Planet for Transients

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First published in Fantastic Universe Oct-Nov 1953

A human named Trent sets off across the radioactive surface of Earth from an underground settlement in Pennsylvania, where food and oxygen supplies are dwindling, in search of another human settlement that can help them survive. On his trek he encounters three different groups of mutants who have adapted to thrive in that environment in the three hundred and fifty years since the nuclear war. 

He eventually finds another settlement, and they let Trent know the hard truth that humans have made Earth inhospitable for themselves and forfeited their right to live there anymore. The Earth belongs to all the mutants, and the humans deserve this for nuking the surface. They are leaving for good in search of other planets in a rocket they have constructed, and they agree to take Trent’s group with them. 

Cast of characters

  • Trent
  • Jackson and Earl Potter – friendly mutants Trent runs into on the surface. They also show up in the wasteland of Deus Irae.
  • Norris – a human in the settlement leaving Earth