The Forhilnors are a sapient extraterrestrial species native to the third planet of the Beta Hydri system.
Their appearance vaguely resembles a golden-brown spider, with a spherical body the size of a large beach ball and four pairs of jointed limbs radially splaying from it. The first pair is modified as manipulating arms, whilst the other three pairs are longer and used for locomotion. Openings on the first pair of legs allow the Forhilnors to speak human languages, although the speech is strangely patterned, with words and syllables alternating between each of the two "mouths". A pair of spherical eyes are located on highly movable eyestalks, which often move independently from each other.
Despite their invertebrate-like appearance, they are warm blooded and possess internal skeletons. Their skin is covered by structures resembling bubble-plastic, which is used for insulation, indicating that they evolved on a cold environment. Their DNA has 32 chromosomes.
The Forhilnor brain is divided in two hemispheres, like is the case with Humans. Their average lifespan is about 130 Earth years for females, 140 for males.
A peaceful and advanced civilization, they have traveled the galaxy for scientific exploration and made contact with two other species: the Wreeds, which became close allies, and the Humans. The Forhilnors' homeworld has experienced five major extinction events about 440, 365, 225, 210 and 65 million Earth years ago, respectively; the same dates that similar events happened on the pre-history of Delta Pavonis II (homeworld of the Wreeds) and Earth. This has led then to accept the idea of a God-like entity as a scientific fact, and most of their modern science and philosophy is concerned with questions pertinent to what could be the nature and intentions of this mysterious being which seems to intervene at key moments to promote the evolution of sapient life.
The Forhilnor mathematics uses base six, since that is their number of legs.
- Calculating God, by Robert J. Sawyer (2000)