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阿西莫夫短篇小说:绿斑

《绿斑》中的主题在阿西莫夫的小说中出现多次,像《最后的问题》、《为了一个正当理由》,尤其是《基地》。他对这个设想可谓既迷恋又抗拒,而且难以抉择,在不同的小说里时而倾向这边时而倾向那边。免费关注微信公众号 jiarenorg ,就能天天收到佳人精彩文章了,还有机会和主编小陌一对一私聊喔,咱们微信里见!

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《绿斑》中的主题在阿西莫夫的小说中出现多次,像《最后的问题》、《为了一个正当理由》,尤其是《基地》。他对这个设想可谓既迷恋又抗拒,而且难以抉择,在不同的小说里时而倾向这边时而倾向那边。

虽然目前看来这是实现共产主义的唯一途径,但是残缺不全的我对这种光明美丽的前景也有一些小恐惧啊。

Green Patches

绿斑

Copyright (c) 1950 by World Editions, Inc. (Original title “Misbegotten Missionary.”)

He had slipped aboard the ship! There had been dozens waiting outside the energy barrier when it had seemed that waiting would do no good. Then the barrier had faltered for a matter of two minutes (which showed the superiority of unified organisms over life fragments) and he was across.

他溜上船了!当时他们有几十个守候在能障外面。本来看起来再等下去已经毫无希望了,但是能障忽然中断了两分钟(恰好证明相比起这些支离破碎的生命,融合的生命体是多么优越),他便过来了。

None of the others had been able to move quickly enough to take advantage of the break, but that didn’t matter. All alone, he was enough. No others were necessary.

其他人都不够敏捷,没能抓住这个机会。但是没关系。他独自一个就已足够,不需要别的人。

And the thought faded out of satisfaction and into loneliness. It was a terribly unhappy and unnatural thing to be parted from all the rest of the unified organism, to be a life fragment oneself. How could these aliens stand being fragments?

但很快他就从自得陷入了孤独。脱离了融合生命体,成为一个碎片生命体,是如此可怕、苦恼和不自然的事情,这些外星人怎么能忍受呢?

[注] “unified organism”, “life fragment”怎么翻译最好呢?

It increased his sympathy for the aliens. Now that he experienced fragmentation himself, he could feel, as though from a distance, the terrible isolation that made them so afraid. It was fear born of that isolation that dictated their actions. What but the insane fear of their condition could have caused them to blast an area, one mile in diameter, into dull-red heat before landing their ship? Even the organized life ten feet deep in the soil had been destroyed in the blast.

这加剧了他对这些外星人的同情。现在他自己也体验到了作为一个碎片的感觉:那种远远传来的令他们如此恐惧的可怕的孤独。就是这种从孤独中生出的恐惧控制着他们的行动。如果不是这种疯狂的恐惧,他们为什么要在飞船着陆前把方圆一英里的地方轰成焦炭呢?在十英尺地底的融合生命体都被烧毁了。

He engaged reception, listening eagerly, letting the alien thought saturate him. He enjoyed the touch of life upon his consciousness. He would have to ration that enjoyment. He must not forget himself.

他开始感知周围的一切,认真地聆听,沉浸到这些外星人的思想之中。他享受这种意识与生命的接触,但他必须限制这种享受,他不能失去自我。

But it could do no harm to listen to thoughts. Some of the fragments of life on the ship thought quite clearly, considering that they were such primitive, incomplete creatures. Their thoughts were like tiny bells.

但是听一听他们的思想是无妨的。作为如此原始、残缺的生物(佳人微信公众号:jiarenorg),某些碎片们的思想真够清晰的了。他们的念头就像一个个小铃铛。

Roger Oldenn said, “I feel contaminated. You know what I mean? I keep washing my hands and it doesn’t help.”

罗杰·奥尔登说道,“我觉得被感染了。你懂我的意思吗?虽然不停地洗手,但是没用。”

Jerry Thorn hated dramatics and didn’t look up. They were still maneuvering in the stratosphere of Saybrook’s Planet and he preferred to watch the panel dials. He said, “No reason to feel contaminated. Nothing happened.”

