I first came to NYT Bestselling author Alan Dean Foster's novels as a young teenager, and I ate them up. I still remember with incredible fondness the Flinx adventures, his great Star Wars book, and unforgettable characters like Skua September, along with some stand-alone originals that were gritty and imaginative.
Now he's got a nonfiction book out that promises to be just as good: Predators I Have Known, an "adrenaline-fueled travel memoir of life in the wild among the planet's most ferocious and fascinating predators." Apparently, in addition to writing some great books, Alan Dean Foster has been moonlighting as Indiana Jones: "His travels have taken him into the heart of the Amazon rain forest on the trail of deadly tangarana ants, on an elephant ride across the sweeping green plains of central India in search of the elusive Bengal tiger, and into the waters of the Australian coast to come face-to-face with great white sharks. Packed with pulse-pounding adventure and spiked with rapier wit, Predators I Have Known is a thrilling look at life and death in the wild."
I asked Foster for his take on the book, and he wrote:
To us humans, much of the animal world is just food. We rarely think about the reverse because few of us ever put ourselves in that position. Having someone else look at you as a potential vote, or a source of money, or a helping hand, fits comfortably into our social and mental makeup. Having something consider us as food is an utterly alien thought, and in the last hundred years, an increasingly uncommon condition.
There are places, though, where time has, if not stopped, at least chosen to amble forward at a more leisurely and sometimes hostile pace. Places where any human, no matter how rich, or experienced, or knowledgeable, or sensitive, or artistic, is to his or her surroundings nothing more than a perambulating bipedal source of nourishment. Places where the inhabitants of the natural world regard us, despite our enlarged brains, as a straightforward vertical vessel chock full of walking calories...brains included. Those who desire to so can meet them somewhat on their own terms. Not entirely on their terms, though, or you're likely to become a footnote as quickly as you will dessert. When dealing with such circumstances and with such fellow inhabitants of the planet, I'm invariably enthralled...but also wary.
So there you have it---and released exclusively in e-book format for now. Today! Go check it out.