Sunday, September 9, 2012

Eric Frank Russell's "Down, Rover, Down" aka "The Case for Earth" (short story, first contact, free): Man not mature enough to join elder aliens' union

Illustration by Harry Turner, accompanying the original publication in Nebula Science Fiction magazine of short story Down Rover Down by Eric Frank Russell, showing the aliens assembly on Mars deliberating whether Man should be allowed to join their union. Also present in picture is the human representative.
One of the minor stories of Russell.

Story summary.

Moon & Venus have been conquered; now it's time to expand outwards. Carlow is the sole occupant of the first human ship to Mars. He'll lose contact with earth on the way, & meet an interstellar reception committee on arrival there. And made to attend hearing that will decide the fate of humanity...


Title is alien's answer to human's objection to aliens' decision:
  "Even if we haven't learned to keep the peace, we are smart & tough & we keep going. Man's a rover, see?"
  "Down, rover, down!"

See also.

  1. Robert Heinlein's "Have Space Suit - Will Travel": Has a somewhat similar sitting of an alien committee to judge the fate of humanity.

Fact sheet.

First published: Nebula Science Fiction, #14 (November 1955).
Download full text as part of the scans of the magazine it originally appeared in.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Eric Frank Russell (annotated list).