Title: Desertion You are not logged in. If you create a free account and sign in, you will be able to customize what is displayed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Klifford Saymak Clifford Simak. John W.
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Simak, C. Already he has sent four men out on to the surface of Jupiter and a fifth man, Harold Allen, stood in front of him. Fowler warns Allen of the importance of the mission and not to go on any rescue mission. The hostile environment of Jupiter doesn't permit humans to walk its surface and so a biological converter is used to transform humans into Lopers, the highest form of native life. As metals and materials made by humans rapidly degrade.
Ms Stanley, the converter's operator disagrees with the sending of any more men to their deaths, as none of the previous four have returned. Allen never comes back. There is talk that the conversion process may be flawed but it would take years to find it. Fowler contemplates sending more men but then changes the plan and decides to be converted along with his dog Towser.
Viewing Jupiter as a Loper is different than as a human, Fowler is surprised that the environment, perceived as hostile by humans, is quite pleasant as a Loper. Fowler tries to converse with Towser but finds he has no lips, instead he communicates to his dog with a form of telepathy. Fowler learns that Towser has always tried talking with him but was never able to get through.
They experience the vibrations of an ammonia "waterfall" as music. Fowler is able to spontaneously come up with a process of coming up with a metal that would be able to withstand the pressure of Jupiter. In the Loper form, he is able to use one hundred percent of his brain.
Fowler compared his old life, and its limitations with his new form and ways of experiencing the planet. He felt a higher call of destiny, a greatness of adventure. Towser refuses to return, Fowler argues that they can't let the humans down. He then remembers the limitations of human life and form and changes his mind to return "some day". Both Fowler and Towser are unable to go back to the limited life of a dog or a human. That compared to being a Loper, being a human is just as limited as being a canine.
With regards to our understanding of terraforming, it seems that transforming into native species rather than transforming the environment is a slightly better strategy. Living with the environment.
Also the story explores an interesting idea that experience and perception is based on what sort of eyes you use. To the human, Jupiter is a hostile environment with terrible wind storms. But to the Loper, it is a beautiful landscape filled with adventure. A different strategy, so far beyond our current technology, but it would be interesting to see this implemented on a simpler scale, ie, not altering our environment, but learning to live with it. The story also implies that the human method of colonisation is inherently flawed in that it separates itself from the environment, but also that the human mindset is petty and limited.
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Reading Log: Desertion by Clifford D. Simak
Paragraph operations are made directly in the full article text panel located to the left. Paragraph operations include:. Zone operations are made directly in the full article text panel located to the left. Zone operations include:. He had the easy confidence of youth, the face of one who never had known fear.
Pantropy is a hypothetical process of space colonization in which rather than terraforming other planets or building space habitats suitable for human habitation, humans are modified for example via genetic engineering to be able to thrive in the existing environment. The term was coined by science fiction author James Blish , who wrote a series of short stories based on the idea collected in the anthology The Seedling Stars. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fictional depictions [ edit ] —In the science fiction novel Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon , when humanity migrates from Earth to Venus and later from Venus to Neptune , human beings are genetically engineered to fit the new environments in which they will be living. Simak , which appeared in the November Astounding Science Fiction. In this story, human colonists living in a domed city on the planet Jupiter are put through a biological converter that converts their bodies into the form of the indigenous Jovian lifeform called the "Lopers.
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