The Venom Trees of Sunga
By L. Sprague deCamp
From a winner of the Hugo, World Fantasy and SFWA Grand Master awards
Kirk Salazar, devout intellectual, had quite been looking forward to his field research on Sunga. He aimed to discover how the stump-tailed, semiarboreal kusis lived without being injured within the venom tree forest. A fascinating topic!
His thesis would have progressed splendidly, save for one thing. A certain lack of financing necessitated that he travel through Sunga with a tour group. Much against his will, he soon became embroiled with a conglomeration of characters even more peculiar than Sunga's natural wonders.
First there were the hard-core tourists, always pushing and complaining, desperate to glimpse the rare, birdlike zutas. Worse the Cantemir - a man lewd, rude and dangerous - who had struck a deal with the native Chief to destroy the whole Sunga forest for lumber! But most formidable was Alexis Ritter. She was the high priestess of a Sunga cult dedicated to chastity. But she sure seemed to have a use in mind for Salazar's body!
Doggedly Salazar pursued his research through ambushes, sex, and even attempted murder. A determined intellectual does not give up easily - even if he has to go to extremes to defend his thesis!
L. Sprague de Camp (1907 - 2000)
Lyon Sprague de Camp was born in 1907 and died in 2000. During a writing career that spanned seven decades, he wrote over a hundred books in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. Although arguably best known for his continuation of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, de Camp was an important figure in the formative period of modern SF, alongside the likes of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, and was a winner of the Hugo, World Fantasy Life Achievement and SFWA Grand Master awards.
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29 Sep 2011
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