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In the twentieth century however the advance of astronomy gave us a more realistic framework to explore. He had not expected the lashing downpour would be reduced to drifting purple mist that moved like fleeing shadows over a red and purple sward.Jupiter, over three hundred times as massive as the Earth but with a much lower density, must be made of the same stuff as the sun, and must have roughly the same composition: hydrogen, helium, and other elements in traces. For now, however, they lack the technological means to escape their world. Simaks Desertion (1944) shows an attempt to cope with Jupiters hellish conditions by transforming humans into a form of Jovian life: He had expected a hell of ammonia rain and stinking fumes and the deafening, thundering tumult of the storm . Poul Andersons Call Me Joe (1957) features a kind of tele-operation.Paul of the very first SF magazine he ever saw, the November 1928 edition of Gernsbacks Amazing Stories, showing astronauts on a Jovian moon hanging before the planet itself.Clarke was not quite eleven years old when this was published.But it does host at least two wonders worth travelling a light-second or two to see.

Our own moon may have no life, no air, precious little water.Lets hope we dont have to wait much beyond the end of the current century to find out more, when Falcons Kon-Tiki is scheduled for its momentous meeting with Medusa.[Top] We see very little of the solar system in the movie Avatar: just a few brief scenes on a desolate Earth.Campbell Jr., who insisted on scientific realism in the stories he published. (1941) Jovians, made xenophobic by an ignorance of the universe beyond the cloud decks, regard humans as vermin. In the 1960s predictions of temperate, Earthlike conditions of temperature and pressure in Jupiters upper atmosphere, as well as the possibility of the presence of a wide variety of organic molecules, led to speculation about life in the Jovian cloud layers.And because of the planets vast size and resources, I tell you that the Jovians . It was into this version of Jupiter that Howard Falcon of A Meeting with Medusa descended, in a mixture of a bathyscaphe and hot air balloon.[Top] The Medusa Chronicles, my new collaboration with Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz, 2016), came out of a chance suggestion by Al in the course of a nostalgic email exchange: why dont we write a sequel to A Meeting with Medusa? Clarkes much-loved novella was originally published in Playboy for December, 1971.

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