Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A E van Vogt's "The Harmonizer" (short story, plant sf, free): Beware! A super-peacekeeper polices the earth!

One of the illustrations accompanying the original appearance in Astounding Science Fiction magazine, November 1944 issue, of short story The Harmonizer by A E van Vogt. Image shows a dinosaur besides an ibis plant during Cretaceous period.I think the best part of this story is van Vogt's unique style. When he's in his element, he can enliven up even the craziest ideas!

Story summary.

Especially engineered, immortal, peace-keeping, "ibis" plants arrived on earth 80 million years ago, accidentally, via an alien ship crash. These plants cannot stand "brutality" in their environment, & are equipped to deal with it.

Their shipment was not meant for earth. A later alien expedition culled them on earth - all except one which was rather well hidden. By then, these peacekeeper plants had already taken care of the violence among the dinosaurs.

Now that humans are fighting a major war, will the surviving peace keeper get into action?

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, November 1944.
Download full text as parts of the scans of Astounding issue where it originally appeared.
Rating: A.
Listed among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: Stories of A E van Vogt.