Friday, February 8, 2013

Vic Phillips & Scott Roberts' "Fish Story" (short story, fishing adventure, free)

Illustration by Schnecmen accompanying the original publication in Astounding magazine of short story Fish Story by Vic Phillips and Scott Roberts. Image shows human hunters fishing a Porgill in a lake on Venus.
It's hunting adventure in the jungles of Venus, told by an unreliable narrator. I completely missed the details of the scientific technique in the story - a chemical process (something about crystallization of salt) to entomb "fish" wholesale in a lake, fish that cannot be caught by normal methods. And the sensibilities here are disturbing, though probable - hunting an animal species nearly to extinction in one shot, over a couple of days, rather than over hundreds of years that has been the norm!

"Fish" in the story are "Porgill", larvae stage of "Nordiff" - a land animal that lays eggs in the lake.

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, May 1941.
Download full text as part of the scans of the magazine it originally appeared in.
Rating: B.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.