The Possessed (short story)

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"The Possessed"
Author Arthur C. Clarke
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction
Published in Dynamic Science Fiction
Publication date March, 1953

"The Possessed" is a science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1953.

Plot summary[edit]

The story deals with a kind of parasitic aliens that do not have a physical body, and must colonize the minds of some intelligent beings to enjoy life. The world of their hosts is destroyed in some kind of a catastrophe, and they travel through space in search of another suitable host.

They ultimately land on primeval earth where there is life but no intelligence. So they must nudge some species towards becoming intelligent, in a manner reminiscent of first story in 2001 A Space Odyssey. The end reveals the modern versions of hosts these aliens chose. We come to know that, sadly, they bet on the wrong animal.

The story appears in the following collections.

See also[edit]

The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

External links[edit]

The Possessed title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database