The Info List - The Venom Trees Of Sunga

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The Venom Trees of Sunga is a science fiction novel by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, the twelfth book in the his Viagens Interplanetarias series and the second in its subseries of stories set on the fictional planet Kukulkan. It was first published in paperback by Del Rey Books
Del Rey Books
in November 1992.[1] An E-book
edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway
SF Gateway
imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.[2][3]


1 Plot summary 2 Setting 3 Placement in the Viagens series 4 Reception 5 Notes

Plot summary[edit] The lead character Kirk Salazar, a second-generation Terran colonist on the planet Kukulkan, is near the end of his education to become a biologist, lacking only field research to complete his studies. Interested in the evolutionary background of the dominant native species, the intelligent reptilian Kukulkanians, he focuses on a related animal species whose habitat is the poisonous "venom trees" on the remote island of Sunga. To reach his destination he joins a tour group headed for the island, among whom are some family friends worried about their daughter, who has joined a band of Terran cult members there. They discover she has become the cult's leader, and Salazar finds himself caught in the crossfire of a power struggle between the cultists and a Terran logging magnate intent on clear-cutting the venom trees. He is able to save his neck and preserve the habitat of his research subjects by an unorthodox use of his findings, a spectacularly unlikely disguise, and a healthy dose of dumb luck. Setting[edit] Kukulkan, a planet of the star Epsilon Eridani, is inhabited by intelligent dinosaur-like creatures possessed of a civilization far older than Earth's. Due to the natives' inherent conservatism and an environment deficient in fossil fuels, its technology has not advanced beyond edged weapons and steam-driven vehicles. The Kukulkanians, or "Kooks" as they are known among Terrans, are honest, honor-bound, and dull in personality. Terrans have obtained land for a colony by treaty, and the colonists, consisting primarily of descendants of North American, Russian, and Chinese settlers, co-inhabit the planet in a somewhat uneasy relationship with the natives. The cultural level of the aboriginal race places the Kukulkan
stories firmly within the Sword and Planet
Sword and Planet
genre, though the non-humanoid inhabitants are an unusual feature. The Kooks' rational and dispassionate observations allow the authors to present a rather arch perspective on the comparatively less stable Earthlings. Placement in the Viagens series[edit] The status of the Kukulkan
novels as part of the Viagens series is problematic on three grounds. First, the Viagens Interplanetarias is never actually mentioned in the novels. Second, these novels portray America, Russia and China as supplying most of the Terran settlers of Kukulkan, in seeming contradiction to the series' premise that these countries have been eclipsed by Brazil in the Viagens future; no Brazilians appear in the novels. Third, the name of the planet Kukulkan
violates the nomenclature previously established for the planetary system of Epsilon Eridani
Epsilon Eridani
in the introduction and title story of The Continent Makers and Other Tales of the Viagens, according to which the planets take their names from Norse gods like Thor, not Mayan gods like Kukulkan. The first two issues are explicable. Since the novels' activities take place entirely on-planet and Kukulkan's well-established settlements are not dependent on extra-system support, there is no need for the Viagens to play a role. The ethnic make-up of the settlements presumably results from the well-known tendency of depressed economies rather than prosperous ones to supply emigrants. The problem of nomenclature can best be laid to error. Regardless of all such issues, an explicit reference to the key Viagens planet Krishna in The Venom Trees of Sunga[4] definitively places Kukulkan
in the Viagens universe. Reception[edit] Roland J. Green, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, called the book "light without being fluffy ... [w]itty and briskly paced, with a number of digs at the New Age world-view."[5] Notes[edit]

^ The Venom Trees of Sunga title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database ^ Orion Publishing Group's L. Sprague de Camp
L. Sprague de Camp
webpage ^ Amazon.com entry for e-book edition ^ De Camp, L. Sprague. The Venom Trees of Sunga, New York, Ballantine Books, 1992, p. 11. ^ Green, Roland J. "Science Fiction" (reviews). In the Chicago Sun-Times, February 7, 1993, SHOW section, p. 13.

