Muphormosy, a disease not unlike leprosy, has ravaged the first settlers on the planet Tezcatl. Generations later, their similarly emaciated descendants live in a compound where they are isolated from the planet's normal inhabitants. The new kommissar of the compound, Lucian Yeardance, cares for his charges and alleviates their suffering with the narcotic heartsease. despite the open revulsion the normal inhabitants show for the maimed men and women, Luican determines to find out what the dread disease really is. Still, he is unprepared for the appalling discovery he makes: except for the open lesions and missing limbs and digits, not one of the muphormers shows a sign of any disease.
Michael Bishop (1945 - )
Michael Bishop was born in 1945 in Lincoln, Nebraska. After receiving an MA in English from the University of Georgia, Bishop taught at the USAF Academy Preparatory School in Colorado, but soon began placing his short stories with the likes of Galaxy Science Fiction, If and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. His first novel, A Funeral For The Eyes Of Fire, brought comparisons with Ursula Le Guin and James Tiptree, Jr and received a Nebula nomination. It was followed by a number of critically acclaimed works including BSFA Award-nominated Transfigurations, Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Ancient Of Days, and No Enemy But Time, for which he won the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Michael Bishop lives in Georgia, where he is writer-in-residence at LaGrange College.