Pantropy

Tagged: Theme

This useful item of sf Terminology was coined by James Blish in the stories later melded together as The Seedling Stars (fixup 1957). Blish's view was that in humanity's Colonization of Other Worlds (which see for further discussion), we must either change the planet to make it habitable (Terraforming) or change humanity itself to fit it for survival in an alien environment (pantropy). The Greek root of the word means "turning everything". Pantropy is usually undertaken by some form of biological engineering (see Genetic Engineering). An ugly pantropy fable is "Between the Dark and the Daylight" (October 1958 Infinity) by David C Hodgkins (Algis Budrys), reprinted as by Budrys in Budrys' Inferno (coll 1963; vt The Furious Future 1964), in which generations of humans are genetically rendered ever more inhuman to fit them for violent competition with murderous alien life. Man Plus (1976) by Frederik Pohl, a novel that tackles several pantropy issues, prepares a man for living on Mars by changing him into a Cyborg. [PN]

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