This is a great little read. I love science fiction and this is a fine example of it. It is a great exploration of what it means to be human, the importance of our intellect. leadership, ego, and it even touches some one capitalism too. All in the confines of a tale on another planet.
The plot comes from combining three short stories into one. “The Mad Planet” and “The Red Dust” which are from the 1920’s and “Nightmare Planet” from 1953. It takes place in the future when mankind has left earth and creates sustainable new planets to live on. Ships travel out and seed the planets with life in stages. First bacteria and fungus which break up the rock to create soil, and plants insects, finally higher animals, and eventually, mankind can live there. Due to a clerical error the planet gets forgotten and isn’t visited for the needed next stages. This allows for some incredible things to happen. Eventually a ship does find it but crashes and the crew are stuck. 2000 years goes by and we follow the descendants of that ship as they try to survive. They no longer have any knowledge of where they came from or the technology that got them there. Instead, they are savages.