Where the Changed Ones Go

by Robert Silverberg


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Part three of To Open the Sky.

Since it is impossible for a human to survive on Venus without maintaining a presurized environment, the colonists of Venus have altered themselves to suit the planet. The manipulations are genetic, so succeeding generations are born to live on the hostile world. (The Jim Burns cover art gives you an idea: blue skin and pseudo-gills.) After decades of failure to convert the inhabitants of Earth's colonies on Mars and Venus, the Vorster church sends yet another missionary/martyr to Venus in 2135. He is surprised to find a thriving mission of the heretic sect of Transcendent Harmony, which is nearly dead on the home world. And the Venusians have other changes less obvious than those to their bodies.

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