The Seedling Stars

by James Blish
Reviewed date: 2004 Nov 28
158 pages
cover art

To conquer the universe man has two options: remake planets to suit his requirements, or remake himself to fit the planets. He discovers it is easier and cheaper to remold man to fit new environments rather than to terraform entire planets to make them Earthlike.

Don't bother reading the first story in this collection. The idea behind it is good, but the writing is so fractured and disjointed that the story is ruined. The other three are more enjoyable.

  • Seeding Program (originally published as A Time To Survive): Adapted men on Ganymede are threatened by Earth.
  • The Thing in the Attic: Honath the Purse-Maker does not believe in the Giants who created men. For his heresy he is sentenced to Hell. He is lowered by basket to the surface and banished from returning to the treetops.
  • Surface Tension (originally published in considerably different form as Sunken Universe): Tiny men living underwater create a space-ship that allows them to break the surface of the water and leave their "universe."
  • Watershed: Adapted men return to Earth.

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