I, Effing Feline, have told you of my desire to become independent. The first step is to figure out how to open cat food cans, and I believe I’ve solved the problem — with a typical display of genius, if may say so.
When Tresky Buffrum, a Gasparre tribesman from the mountains of colony planet Jones, visited the big city, he met Ebbril and married her the very next day. But on his wedding night, she got him drunk. He awakens alone and penniless in an open-sided hovel in The Happy Louse Inn.
Determined to stay close to the inn in case she returns, the loyal (but naive) Tresky climbs up to a slothporch overlooking The Louse. Business owners build these porches to attract sloths, as the planet’s slow-moving but intelligent natives are called, because tourists from off planet gather to watch them.
Getting too close to a sloth is taboo as well as dangerous, so nobody does. Nobody except Tresky, who’s desperate enough to risk it.
Flies buzzed around the Sloth’s mangy fur, but the creature didn’t smell unpleasant, just different. From up close, the only lion-like thing was its posture. Its furry head was three times as wide and tall as a man’s, with a crest like an ancient Greek helmet. That monumentally unhelpful phrase from a school textbook had stayed with Tresky. What in Diggers’ name was an ancient Greek, and why did they wear helmets resembling a Sloth’s crest?
The creatures had two hind legs and four arms; maybe Greeks did, too. The upper arms were for delicate work and the lower arms for running or heavy work. Not that old Sloths ever ran or worked, and this one looked so ancient it was a wonder she could move at all.
Market Square had grown quiet. Oh, Diggers — hundreds of people now watched his insane bravado.
“That Gasparre,” a Felge tribesman said, “is one brave fellow.”
“Or a crazy one,” said the matron holding his elbow.
Effing Feline here again. I got a couple text messages (how’d you people get my number, anyway?) saying cats can’t use spears. Think again! We’ve been using spears for thousands of years, as this Egyptian statue proves.
The Solid Gold Aliens
For 500 years, the aliens were no threat. But they were just waiting . . .
All Tresky Buffrum wants is a taste of adventure before resigning himself to the life of a shepherd. What he gets instead is a mysterious wife, fiercely chaste, who drags him to the Midas Crater, where hundreds of the planet’s intelligent natives have been transformed into gold.
Everyone on the caravan has an ulterior motive — except Tresky, who just wants to make love to his wife. Spies are everywhere. An Offworlder hero runs mad and murders people. A grim policewoman becomes attracted to Tresky while struggling to capture the psychotic sniper.
Observing this bizarre trek across the desert is an old, mute, lion-like alien. After befriending Tresky despite stern taboos, Virtrillica seeks a reason for her people to spare humans from a blast of extinction. Can the two of them save humankind and defeat the interplanetary conspirators who seek to destroy the Midas Crater and its sinister yet liberating secret?