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1974 revision of 1963 book
Polymath, by John Brunner (1974.) Lex was crew on one of 2 ships from Zarathustra that had made it to this new world. Within days of landing, their ship was underwater, and Captain Arbogast had lost all touch with reality. The planet has plenty of life - vicious, hungry, and very carnivorous. The winters were harsh, the summers torrid, and chances of survival seemed slim. Lex was a trainee Polymath - one who's job would be to forsee all problems necessary to set up a safe home for humanity. It took decades to train a Polymath for a particular planet. Lex had just started training, and he had been studying for a different planet. He didn't want the job. No would want to take orders from a relative youngster like him - but if he didn't take the job, the colony would fail.
Revised from Castaways' World (1963 Ace-Double.) I believe Brunner was at the top of his form in the late Sixties/early Seventies, and am quite willing to accept his many rewrites (of old Ace Doubles) during this period as improvements over the already good originals. This is the first "Zarathustra Refugee" book (by internal chronology.) These are a very loose series whose connection is that all take place on planets settled by refugees from Zarathustra - when that planet's sun went nova, 3000 starships carried a few million survivors into exile on a variety of worlds. (The other books are The Avengers of Carrig and The Repairmen of Cyclops.)