The Legacy of Heorot

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Ten light years away from Earth, two hundred men and women set down on Tau Ceti Four to establish the first off-world colony in the history of mankind. The mission, sponsored by the National Geographic Society, has gone so peacefully that security chief Cadmann Weyland feels like a fifth wheel. Suspecting that even in this paradise there might be tigers, Cadmann finds his suggestions for defense of the settlement hooted down by the others.

When a monster does appear on the scene--a giant amphibious creature possessing blinding speed and incredible strength--some of the colonists wonder if the mayhem is a tactic of Cadmann’s to increase his own status in the community, as he is the only one who has seen it. Only after they see the beast for themselves, in an attack on the colony that leaves its numbers and supplies severely reduced, do they give Cadmann’s warnings credence.

When the monster is finally slain, Cadmann shuns those who suspected him and retreats to the mountains nearby to build his own home. When the creature’s mother emerges to take revenge, however, Cadmann is called upon to lead the colonists in a hunt that exterminates the enormous reptiles they call grendels--but this solution leads to even more horrifying consequences, disturbing the ecological balance of the planet and culminating in a no-holds-barred battle for survival.

With its imaginative detail, suspenseful plot, and cinematic action, THE LEGACY OF HEOROT makes for a gripping read, one that should entertain science-fiction and mainstream readers alike.