Jupiter's importance in sf is derived from its status as the largest planet in the Solar System and also the most accessible - because nearest to Earth - of the GAS GIANTS. Its four major moons - Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa - were discovered by Galileo, but it was not until 1892 thatthe US astronomer Edward Barnard (1857-1923) discovered the fifth. About a dozen others have been discovered in the 20th century. The visible "surface" of Jupiter is an outer layer of a very dense, deep atmosphereand is thus fluid, though it does have one enigmatic feature that has endured at least since 1831: the Great Red Spot.Jupiter was included in various interplanetary tours inspired by the religious imagination, and is prominent in several 19th-century interplanetary novels, including A World of Wonders (1838) by Joel R. Peabody, the anonymously published The Experiences of Eon and Eona (1886; by J.B. Fayette) and John Jacob ASTOR'sA Journey in Other Worlds (1894), in which it is a "prehistoric" version of Earth, replete with dinosaurs, etc. It is a parallel of Earth in A Fortnight in Heaven (1886) by Harold Brydges (1858-1939) and in theanonymous To Jupiter via Hell (1908). As astronomical discoveries were popularized, however, the credibility of an Earthlike Jupiter waned rapidly. The last significant novel to use a Jovian scenario for straightforward UTOPIAN modelling was Ella SCRYMSOUR's The Perfect World (1922), though pulp-sf writers squeezed a little more melodramatic lifeout of the notion. Edmond HAMILTON's "A Conquest of Two Worlds" (1932) tells the harrowing tale of the human invasion of Jupiter, and Edgar Rice BURROUGHS sent John Carter there to fight the eponymous "The Skeleton Menof Jupiter" (1943).Many exotic romances set beyond the orbit of Mars employ the satellites of Jupiter. Ganymede is featured in E.E. "Doc" SMITH's Spacehounds of IPC (1931 AMZ; 1947) and in Leigh BRACKETT's "TheDancing Girl of Ganymede" (1950), and Io features in two notable early pulp-sf stories: Stanley G. WEINBAUM's "The Mad Moon" (1935) and Raymond Z. GALLUN's "The Lotus Engine" (1940). John W. CAMPBELL Jr requiredcontributors to ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION to pay more attention to what was actually known about the planets. Early applications of this new realism to Jupiter are "Heavy Planet" (1939) by Lee Gregor (Milton A. Rothman; Tony ROTHMAN) and "Clerical Error" (1940) by Clifford D. SIMAK.Simak revisited Jupiter in his curious "Desertion" (1944), in which humans undergo biological metamorphosis in order to enjoy a paradisal existence there. Isaac ASIMOV set one of his earliest stories, "The Callistan Menace" (1940), in the neighbourhood, then turned his attention to Jupiteritself in "Not Final!" (1941), in which hostile aliens are discovered there, and in "Victory Unintentional" (1942), in which Jovians fail to realize that their visitors are ROBOTS rather than men. Two classic magazine sf stories dealing with conditions on Jupiter are James BLISH's "Bridge" (1952 ASF; incorporated into They Shall Have Stars fixup 1956; vtYear 2018!), in which a colossal experiment to test hypotheses tests also the psychological resilience of the experimenters, and Poul ANDERSON's "Call Me Joe" (1957), about the everyday life of an artificialcentaur-like creature designed for the Jovian environment. Anderson later made use of a similar background in Three Worlds to Conquer (1964) - the worlds being Jupiter, Ganymede and Earth - in which Ganymede comes into focus as a possible site for a colony, a notion developed also by Robert A. HEINLEIN in Farmer in the Sky (1950), Anderson again in The Snows ofGanymede (1955 Startling Stories; 1958) and Robert SILVERBERG in Invaders from Earth (1958). Blish, however, recognized that such COLONIZATION would require considerable GENETIC ENGINEERING (which he called PANTROPY), as displayed in "A Time to Survive" (1956 FSF; incorporated into THE SEEDLING STARS, fixup 1957).Although it has become obvious that humans could neverlive on Jupiter, the idea of a descent into its atmosphere continues to attract attention. Such descents are featured in Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter (1957 as by Paul French; vt The Moons ofJupiter), the brothers STRUGATSKI's "Destination: Amaltheia" (1960; trans 1962), Arthur C. CLARKE's "A Meeting With Medusa" (1971) and its elaboration as The Medusa Encounter (1990) by Paul PREUSS, Ben BOVA's As on a Darkling Plain (1972) and Gregory BENFORD's and Gordon EKLUND's "The Anvil of Jove" (1976; incorporated into If the Stars are Gods, fixup1977). Several of these stories cling to the hope that Jupiter might harbour alien life of some kind, albeit nothing remotely humanoid, as does Benford's juvenile novel Jupiter Project (1975; rev 1980). By far the mostspectacular use to which Jupiter has recently been put, however, is in Arthur Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two (1982), in which it is elevated to thestatus of a second sun by monolithic di ex machina in order to give a crucial boost to evolution on Europa - an idea echoed in Charles L. HARNESS's Lunar Justice (1991). Europa (as revealed by the Voyager probes)is also the centre of attention in Charles SHEFFIELD's Cold as Ice (1992). A relevant theme anthology is Jupiter (anth 1973) ed Frederik and CarolPOHL.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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