The Happy Planet Author:Joan Clarke Rick and Penny step out of the huge spaceship, take their first deep breath of Earth's air, and gaze in wonderment at the blue sky. It is a thousand years from now, and the two young people have just arrived on Earth, "the happy planet" their ancestors were forced to abandon hundreds of years before in order to escape a disastrous meteor shower... more ».
The scientific expedition which they are accompanying has been sent from the overcrowded planet Tuan to see if Earth is possibly fit for recolonizing. Rick and Penny quickly discover that life on the wild, rugged Earth is a delightful release from the drab, controlled existence they have known on Tuan, a rigidly ruled police-state.
Ranging far from the Tuanian camp, the boy and girl are startled to find that, contrary to all scientific predictions, human life has survived on Earth! The kindly people they meet, living a simple, pastoral life, would be no match, they know, for the regimented Tuanians and their deadly weapons. So Rick and Penny try to keep their knowledge a secret from the expedition's leaders who are determined to conquer and colonize Earth at all costs. Ultimately, though, the young people must face a crucial decision: whether, in the ensuing struggle, to remain loyal to Tuan, or to side with the gentle Earth people whom they have both come to love.