The Deep (short story)
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|Genre(s)||Science fiction novelette|
|Published in||Galaxy Science Fiction|
|Publication date||December 1952|
"The Deep" is a science fiction novelette by American writer Isaac Asimov. It was written in July 1952 and first published in the December 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. The story subsequently appeared in the Asimov collections The Martian Way and Other Stories (1955) and The Best of Isaac Asimov (1973). In In Memory Yet Green, Asimov wrote that his motive in writing the story was to deliberately test whether one could do anything in science fiction, so he invented a society in which mother love was considered obscene.
The Race is a technologically advanced alien society with telepathic abilities that lives underground on a planet with rapidly depleting energy resources. The aliens decide to teleport themselves to a new planet, which happens to be Earth. A sentry sent by The Race to establish a teleport on Earth suffers shock when exposed to unfamiliar aspects of human life, including maternal bonding, weather changes, and the inability to communicate telepathically.
In The Best of Isaac Asimov Asimov refers to it as the "sleeper" of the collection, which generated very little response, despite being well liked by Asimov.
The basic idea of the story is rather similar to The Gods Themselves. In both works, a race of highly inhuman aliens is on the brink of extinction due to their sun dying, and decides to use Earth as a source of energy.