By Carol Pohl & Frederik Pohl
The 1960s and 1970s were an exciting time for science and SF. Robotic probes had given humanity its first close up look at the worlds of our solar system: Lunar farside in 1959, Venus in 1962, Mars in 1965,Jupiter in 1973, Mercury in 1974 and Saturn in 1979 (the other worlds would have to wait until the 1980s). The flood of increasingly detailed information about the worlds of our solar system gave riseto a short-lived genre, one that it existed in the tension between how SF had imagined the neighbour worlds to be and what our spaceprobes were revealing.
Carol and Frederik Pohl’s 1973 anthology, Jupiter, is perhaps my favourite exemplar of that mayfly genre. It is filled with classic SF stories, most of which had been published between the 1930s and the 1950s (1971’s “A Meeting with Medusa” is the outlier). All these stories doomed to obsolescence thanks to human ingenuity . However, they still make good reading, for the most part.