Hellspark Author:Janet Kagan Tocohl Susumo was a Hellspark -- a trader beyond compare, specialist in the languages and cultures of the known universe. But whether even a Hellspark could meet the challenges of a stormy world called Flashfever remained to be seen. — Hired by a survey team studying the indigenous life forms to determine their level of intelligence, if any, Toco... more »hl and her companion/computer Maggy arrived on Flashfever to find one member of the survey team dead and the rest divided by misunderstandings and diverging goals. The leader of the group was ready to declare the local humanoids as nonsentient. But many members of the group were sure the natives were sentient and argued that their world should be protected from development.
Only someone like Tocolh, a Hellspark, could have a hope of bringing this diverse group together and getting to bottom of the mysterious death of one of the surveyors and settle the question of whether the natives are intelligent beings or just smart animals.« less