"I am the Calligrapher, and I serve Civilization. You know my people as the Ai-Naidar; my empire as Kherishdar. It is a society that spans five worlds and several thousand years, with laws and customs that have served us for as long as we have walked these earths.
We know you as aunera--aliens--and have always had peace and good congress with you. One day, several of you asked: How is it that your empire works so well for you, when it would work so poorly for us? And so I found a translator, an aunerai scribe. Together we make available these fil ekain, these incense stories, short but lingering... an attempt to explain what it is to have an Ai-Naidari soul.
Welcome, aunerai. Read and speak your mind."
It's an entire alien society distilled through linguistics into perfect little gems of story. It's a cyberfunded creativity project, quite possibly the first of its kind; it certainly inspired my Wind Tunnel Dreams.
It's remarkable. And you need to own it, to hold it in your hands and remind yourself...
So buy the book already! :)