I am trying to remember a science fiction story I read that involved a civilization of sentient manta rays living in Jupiter. The book starts with the main character, a human, being given a body to join the manta rays, and ends with the humans and manta rays realizing that they can use the core of Jupiter to travel to other solar systems. I would have read this in the late 90s, earlier 2000s.

2 Answers 2


This is probably Timothy Zahn's Manta's Gift.

From the Goodreads summary:

When Matt Raimey had his accident, he thought his life was over. He never dreamed, in his wildest fantasies, that he'd end up in a spot like this. In the toxic atmosphere of Jupiter, born into the body of an enormous creature that looked like a cross between a manta ray and a dolphin, he is living a new life, unlike any humankind had previously experienced.

Also at the Science Fiction Review with more details about the story (although without revealing the ending).

When I searched Google for science fiction manta rays jupiter, the top hits were all about this book. Then again, Google search results are different for everyone, and I've done a lot of searching for science fiction stories to answer people's story-ID questions; maybe you'd get completely different results with the same search.


Iain M Banks, The Algebraist. It involves nearly immortal manta ray like creatures living in a gas giant, with a gate in its core.

  • 1
    I thought about this but there are too many details that don't match -- (i) in The Algebraist, the protagonist (Fassin Taak) is not "given a body" but uses a miniature spaceship; (ii) the Dwellers only resemble manta rays as infants; they change shape as they grow and as adults they resemble dumb-bells; (iii) The Algebraist does not take place on Jupiter (which is said to be uninhabited) but on the planet Nasqueron. Jul 22, 2020 at 7:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.