"Heavy Planet" is a 1939 science fiction short story by Lee Gregor. It is about an alien on a very dense planet who finds a crashed spaceship.
This story takes place on a planet with very high atmospheric pressure and very powerful gravity, and it starts with a man in a boat. Ennis is his name, and he is struggling to control his little boat in the midst of a squall. It is then that he sees an alien spaceship crash into the ocean. As he investigates he realizes that the high pressure of his world has squashed the crew, and he finds that he has to be very careful so as not to damage the ship. But there is something of immense value in the ship, and before Ennis can retrieve it he has to deal with the enemy battleship that arrives to also claim spoils. The problem is that this crashed ship is so flimsy Ennis and his enemies have to be extremely careful how they do battle – lest they destroy it in the process. That causes a bit of a stalemate… until Ennis discovers a secret weapon that will turn the tide in his favor!
My Two Cents
- Story: – I really liked the idea of aliens who evolved very dense and tough bodies on a planet with immense pressures. That was a great idea!
- Writing: – I thought the writing was quite good – especially for a story that is over 70 years old!
- Fun Factor: – Reading about Ennis being careful so as not to rip the tissue-like material of the space ship was a blast! And I quite enjoyed the ending too.
Where To Find Heavy Planet
- This short story first appeared in the August 1939 edition of Astounding Science-Fiction.
- You can read "Heavy Planet" for free online at Szymon Sokol’s web site.
- It is also included in the wonderful anthology The World Turned Upside Down.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you enjoyed "Heavy Planet" then you may also like "Black Destroyer" by A.E. van Vogt – about a vicious alien who attacks the crew of an exploration space ship.