Earth maintained an important garrison on Asteroid Y-3. Now suddenly it was imperiled with a biological impossibility—men becoming plants!
k box. Bradshaw stiffened, and his jaw set, but otherwise he gave no sign. The image of Harris regarded him for a time and then stepped away from the controls.
"Can you hear me, Mr. Bradshaw?" the image asked.
"What is your name?"
"Robert C. Bradshaw."
"What is your position?"
"Chief Biologist at the check-station on Y-3."
"Are you there now?"
"No, I'm back on Terra. In a hospital."
"Because I admitted to the Garrison Chief that I had become a plant."
"Is that true? That you are a plant."
"Yes, in a non-biological sense. I retain the physiology of a human being, of course."
"What do you mean, then, that you're a plant?"
"The reference is to attitudinal response, to Weltanschauung."
"It is possible for a warm-blooded animal, an upper primate, to adopt the psychology of a plant, to some extent."
"I refer to this."
"And the others? They refer to this a
I found the story to be predictable, and a bit boring. Aliens convince men they are plants. Big deal.
The people don't photosynthesize, they behave like plants. This is a clever short story concerning a military psychologist given the task of figuring out why spacemen posted to an asteroid come back from leave off-base only wanting to sit in the sunlight all day. He eventually gets to the root of the problem. The ending is subtly funny.