Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Other Planets

Poul Anderson, Brain Wave (London, 1977).

Here is another logical conclusion from the premise of this novel. Increased intelligence entails early development of a faster than light drive and exploration of other planets.

Venus - wind, sand and a poisonous surface;
Mars - plant life;
extrasolar planets -
green-furred humanoid city dwellers;
tailed barbarian swamp-dwellers;
a gentle gray race growing symbolically significant flowers;
a global atomic war;
centauroids with local interplanetary flight;
three intelligent, hydrogen-breathing species on a gas giant;
an inflexible global civilization where routine is replacing thought;
"...a tropical paradise of idleness..." (p. 140), based on plants specialized to meet all needs;
a nation on a ringed planet pursuing art instead of wealth or power.

None of these races is more intelligent than pre-change humanity. Here is the beginning of an answer to the question: how should mankind use its increased intelligence?

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