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Looking for an old science fiction story about a spaceship that has to make an emergency landing on a forbidden planet. Once they land, they find the planet to resemble paradise, populated by a great variety of species of animal and plant life. Each animal and plant is unique, and there are unexpected hybrids of plants and animals. Turns out, the planet is contaminated by a highly contagious genetic virus which spreads genetic material from one species to another, pollinating trees with animal DNA and creating strange hybrids. The crew gets back on their ship and head back to Earth, knowing they’ll be quarantined on arrival. Then the ship’s cat, I think, unexpectedly has a litter of kittens with the face of the ship’s captain...Anybody read anything of the sort?

The story described above was a part of the larger collection, I think. I probably read it back in the nineties, in Russian, but it was likely translated from the original English, though it might have been by a Soviet sci-fi writer. I’m afriad that’s all I remember.

  • Welcome to SFF.SE! You may want to take the tour, to better understand how the site works. You've provided a nice description of the story, but any additional information you can provide will help someone track it down. Try looking at How to ask a good story-ID question? for ideas on additional information you can edit into your post. – RDFozz Oct 6 '18 at 3:31
  • The story described above was a part of the larger collection, I think. I probably read it back in the nineties, in Russian, but it was likely translated from the original English, though it might have been by a Soviet sci-fi writer. I’m afriad that’s all I remember... – Yana Oct 6 '18 at 3:38
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    This is similar but not exactly like Asimov's Green Patches. – Organic Marble Oct 6 '18 at 3:42
  • Sounds the kind of thing Philip Jose Farmer might have written, but I couldn't swear to it. – Mike Stone Oct 6 '18 at 7:44
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This sounds like a corrupted version (memory) of Isaac Asimov's classic "Green Patches" (1950).

From Goodreads:

A research spaceship from Earth lands on Saybrook's Planet to investigate a report by an earlier colony ship. The colony ship's captain, Saybrook, had reported that the planet's abundant plant and animal life was all part of a single organism with a unified consciousness. That organism was able to induce pregnancy in all the colony ship's female animals, and all the offspring born had green patches of fur instead of eyes, a sign that they were part of the planetary organism. When Saybrook had the women in his crew examined and confirmed that they were all pregnant, he sent a sub-ether report back to Earth and then destroyed his ship.

  • Can you explain why you think this story is a potential match? – Valorum Mar 8 at 17:59
  • The questioner's question is a good summary of "Green Patches," except for the following deviations: >>Then the ship’s cat, I think, unexpectedly has a litter of kittens with the face of the ship’s captain.<< Rather, human babies are born - with green patches instead of eyes. – Alex Mar 9 at 12:55

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