DERMALIAN has as its pivotal character a recently deceased alien artist-anthropologist from the future, who was famous for being one of the first explorers of the now dead planet, Earth; and whose groundbreaking discovery was the work of the ancient human called “Shakespeare.”
In this alien’s culture, babies’ brains are installed with wireless at birth; and a Person is not declared dead until his wireless fixtures stop functioning and all references to him on the “Web” (Yes, they really like the Earth term and adopted it; it made into the Aliens’ official book of words in less than a year) are archived by the Web as “no longer active.” So the alien and its ego, spouting bits of the Bard, haunt the institution he founded.
A major part of the education of children by their parents and in the rest of this alien culture is learning to control privacy over their own thoughts.
Conflict conflict conflict. That's the heart of the story: fighting for one's own mind, knowing the difference between oneself and everyone else.
The ghost of the alien anthropologist (who discovers an ancient Compleat Works of William Shakespeare in a still intact vault under the ruins of the New York Public during an excavation of the long dead planet Earth) is a metaphor for the core conflict - oh, and the comic relief, since he hasn't got a clue about acting Shakespeare.
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