cover image The Jungle

The Jungle

David Drake. Tor Books, $18.95 (282pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85197-2

Drake ( Surface Action ) enters a future originally mapped by SF master Henry Kuttner in ``Clash by Night,'' a 1943 novella-length story that is also printed here. earth having become a radioactive cinder, humanity has fled to a ``terraformed'' Venus, where people live under the oceans in Keeps that battle one another with mercenary fleets. Drake writes of one small but fatally significant incident in one battle: Their torpedoboat wrecked, Commanding Officer Brainard and Officer-Trainee Wilding must move their men through a jungle to safety. Each officer, almost paralyzed with fear, misinterprets lucky breaks as bold and calculated moves on the other's part. Short scenes and discontinuous flashbacks create a stroboscopic effect that interferes with the story. After almost 50 years, Kuttner's ``Clash'' still provides a much better read. (Sept.)