Science Fiction Planets Harry Harrison's Pyrrus

About the planet Pyrrus described in the book Deathworld by science fiction writer Harry Harrison.



Location: Somewhere in the galaxy.

Discoverer: Captain Kurkowski, commander of the stellar transport Pollux Victory, which settled Pyrrus 300 years before the story.

Book: Deathworld (1960) by Harry Harrison.

Description: Pyrrus is a heavy-metal world with a radioactive core surrounded by a shell of lighter materials. It has a large axial tilt, which provides an enormous variation in weather conditions and temperatures from season to season; the weather can vary daily from freezing to tropical, with violent storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The radioactive core generates unceasing volcanic activity, plus earthquakes sufficiently violent to sink half a continent within hours. The planet's two moons combine at times to form enormous ocean tides. Gravity is twice Earth normal. The most unusual aspect of this violent world, however, is the animosity shown humankind by the indigenous flora and fauna, all of which are lethal, having either poison fangs, claws, teeth, or other dangerous elements, and all possessing an unreasoning hatred of the human race. Even the plants wage an unceasing war against the lone human settlement. After 300 years of habitation, the human population has dropped from 55,000 to 30,000. Every plant and every animal is telepathic to a degree; the human settlers, not realizing this, in effect attract the enmity of the creatures by their combative and aggressive attitude, an attitude that is instilled through rigorous training from birth. Unless humans can rid themselves of their hatred, there can be only one end to this war against the environment: the death of every human being on Pyrrus.

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