Cover image for


Author: Jim Wannamaker
Published: 1961
Language: English
Wordcount: 10,676 / 39 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.1
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,582
Added to site: 2008.01.15 19705

Of course if Man is to survive, he must be adaptable, as any life form must. But that's not enough; he must adapt faster than the competing forms. And on new planets, that can be tricky....

Show Excerpt

s carbon dioxide, argon, et cetera, was mostly surface water, yet offered polar ice caps and a reasonable land area, as taken in the aggregate, although present in the form of scattered, insular masses. The largest of these, about half the size of Terra's Australia, was a comfortable number of degrees above the equator and had been selected as representative for detailed examination. Briefly: standard terrain--a balance between mountains, desert, and plain; flora, varied; fauna, primitive--plenty of insect life, enough to keep an entomologist occupied for years, but not much for specialists in the other branches of zoölogy; warm-blooded creatures comparatively rare; and, according to the original survey team, nothing bacterial that had overburdened Doc Yakamura's polyvalent vaccine; the kind of planet that pleased Galactic Survey because it looked promising for future colonization, come the day and the need.

"The type that skeptics like me view with grave suspicion," I told Moya. "Like saints, wom


Average Rating of 3.3 from 3 reviews: ****
Sardo Weems

It's an all-the-many-ways-a-planet-can-kill-you story. The backstory stretches out a otherwise one-person monologue. Unfortunately, it's not really a mystery story, in that you aren't given enough clues to figure out the killer. The main character figures out what's going on and explains it to everyone.

The butler did it.


A whole survey team has gone missing on a newly discovered planet. They send a specialist to investigate the cause and make contact if possible. This quite short and somewhat simplistic story is about the course of his investigation and the results, which serve to point out that alien environments are always full of surprises for the unwary. The color backdrop is the investigator's prior relationship with captain of the spaceship that is commissioned to ferry him to the target planet, and though once his mentor, now must be under his command. Also lots of spaceship physics to make this a "hard" science fiction story.

William Combs

Well written story that builds suspense about a survey group that has gone missing.

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