"The Deep" is the title to a short story written by Isaac Asimov. It describes a race which has telepathic abilities, living on a planet which has a dying sun. There are no planets nearer the sun to move to and the nearest appropriate system nearby is 500 light years away. This leads the race into digging burrows underground to tap the energy of the core. They also control reproduction with only the useful children being born (adults are only allowed to reproduce depending on their abilities). This story follows two individuals, a mother and her child. The child turns out to be rather intelligent, possesing strong telepathic abilities (despite his mother's lesser abilities). This leads to his involvement in a special mission to allow the race to cross the vast distances needed to find a new planet.

Rather than tell you how this is done I'll let you read it yourself. This book is a pretty good story and is carried out well though some of the conversations seem incredibly forced (such as the one between Roi and Gan which is there purely to explain the mission). The characters in this story also seem more shallow than in other stories. Not much of their personalities are seen in the book though the mother (Wenda) is investigated most. I think that this is to emphasise the differences of the species with one species (ours) looking after their offspring and the other race being totally detached. This was explored through the reactions of Wenda to her son (Roi) and the reactions between Laura (a human mother) and her child. This makes the story seem more an exploration of Humans than of the alien race. By using a point of reference that is wildly different he allows us to look at our species in a different light. So like a lot of Asimov's stories this one has a central theme that is explored, most probably to make us think differently than we used to.

All in all this is an interesting book though not the most literary profound. Most people who like Science Fiction will find the theme talked about in this book interesting and well conveyed though some of the rough edges may annoy some people.

This story is copyright 1952 by Galaxy Publishing Corporation as published in The Martian Way. If anyone knows whether this has changed then please tell me