The Humanx Commonwealth: Book Seven.
They call it the Drowning World. It is Fluva, a planet on the fringes of the Commonwealth where it rains torrentially, ceaselessly, and maddeningly for all but one month of the Fluvan year. Chief Administrator Lauren Matthias is fairly new to the position. Her primary goal: keeping Fluva's indigenous species, the warlike Sakuntala, and its immigrant species, the timid but hardworking Deyzara, from annihilating one another.
The wettest place on Fluva is Viisiiviisii, an immense, mostly unexplored jungle. Thanks to the endless rains and humid conditions, exotic animals and plants have thrived there, many of them deadly predators. Yet the same evolutionary process responsible for creating toxic creatures has made the jungle a treasure trove of undiscovered botanicals potentially useful in engineering everything from pharmaceuticals to perfumes. A man can get rich there. Or die trying.
Bio-prospector Sadrach Hasselemoga has come to the jungle to get rich - if he survives the terrain once his sabotaged ship goes down. When a Sakuntala and a Deyzara are dispatched by Matthias to rescue the unfortunate soul, their ship crashes, too. Now, in order to survive, the three unlikely allies must do something that no one has ever done before: walk out of the Viisiiviisii.
Meanwhile, in what passes for civilization, long-simmering tensions between Sakuntala and Deyzara erupt into violence, threatening Matthias's official position of neutrality - and her life. Behind the violence, Matthias detects a mysterious presence, one related to Shadrach's disappearance. But how are the two related The answer, when it comes, will send shock waves through the entire Commonwealth...and beyond.
Alan Dean Foster (1946 - )
Born in New York City in 1946, Foster was raised in Los Angeles. After receiving Bachelors and Master's degrees at UCLA, he spent two years as a copywriter for a small Studio City, California PR firm. His writing career began in 1968 when August Derleth bought a long Lovecraftian letter of Foster's in 1968 and published it as a short story. More sales of short fiction followed. His first attempt at a novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was published by Ballantine Books in 1972. Since then, Foster's sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all major science fiction magazines and anthologies and several "Best of the Year" compendiums. Five collections of his short work have been published. Foster's work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving. He has also novelized Star Wars movies as well as such well-known films as Alien and its two sequels. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. His work has won numerous awards. He and his wife, Jo Ann Oxley, have traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. His other pastimes include music, basketball, hiking, body surfing, scuba diving, collecting animation on video, karate and weightlifting.