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Literature / Green Patches

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It was a loveable little creature, anxious to help solve the troubles of the world. Moreover, it had the answer! But what man ever takes free advice?
—Introduction in Galaxy Science Fiction

First published under the name "Misbegotten Missionary" in Galaxy Science Fiction (August 1942 issue), by Isaac Asimov. This is a Science Fiction Short Story about an alien Hive Mind that wants to help humanity (and all living things) join their collective. It was also printed in the first French issue of the magazine, Galaxie Science Fiction (#1 issue, November 1953).


The story begins In Medias Res; our Villain Protagonist has made it aboard the ship and is trying to hide himself. The story changes perspective every so often, between the little alien missionary disguised as a wire and the humans aboard ship. Both the humans and the alien reflect on the activities of the other lifeforms on the ship, presenting contrasting views.

Two of the humans discuss Saybrook's Planet and the planet's namesake. Meanwhile, the stowaway from the planet replaces some inactive wiring and contemplates how desperately the "life fragments" need to be part of a unified society, one where everything works in blissful unity. If the stowaway manages to reach Earth, it has the totipotent ability to convert all life there into a single organism with a unified consciousness — and green patches of fur instead of eyes.


Outside of the original Pulp Magazine, this story has been reprinted several times, and Isaac Asimov would include it in five of his collections/anthologies; Nightfall and Other Stories (1969), Isaac Asimov Presents The Golden Years Of Science Fiction Sixth Series (1988), The Asimov Chronicles Fifty Years Of Isaac Asimov (1989), Die Asimov Chronik Robot Ist Verloren (1991), and The Complete Stories, Volume 1 (1991).


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Alternative Title(s): Misbegotten Missionary


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