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I'm trying to remember a story or series with a certain non-human species:

  • I believe they were roughly centaur-like, but IIRC their appearance did not feature prominently. Particularly I want to say they had two hands and four hooved legs. They may also have been carnivores.
  • Females were "normal size" (i.e. human size to horse size), but males were very small (smaller than domestic cats).
  • They were prolific breeders. Young were dropped and left to fend for themselves.
  • Females carry "husbands" in pouches (under their arms, IIRC).
  • A male becomes a notable character when he takes a human female as his "wife". In particular, he helps her out and tries to take care of her, and in some instances uses his small size to advantage (e.g. secretly scouting).
  • This particular male may have been unusually intelligent. He could talk, but IIRC was slightly child-like. (Females of the species are human-comparable.)
  • The work (though I'm not sure if it was the species as a whole, or just this particular male) specifically used the terms "husband" and "wife" describing the relation between the characters.

Anyone recall what work this was? (I think it was either a full-length book, or series of full-length books.)

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This is part of the David Brin Uplift universe. Specifically from Brightness Reef. The human female (named Rety) has been badly mistreated and the male (named yee) had been kicked out of the pouch by his former partner. Rety has a leather pouch she carries and yee takes up residence in it. They find that they could help each other. There are six species living on the world and the politics between them is a big part of the story.

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    Great series, highly recommend. There was also a GURPS handbook for the Jijo/Uplift setting (but I still preferred the dolphins). – Draco18s Dec 16 '17 at 3:32
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    Indeed, out of the five Uplift books I've read (Sundiver is not available in hardcover; grr...), I think Startide Rising was my favorite. Thanks for refreshing my memory! – Matthew Dec 19 '17 at 19:34

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