Does a Bee Care?

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"Does a Bee Care?" was originally published in the June 1957 issue of If.

Does a Bee Care? is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov. It was first published in If: Worlds of Science Fiction in June 1957, and reprinted in the 1975 collection Buy Jupiter and Other Stories. Gold Key Comics also published a comic book version of the story in 1976, in #4 of the four issue science fiction series Starstream: Adventures in Science Fiction.

Plot summary[edit]

An ovum is deposited on pre-human Earth by an alien race and in due course it gives birth to a creature that takes the form of a human. Over the centuries, the creature lives amongst humans and mentally influences certain of them to advance the development of civilization. In particular, it works on scientists and eventually it causes the development of space travel. As the first spaceship to attempt to reach the moon is being built, the creature, now known as Kane, causes the creation of a small space in the ship, which he enters, unknown to the builders.

The ship leaves Earth and at the appropriate point, Kane departs from the ship and, now fully developed, travels unaided to its home planet.

The author draws an analogy between Kane and a bee that visits and thereby pollinates flowers at random, with no real knowledge of what it has done.


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