- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: Wildside Press (June 13, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1434481921
- ISBN-13: 978-1434481924
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,755,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In this novel, Sidney Harrington is Govenoral-General of the Chartered Uller Company. He is the highest Terran official on the planet.
Carlos von Schlicten is an Argentine citizen of German ancestry. He is a General within the Army of the Chartered Uller Company.
Lourenco Gomes is the head of the mining project on Nifheim.
Juan Murillo is a seismologist on Nifheim. He is a third or fourth generation Martian.
Paula Quinton has a Doctorate in extraterrestrial sociography. She is also a field agent for the Exterrestrial's Rights Association.
Mohammed Ferriera is the local ERA agent in Konkrook.
Gotkrink is a Uller native, the son/daughter of King Orgzild of Keegark.
In this story, Paula is visiting Nifheim before continuing to Uller. The local miners are entertaining her with a front seat at four nuclear explosions. They are blowing out some heavy metals from the mantle.
After returning from emplacing the devices, Dr. Murillo seats himself at the console, but allows Gotkrink to leave the room. Dr.Gomes starts the countdown. The explosions are impressive, but the burning hydrogen is fantastic.
Three months later, Paula is on Uller visiting a native home. A riot starts and endangers both herself and Ferriera. Von Schlicten is returning from a field inspection and has his driver set down his command car on the plaza.
Ferriera has fallen, but Paula is swing a bolo at the natives. She wounds one, but another grabs her with all four hands. She kicks it in the groin. Then Von Schlicten sticks his pistol into its mouth and blows out his brains.
Paula mentions the presence of a dog within the household. The Terrans have been looking for Stalin, the Governor-General's collie, as well as a goat and some rabbits that have mysteriously disappeared. After she heard the dog barking, her host had gone out of the house. Apparently that was when the riot started.
Von Schlicten explains about the lost animals and suggests that the native host had started the riot. The native was a known activist and agitator. Paula and Ferriera were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Later, the Governor-General is poisoned by a native servant. The Terrans quickly decide that the natives had been using the Terran animals to find the right poison. When the news of the Governor-General's death is broadcast, native troops mutiny throughout the Terran zone.
This tale is based on the Sepoy Mutiny against the East India Company in 1857. Yet the technology is a mix of twentieth century and future devices. Combat cars are armed with fifteen millimeter machine guns, but fly through the air with contragravity
This novelette was published in the Twayne Triplet The Petrified Planet with "Daughter of Earth" and "The Long View". The planets were described in a article provided to each author before beginning the stories, but the tales vary in details about the natives.
The author wrote other stories within this universe. The next installment in this sequence is Four-Day Planet.
Highly recommended for Piper fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of strange planets, armed uprisings, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
In many of Piper's stories the failure to unleash overwhelming military force and slaughter the masses at the slightest provocation is usually met with disaster, as other, less morally challenged, individuals ruthlessly use those same masses to further their ends at the expense of those in power foolishly believing in restraint or moderation. It makes for a good read, but, when you actually consider the likely consequences of such a policy, you generally understand that in the history of Earth certainly, such harsh tactics usually only creates a vast sense of martyrdom that often hardens those who are undecided, driving the vast majority of moderates into the camp of the more radical elements. The instances of ruthless, organized, repression creating the very sort of unified opposition that generally precedes the fall of governments has been all too common to really believe it works out well in the end to pursue so radical a course. However, for the sake of the story, it does drive the narrative with a considerable impetus that carries the story well.
For free on Kindle. A really fine read.
Kindle formatting is a bit wonky.
I thought Junkyard Planet (The Cosmic Computer) was better, but this was still a good sci-fi test.