The Bennett family moved to Jamaica after inheriting a coffee plantation in the Blue Mountains. This novel covers three generations of their lives, loves, triumphs and failures as the build an amazing, profitable plantation, producing some of the finest coffee in the world, and then run afoul of history. This novel , in many ways, parallels the amazing life of it's author, Hugh B. Cave, who owned a plantation on the last road into the Blue ...
The Bennett family moved to Jamaica after inheriting a coffee plantation in the Blue Mountains. This novel covers three generations of their lives, loves, triumphs and failures as the build an amazing, profitable plantation, producing some of the finest coffee in the world, and then run afoul of history. This novel , in many ways, parallels the amazing life of it's author, Hugh B. Cave, who owned a plantation on the last road into the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, only to lose it to the government, along with the small fortune he'd built.
This novel, published posthumously, was the last great work in the career of one of America's most prolific authors, winner of multiple awards for his fiction, prolific beyond belief in the days of the pulps, and then the "slicks" like The Saturday Evening Post and Boy's Life, through propaganda novels during the war years and finally through a series of short stories and novels in his latter years that will forever endear him to lovers of genre fiction. Serpents in the Sun is a novel that consumed years of Cave's life - and contains generations. It is one of his finest works, available now for the first time.
When he died, Hugh B. Cave had about 20 books in print, out of about 45 written...not bad for a pulp writer. At the age of 81, he was presented with the Horror Writers of America Life Achievement Award. "They only gave it to me because everyone else is dead." At that time he was just warming up.
Cave's first professional short stories were sold in 1929 to Brief Stories (which had a similar tenure), "Island Ordeal" and "The Pool of Death," appearing in the July and August issues respectively. At the end of his life, there were copious stories in every pulp field...mystery, horror, fantasy, western, adventure, detective, jungle...everything but science fiction. When the pulps died at the end of WWII, with only a handful hanging on afterwards, Hugh turned his attention to the slicks. Again, he was majorly successful with continuous sales to Good Housekeeping, The Saturday Evening Post, Boy's Life, Cosmopolitan, Collier's, Redbook, Elk's, etc magazines. His pulp work numbered in the 800 story area and slick sales were in the 350 story/article area. He then began writing novels. And his longevity allowed him to gather together material for multiple collections, the first among them, Murgunstrumm and Others, winning the World Fantasy Award in 1977.
During WWII, Hugh was a war correspondent. He wrote five non-fiction works about the heroism he encountered: The Fightin' est Ship: The Story of the Cruiser Helena, Dodd Mead (1944), Long Were the Nights: The Saga of a PT Squadron in the Solomons, Dodd Mead (1944), We Build, We Fight, the story of the Seabees, Harper (1945), Wings Across the World, the story of the Air Transport Command, Dodd Mead (1945), & I took the Sky Road, the story of pilot Norman M. Miller, Dodd Mead (1946).
Hugh was fascinated with Haiti and Jamaica, escaping there after WWII, and wrote many books and articles about them...some say his non-fiction Haiti: Highroad to Adventure is the definitive work about that country. He became an expert on voodoo and most of his novels involve that black art.