Humanity has discovered interstellar space travel and is prepared to be inducted into Galactic civilization. That induction goes awry, however, until psychologist, Tan Porus, discovers the reason: the mathematical laws of psychology, worked out with incredible precision and valid for every known humanoid race fail miserably with the inhabitants of the Earth. Equipped with this knowledge, Porus attempts a different approach to handling the Terrans, which proves successful.
This is actually a fun story, and one of Asimov’s better tales from the early 1940’s. It was, as Asimov notes in The Early Asimov, tailor-made for John Campbell, for whom the theme of a (white, Anglo-Saxon) humanity superior to any other intelligence in the Galaxy was a favorite.
More to the point, it is here that Asimov introduces the idea of psychology as a precise, mathematical science. Refined and made more plausible, this concept would resurface in “The Encyclopedists” and eventually become psychohistory. And to add to it, there is also a touch of Tan Porus in Wendell Urth of “The Singing Bell” and other stories.
Two other stories from the early 1940’s share the same background as “Homo Sol”: “The Imaginary” and "The Hazing.” Both are better than many of Asimov’s early efforts, but not, perhaps, quite as historically significant as “Homo Sol.”
|The Early Asimov|