The family and I went camping for five days in the Adirondacks. It was very quiet and the kids were great at amusing themselves, so I finished lots of books. I’ll try to catch up on my reviews this week, starting with a short novella I read to finish up the camping trip.
Genre: science fiction
Length: 91 pages
Setting: Darkover, the Second Age of recontact with the Terrans, after the Comyn
Interest: It was a random short book on my Kindle. Also, it’s in the Darkover world, which I love.
Summary: It’s been 48 years since the last outbreak of Trailmen’s fever, which means its due for another outbreak. The difference this time, is the Terrans are more established on Darkover. They can’t afford to lose the majority of the people to the fever, but they’ve got an ace in the hole. Surgeon Jay Allison was raised by Trailmen when his father’s mapping plane went down in the Hellers. Unfortunately, Allison has suppressed all of his early memories, so he undergoes hypnosis to bring out his alternate, more gregarious personality. He leads a group of Darkoverans through the Hellers to the central Tree City of the trailmen and successfully convinces some trailmen to come to the Terran Trade City in order to develop a cure.
Final thoughts: I enjoyed this story, but I think most of my enjoyment came from my knowledge of Darkover. It added to the canon and showed some different areas of Darkover (like the Tree City of the trailmen) that isn’t often in the stories. If you haven’t read any other Darkover novels, don’t start here, though.
Part of the story was the dual personality of Jay/Jason Allison. He changed physically to correspond to his change in personality. Neither personality was healthy, and it was through the psychic abilities of Regis Hastur that his personality was melded into something stable. The story showed how Terrans and Darkoverans could work together for mutual benefit.
Title comes from: They saved the planet from the threatened Trailmen’s fever that typically kills a majority of people it infects.
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