Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Henry Kuttner's "Atomic!" (novelette, mutation, free): Precursor to Stanislaw Lem's "Solaris"?

This one came 14 years before Lem's famous novel. Lem's version is more polished, & gives sentience to an ocean on an alien world - a sentience incomprehensible to humans. This earlier version of Kuttner happens right here on earth - a lake gains sentience in the aftermath of a nuclear war, & behaves in a far more comprehensible manner than Lem's ocean. In both stories, the sentient water body interacts with humans via human dummies it controls.

The sentient lake here has a potentially comprehensible "biology" too, & needs to defend itself against humans who kill any & all mutations arising out of nuclear fallout.

Fact sheet.

First published: Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1947.
Download full text.
Rating: A.
Related: Stories of Henry Kuttner; Tuesday Classics; Fiction from 1940s.