Sunday, July 03, 2011
The Legacy of Heorot
By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes
Beowulf came to Heorot Hall to fight Grendel, the monster plaguing the people there. He was a professional monster killer and he soon took care of the terrible Grendel.
Like Beowulf, Cadmann Weyland is also a professional, a security expert with a military background. He alone of the 200 people settling on an island of the planet Tau Ceti Four sees a need for caution and defensive measures. But most of the settlers believe they have landed in a near paradise with a benign climate and no predators beyond a pterodactyl-like flying animal. They sneer at Cadmann's warnings and precautions and claim he is creating problems to justify his position.
But after months of calm, Cadmann is proven correct when a monster makes its presence known and many settlers die before it can be overcome.
Once this fierce predator is revealed, the settlers proceed to hunt down and destroy them all. What they don't know is that they have disturbed their island's ecosystem and that, as far as monsters go, they ain't seen nothing yet...
This was an OK story, typical science fiction horror story. It's not a genre I usually read or enjoy. It's a lot like the movie Alien, brave humans struggling to outwit and survive a terrible and strange beast bent on killing them all.