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The Seedling Stars Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1959
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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In 'Seeding Program' Donald Sweeney is a young man who has been altered so as to be able to survive on Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. He has been raised completely alone and his job is to bring the leader of refugees, The Adapted Men already at Ganymede, to justice. If he succeeds to infiltrate, he may get a reversal of his adaptation and live in Earth. But things are not quite what they seem; the government who sends him to the mission hasn't told him the whole truth. The story ends at escape of the surviving refugees from Ganymede. The seeding of stars begins.
In 'The Thing in the Attic' the off-springs of the seeding program live in a trees where any heretic statement against prior giant legends are condemned to the horrifying ground level. The fear of the ground dominates this planet. This part is about the adventures of the exile group in pre-historic environment.
In 'Surface Tension' we find out that one of the seeding ships ship wrecks to a waterworld and human genome must be radically Adapted to survive. This is *truly* unique story where survive actions happen at microscopic level. These humans escape from horrors of rotifer (smaller thank plankton) and build tiny "space ship" to explore world by rising above the water's surface.
The 'Watershed', The final story, is set in millennia in the future where humans have adapted virtually everywhere. The genetic modifications are so vast that the the original human is now in minority. This is the story of an Adapted returning to see unhabitable earth.
Five (5) stars. This 1957 compilation is Blish at his best.Read more ›
Seeding Program - 4/5 - Having escaped the moon, home to the adaptation program, the Adapted Men have found purchase on the unforgiving moon of Ganymede. Earthlings, however, find the project to amoral and are fueled with suspense to put the colony to an end. To facilitate this usurpation, the same moon program has created through metamorphosis an individual identical to the outlaw Adapted Men who is then sent on a mission to infiltrate the community with the goal of kidnapping their leader. This man, Sweeney, finds a comfortable yet small society progressing in science to meet their fate as promulgators of life to the galaxy. 50 pages
The Thing in the Attic - 4/5 - Arboreal human Adapts, furry and quaint in appearance, have colonized the tree tops to be kept safe from the monstrosities which walk upon the shadowed earth beneath the umbrella of foliage. It is here, which the denizens deem to be Hell, where the convicted blasphemers go to suffer and ultimately die. A lengthy 1000 day sentence is given to five heretics who find the Book of Laws and the tale of the Giants to be mere fable. Upon reaching hell, they strive to ascend until ascension is no longer possible.Read more ›
(4/5) Seeding Program
This story examines the beginnings of the the practice of pantropy. Sweeney, an Adapted Man, is placed by the Terran Port Authority in a colony of Adapted Men and their chief scientist on the moon Ganymede. His task, bring the fugitives back to Earth so he can become human. Sweeney eventually discovers that during his sheltered life under a dome on the Moon he was indoctrinated with lies about the Adapted Men. He eventually realizes that he'll never become human and decides to remain with his new family. He assists in the launching of the new seed ships from Ganymede which head off across the galaxy to find suitable planets for pantropy.
I really enjoyed this story. I was expecting slick 1950s space ships and was pleasantly surprised when Blish describes a much more feasible spaceship of modules placed in a metal framework. The scientist and his Adapted Men is very similar to the plot of Star Trek's The Wrath of Khan and the follow up episodes in Star Trek: Enterprise. I suspect Blish might have been an early inspiration...
(2/5) The Thing in the Attic
The Thing in the Attic is by far the weakest selection of the collection.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am referring to Surface Tension, one of the best ever written science fiction stories. It might look like a science fiction story, but one can draw the conclusion that Blish was... Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Adam Armstrong
Blish is always extremely fascinating, but sometimes he's simply superb. As in this book. Nobody ever has explored pantropy like him, and nobody will likely do it as briliantly.Published on January 25, 2012 by rickylgarcia