Friday, 12 June 2015

Hibernation

Presumably extreme seasonal variations and natural selection could generate hibernation in intelligent beings? A few posts back, I learned that the Martians of Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic History survive their winters not only comatose but even with frozen blood. In Anderson's A Circus Of Hells, although hibernating Talwinians accidentally roused by a Merseian scientist instantly kill the scientist, the latter's colleagues do not retaliate, understanding that the reaction is automatic.

SM Stirling deduces a logical implication of his Martians' ability to hibernate. Martian jailers usually starve long term prisoners, thus forcing them to hibernate. Comatose prisoners are no trouble and cheaper. A doctor must warn jailers not to treat a Terrestrial prisoner in this way...

Thus, both authors think that hibernation makes sense on Mars and Stirling goes further by deducing how this might affect the behavior of intelligent beings.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Very interesting, how you found a way to link Anderson's A CIRCUS OF HELLS to Stirling's IN THE COURTS OF THE CRIMSON KINGS. Yes, it does make sense for jailers on Stirling's Mars to force long term prisoners to go into hibernation. AND the need to make sure they don't make the mistake of thinking Terrestrial hominids also hibernate.

    Sean

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