Preceded by The Stones of Nomuru Kukulkan
novels of L. Sprague de Camp The Venom Trees of Sunga Succeeded by none

v t e

Works by L. Sprague de Camp

Viagens Interplanetarias


"Finished" (1949) "Perpetual Motion" (1950) The Queen of Zamba
The Queen of Zamba
(1949) "Calories" (1951) The Hand of Zei
The Hand of Zei
(1950) The Hostage of Zir
The Hostage of Zir
(1977) The Prisoner of Zhamanak (1982) The Virgin of Zesh (1953) The Bones of Zora (1983) The Tower of Zanid (1958) The Swords of Zinjaban (1991)


The Stones of Nomuru (1988) The Venom Trees of Sunga (1992)


"The Animal-Cracker Plot" (1949) "The Colorful Character" (1949) "The Continent Makers" (1951) "The Galton Whistle" (1951) "Git Along!" (1950) "The Inspector's Teeth" (1950) Rogue Queen (1951) "Summer Wear" (1950)


The Continent Makers and Other Tales of the Viagens (1953) The Virgin of Zesh & The Tower of Zanid (1983)

Harold Shea
Harold Shea
(with Fletcher Pratt
Fletcher Pratt
and others)

de Camp/ Pratt canon

"The Roaring Trumpet" (1940) "The Mathematics of Magic" (1940) The Castle of Iron (1941/50) "The Wall of Serpents" (1953) "The Green Magician" (1954) "Sir Harold and the Gnome King" (1990) "Sir Harold of Zodanga" (1995)


The Incomplete Enchanter (1941) Wall of Serpents (1960) The Compleat Enchanter
The Compleat Enchanter
(1975) The Complete Compleat Enchanter (1989) The Enchanter Reborn (1992) The Exotic Enchanter (1995) The Mathematics of Magic (2007)

Pusadian series


The Tritonian Ring
The Tritonian Ring
(1951) "The Eye of Tandyla" (1951) "The Owl and the Ape" (1951) "The Hungry Hercynian" (1953) "The Stone of the Witch Queen" (1977) "Ka the Appalling" (1958) "The Rug and the Bull" (1974) "The Stronger Spell" (1953)


The Tritonian Ring
The Tritonian Ring
and Other Pusadian Tales (1953)

Novarian series


"The Emperor's Fan" (1973) The Fallible Fiend (1973) The Goblin Tower (1968) The Clocks of Iraz (1971) The Unbeheaded King
The Unbeheaded King
(1983) The Honorable Barbarian (1989)


The Reluctant King (1985)

Neo-Napolitanian series


The Incorporated Knight (1987) The Pixilated Peeress (1991)

Conan series (with Robert E. Howard
Robert E. Howard
and others)


Conan and the Spider God (1980) Conan of the Isles (1968) Conan the Barbarian (1982) Conan the Buccaneer (1971) Conan the Liberator (1979) The Return of Conan
The Return of Conan

Short stories

"Black Sphinx of Nebthu" (1973) "The Treasure of Tranicos" (1953) "Black Tears" (1968) "The Blood-Stained God" (1955) "The Castle of Terror" (1969) "The City of Skulls" (1967) "The Curse of the Monolith" (1968) "Drums of Tombalku" (1966) The Flame Knife
The Flame Knife
(1955/81) "The Frost Giant's Daughter" Conan (1953) "The Gem in the Tower" (1978) "The God in the Bowl" (1952) "The Hall of the Dead" (1967) "Hawks Over Shem" (1955) "The Ivory Goddess" (1978) "The Lair of the Ice Worm" (1969) "Legions of the Dead" (1978) "Moon of Blood" (1978) "The People of the Summit" (1970/78) "Red Moon of Zembabwei" (1974) "The Road of the Eagles" (1955) "Shadows in the Dark" (1978) "Shadows in the Skull" (1975) "The Snout in the Dark" (1969) "The Star of Khorala" (1978) "The Thing in the Crypt" (1967) "The Witch of the Mists" (1972) "Wolves Beyond the Border" (1967)


