An Adventure Classic of "Hard" Science Fiction!
Scientific adventure, protofeminism, and romance are just the beginning of this enthralling SF classic. When Marjorie Driscott, of the famous Brassey seed house, is put in charge of an expedition to the ice-clad Himalayas of Central Asia, she knows she is in for trouble from chauvinistic American geologist Robert Vartan and his paleobotanist partner, Frank Shane. Their goal is a strange blue delphinium, like no other known plant on earth—and a shovelful of soil worth $1,000,000.
But others have learned of the delphinium and are determined to do whatever it takes to sabotage the Brassey expedition and claim the prize for themselves. Soon, Marjorie discovers she and her colleagues are enmeshed in a web of scientific mystery, international intrigue, and perilous adventure amid the icy peaks and hostile tribes of Central Asia. Mystery is piled on mystery as they progress through the mystery of tangled purposes and masked personalities which is the surface pattern of the plot, but also the basic scientific mystery—to which the rest are secondary—of the source of the unearthly flowers out of nowhere, and of the strange and powerful forces behind their origin.
Mishap follows misadventure—queer discoveries crowd one upon another in a scientific romance that involves gorgeous delphinium, hereditary insanity, black ice, radioactivity, a visitant from cosmic distances and remote ages, seeds of madness, and the strangest garden ever imagined. The Forbidden Garden is an enthralling epic that will hold fans of science fiction and fantasy spellbound until the last page is turned.
"An engrossing example of what can be accomplished when a prominent scientist with a vivid imagination and a gift for writing applies his talents to science fiction." —Analog
John Taine, under his real name, Eric Temple Bell, was a professor of mathematics at the California Institute of Technology.