Strange Eden

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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First published in Imagination Dec 1954

Two men on a survey of the galaxy touch down on an Earth-like planet. One man explores the forest and encounters an immortal woman whose race has visited Earth in the past inspiring many of Earth’s myths and legends about Gods and miracles. The woman fights off the man’s amorous advances, but then gives in, warning him first that if they have sex it will cause him to evolve. 

The next morning the woman approaches the ship and informs the captain the other man won’t be returning. As the captain leaves he sees a large cat-like animal gesturing angrily (in a way that is strangely human) as the ship flies away.

Cast of characters

  • Captain Johnson – captain of a survey ship
  • Brent – surveyor on the Terran ship
  • Aeetes and an unnamed woman – sibling inhabitants of the planet