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SciFi Book Early 80s - Trying to develop an anti-venom for a 100% fatal alien creature

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Jan 26, 2014, 7:05pm Top


I am seeking a science fiction book I read in the 1980s. I am pretty sure it was at least novella length if not a full novel. In it, an alien planet contains a remnant humanoid colony which has somehow survived despite the presence of an alien creature whose bite appears to be 100% fatal. The animals are named after the first off-world victim, but I cannot remember the name. I am thinking something along the lines of a Frederick Pohl type story, but nothing I have researched seems to ring a bell.

The planet apart from the venomous alien animals is otherwise a paradise. Hence, the basis for the story. The government and industry wants to colonize the planet, but cannot because of the venomous annimals. They are desperately working to synthesize an anti-venom to counteract the bite. A young researcher who comes to the planet as a researcher is helping to capture some of the anikmal to extract venom. He becomes bitten. The head researcher has no choice but to try the most recent untested serum on the young man. To everyone's amazement it works!

The story then goes on as the planet is continued to be developed. However, an interesting plot twist comes out towards the end which I have always remembered. It was a good story and I would enjoy reading it again.

As always, any help finding it would be greatly appreciated.


Jan 27, 2014, 3:29pm Top

I was thinking The Legacy of Heorot by Niven but that's not it.

Jan 27, 2014, 3:31pm Top

Tell us the plot twist, put it in spoiler tags if you must, but if it's that memorable it's going to be incredibly important for finding the work.

Jan 27, 2014, 11:26pm Top

thanks Morphidae. But, you are correct. That is not it.

willing to give it a shot if you are Lorax :-)

As I don't know the programming for this site for spoilers, here goes the old fashioned way. LOL

****spoiler alert*******

****spoiler alert********

we find out that instead of being 100% fatal, there is actually a very tiny percentage of men that can survive the bite. those that do, live incredibly long, healthy lives even outliving their own children and grandchildren. They obviously reproduce more often than those that die, thus passing on their genes and immunity to the bite. This is discovered after finding that the natives have a special secrete "coming of age ritual" for their young males. They are sent to an island in which they live with the animal and it bites them. Most survive (the gene is present enough to prevent most from dying). But, only a few live such long lives to pass on their genes. That is why the remnant colony is starting to grow.

The original young research who was bitten was not saved by the serum. instead, he is saved because of his genetic resistance. During the course of the story he turns from a stereotypical nerdy weakly to a strong, healthy young man who eventually realizes what a gift he has been given.

Hope this helps.

May 10, 2014, 9:10am Top


Nov 1, 2014, 10:55pm Top


Apr 19, 2015, 3:52pm Top


Sep 1, 2015, 9:36pm Top


Sep 1, 2015, 11:45pm Top

I'd love to see this one solved -- sounds intriguing!

Oct 16, 2016, 11:23am Top


Edited: Apr 23, 2017, 9:08am Top

>9amysissonSep 1, 2015, 11:45pm
I'd love to see this one solved -- sounds intriguing!

Me, too, so here's a bump up.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:39pm Top


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