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Earths Endless Effort Gerald M. Weinberg

Earths Endless Effort

Gerald M. Weinberg

320 pages
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 About the Book 

LAFE doesnt live in the forest. LAFE is the forest.The largest living being on Earth, LAFE (Large Aspen Forest Entity) is a single plant covering thousands of acres high in the Rocky Mountains on Colorados Western Slope. LAFEs size and thousandsMoreLAFE doesnt live in the forest. LAFE is the forest.The largest living being on Earth, LAFE (Large Aspen Forest Entity) is a single plant covering thousands of acres high in the Rocky Mountains on Colorados Western Slope. LAFEs size and thousands of years of life experience provide the wisdom to escape notice and avoid the complexity of human society, but he has limitations. LAFE cannot move, sleeps all winter, and can be attacked with chain saws and fire.So, when a pipeline project threatens to cut LAFEs brain in half, LAFE overcomes long-standing antipathy toward human beings and seeks the aid of Daphne DeFreest. But first they must heal her broken body and find a way to communicate. Then Daphne must find the love of her life, and they all must cope with their common enemies.This is their story.When Daphnes healing is complete, LAFE chooses Mikio, a hiker and computer hardware guru, to find her and bring her back to human society. Because shes changed in many tree-like ways, Daphne first has to make herself presentable to a society that doesnt favor green skin, nails, and blood. She then uses her skill as a financial analyst to raise money to buy Kebler Natural Gas, the company responsible for the pipeline project. To gain time for her to raise the money, LAFE organizes a delaying campaign against the trenchers, aided by his forest resources (skunks, wasps, raccoons, and heaven knows what else). He manages to delay until the crew must stop digging for the winter—when he must go dormant.She learns her father has had a series of strokes, causing control of the family brokerage to be turned over the her ruthless cousin, Russell—because Daphne, the rightful successor, is thought to be dead. She decides to keep her existence hidden while she prepares to regain control of the brokerage.By the time LAFE wakes in the spring, she still hasnt quite enough money to take over KNG. She lets Mikio in on the secret of LAFE so he will find a way t connect LAFE to the internet, where he can use his magnificent computing power to help Daphne play the market and successfully take over gas company. Unfortunately, cousin Russell notices her coup in the financial press.To Daphnes disappointment, Mikio hires onto the staff of the World Economic Planner (WEP), a giant computer buried in a mountain near Geneva, Switzerland. After he leaves, Russell has Daphne drugged, kidnapped, and committed to a private asylum in the Adirondacks.With the help of animals directed remotely by LAFE, she escapes through the woods to Canada and contacts her friend, Pearson, who comes to Canada to rescue her. They return to Crested Butte, only to discover theres another threat to LAFE, a lumber company (EFT) that intends to obtain Kebler Forest in a trade with the Park Service. They plan to turn LAFE into a vertically integrated chip-board factory.LAFE equips Daphne with tree-like defenses to use in her fight with Russell. When he captures her again, she uses some of those powers to escape. But LAFE is going to sleep again. For her protection, he sends Daphne to Bangladesh, to meet a giant mangrove entity, Nuha. Together, Nuha and Daphne will continue investing in hopes of being able to take over EFT, repeating their triumph over KNG.Without the aid of LAFEs thinking, Nuha and Daphne are losing the financial race, but Mikio adds WEPs computing power to their team to help them catch up. Daphnes father dies, strengthening Russells hold on the DeFreest and Sons brokerage. Still, Nuha, Daphne, and WEP are catching up—until a tropical cyclone puts Nuha out of commission.Nuha improves. To fight taxes, Daphne flies to New York, where Gil tells her how Russell has been sabotaging her investment plans. Daphne goes on the offensive and turns Russells tricks back on him. But using illegal tactics, Russell corners the market in lutecium, a rare but essential commodity.By now its spring, and LAFE awakes. Mikio hooks up LAFE and WEP to fight Russell, but the plan backfires, as LAFE and WEP apparently fall in love, consuming all their computing power talking to each other. Mikio uses a combination of couples counseling and hardware modification to bring the three computers together. They are again catching up with Russell, so he turns to physical attacks on Daphne.Gils group of save-the-aspens fanatics plan to burn down the forest if Daphne fails to take control of EFP. LAFE thinks a forest first would be better than a chipboard factory, since he would survive in the long run as long as his root system is intact.Daphne cannot stand the idea of losing LAFE for her lifetime. She struggles to find a different way of saving LAFE, but she is hampered by Russells attacks. She almost gives up to the arsonists idea, when another attack on her kills Pearson. She vows never to give up the fight against Russell, but even if she beats her cousin, can she win a rep