Science Fiction Planets Pierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes Soror

About the planet Soror described in the book Planet of the Apes by science fiction writer Pierre Boulle.



Location: Soror is the second planet of the giant red star Betelgeuse, or Alpha Orionis, located about 300 light-years from the planet Earth.

Discovers: Ulysse Merou, Professor Antelle, and Arthur Levain, who together embark upon the first interstellar voyage in the year 2500. Ulysse is a journalist, Levain a young physician, and Antelle the scientist who funded and constructed the spaceship. With them is Hector the chimp.

Book: Planet of the Apes (1963) by Pierre Boulle.

Description: The planet Soror (the name means "sister" in Latin) is virtually a twin of Earth, having similar gravitational pull, atmosphere, plants, animal life, proportion of land mass to oceans, cities and towns, and signs of civilized life. There are minor differences, of course, but physically the two worlds are remarkably alike. Ulysse and his companions are astonished to find upon landing that the humans they encounter, while nearly perfect in outward appearance, seem to react to their overtures with animallike behavior; they possess neither speech nor comprehension. Here it is the apes--gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans--who rule the world, and who look upon humans as mere beasts, brutes to be used for experimental purposes. Ulysse manages to convince several of the younger chimpanzee scientists of his intelligence, but the orangutans, at the center of the bureaucratic establishment, remain unpersuaded. Meanwhile, his companions either have been killed or have gone mad. Finally Ulysse investigates an archaeological site that convinces him that humans once ruled this world, and that the apes took over through a combination of human degeneracy and ape development. When the brute humans begin to show signs of increasing comprehension, the apes sense a threat to their rule, and Ulysse, together with a brute female and their newborn child, must flee Soror with the help of his chimp friends Zira and Cornelius. Returning to Earth after an absence of 700 years, he is greeted at the landing field by two uniformed members of the military establishment--both of them gorillas.

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