Cover art for the novel of the same name by Mike Resnick. This was a difficult story for Michael to read as it is an allegory for the discovery and destruction of Africa-particularly Kenya. The descending contrail is a symbol for mankind's arrival upsetting the native balance and harmony.
Peponi, a distant world rich in wildlife and populated by a people without a high degree of technology, is "discovered" by mankind. Men arrive on the planet, then reap its riches. After years of subjugation, the natives finally begin to push for independence. While armed rebellion is put down, from its ashes a native leader, Bukon Pepon, is able to forge the various tribes together and gain independence from the Human government. Upon independence, most Men leave the planet for distant shores and dream their dreams of the paradise that Peponi once was. Other Men stay to create a new dream. But both Men and Pepons watch their economy and resources dwindle away as overpopulation, hunting, tribal factionalism, and the introduction of non-native species take their toll.
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