Title of a story by Cordwainer Smith, in which the defense strategy of Norstrilia, a planet based loosely on the mid-20th-century Australian countryside, is outlined. The kittons (sic), incidentally, are not felids, but aggressive mad minks. (Read this story and you'll never see fur coats in quite the same way again -- no matter how you felt before.)

A science fiction story by Cordwainer Smith, and also the stars of the story. What exactly the Kittons are is the mystery of the story, which is revealed about half way through the 20 page story. If anyone out there is still wondering where Anno Hideaki got his ideas from, this story reaffirms Cordwainer Smith's key role in making Anno even more insane.

Norstrilia is a planet that has become the wealthiest plant in the galaxy by selling the immortality drug stroon. Stroon can only be produced on Norstrilia, but there are plenty of people who want the secret. The story begins when a spy of the Thieves' Guild tries to steal the secret, which, despite his ruthlessness, is doomed from the start due to Norstrilia's cunning everpresent counterintelligence program. Although he manages to discover that the defense of Norstrilia are "Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons" he is deceived into what the term actually means.

The Norstrilian military lets him attempt to sneak a ship into their planet, which is where we find out what the Kittons are. They are a group of genetically modified weasels who are bred to be exponentially more violent, lust-crazed, hateful, hungry and afraid than your average weasel, which, of course, is fairly hyper to begin with. The weasels are kept permanently sedated in a military bunker. When the ship comes close to Norstrilia, the weasels are awakened, and all of their lust and hatred comes bubbling up. In a few seconds, they manage to begin madly tearing into themselves. All of their pain and hatred is psychically picked up and reinforced, and then transmitted into the incoming ship, where the Thief experienced a "prolongation of subjective experience which made one or two seconds seem like months of drunken bewilderment", during which he goes insane and tears himself (literally) to pieces. Norstrilia is saved.

This story is important for several reasons: it shows a fascination with the combination of computer, biological and psychological technologies, and how it could apply to psychological warfare, something that the Professor specialized in at his dayjob. He also describes the spy game between the thief and the Norstrilian intelligece service as a very subtle, ruthless competition, something he again perhaps learned from his day job.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.