Summary: It is Old Jupiter, i.e. a planet with a solid surface, no radiation, not too much gravity, and it is inhabited by humans living in domes and intelligent aliens called Lopers. Survey teams are biologically converted by a futuristic machine into those aliens, go out but fail to return. Military commander Fowler volunteers himself and his dog to transform and investigate the mystery.
Review: One of the first stories about Pantropy, or transhumanism as we’d term it nowadays. A more contemporary setting of transhumanism around Jupiter would be the story The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi by Pad Cadigan. There are a couple of plot holes in the story: Fowler didn’t use any means of surveillance of his survey teams in the form of sensors, or roboters. Although Fowler’s dog is very important for the plot, I don’t believe the setting where old dogs get to military space stations. And last, I simply cannot believe that none of the military trained persons would get back just for a short while and report to his base. On the other hand, the story feature an exceptional strong woman: the operator Miss Stanley, who acts as Fowler’s disapproving conscience and dares to disagree with her military leader, and argues logically to stop the suicidal missions. I liked the description of Jupiter from the alien’s fascinating point of view adding a contrary view from the humans on Jovian reality. Given its publication date, it raises the question if the story was related to WWII desertion, but I don’t have answers to that one.