杰里·索恩讨厌这种夸大其辞,没去看他。他们操纵着飞船飞行在塞布鲁克星的平流层中,此时他更愿意去观察仪表盘。他说:“完全没必要,什么事都没发生。”

“I hope not,” said Oldenn. “At least they had all the field men discard their spacesuits in the air lock for complete disinfection. They had a radiation bath for all men entering from outside. I suppose nothing happened.”

“但愿如此。”奥尔登说。“至少所有的登陆人员都把太空服扔到隔离舱里彻底消了毒。还给所有从外面回来的人来了个放射浴。我想应该没事了。”

“Why be nervous, then?”

“那还紧张什么呢?”

“I don’t know. I wish the barrier hadn’t broken down.”

“我也不知道。要是当时能障没出故障就好了。”

“Who doesn’t? It was an accident.”

“谁不是这么想呢?就是个意外。”

“I wonder.” Oldenn was vehement. “I was here when it happened. My shift, you know. There was no reason to overload the power line. There was equipment plugged into it that had no damn business near it. None whatsoever.”

“我可不觉得。”奥尔登激动地说,“当时我就在场。轮到我值班,你知道吗。无缘无故地过载电源线。插着一些啥该死的用都没有的设备,真的完全没用。”

“All right. People are stupid.”

“好吧。人类很愚蠢。”

“Not that stupid. I hung around when the Old Man was checking into the matter. None of them had reasonable excuses. The armor-baking circuits, which were draining off two thousand watts, had been put into the barrier line. They’d been using the second subsidiaries for a week. Why not this time? They couldn’t give any reason.”

“不能蠢成那样。老头子来查看情况的时候我也在旁边。谁也给不出合理的说法。两千瓦的防护壁烘烤电路就接在能障的线路上。他们之前用了一个星期的二级附属电源,这次干嘛不用呢?他们什么理由也说不出来。”

“Can you?”

“那你觉得是为什么?”

Oldenn flushed. “No, I was just wondering if the men had been”-he searched for a word-“hypnotized into it. By those things outside.”

奥尔登脸红道:“我不知道。我只是在想会不会这些人被——”他搜寻着合适的词,“——催眠了,被外面那些东西催眠了。”

Thorn’s eyes lifted and met those of the other levelly. “I wouldn’t repeat that to anyone else. The barrier was down only two minutes. If anything had happened, if even a spear of grass had drifted across it would have shown up in our bacteria cultures within half an hour, in the fruit-fly colonies in a matter of days. Before we got back it would show up in the hamsters, the rabbits, maybe the goats. Just get it through your head, Oldenn, that nothing happened. Nothing.”

索恩抬起眼睛平视对方,“你这句话我不会跟别人说。能障只消失了两分钟。如果有什么事发生了,即便是一片草叶飘了进来,半个钟头内我们培养的细菌就会有所显示,几天内果蝇群落也会显示(佳人微信公众号:jiarenorg)。等到回到地球之前仓鼠、兔子甚至山羊都会有反应。奥尔登,你要明白这一点,什么事都没有,完全没有。”

Oldenn turned on his heel and left. In leaving, his foot came within two feet of the object in the comer of the room. He did not see it.

奥尔登转身走了,走的时候他的脚离墙角那个东西只有两英尺远,但他没有看到。

He disengaged his reception centers and let the thoughts flow past him unperceived. These life fragments were not important, in any case, since they were not fitted for the continuation of life. Even as fragments, they were incomplete.

他全神贯注地感知着,让思绪毫无察觉地从他身体中流过。无论如何,这几个碎片生命体都不重要,因为他们不适合延续的生命,即使作为碎片他们也都是残缺的。

The other types of fragments now-they were different. He had to be careful of them. The temptation would be great, and he must give no indication, none at all, of his existence on board ship till they landed on their home planet.

其他的碎片呢——他们不一样,他得小心他们。虽然诱惑十分强烈,但他决不能暴露一丁点自己的存在,直到他们降落在他们的母星上。



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