Conan (1967) The Conan Chronicles (1989) The Conan Chronicles 2 (1990) Conan of Aquilonia (1977) Conan of Cimmeria (1969) Conan the Adventurer (1966) Conan the Avenger (1968) Conan the Freebooter (1968) Conan the Swordsman (1978) Conan the Usurper (1967) Conan the Wanderer (1968) Sagas of Conan (2004) Tales of Conan
Tales of Conan
(1955) The Treasure of Tranicos (1980)

Other speculative fiction


The Carnelian Cube (1948) Genus Homo (1950) The Glory That Was (1960) The Great Fetish (1978) Land of Unreason (1942) Lest Darkness Fall (1941) None But Lucifer (1939) Solomon's Stone (1942)

Short stories

"Aristotle and the Gun" (1958) "The Blue Giraffe" (1939) "The Command" (1938) "Divide and Rule" (1939) "Employment" (1939) "The Gnarly Man" (1939) "A Gun for Dinosaur" (1956) "The Hardwood Pile" (1940) "Hyperpilosity" (1938) "Internal Combustion" (1956) "The Isolinguals" (1937) "Judgment Day" (1955) "Living Fossil" (1939) "The Merman" (1938) "Nothing in the Rules" (1939) "The Reluctant Shaman" (1947) "The Stolen Dormouse" (1941) "The Wheels of If" (1940)


Aristotle and the Gun (2002) The Best of L. Sprague de Camp
L. Sprague de Camp
(1978) Divide and Rule (1948) Footprints on Sand (1981) A Gun for Dinosaur
(1963) The Purple Pterodactyls (1980) The Reluctant Shaman (1970) Rivers of Time (1993) Scribblings
(1972) Sprague de Camp's New Anthology (1953) Tales from Gavagan's Bar
Tales from Gavagan's Bar
(1953/78) The Undesired Princess (1951) The Virgin & the Wheels (1976) The Wheels of If (1948) Years in the Making (2005)

Historical fiction


The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate (1961) The Arrows of Hercules (1965) An Elephant for Aristotle
An Elephant for Aristotle
(1958) The Bronze God of Rhodes
The Bronze God of Rhodes
(1960) The Golden Wind (1969)

Fiction edited


The Fantastic Swordsmen (1967) The Spell of Seven (1965) Swords and Sorcery (1963) Tales Beyond Time (1973) 3000 Years of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1972) Warlocks and Warriors (1970)

Single author

Conan the Conqueror (1967) Conan the Warrior
Conan the Warrior
(1967) The Wolf Leader (1950)


Science and history

The Ancient Engineers
The Ancient Engineers
(1963) Ancient Ruins and Archaeology (1964) Antarctic Conquest
Antarctic Conquest
(1949) The Ape-Man Within (1995) Darwin and His Great Discovery (1972) The Day of the Dinosaur
(1968) Elephant (1964) Energy and Power
Energy and Power
(1962) Engines (1959) The Evolution of Naval Weapons (1947) The Fringe of the Unknown
The Fringe of the Unknown
(1983) Great Cities of the Ancient World (1972) The Great Monkey Trial (1968) The Heroic Age of American Invention (1961) Inventions and Their Management (1937) Man and Power
Man and Power
(1961) The Ragged Edge of Science (1980) Rubber Dinosaurs and Wooden Elephants (1996) Spirits, Stars, and Spells
Spirits, Stars, and Spells
(1966) The Story of Science in America (1967)

Lit crit and biography

Blond Barbarians and Noble Savages (1975) The Conan Reader (1968) Dark Valley Destiny (1983) Lands Beyond (1952) Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers (1976) Lost Continents
Lost Continents
(1954) Lovecraft: A Biography (1975) The Miscast Barbarian
The Miscast Barbarian
(1975) Science-Fiction Handbook
Science-Fiction Handbook
(1953/75) Time and Chance (1996)

Nonfiction edited


The Blade of Conan (1979) The Conan Grimoire (1972) The Conan Swordbook (1969) The Spell of Conan (1980)

Single author

To Quebec and the Stars
To Quebec and the Stars


Demons and Dinosaurs
Demons and Dinosaurs
(1970) Heroes and Hobgoblins
Heroes and Hobgoblins
(1981) Phantoms