Thursday, June 24, 2010

Henry Kuttner's "Dark Dawn" (as by Keith Hammond) (short story, adventure, free)

Among the least interesting I've seen from Kuttner so far, & the only one where I've seen him advocating slavery!

Story summary.

A new kind of atom bomb test somewhere in the Pacific changed Daniel Gresham (who was looking at the blast) unusually: he lost his vision, but gained the power to telepathically take over brains of lesser animals like sharks & birds. So, in spite of being now blind, he can still see the world through the eyes of these creatures.

And at the bottom of the sea, two races of intelligent sea animals live - a ruling race called "Swimmers" with their cities, & a slave race of "dark" animals called "Others". Blast disrupted machines that kept Others enslaved, & now a Swimmer has telepathically connected with Gresham, seeking help.

A bit of adventure. Slaves overrun the masters. This gives Gresham a mission in life - to exterminate the former slaves for daring to dream freedom!

See also.

  1. Similar telepathically living in another's mind also occurs in Olaf Stapledon's "Star Maker".
  2. Feeling of exhilaration in a human who can telepathically live inside a stronger animal & explore environments normally inaccessible to him is the main theme in Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe" (download audio or comic book adaptation.) & Clifford D Simak's "Desertion" (download scans as part of a larger package) too.

Fact sheet.

First published: Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1947.
Download full text.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Henry Kuttner; Telepathy in fiction.