Virgin Planet

by Poul Anderson
Series: Psychotechnic League
Reviewed date: 2007 May 28
Rating: 2
159 pages
cover art

Virgin Planet is a male fantasy gone wild. Explorer Davis Bertram lands on a planet full of beautiful women. The women are the descendants of a few hundred survivors of a crashed colony ship full of women. Bertram quickly finds paradise to be a deathtrap.

The colony has developed a system of parthenogenesis (similar to human cloning) by which they can propagate the species. But none of them has ever seen a man. Nor, since the planet--named Atlantis--has no mammals, do they have any idea what a human male might be like. (The largest species on Atlantis are huge flightless birds; but birds don't mate quite like mammals do.)

Some of the women accept Bertram as a man, but others fear he is a Monster. The most powerful faction, the Doctors, prefers to see Bertram dead, because the arrival of Men would end the Doctors' power as sole keepers of the secret rites of parthenogenesis. Bertram makes a few allies--Barbara and Valeria--but is mostly used as a pawn between various factions vying for power.

It's worth noting that despite being the only man on a world of women, Bertram is remarkably unlucky at love.

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