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The Inhabited   By: (1920-1987)

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Richard Wilson’s novel, which goes by the name of The Inhabited, is a gripping and thought-provoking work of science fiction that transports readers to a vividly imagined future. Set in a distant colony, Wilson’s narrative explores themes of identity, survival, and the consequences of human interference in an alien world.

The story revolves around a young botanist named Emily who finds herself in a thrilling and dangerous dilemma when she stumbles across a forbidden area of the colony. Here, she discovers a hidden civilization of intelligent alien beings, significantly different from humans but just as complex and intriguing. As Emily becomes more acquainted with their society, she finds herself torn between her loyalty to her fellow humans and her growing empathy for the alien inhabitants.

Wilson’s skillful world-building takes readers on a visual and sensory journey through the intricate details of the alien planet and its rich ecosystem. His descriptions of the flora and fauna are so vivid that one can almost smell the exotic scents and feel the soft touch of the alien greenery. Through Emily’s eyes, the readers themselves experience the thrill of exploration and discovery, while also coming face to face with the consequences of humanity's insatiable curiosity.

One of the book’s great appeals lies in the depth and complexity of its characters. Emily, in particular, undergoes a remarkable transformation throughout the course of the story. From a cautious and reserved scientist, she evolves into a brave advocate for the alien society, challenging the preconceived notions of her fellow humans. Additionally, the supporting characters are equally well-developed, each with their own struggles, desires, and secrets that add layers of depth to the overall narrative.

Moreover, Wilson’s exploration of themes such as identity and belonging provide a profound resonance that extends beyond the boundaries of science fiction. As Emily navigates her way through a world she thought she understood, readers are invited to reflect on how they define themselves and how they relate to others who might seem different on the surface. The novel prompts valuable introspection about the nature of prejudice and the importance of empathy in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

If there is one minor drawback in The Inhabited, it is that the pacing occasionally lags, particularly during the middle chapters where the focus shifts away from the initial discovery. Some readers may find themselves impatient for the story to regain its momentum, but the patient reader will be rewarded with a satisfying and emotionally charged climax that ties together the various threads of the narrative.

In conclusion, Richard Wilson’s The Inhabited is a captivating and profound work of science fiction that combines imaginative world-building, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes. Fans of the genre will find themselves immersed in a brilliantly crafted alien world, while also being challenged to reflect on the complexities of human nature and our place in the universe. Wilson’s masterful storytelling leaves readers eagerly awaiting his next foray into the unknown.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction January 1953. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

[Illustration: Containing a foe is sound military thinking unless it's carried out so literally that everybody becomes an innocent Trojan Horse! ]

The Inhabited



Illustrated by ASHMAN

Two slitted green eyes loomed up directly in front of him. He plunged into them immediately.

He had just made the voyage, naked through the dimension stratum, and he scurried into the first available refuge, to hover there, gasping.

The word "he" does not strictly apply to the creature, for it had no sex, nor are the words "naked," "scurried," "hover" and "gasping" accurate at all. But there are no English words to describe properly what it was and how it moved, except in very general terms. There are no Asiatic, African or European words, though perhaps there are mathematical symbols. But, because this is not a technical paper, the symbols have no place in it... Continue reading book >>

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