Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jupiter In the Fiction Of Leigh Brackett - Various Various

Jupiter in the fiction of Leigh Brackett
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Jupiter, the fifth and largest planet of the Solar System, and its moons play a significant role in the Solar System fiction of Leigh Brackett. In Brackett's stories, Jupiter's largest moons are inhabited by a variety of exotic intelligent species; the system serves as a frontier region, beyond the explored and settled Triangle worlds of Venus, Earth, and Mars.

As in real life, in Brackett's Solar System Jupiter is a massive, heavy-gravity world swathed in a cloak of poisonous gases, uninhabited as far as anyone knows.Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Natural satellites
3 Io (Jupiter I)
4 Europa (Jupiter II)
5 Ganymede (Jupiter III)
6 Callisto (Jupiter IV)
7 References
7.1 Stories set in the Jovian system
7.2 Other stories


Even after Terra had sent spaceships to Venus and Mars, it took many years before a manned expedition was sent to Jupiter; concerns involved not only distance, time, and energy, but also the dangers of crossing the Asteroid Belt in the time before effective anti-impact deflectors were built. The impenetrable area around Jupiter was then known as the "Jovian Gulf" (Cube from Space). The first manned expedition to Jupiter was launched from Mars, and included Stephen Vance. Even after this expedition, however, travel to Jupiter was very difficult; crossing the Asteroid Belt was dangerous, and several ships disappeared in the mysterious "Veil", which was a menace for three hundred years. It was not until the invention of the Rosson deflector and the disappearance of the Veil that it was possible for large numbers of people to travel to Jupiter safely (The Veil of Astellar).

For a long time, the human settlements on the Jovian moons were mere colonial outposts, in conflict with the natives of Jupiter's moons and dependent upon the Inner Worlds for supplies. Abortive attempts were made to organize the colonies from an early date, such as the Brotherhood of the Little Worlds (really a criminal enterprise masquerading as a political movement) of Arrod of Callisto (Queen of the Martian Catacombs/The Secret of Sinharat); there were also native uprisings, such as the one led by the Mercurian Eric John Stark (Enchantress of Venus). But it was not until the much later influx of settlers that Jupiter acquired its own identity and nationhood.

This new unity was powerfully expressed in the Jovian war, fought against all of the Triangle Worlds, in which the Jovians had the advantage due to their possession of Jovium, an isotope capable of disintegrating metal (Outpost on Io).

Jupiter obtained control of a considerable number of asteroids (the "Jovian Mandate"), including three of the most water-rich planetoids, as well as a forward base on Ceres. Conflicts over this territory led to a brief war with Venus (Interplanetary Reporter).
Natural satellites

Jupiter's 4 largest moons: from top to bottom, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto.

When Brackett's stories were written, Jupiter was known to have twelve moons orbiting it. The four largest of these are Io (Jupiter I), Europa (Jupiter II), Ganymede (Jupiter III), and Callisto (Jupiter IV). They are among the largest moons in the solar system, and only these four are permanently inhabited. Several other moons orbit Jupiter, but none play a significant role in the stories.

Although the diminished heat of the Sun at Jupiter's distance would be expected to leave the moons cold and frozen, Jupiter's gravity causes tidal heating of the three moons' cores, causing internal heating and vulcanism.
Io (Jupiter I)

Io is the innermost and third largest of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter.

Other than a small amount found on Jupiter XI, Io is the only source of Jovium, a radioactive isotope that can trigger a progressive breakdown in metallic atoms. Jovium is extracted from certain blue-green "muds" found on the surface of Io, which also have the property of crystallizing carbon wherever they come into contact with it—including living flesh. It was used as a weapon in the Jovian War, but production of Jovium abruptly halted after the explosive destruction of the Jovians' primary extraction plant.

Due to the instability of its surface, Io is uninhabited by intelligent beings other than military personnel and others involved in mineral extraction. The only significant animal indigenous to Io is the indescribable quag.

Europa (Jupiter II)

Europa is a moon of the planet Jupiter. It is the fourth largest by diameter and mass of Jupiter's satellites. It is the smallest of the four Galilean moons.

Europa is home to a number of species, including two intelligent ones, the Europan birdmen and the tentacled Europans.
The tentacled Europans stand approximately eight feet tall. They move about on four "rubbery" legs, which support a body with smooth black skin. Their tentacles are manipulative and sensory appendages that sprout in a crown from the top of their body. Being extremely strong, they are often used as soldiers, though they have a propensity to motion sickness (Outpost on Io).
The Europan birdmen are basically humanoid, but with small, wiry bodies and wings spanning twenty feet. They are light enough to be capable of flight both on Europa and on Earth (The Halfling).

Ganymede (Jupiter III)

Ganymede is Jupiter's largest moon, and indeed the largest moon in the entire solar system; it is larger in diameter than Mercury but only about half its mass.

Ganymede is one of Jovian moons most hospitable to life. Its internal heat raises its temperature higher than would be expected from solar radiation, while interactions between its ocean, volcanoes and biosphere have produced an oxygen-rich atmosphere, though one that also has a high sulfur content.
Callisto (Jupiter IV)

Callisto is a moon of the planet Jupiter. It is the third-largest moon in the solar system, and the second largest satellite of Jupiter, about the same size as the planet Mercury.

Callisto possesses two quite distinct intelligent species. One type is humanoid, though smaller and thinner than humans, and with four arms. These Callistans have scarlet eyes, white fur, and scarlet feather-like antennae atop their heads. They possess psionic abilities that they can project through the music of specially designed instruments (The Citadel of Lost Ships).

The other intelligent species, the cat-men, descend from a feline ancestor. In shape they closely resemble humans, and except for their tails, clawed feet, and a mane of fur across their shoulders and down their backs to the tail could pass for human. They are, however, forbidden to mix with humans and will retaliate against any member of their species who does so. Their most significant weakness is the propensity to become addicted to coffee (The Halfling).
Stories set in the Jovian system
Outpost on Io (Planet Stories November/Winter 1942)
The Dancing Girl of Ganymede (novelette; Thrilling Wonder Stories February 1950)
Other stories
Interplanetary Reporter (Startling Stories May 1941)
Cube from Space (Super Science Stories August 1942)
The Halfling (novelette; Astonishing Stories February 1943)
The Citadel of Lost Ships (Planet Stories March 1943)
Shadow Over Mars (Startling Stories Fall 1944) published in book form as The Nemesis from Terra
The Veil of Astellar (novelette; Thrilling Wonder Stories Spring 1944)
Queen of the Martian Catacombs (Planet Stories Summer 1949) published in book form as The Secret of Sinharat
City of the Lost Ones (novella; Planet Stories Fall 1949) also published as Enchantress of Venus[hide]
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The Leigh Brackett Solar System

Planets Mercury - Venus - Mars - Jupiter

Categories: Jupiter in fiction | Leigh Brackett

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