When men attained interstellar travel in the 21st century, the Third World War had reduced the United States to a second-class power and the USSR had ceased to be a power at all. World leadership had been taken over by fast-growing Brazil. Hence, most early spatial exploration was done by Brazilians, and the government-owned space-transport system, the Viagens Interplanetarias, was largely Brazilian in control and personnel.
L. Sprague de Camp draws on this background of the interplanetary frontiers with the master touch that has made him one of the best-known of science fiction writers. Like every frontier, the star-ways are overrun by wildcatters. Not even the rigid controls set up by the Viagens to protect the native cultures of the plants can stop the influx of adventurers, swindlers, crackpots, shady salesmen, tourists ripe for the confidence man. There are reptiles buying bathing suits, outlaws selling animal crackers as weapons in local wars, dude ranches on the other side of space. Anything goes for a quick Credit (buck, to you), anything from setting up numbers racket on medieval Krishna to taking the clothes off every many, woman and child in California. Sprague de Camp's Viagens stories are here brought together for the first time. you will enjoy every yarn in this happy collection.