that the rebellion is more widespread than a single plantation, he decides to hike across the continent to the narrow isthmus connecting to his home continent (a much smaller land), hoping that the rebellion did not reach that far.

Along the way he meets a native creature. A Sasquatch-type creature who apparently does not sleep, but shifts personalities at morning and evening as different parts of its brain sleep during the night and day.

This creature leads him to a village of more "civilized" natives. I can't remember his interaction with them other than they having some odd healing ability.

He outfits himself to cross a mountain range, which he does, though he ends up near starved and deprived. He is rescued by a human girl from an independent village (never part of a plantation). After recovering, she helps him to escape her village when she discovers her family will be turning him over to the new government. He wants her to come with him but she declines, knowing that his family would never accept her.

Eventually he is captured near his goal and put in prison. After some time there, he is turned over to the government of the smaller continent, as the rebellion did not occur there, and the two continents are coming to terms and recognizing each other as nations.

Can anyone tell me the name, and whether this has been published as a novel?

  • I think I've read something like this by Jack Vance. But the name isn't coming. Commented May 26, 2016 at 18:30
  • About how old is the story?
    – user14111
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 8:37
  • About 15 years, I think. Within a couple years of that. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


This sounds like The Longest Way Home by Robert Silverberg. It serialized in Asimov's Science Fiction Oct-Nov 2001, Dec 2001 and Jan 2002.

The first wave of Earth colonists are known as the Folk; the second wave, who subjugated them, are the Masters.

The young man is Joseph, eldest son of Great House Keilloran, who is visiting relatives thousands of kilometres from his family when the Folk revolt. After some attempts to contact home he is forced to flee alone and attempt to trek back home.

The intelligent native is called a "Noctambulo" and it actually has 2 distinct brains which take turns being active during daytime and nighttime. He initially meets and befriends the night-active brain and then must try to make friends with the day-active brain when it wakes up.

The "more civilized" natives are called "Indigenes" by the human colonists, and have their own reasons for tolerating the human invaders of their world.

In the end he is captured by an army of the Folk, but they transport him to the enclave of the Masters near his home in the interests of maintaining an armistice.

According to ISFDb (link above) it was published as a hardcover in 2002, a paperback in 2003 and it appears to have just been re-released this month by Amazon as a trade paper.

Links to a couple of reviews that may have more details.


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