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The Seedling Stars

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  517 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The Seedling Stars is a collection of science fiction short stories by James Blish. It was first published by Gnome Press in 1957 in an edition of 5000 copies. The stories all concern adapting humans to alien environments. The stories all originally appeared in the magazine Fantasy & Science Fiction, If, Super Science Stories & Galaxy Science Fiction.
Paperback, 185 pages
Published May 2001 by Gollancz (first published 1956)
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Florin Pitea
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this collection of interconnected stories back in the 1980s and it blew my mind with its vision of populating other planets with people redesigned to fit the environment. Recommended.
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Иван Величков
Донесе ми онова, чудесното чувство, когато изровиш стара фантастична книга, от непознат за теб автор, в кашоните за левче и няколко месеца по-късно и дойде редът, без да имаш каквито и да е очаквания, те прасне с винкела на времето право в главата и те върне в ученическите години, когато всяка една книга те е водила на ново пътешествие, изпълнено с приключения, нови идеи, емоции и размисли.
Книгата е от четири разказа, обединени около идеята за пантропия. Новаторска(за 50-те) идея, означаваща нео
Manuel Alfonseca
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Four short stories or novellas with a common thread: the adaptation of human beings to live in very different environments, in the context of the dissemination of human beings all around the Galaxy.

The scientific basis of these stories is negligible. It is, for instance, impossible that a human being reduced to a size of 250 microns can maintain a working brain similar to ours. As impossible as the replacement of water by ammonia in our blood by means of genetic manipulations. The stories themse
J’ai lu pendant mes vacances cet excellent roman qui raconte comment l’humanité a conquis les étoiles en partant sur d’assez mauvaises bases, mais en passant à une humanité adaptée très rapidement. Comme sf.marseille, j’ai été tout à fait séduit par la poésie et la qualité qui se dégagent de ce roman, au point que certains aspects de la quatrième de couverture me paraissent réellement incroyables (le fait que la lecture de Blish soit "ardue", par exemple).
En effet, dans ce roman-mosaïque(1), mê
Several short stories which share the premise that man must adapt to the stars rather than the stars to man, were we to expand beyond the Earth and into the galaxy. I disliked the pacing and the assumptions of knowledge and skill with which the protagonists were provided. Several times I felt the entire idea beyond absurd, but what do I know? Perhaps in a hundred years it will not be so. At the very least it's awakened a need for some good, solid space sci-fi which I haven't had in quite some ti ...more
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The epilogue-y story was a bit message-heavy, but I liked this a lot. Nice spin on depictions of 'alien'. The tiny guys were my favourites.
Joseph Carrabis
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every story in here is a gem. "Surface Tension", in particular, is one I take out and read again and again and again. It never loses anything. Great reading from a master.
Roddy Williams
‘You didn’t make an Adapted Man with just a wave of the wand. It involved an elaborate constellation of techniques, known collectively as pantropy, that changed the human pattern in a man’s shape and chemistry before he was born. And the pantropists didn’t stop there. Education, thoughts, ancestors and the world itself were changed because the Adapted Men were produced to live and thrive in the alien environments found only in space. They were crucial to a daring plan to colonise the universe.

Alethea Bothwell
This is nice and odd - human beings in other shapes, with other adaptations, but still human. What if to the nth degree.
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Back in the early 1980s, I was a big fan of Blish’s fiction – possibly because Arrow had repackaged them with Chris Foss covers – and bought and read a dozen or so. I still have them. But one I’d missed was The Seedling Stars, so I tracked down a copy on eBay a few years ago – with, of course, the Foss cover art – and stuck it on the TBR. I had a feeling I might have read it before – certainly, ‘Surface Tension’, the penultimate story in the collection wasn’t new to me, although I’m not sure whe ...more
Joe Santoro
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soft_sf
This was a weird one... the book claims (as you see on the cover) to be about 'men like spores seeding the universe'.. well, it's not. What it is, is 4 short stories. The first one sorta fits that decscription.. it's kinda the opposite of Heinlein's 'Roads Must Roll'. The various state turnpike authorities basically take over the world, and will only do HUGE science projects that cost lots so they can charge tolls and fees and make money. Thus, despite faster-than-light drives and the ability to ...more
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of linked stories centering around the idea of "seeding" the stars with "adapted" forms of humankind who have been genetically modified through the use of "Pantropy" so as to survive in conditions normally inimical to human survival. The first three stories are all novella length.they are as follows:

Book 1:"Seeding Program"-- This outlines the origins and first use of pantropy and provides us with a fairly interesting adventure set on Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. It's a well wr
Peter Hutt Sierra
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Another science fiction classic from the bargain bin. This premise of the Seedling Stars by James Blish is that mankind has decided to adapt itself for other worlds by modifying its physical form in a process called pantropy. This is more efficient then terraforming worlds and soon hundreds of races of adapted men are spread out across the galaxy. This is a somewhat interesting concept, but for the most part its execution is lackluster.

