a native or inhabitant of the planet Saturn
And yet, perhaps, while we our station prize / Blest with the warmth of more indulgent skies, / Some cold Saturnian, when the lifted tube / Shows to his wond’ring eye our pensile globe, / Pities our thirsty soil, and sultry air, / And thanks the friendly pow’r that fix’d him there.
There is not perhaps another object in the heavens that presents us with such a variety of extraordinary phenomena as the planet Saturn: a magnificent globe, encompassed by a stupendous double ring: attended by seven satellites: [...] the rings and moons illuminating the nights of the Saturnian: the globe and satellites enlightening the dark parts of the rings: and the planet and rings throwing back the sun's beams upon the moons, when they are deprived of them at the time of their conjunctions.
In the case of Saturn as in the case of Jupiter, the provision of satellites, and of the rings which form so glorious an object to the astronomer on earth, is altogether inadequate to increase the supply of light received by the Saturnians to any such extent as has been imagined.
Saturn has large lead mines, but no other metal is found on this planet. The inhabitants have nothing else to make tools of, except stones and shells. The mechanical arts have therefore made no great progress among them. Chopping down a tree with a leaden axe is necessarily a slow process. So far as the Saturnians can be said to have any pride in anything, it is in the absolute level which characterizes their political and social order.
‘What relentless, cruel people these long-faced, sly-looking Saturnians are,’ exclaimed lone.
It takes only a little over half an hour for light to come from that planet [sc. Jupiter] to the earth, a distance of 400,000,000 miles. Still, in the wireless telephone the people up there are our next door neighbors. And Saturn is nealy [sic] twice as far, but only an hour between us, if we want to talk to the Saturnians, where the sun does not look much bigger than a silver dollar and where they have no nights.
Why not get someone to write a tale of electro-mechanical astro-projection—a perfectly possible thing. Also, a story by, let us say, a Saturnian, relating the first visit by ‘Terrestrians.’ The non-human viewpoint might be a difficulty, however.
The sooner you learn the folly of disobedience, the better we will all get along together. Understand, then, that we Saturnians are equipped with electrical knowledge beyond your wildest imaginings.
As the brief twilight of Roo darkened, Captain Future lounged around the plantation. The warehouse was empty of dried vitron. The plantation was a mere mask for Li Sham’s real activities. He, the Saturnian, and the two Uranians shared a carelessly-cooked dinner which had been cooked by a stringy, sullen Neptunian. Then Newton followed Li Sham out into the darkness to the rocket-car.
Not that I have anything against this sort of story, but after seeing it so often it becomes tiresome. The story is always the same; hero is bronzed Earthman, heroine is proud Martian princess (or proud Veneusian [sic] sorceress, or proud Saturnian warrior-queen, etc cetera [sic]), villain who is a ruthless and ambitious fellow Martian or Venusian or Saturnian, who resents the Earthman, having a crush on said proud MP (or PVS, or PSWQ etc.). Repetition does not endear this sort of thing, it just becomes silly.
The bottom of Saturn’s atmosphere, if the radiosonde readings could be trusted, was just 16,878 miles below the top of the Saturnian clouds one could see through the telescope, and the temperature down there was below -238° F. Under those conditions, even pressure-ice would be immovable, and could not be worked with anything softer than itself.
Look, we have one subject in common: antique bagpipe music. If we ran out of that, we’d have about as much rapport as a Martian and a Saturnian marooned on a desert asteroid.
These gas lanterns were now flying through the upper atmospheres of Jupiter and Uranus, collecting and burning helium, and other gases in flares whose light was reflected outward by electromagnetic disks. But the Saturnians had refused to allow them, because they did not want to disturb the ringed planet’s appearance.
‘By using atomic acceleration, we can slingshot the fleet toward a rendezvous with Ceres by way of Saturn—if it’s still there when we arrive,’ she added with dark humor. ‘The orders have already gone out for the Saturnians to prepare blocks of frozen hydrogen for launch. They’ll fire them at the precise course and speed needed for us to intercept as we leave Saturn’s orbit. Without that fuel, we will not be able to slow down enough to be effective when we reach Ceres at the intercept point.’
Martians, in cultural terms, are very special non-people. Daniel Price, a senior lecturer and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in astrophysics at Monash University, says one of the reasons people obsess about Martians and not Saturnians or other planetary species is partly one of familiarity.
Richard Savage, ‘The Genius of Liberty’
Last modified 2021-12-17 16:17:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.