what to see on
oberon

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life on oberon, sprung from fire and metal

...A half dozen vague, crouching shapes were approaching them through the smoke.

They were not men, nor did they wear any protective suits....

The creatures were quadrupeds, and looked something like big baboons.  But their bodies had a queer, metallic appearance.  And indeed, no flesh of ordinary organic compounds could have existed for more than a minute in that tremendous heat.

The faces in the brutish heads had only two features - a gaping mouth of shining metal teeth, and wide-set, unchanging crystal eyes.  The rear feet were hard metallic hoofs, but the front feet were massive, gleaming talons.  Most terrifying of all, bursting flames issued from the mouths of the creatures at each exhalation...

Edmond Hamilton, Treasure on Thunder Moon (1942)

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mineral life on oberon

"Impossible," muttered Russ.  "Life can't exist here."

But they trudged on, across the barren flat to a ridge of rock.  Here they found what they had thought to be impossible.  Clustered along the side of the ridge, in the faint light of the distant and tiny Sun, was a series of thin, blue stalks, about half a foot in height.  On each stalk was a flat scalloped top like a little umbrella.  It was sometimes bright blue, and sometimes violet.  As they drew nearer, these little stalks began to sway, and turned their tops toward them.

"They look like plants," said Burl.  "Plants made of something glassy and plastic."

As Russ studied the strange growths, something moved across the dusty tract behind them.  It was long and thin and wiggly, with a ridge of tiny crystalline hairs along its back.  It was like a snake perhaps, but one made of some unbelievably delicate glasswork.

It slid among the plants and wrapped itself around one.  The growth stopped suddenly, and then was absorbed by the creature.

Russ shook his head in amazement.  "This is a great discovery...   life designed to exist among liquid gases and frozen air - life which can't have anything in common with protoplasm.  Apparently it couldn't exist even on Saturn's moons - they were too hot for it!"

Donald A Wollheim, The Secret of the Ninth Planet (1959)

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