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mini-elephants on eros

"I was stooping down to pick a branch of a tree to bring back, when I suddenly saw them in the dawn.  They stampeded and I caught one, a magnificent tusker, and none of them bigger than mice.  This I knew must be absolute proof...  I put the elephant into that match-box and put an elastic band round it to keep it shut...

"Well, I might have collected more things; but, as I said, I had absolute proof, and I had hanging over me all the while, and oppressing me with its weight, that feeling that I was on the wrong planet.  It is a feeling that no one who experiences it can shake off for a single moment...  It is no mere homesickness, it is an always-present overwhelming knowledge that you are in the wrong place, so strong that it amounts to a menacing warning that your very spirit repeats to you with every beat of the pulse.  It is a thing I cannot explain to anyone who has not been lost outside Earth..."

Lord Dunsany, Our Distant Cousins (Saturday Evening Post, 23 November 1929)

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fungus forest on eros

Small as it was, Eros had a tiny satellite. It was a silvery object that circled (the asteroid) in a regular orbit. Curt only glanced at the object, which was now on the opposite site. Eros grew into a large, yellowish bulk as the Comet dropped in toward it. Thin air whistled outside, for one of the marvels of this tiny world was the fact that it was able to hold an atmosphere.

Curt flew above the sunlit side of the oblong asteroid, keeping well away from the black hills at its western end. He knew from his previous visit that so-called Magnet Mountains could tear every atom out of a ship that approached too closely.

They flew over a rolling plain covered with tawny grass, crossed above a river that flowed in a deep canyon around the asteroid, and then found themselves above a great forest of giant growths that looked for all the world like exaggerated mushrooms.

“That's the eastern Fungus Forest”, noted the Brain, his lenslike eyes peering closely. “The biggest Erosian town is just north of it”.

Curt nodded.

“I remember. We'd better land by the town and we'd better do it before that queer gravitation field starts affecting us.”

He sent the Comet scudding down on throttled rockets over the crowded yellow fungi of the weird forest. At its northern edge lay a small town of pale stone structures, curiously minareted edifices in which dwelt the human Erosians native to this little world. Captain Future landed the ship in the concealment of the towering fungi nearest this town...

Edmond Hamilton, Outlaws of the Moon (Captain Future, Spring 1942; paperback 1969)

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