This article will be permanently flagged as inappropriate and made unaccessible to everyone. Are you certain this article is inappropriate? Email Address:. It was first published in the May issue of Galaxy Science Fiction and reprinted in the collection Nightfall and Other Stories. Humanity has spread out into the galaxy and made contact with four other intelligent non-human races. Harg Tholan , a medical doctor and researcher from the planet known as Hawkin's Planet arrives on Earth and visits Rose Smollett , a research biologist , and her husband Drake , ostensibly a police officer but in fact an agent of a secret government organization.

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This Novelette is a Science Fiction story overlapping with the Spy Fiction genre, a Genre Mashup that Dr Asimov would repeat several times over, although he grouped them in the more general Mystery Fiction genre.

Dr Rose Smollett is informing her husband, Drake, that they will be hosting Dr Harg Tholan, an alien visitor from Hawkin's Planet, while he conducts a few Earth-based experiments.

Drake doesn't appreciate opening his home to the Hawkinsite, so Rose placates him by giving him the information he demands about the alien doctor.

She understands that policemen are naturally suspicious and isn't offended. The first time all three are together, Mr Smollett has just arrived home for dinner. He exchanges polite pleasantries with Dr Tholan, and the three share a vegetarian meal together. Dinner conversation revolves around the alien; why he needs cyanide to breathe and what he studies. After dinner, Dr Tholan requests to visit a police station in order to see the human version, especially the missing persons department.

Each of these conversations were important ; the unique nature of humanity , as defined by this story, makes them the symbiotic hosts to parasites. These creatures of mental activity derive nourishment from the mental activities of other creatures, and can exert a limited amount of influence over their hosts.

Once this information is drawn out of Dr Tholan, Mr Smollett kills him and explains to his wife why the parasitism has gone on too long; the human race is too adapted to the creature, living a symbiotic relationship where the absence of the creature causes cancer.

Except that Dr Smollett knows that's wrong ; cancer affects human children as well as fish that would otherwise grow the same way the aliens do. She quotes a line from The Bible ,. Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account.

Galaxy final lines: "She had finally learned why Drake had married her. Not a conjugal relationship— Conjugation. Nightfall and Other Stories final lines: "She had finally learned why Drake had married her. Literature of the s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Show Spoilers. How well does it match the trope?

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Hostess — Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov needs no introduction, for his name and work are iconic among SF fans worldwide. Campbell, Jr. He also was a long-time member of the all-male dinner and conversation club known as the Trap Door Spiders, which he used as the basis for a series of mysteries featuring the Black Widowers—a group of those devoted to solving mysteries. Kornbluth and Judith Merril for this serialized novel. It was retitled for its book publication as Outpost Mars. As in any good mystery there are more questions at the outset than answers, and here Asimov reveals carefully doled out drips and drabs of information which resolve themselves into a rather… odd theory of why humans are immune to the Inhibition Death. What exactly is the Inhibition Death?


Hostess (short story)

A biochemist, Rose Smollett, accepts a non-human visitor to Earth into her home as a guest. Her policeman husband, Drake, is suspicious and hostile, and her investigation into why leads to the discovery that humans—including her husband—are hosts to a parasitic life-form which is deadly to all the non-human races of the Galaxy. It starts out cheerfully enough. Rose is comfortable in her career and happily married, if a little surpsied to find herself such after years of spinsterhood. The intrusion of the alien Harg Tholan into her world changes everything, first by raising a series of mysteries and then providing the painful solutions. On her own Rose manages to come up with a theory about the mysterious Inhibition Death that plagues all races of the galaxy except humans, and her solution is remarkably close. As for Drake, Asimov keeps him an enigma.


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