The Possessed (short story)
|Author||Arthur C. Clarke|
|Published in||Dynamic Science Fiction|
|Publication date||March, 1953|
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 the first chapter 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.
The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
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