Cover image for


Author: H. Beam Piper
Published: 1951
Language: English
Wordcount: 9,675 / 35 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.2
LoC Category: PS
Series: Paratime
Downloads: 4,960
Added to site: 2006.04.02 13221

Was this ill-fated expedition the end of a proud, old race--or the beginning of a new one? There are strange gaps in our records of the past. We find traces of man-like things--but, suddenly, man appears, far too much developed to be the "next step" in a well-linked chain of evolutionary evidence. Perhaps something like the events of this story furnishes the answer to the riddle.

Show Excerpt

uldn't have to be duplicated, you can figure when we can expect another one."

"The answer to that one is, never. The ship blew up in space; fifty years' effort and fifteen hundred people gone, like that." Kalvar Dard snapped his fingers. "So now, they'll try to keep Doorsha habitable for a few more thousand years by irrigation, and forget about immigrating to Tareesh."

"Well, maybe, in a hundred thousand years, our descendants will build a ship and go to Doorsha, then," Olva considered.

"Our descendants?" Eldra looked at her in surprize. "You mean, then...?"

* * * * *

Kyna chuckled. "Eldra, you are an awful innocent, about anything that doesn't have a breech-action or a recoil-mechanism," she said. "Why do you think the women on this expedition outnumbered the men seven to five, and why do you think there were so many obstetricians and pediatricians in the med. staff? We were sent out to put a human population on Tareesh, weren't we? Well, here we are."

"But.... Aren'


Average Rating of 3 from 4 reviews: ***
JoJo Biggins

I suppose this story is worth the time to read, but it is rather pointless. It's just another lame attempt to explain the rise of humanity. I guess people are determined to manufacture a belief in everything but the truth.

Sardo Weems

An okay story. As the other reviewers said, it's about a colonization effort that loses all its equipment and most of its people in a crash landing. Fairly absorbing, but I saw the ending coming halfway through, and I'm not very bright.


Its an interesting read. A short read but a gripping one. Its tells how a group of people who survive a crash onto a new planet strive for life and colonise the new planet with its own race.


This is interesting, if a bit icky. A ship full of colonists crash-lands on a mysterious planet. Two men and five or six women must learn to survive without technology, fight the native humanoids, and reproduce. The women turn into busy baby-makers, and it definitely gets creepy when the next generation rolls around. But one lesson to take from this is, even if you feel like you're the sole defender of your little world and have no time to do anything but fight for every meal, take the time to teach your kids what you know, or everything you've worked for will disappear.

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