Monday, December 5, 2011

L Sprague de Camp's "The Merman" (short story, humor): A man becomes fish!

Vernon Brock, an aquarium researcher, has invented a gas: inhaled by an air-breather, it makes the lungs behave as gills! He's planning to try it on an alligator, but accidentally inhales it himself. Unable to breath air anymore, driven by a certain compulsion, he gets in an aquarium tank with "harmless" sharks - happily breathing water.

It's a somewhat funny story of the man's predicament...


  1. "Merman" is the male version of "mermaid", the way man in tank is jokingly referred to once or twice in the story.

Collected in.

  1. "The Best of L Sprague de Camp".

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, December 1938.
Rating: B.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of L Sprague de Camp.