Turtledove
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"The Mrem Go West"  
ClanoftheClaw.jpg
First Appearance Exiled: Clan of the Claw
Publisher Baen
Editor Bill Fawcett
Genre(s) Fantasy
Publication date 2011
Followed by "A Little Power" by S.M. Stirling

"The Mrem Go West" is a fantasy novella by Harry Turtledove. It is the first work in the mosaic novel work Exiled: Clan of the Claw (Baen, August, 2011), a shared-universe project, edited by Bill Fawcett. The story is readable on Baen's website. It is set in a world whose geography is broadly based on ours. In it, dinosaurs did not go extinct, but kept evolving. But certain species of mammal did as well. After millions of years, two sentient species, the Liskash (evolved from dromaeosaurid dinosaurs) and the Mrem (evolved from felines) have arisen, and share a bitter rivalry, with the former dominating much of the known world.

The first volume is set after the Ice Age receded, causing the creation of large sea analogous to the Mediterranean, and wiping out a fertile basin and the thousands of Mrem and Liskash who lived there. A group of Mrem, the Clan of the Claw, are trapped along the southern shores of the new sea, cut off from the rest of the Mrem in the north. "The Mrem Go West" tells of how the Clan, lead by Rantan Taggah, elect to head west in the hopes of finding a route back to the rest of the Mrem. They are soon opposed by Sassin, a Liskash noble who refuses to let the hated Mrem cross his lands.

Trivia[]

The dust jacket of Exiled: Clan of the Claw, in addition to misspelling Liskash as "Lishkash," incorrectly states that the stories within take place in an alternate history of Earth. Clues in the stories themselves indicate that the story is not set on Earth, and Editor Bill Fawcett's note at the beginning of the novel specifically confirms this.

Most Mrem character names are near-homonyms of characters in T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and/or Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats: The Musical, which was based on Eliot's work.

While the Mrem and Liskash appeared in 20th-century projects edited by Fawcett, the Clan of the Claw series appears to be a continuity reboot, without reference to prior storylines. (The administrators of this wiki have not been able to obtain a reading copy of any previous Mrem-Liskash work to confirm this.)

The series continued in By Tooth and Claw: Clan of the Claw Volume 2 (2015), without further contributions from Turtledove. As of this writing, there has been no announcement of any plans for a third volume.

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