Solar Max and the Seven-Handed Snake-Mother was the third story in the Bernice Summerfield anthology A Life of Surprises. It was written by Kate Orman.

Summary Edit

Bernice Summerfield is heading an expedition on Terra Roxa to search for information on the igo plant. Terra Roxa's sun is at solar maximum, and the auroras are at their strongest.

While one of Benny's students, known to Benny privately as Thing Two, is using the digger, a coffee room is discovered underneath another building. As they dig deeper, Thing Two, whose real name is Jade, is injured. Benny has her other student, Thing One, take Jade to the nearest town, while Benny remains at the dig with Sarger E!xhares, a man from a planet with no women.

Sarger has been contemptuous of Benny during the entire expedition, criticising her for her little rituals. When he makes a pass at her, Benny wards him off and he becomes angry. During their search of the dig site, they find some of the igo plant.

That evening, unbeknownst to Benny, Sarger puts some of the igo, which is very hallucinogenic, into the camp fire. While they both experience hallucinations, they are attacked by yales, and Sarger saves Benny's life. For him, this action now means that Benny is his property. However, Sarger is freaked out by his hallucinations and runs off. Benny heads for town, and discovers that the solar flares have knocked out the power. She sits down to drink coffee, enjoying the ritual.

Characters Edit

References Edit

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Notes Edit

  • This was later one of the eight stories collected in Treasury.

Continuity Edit

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