“The Tweenie,” Isaac Asimov, 1940

The Tweenie,” Isaac Asimov, 1940 – (variant title, “Half-Breed”)  A Martian-human hybrid aids an inventor working on atomic energy.  In gratitude, the inventor takes him in as his foster-son, then adopts a woman and two young Tweenie girls to serve as his family.  The inventor then builds Tweenietown, where the hybrids may live in peace from the initially suspicious, then envious, purebreds of Earth.  The Tweenies are peaceful, intellectually superior beings, marked physically by tall, white hair.  Tweenies are a recent phenomenon, as Earth-Mars travel has only recently been achieved.  On neither planet do the Tweenies enjoy civil rights, and the inventor’s attempts to lobby on their behalf on Earth only begets more prejudice. Ultimately, the Tweenies use their superior abilities to secretly construct a spaceship; they depart for Venus, having realized they will never be allowed to co-exist peacefully with the purebreds of either world.

Comments: Read in Great Science Fiction Stories of 1939.  The Tweenies have tall, white Afros.  Read in Ackermanthology.  Compare with the “Baldie” stories by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore), collected in Mutant.

Wikipedia: “As with his earlier story ‘The Weapon Too Dreadful to Use‘, the theme of ‘Half-Breed’ is the prejudice faced by minorities, something Asimov himself was familiar with due to his Jewish heritage. ‘I kept coming back to this theme very frequently,’ he wrote in The Early Asimov, ‘something not surprising in a Jew growing up during the Hitler era.’ In I. Asimov he wrote, ‘The undercurrent of genteel anti-Semitism was always there . . . people such as the Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin and the aviation hero Charles Lindbergh openly expressed anti-Semitic views.’ However, he was also aware that ‘prejudice was universal and that all groups who were not dominant, who were not actually at the top of the status chain, were potential victims.'”

Author: Wikipedia: “Isaac Asimov…(January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was a Russian American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards…Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the ‘Big Three’ science fiction writers during his lifetime.”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1940-1945, race/civil rights, the body, the Other. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “The Tweenie,” Isaac Asimov, 1940

  1. Pingback: Have You Read? | for Teaching Outside the Box

  2. Pingback: Isaac Asimov « The Shrouded Opus

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