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"Retire? Yeah, I want to die with my head in the typewriter. That's my idea of retirement."
- Alfred Bester

Panatrope  
  A device that modifies human dna to ensure survival in harsh alien environments.  

This technovelgy lets the author imagine a future that contains "people" who are barely recognizable as human.

"The panatropes make adaptations, not gods. They take human germ-cells - in this case, our own, since our bank was wiped out in the crash - and modify them toward creatures who can live in any reasonable environment. The result will be manlike and intelligent. It usually shows the donor's personality, too.
From Surface Tension, by James Blish.
Published by Galaxy in 1952
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