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Collector's Item

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Author: Evelyn E. Smith
Published: 1954
Language: English
Wordcount: 14,398 / 50 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,400
Added to site: 2010.03.19 27057

Being trapped in the steaming h—l of Venus is no excuse for forgetting one's manners—but anyone abducted, marooned, tricked, kept from tea might well crack under the strain!

Show Excerpt

erglyt-Ruuu ... passed on.

Jrann-Pttt sat down on a fallen log and, tucking up his graceful tail, signaled his junior to join him. In the event that we do decide to return to base, some handsome specimens might serve to offset the lieutenant's demise.

Return to base? But I thought we were....

We haven't found swamp life pleasant, have we? After all, there's no real reason why we shouldn't go back. Is it our fault that Merglyt-Ruuu happened to meet with a fatal accident?

We-ell ... but will the commandant see it that way?

On the other hand, if we don't go back, wouldn't it be a good idea to attach ourselves to an expedition that, no matter how alien, is better equipped for survival than we? And carrying out our original purpose seemed the best way of getting to meet these strangers informally, as it were.

They are unquestionably intelligent life-forms then?

After a fashion. Jrann-Pttt yawned and

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***
Dai Alanye

Cute, well-written story about collecting specimens of Venusian wildlife. I was disappointed that the cat didn't end as more of a hero.

Sardo Weems

I have to view this as a satire, rather than a story meant to be profound. It's fairly wry, but stretches credulity a bit; there are more sentient aliens bumping into each other than a Star Trek episode. The cat was believable.

The plotting was fine and the characters could all be told apart. The author did a pretty good job.



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Chadwick Wall
Chadwick Wall has written for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Sewanee Purple, the Riverside Reader, the Baton Rouge Advocate, and most recently After years living in many cities and regions, he counts himself lucky enough to reside in the laid-back yet vibrant, friendly and creative city of Austin. Here he spends many of his days and nights either holed up like a hermit, reading or writing away-or prowling around, investigating all of the live music, delicious cuisine, and cultural hotspots he can find. As our Author of the Day, Chad tells us all about his latest book, The Second Cortez.
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