This book contains three fairly cliched and uninteresting s
Jim Razinha
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another one for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads, and I really enjoyed this re-read. I'm pretty sure that 40 plus years ago I did not know this was a collection of four previously published short stories, but I do recall being enamored of the imagination of James Blish and the science fiction that this was/is...Adapted Men instead of terraforming! Brilliant!

"The Seeding Program" is both quite good and not quite so good. I liked the concept, though the execution at the end wrapped in cliches and na
Aleksandar Sarkic
My friend recommended me this book, and his was totally right, it is fantastic. As a fan of old science fiction and fantasy, i was blown away after reading first part of the book. It mus be said that this is collection of three stories but they are all connected because they are related to pantropy. Pantropy is really magical idea, humans are modified (for example via genetic engineering) to be able to thrive in the existing environment. My favorite is second story, it is well written and you ca ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The author presents us with a way of conquering the Universe in future while showing the true nature of man in our own time - envious, greedy, irresponsible or terribly stupid. Neither characteristic though would make man a dominating species of the Universe. Not only James Blish shows us our flaws but also what would they lead us to: if we are lucky enough to Colonise other planets and solar systems, we would lose our original home, otherwise...
John Jenkins
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a superb set of allegories for the relationship between humans and their ideas of godhood run through with extreme evolutionary sense.

I say superb because James Blish's craftsmanship is the epitome of perfection.

An unflinching exploration of radical ideas wed to wordsmith skills in the order of genius - an easy five stars.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The basic idea of this book is that to inhabit other worlds, it would probably be easiest to modify humans instead of modifying the environment. There are 4 short stories on this topic in the book, but the characterization is weak and the ideas don't have that much depth. I ended up skimming the vast majority.
Michael Hanscom
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one. A neat exploration of four vignettes based around the idea that we have colonized other planets, not by limiting ourselves to Earth-type planets or terraforming, but by genetically engineering settlers adapted to each target planet. Some neat ideas in here.
Aug 31, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Not a novel, a set of related novellas? - I'm not sure - with a short-short to wrap it up at the end. I'd read one of the stories before and it stuck in my memory, nice to find it again. A good enough read, nothing to jump up and down about but not a waste of time, either.
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the first Science Fiction books I ever read, this has formed my opinion of what good SF can be. A collection of short stories on a common theme, exploring the most logical way of colonisation and what it means to be human. Highly recommended.
Diego Eusse
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cuando comencé a leer no sabía que este es el autor de la saga Star Trek, y me asombro lo mucho que se asemeja a uno de los temas mas controversiales en la vida que es "La conquista del espacio".

Un detalle fino e investigativo que nos pone a soñar y a pensar incluso en ¿cuál es nuestro origen?
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I seriously loved this book. HOW IMAGINATIVE! Each story fits into the whole so well. It took me a bit to figure out what was going on, but, as soon as I finished the second story I was sold. Loved it.
Nov 03, 2014 marked it as abandoned
I tried several times and couldn't get through the first chapter. Over it.
Erik Graff
Oct 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Blish fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I particularly liked the last of these loosely linked stories, probably because it attacks racism.
Kokonaisuutena toimiva. Ensimmäinen tarina oli paras, loput itsenäisinä teoksina kuivakkaita, mutta kokonaisuutena menee OK kastiin.
Preston Page
Written before Terra forming, they changed people to adapt to different planets. WONDEFUL.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Grade A+
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Sharp and Ironic. A good sci-fi read
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  • Star Light
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  • The Solarians
  • Inside Outside
  • Those Who Watch
  • The Dark Light Years
  • Journey Beyond Tomorrow
  • City of a Thousand Suns
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  • The Dark Side of the Earth
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James Benjamin Blish (East Orange, New Jersey, May 23, 1921 – Henley-on-Thames, July 30, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. Blish also wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen-name William Atheling Jr.

In the late 1930's to the early 1940's, Blish was a member of the Futurians.

Blish trained as a biologist at Rutgers and Columbia University, and spent 1942
More about James Blish

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