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Trouble Tide by James H. Schmitz

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"Trouble Tide" is a 1965 science fiction novelette by James H. Schmitz. It is about two employees for a pharmaceutical company who are caught up in a black market scheme on an alien world.

Sea Creatures

I remember well learning to snorkel in the ocean, and having a hard time shaking the feeling that there was some strange predator just waiting to snatch me up! The sheer joy of snorkeling finally overcame my trepidations, but I’ll admit there is some pretty weird stuff out there. Of course we now know about a good deal of what’s in the oceans, but the 2 protagonists in this story don’t have that luxury and they are constantly discovering disturbing facts the hard way.

Non-Spoiler Summary

Low Tide 2 by Chris Gin, CC 2.0 License

Danrich Parrol is the manager for the Giard Pharmaceutical Station on the planet of Nandy-Cline. Shortly after returning from a trip he and one of his researchers, Dr. Nile Etland, set out to discover why the planet’s sea beef herds are mysteriously disappearing. In the midst of all their flying, swimming and running they stumble upon a very curious natural phenomenon as well as a massive illegal trade operation which threatens not only their lives but the livelihood of everyone on their planet!

Some Interesting Tidbits

  • Word count: 15,714 (33 pages)
  • Learn more about science fiction author James Henry Schmitz at Wikipedia.
  • Special thanks to Variety SF for recommending this great story!

Where To Find Trouble Tide

  • This short story was first published in the May 1965 issue of Analog Science Fiction -> Science Fact.
  • You can read "Trouble Tide" online for free at the Baen eBooks web site.
  • It is also included in Schmitz’s collection The Hub: Dangerous Territory.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked "Trouble Tide" then you might also enjoy "A Spy in Europa" by Alastair Reynolds – another story with some good underwater adventure!