September 22nd, 2011, 10:36 PM
A story about...
I'm imagining this story was probably published around the 1970's. I believe it was a short story, and that I read it in the mid-to-late 70's, at any rate. It's about two scientists(?) who've been dispatched to a relatively newly discovered world to study the planet's ecosystem, and report back. Their report will have some bearing on what is ultimately done with the planet, I think. Toward the end, one is dead, the other dying, but before he dies, he realizes either:
1) The entire ecosystem is actually one kind of organism, going thru different phases of it's life cycle in different forms,
2) The entire ecosystem is interdependent, with each lifeform in complete symbiosis with the next (I remember this term clearly), and that to remove any part would doom the whole.
Hope you can help,
September 30th, 2011, 02:29 AM
I think this might be "The Lake of Tuonela" by Keith Roberts, it is contained in his collection of short stories called "The Grain Kings"
Last edited by Triffid; September 30th, 2011 at 02:37 AM.
Reason: Edit - I just skimmed it and don't think its what you're after
September 30th, 2011, 02:01 PM
It does not appear so, but make up your mind through this: http://iansales.com/2008/01/29/an-unexpected-challenge/
October 5th, 2011, 01:39 AM
I assume that was an excerpt from "The Lake..." If so, that wasn't the story I read...
In the story I read, these 2 guys were alone, on an undeveloped, very jungle-like world, relatively newly discovered. Their job was to decipher the ecosystem, and the relationships between the various life-forms, from the tiniest to the biggest. The one guy, after the other had already died, realized that the tiny animals (think tiny rain-forest frogs) were actually precursor life-forms to the large plant ones (think giant pitcher plants or palms), and they were all symbiotically interwoven. That's all I can remember.