Terran colonists of the planet Mercury. The colony's population as of 2031 AD was 112,500 and growing. It is of course a member of the United Planets.

Hermians are residents of the fiercest natural environment under human jurisdiction. Mercury, the planet of fire, promised to be a formidable, and some said impossible, colonial challenge. Mercury has a surface temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Its days are longer than its years, and Mercury's rivers flow with molten metal.

However, the benefits of colonization have proved worthy of the challenge. Mercury is a metallurgical "goldmine". And its proximity to the sun provides a tremendous source of solar energy.

The Hermians are spartan in character and are renown for their formidable engineering skills. They are a perfectly pragmatic people, disinterested in abstract mathematics, art, or philosophy. Hermians are also well-known for demanding (and receiving) "due compensation" for their services.

Although the toughest of people psychologically, Hermians tend to be weak physically. The colonists live in a continually climate controlled environment under low gravity. Long-time or native Hermians could not, as a rule, endure either Terran gravity or its natural temperature fluctuations. Ergo, Hermians are effectively exiled from their planet of origin.

From Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

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