Post by Peter Trei Post by email@example.com
What's the skin colour of the Slan in the Van Vogt book? Is this ever defined?
Slans are to first glance indistinguishable from normal humans. The only
external difference is, iirc, 'silvery tendrils' in their hair, but they are able
to disguise this against casual inspection by careful attention to hairstyling.
Later in the book, when Jomy Cross needs to go out covertly among
humans or tendrilless slans he develops a further refinement of
disguise. From the 1951 book version, referring to whether his
hair was a wig covering his tendrils or was real:
It was, of course. Long since, he had discovered a kind of answer to
that problem—a thick fluid that, worked over the roots of his hair,
gradually hardened into a thin layer of rubbery, fleshy-looking stuff,
sufficient to cover his betraying tendrils. By carefully twisting the hair
just before the hardening process was completed, tiny air holes were formed
through to the hair roots.
Frequent removal of the material, and long periods of leaving his hair
and head in the natural state, had in the past proved sufficient to keep
the health of his head unimpaired. Something similar, it seemed to him,
was what the true slans must have been doing these many years. The danger
lay in the periods of "rest."