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Surface Tension

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In this acclaimed short story, a human colonization ship crash lands on a distant planet where the only landmass is completely covered in shallow puddles of water. The planet is uninhabitable to humans, so the crew must genetically engineer their descendants into something that can survive.

Originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction (August, 1952) , a revised version
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Paperback, Selected Science-Fiction Magazine #4 (Australian)
Published 1952 by Manimore Press
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Kevin Kuhn
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this story as part of a group read in a (most excellent) Science Fiction Facebook group for which I belong. The story was originally published in August 1952 of Galaxy Science Fiction. James Blish was a Hugo and Nebula winner and adapted Star Trek episodes into short stories for Bantam. He also wrote a Star Trek novel titled Spoke Must Die! I love that the PDF is actual images from the original magazine, including an ad for The Magazine Institute, a mail order writing school! At forty ...more
Martin
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"I think we'll be able to populate this world with men, but we won't live to see it."
To survive on the pond covered world humans converted themselves to a life underwater with no memories of who they used to be


Back to the beginning
"The panatropes make adaptations, not gods. They take human germ-cellsin this case, our own, since our bank was wiped out in the crashand modify them toward creatures who can live in any reasonable environment. The result will be manlike and intelligent. It usually
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Andreas
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
genetically changed, microscopic humans rediscover technology on a water planet.
Full review at my blog.
☯Emily
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to ☯Emily by: BCC course
This is a short story about humans designing new life on a faraway planet. Apparently, humans from Earth traveled to distant planets that had similar earth-like qualities, including an atmosphere, and on each planet they create humans who can survive. On one planet, the rocket crashes and all the humans die. However, before that happens they create microscopic human-like people who can live in the sea. My teacher does not believe in Intelligent Design and ridicules anyone who does not believe in ...more
Steve
This review was excerpted from my review of the August, 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, in which the story originally appeared.

James Blish was never one of my favorite science fiction authors; nevertheless, I think that his story "Surface Tension" is excellent. Wikipedia says:

"Surface Tension" was among the stories selected in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the best science fiction short stories published before the creation of the Nebula Awards. As such, it was
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Katrina McCollough
Couldn't read the last 3 pages because fuck you Scribd but I LOVED this, the greatness of the 50's and 60's space exploration age set in a microbial world. If anyone has a link with the full story please hook it up.
Laur-Marian Mertea
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Although the idea had a huge potential, for me it seems that this short story could have been much better. Some of the dialogue felt really rushed and forced, while the characters were really unremarkable and action fairly plain.

1.8/5
Forked Radish
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
An alternate title: Sea Monkeys in Space!
Lawrence
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, short-story
My favorite short story.
Royden Jones
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful short story from the 1950s from where humanity creates modified versions of itself in order to live on different planets. This story begins when an accident crashes the scientists on a planet that is (almost) entirely water covered, and the type of humanity that needed to be made to survive there. I am glad that I read it =)
Željko Filipin
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tiny humans are building a space ship. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964 #19
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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
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