Just because a man can do something others can’t does not, unfortunately, mean he knows how to do it. One man could eat the native fruit and live ... but how?
were covered with gigantic trees that could best be described as crosses between a California sequoia and a cycad, although such a description would have made a botanist sneer and throw up his hands. There were enough smaller animals to keep the oxygen-carbon-dioxide cycle nicely balanced, but the animals had not evolved anything larger than a rat, for some reason. Of course, the sea had evolved some pretty huge monsters, but the camp of the expedition was located a long way from the sea, so there was no worry from that quarter.
At the time, however, the members of the expedition didn't know any of that information for sure. The probe teams had made spot checks and taken random samples, but it was up to the First Analytical Expedition to make sure of everything.
And this much they had discovered: The plants of Alphegar IV had a nasty habit of killing test animals.
* * * * *
"Of course," said Dr. Pilar, "we haven't tested every plant yet. We may
The title is in Latin for an obvious reason. An exploratory expedition's food is destroyed in a freak accident, and the native fruits of the planet are mysteriously poisonous. Every Earth creature that eats them, dies; except MacNeil. He gets fat while everyone else starves.
The story is formulaic, but well-written, and it gives you the chance to say, "Hmmm, I knew it was something like that."
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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