Intelligent Plants in science


The crying, talking trees in Virgil and Dante to suggest that the idea of ​​interacting with plants is of great antiquity, but only in the sense that the transmigration of human souls in the plants; content is not yet actual plant intelligence in its own right.

Then transitional examples in the first half of William Hope Hodgson boats Glen Carrig (1907). In the chapter “The Land lonesomeness” and are taken to the island where it is crying at night, and evil trees are prone to wrap their branches throughout the unwary tourist. The story suggests that human souls are somehow sucked into the trees and then beckon more to join them. The sense of horror is a peculiar and powerful. The atmosphere is a supernatural fear, but you can work remotely considered science fiction.

Then comes the great age of science fiction magazine, and all kinds of portrayals intelligent plants bloom out in the literature.

Murray Leinster’s ‘Proxima Centauri’, dating from the early years of the pulp SF, describes malicious space-travel plants invade human explorers. A more subtle approach is from the planet-wide intelligence vegetables in 1931 story “seedling Mars” by Clark Ashton Smith, where humanity is oppressed by the promise of Utopia. Raymond Z Galli, another Vintage 1930 writer, produced more calls a variation on this theme in “seeds of Dusk ‘, which this time humanity is treated to peaceful death of exotic vegetables invader in the distant future. In this last story, the reader is made be found to remove the last degenerate humans is a great loss to the world.

The change from these threats, in Clifford D Simak is All Flesh is Grass (1965) to enounter really benevolent (although pretty ruthless) intelligent life in the plant, although the form it takes is the planet wide biological computer works through photosynthesis, and only out of a similar plant to know. All flesh is grass is one of the best novels Simak is, fun to read. Preach the fraternity of all species in a gentle, humane, his inimitable style, it is nevertheless not soft or flabby about it, and it contains a lot of tension, threat and impingement of strange universe upon ordinary life, which is the hallmark of a certain subgenre of science fiction -. what might be called the Small-town cataclysm

What plants civilization considered in itself, regardless of the impingement of the human race? For this you need to go to Olaf Stapledon, to 8 pages Star Maker (1937) where he story rise and fall of “plant people ‘in a small, hot, energy-rich world. The story of creatures he describes characterized by conflict between work that night and contemplative day course of nature. The situation is eventually lost, and the first since the nature predominates, leading to their doom plants men and their world. In 40 years of reading science fiction I’ve never come across anything remotely similar to the symptoms of these 8 sites, as far as the theme of plant intelligence purposes. It is a parable about a message for all cultures, the stress it gathers the very important theme of natural origin people.


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