The Romantics used to say that the eyes were the windows of the Soul. A good Alien Xenologist might not put it quite so poetically ... but he can, if he’s sharp, read a lot in the look of an eye!
"O.K.," said Stetson. "You come in loud and clear."
"I ought to. I'm right on top of you!"
"There'll be a relay ship over you all the time," said Stetson. "Now ... when you're not touching that mike contact this rig'll still feed us what you say ... and everything that goes on around you, too. We'll monitor everything. Got that?"
Stetson held out his right hand. "Good luck. I meant that about diving in for you. Just say the word."
"I know the word, too," said Orne. "HELP!"
* * * * *
Gray mud floor and gloomy aisles between monstrous bluish tree trunks--that was the jungle. Only the barest weak glimmering of sunlight penetrated to the mud. The disguised sled--its para-grav units turned off--lurched and skidded around buttress roots. Its headlights swung in wild arcs across the trunks and down to the mud. Aerial creepers--great looping vines of them--swung down from the towering forest ceiling. A steady drip of condensation spattered
If you can get past the badly written, melodramatic beginning of this story, it is fairly entertaining. However, it then degenerates into an abrupt, unbelievable, and trite ending. Worth the time to read, but not exactly quality fiction.
A team of explorers must decide whether to wipe out an alien race, or invite them to join the galactic empire. The politics of this are not well explained. In the end, a junior officer improbably decides the outcome.
The aliens are warlike carnivores. Can they be trusted with the technology they've stolen, or does the planet need to be burned clean to protect the peaceful interplanetary culture?
A good little adventure story; whether the explorer would actually be able to make the leap of intuition at the end may be debatable, but it's a tense, interesting story.
Good short story from one of the masters of Science Fiction. Hero is on a new planet and it is his job to decide whether to make contact with a unknown intelligence or destroy the planet. I think this is part of a series or led to a novel which I read long ago. Theme is identical except the other story line dealt with a human planet that had been out of contact for a long time. Enjoyed this tremendously and highly recommend it.