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by R. J. Leahy
Category: Science Fiction Dream Realm Award Finalist
Description: Jeena Garza escapes the horror of a POW camp only to crash-land on a desert planet far from where she'd intended to go. Alone, she adopts a tigra cub, a tiger-like carnivore native to Ararat, and names him Samson. It's the least she can do, given she killed his mother. Tigras have special talents. Unlike their Earth counterparts, they can stand erect, and do it comfortably. As Samson matures, he demonstrates an even more astonishing skill, one that places serious doubts on the accuracy of the planetary survey that opened Ararat for colonization. Then Jeena finds herself caught up in the last thing she wants--a war between a group of religious fanatics and a culture that is their diametric opposite--as Samson discovers the truth about his people, one that had been kept secret from the beginning. One that will change the galaxy forever.
eBook Publisher: Zumaya Publications/Zumaya Otherworlds, 2007
eBookwise Release Date: January 2007
269 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [541 KB]
Reading time: 343-480 min.
"...brings the space adventure novel into the twenty-first century."--Ben Bova
"...the nuances make it superior to ordinary adventure."--Piers Anthony
She awoke crying before the sun was up. It had been a long night of dirty, laughing faces and hard, grasping hands, of pain and stench and filth and helplessness. Her head was pounding, still full of memories that wouldn't fade, of voices that refused to die. And there was Samson, already outside the tent knocking over crates and cans and making a racket that blended with the noises in her head into a fugue of sound that threatened to engulf her.
Jeena clasped her hands over her ears, screaming for him to stop and the voices to go away, but the clamor rose until it sounded like laughter. Lurching from the tent, she grabbed the shotgun and leveled it through tear-blinded eyes at the tormentor in her mind.
"Stay away from me, goddam you! Don't touch me!" * * * *
Samson jumped at the shout, causing the crates and cans to tumble around him, pinning him in. He saw the tear-streaked face staggering toward him, and sensed her anger. Whether in a burst of sudden insight or from an instinct for survival, he understood his danger and began desperately clawing at the debris keeping him prisoner. He watched helplessly as she raised the weapon. Unable to move, he began to whine and cry, and then suddenly in a high-pitched voice, he cried out a single word.