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prison compound amidst the jungles of europa

..."What can we do?" I said hopelessly.  "They watch our every move by day, and at night cage us in that prison-pen that nothing could escape from."

"Just the same, I'm not going to die here toiling like a beast," said Kurdley, taut, and was silent thenceforward.

When the feeble little sun sank from sight, and the green sky began to darken, work was halted.  Our tools were checked in and then we exhausted prisoners were marched by the armed guards toward the metal buildings of the colony's heart.  We trudged wearily on the load-soled shoes that held us down against Europa's lesser gravity.

A few officers off duty watched idly as we were marched through the colony.  And as usual there were a few Europans, come as friendly visitors from the surrounding jungles.  Big, green, rotund creatures with bulbous heads, watching us with their huge, faintly glowing eyes, their flipper-hands holding the short spears they used for hunting...

Edmond Hamilton, Mutiny on Europa (Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1936)

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life expectancy on a trek across europa

"...You don't seem to realize our predicament.  We're at least twelve days from civilization - that's figuring sixty miles a day, which is hardly possible.  Tonight, the temperature will fall to a hundred below freezing, at least...

"...Well, if the cold doesn't kill us, we're bound to run into at least one bloodsucker gryb every few days.  They can smell human blood at an astounding distance; and blood for some chemical reason drives them mad with desire.  Once they corner a human being it's all up.  They tear down the largest trees, or dig into caves through solid rock.  The only protection is an atomic gun, and ours went up with our suits.  We've only got my hunting knife.  Besides all that, our only possible food is the giant grass-eater, which runs like a deer at the first sight of anything living, and which, besides, could kill a dozen unarmed men if it were cornered.  You'd be surprised how hungry it is possible to get within a short time.  Something in the air... speeds up normal digestion.  We'll be starving to death in a couple of hours..."

A E van Vogt, Repetition (Astounding Science Fiction, April 1940)

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europan menu

...We didn't want liver-leaves again.  The little nutsies from the salt pool were all right, but it was a half-day's job to gather enough, and besides, they were almost too salty to be pleasant fare for a whole meal.  Bladder birds were hopeless; they consisted of practically nothing except thin skin stretched over a framework of bones.  I remembered that once we had tried a brown, fungoid lump that grew in the shade under the song-bushes; some of Gunderson's men had liked it.

Claire finally broke the silence.  "If I'm going to help you look," she suggested, "I ought to know what we're looking for."

I described the lumpy growths.  "I'm not sure all of us will like them.  Near as I can remember, they tasted something like truffles, with a faint flavor of meat added.  We tried them both raw and cooked, and cooked was best..."

Stanley G Weinbaum, Redemption Cairn (Astounding Stories, March 1936)

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