On Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 11:14:20 PM UTC-4,
Post by firstname.lastname@example.org Post by Paul Rubin
I received this query from a friend, didn't know the answer, so am
I read a story many years ago in which the lab animals in a
spaceship develop human-like intelligence and try to escape down to
the nearby planet.
Did you read that? If so, what was its author and title?
The closest to this I remember offhand is _Contraband from Otherspace_ by
A. Bertram Chandler, serialized in _Worlds of If_ as _Edge of Night_.
In it rats on a merchant starship mutate under the influence of
radiation and the time twisting effect of the Manschen FTL drive
and become intelligent. Eventually they acquire human technology
and have their own network of colony worlds at the rim of the
galaxy, and become a threat to human-settled worlds in that region.
However, these are not laboratory animals but shipboard rats that
in this future are found on spaceships as they have always been
our fellow travelers on the seas.
FL Wallaceâs âBig Ancestorâ is sort of an inversion of that.
I'm currently rereading my way through James White's Sector
General series, and some non-SG stories have been bundled into
one of the anthologies.
So, could the story the OP's looking for be White's "The
Conspirators"? Cats, rats, mice, and guinea pigs have developed
intelligence and are trying to escape the ship. I find I don't
want to read the story, but it ends with most of the intelligent
critters left, by human assistance, on a suitable planet. It
ends with the viewpoint character, Felix, remaining on the ship
as it returns to Earth. Apparently some kind of change has taken
place in the humans too, and the captain is saying to Felix that
none of them will want to remain on Earth, where the inhabitants
are so vicious.
Ring any bells?
Dorothy J. Heydt
djheydt at gmail dot com