By Keith Laumer
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When Marl Judson, fleeing a rapacious government that wanted not just his fabulous wealth but his life, crash-landed on a uninhabited planet, he thought he was marooned without hope of rescue, so he prepared himself to live out his remaining years as best he could amidst the planet's weird hallucinogenic flora. But head-twistting flowers (which Judson learned to avoid) were only part of the planet's weirdness: it was possessed of some sort of field effect which made time play strange tricks; temporal anomalies sometimes resulted in cause preceding effect and bizarre compressions and expansions of the normal pace of events.
In such an environment time had no meaning; has Jusdson lived centuries alone, or only decades? Or is it years? Or all of the above? He doesn't quite know, but when another ship crashes the strange time effects allow(ed) him to conduct an experiment aimed at producing a perfect society, a veritable Judson's Eden. The the Snake arrives in the form of the government that marooned him - and the Snake wants Judson's Eden for itself.
Keith Laumer (1925-1993)
John Keith Laumer was an American science fiction author born in Syracuse, New York. Prior to his career as a writer, Laumer was an officer in the United States Air Force. After war service, he spent a year at the University of Stockholm, and then took two bachelor's degrees in science and architecture at the University of Illinois. His first story, Greylorn, was published in 1959, but he returned to the Air Force the following year, only becoming a full-time writer in 1965. Laumer was extremely prolific and produced three major series and two minor ones, along with a number of independent novels. After 1973, however, illness meant that he published more sparingly. He died in 1993.
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- Publication date:
29 Feb 2016
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