is a science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...
written by L. Sprague de Camp
Lyon Sprague de Camp was an American author of science fiction and fantasy books, non-fiction and biography. In a writing career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and notable works of non-fiction, including biographies of other important fantasy authors...
, a story in his Viagens Interplanetarias
The Viagens Interplanetarias series is a sequence of science fiction stories by L. Sprague de Camp, begun in the late 1940s and written under the influence of contemporary space opera and sword and planet stories, particularly Edgar Rice Burroughs's Martian novels...
series. It is the first (chronologically) set on the planet Osiris. It was first published in the magazine Startling Stories
Startling Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1955 by Standard Magazines. It was initially edited by Mort Weisinger, who was also the editor of Thrilling Wonder Stories, Standard's other science fiction title. Startling ran a lead novel in every issue;...
in the issue for May, 1950. It first appeared in book form in the anthology The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1951
The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1951 is a 1951 anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Everett F. Bleiler and T. E. Dikty. An abridged edition was published in the UK by Grayson in 1952 under the title The Best Science Fiction Stories: Second Series...
, edited by Everett F. Bleiler
Everett Franklin Bleiler was an editor, bibliographer, and scholar of science fiction, detective fiction, and fantasy literature. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he co-edited the first "year's best" series of science fiction anthologies, and his Checklist of Fantastic Literature has been called...
and T. E. Dikty
Thaddeus Maxim Eugene Dikty was one of the earliest science fiction anthologists.He started the first "Best of the Year" anthologies, called The Best Science Fiction, which ran from 1949 until 1957. In 1953, he married writer Julian May, and in 1957 the two started an editorial service for...
, published in hardcover by Frederick Fell in 1951, and was gathered together with other Viagens
stories in the collection The Continent Makers and Other Tales of the Viagens
The Continent Makers and Other Tales of the Viagens is a 1953 collection of stories by science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, the fifth book in his Viagens Interplanetarias series. It was first published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers, and in paperback by Signet Books in 1971...
, published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers in 1953, and in paperback by Signet Books in 1971. The story has been translated into Portuguese
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....
Terrans Cato Chapman
and Celia Zorn
, respectively a salesman and model affiliated with the fashionable summer wear firm Greenfarb's of Hollywood
, embark on the Viagens
, bound for the planet Osiris
. They hope to create a market for Greenfarb's styles among the reptilian Osirians
, who natively wear nothing but body paint. They quickly discover they have rivals on board; Jean-Jaques Bergerat
and Anya Savinkov
, representing Tomaselli's of Paris
. Amid interesting interplay with the other passengers, including both Terrans and alien Osirians and Thothians
, the voyage becomes a double exercise in industrial espionage as Chapman and Bergerat each attempt to sabotage the other. Bergerat succeeds in spoiling Chapman's samples, but is caught and incarcerated due to Chapman's machinations; the latter thereupon appropriates Bergerat's own samples as replacements. On Osiris, Chapman, Celia and Anya hold a fashion show, their products become wildly popular with the Osirians, and they secure a contract for Greenfarb's. Chapman and Bergerat bury the hatchet on the return voyage and each becomes involved with (and marries) his former rival's business partner. As the interstellar voyage between the Solar System and the Procyon system harboring Osiris takes five months subjective time (and over ten years objective time) each way, there is ample opportunity for such bonds to form. But a surprise awaits them; back on Earth, Osirian body paint has become the rage during their nearly two dozen years' absence, and both Greenfarb's and Tomaselli's have gone out of business!
The action of "Summer Wear" takes place in the years 2104-2128 AD.
The planet Osiris is an arid world whose dinosauroid inhabitants are characterized as both sentimental and rapaciously capitalistic; they are also possessed of mind-controlling powers, generally referred to as "telepathic pseudohypnosis," against which other intelligent species must take special precautions. Osiris occupies the same star system as Thoth, a wet planet whose natives are amoral and anarchic.