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Full text of "Best of OMNI Issue #1"

■HI 111 1 i *■ 



seiHCEraafioN 



EDITOQA ^ 

FEl^TJJliirUE: 
ISAAC asjjmov 

ALFRED BESTER 
BEN BOVA 

ORSON SCOTT CARD 
ARTHUR C. CLARKE ( 
HARLAN ELLISONf 
JOE HALDEMAN 1 
ROBERT SHE©KU^ 
ROGER ZELAZNY& 







THE BEST OF 

onnrui 

SCIENCE FCTION 

EDITED BY BEN BOVA AND DON MYRUS 



DO 

OMNI SOCIETY 



THE BEST OF 

onnrui 

SCIENCE FICTION 



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Cover pointing by Pierre Lacombe 



FOL.NDI few by Iscac Asir-ic-.: i i,s"al;cn by H R, Giger 



IAT TELLS THE TIME fit 



■y HclanFI ison. lustro~-cn by 'vlaf. -(lorwein 



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Cera. Ls-'OicnoyEveyri byb' 



■ by Scot Morns 
siralionoy ivelya oyer 



■okoloy tsx' by F C. Duront III 



NO FUTURE IN IT fiction by Joe Haldeirar I . aire ;.- by C ofrti ed -e -weir, 

GALATEA GALANTE fiction c-v ■■- '''ea Bey ei ; lustration by H. R. Giger 

ALIEN LANDSCAPES pictorial by Les Edwards, John Harris, Terry Ookes, and Tony Roberts 

KINS VAN fict on by Ben Rove, i ustronor by John Schoenherr 

SPACE CITIES pictorial by Harry Harrison 

HALFJACKficorioy ~'cy? ■'.<? -:-■■■.■ ■ .:.-'-■ v -:.■■- bv Ivtchsl Henricot 

SANDKINGS fiction by George R. R Martin llustrafol by Ernst Fuchs 

PLANET STORV pictor c ey - rr 3'ir^s a:-'d -crry Harrison 

ARTHUR C.C : .ARk'E!,-i:ef,igvv a-d i ...s-ofc', ::v VcIcoItsS. Kirk 



Copyriari jM9.'5. '97y. !930 by Or.n. P..Ld--:lioni- -te-e.:!cnal -id All nglrs 'ess 
aiaies o : ArTon,.;. Ni ■:!.-:■■ c""""b so;* tray ::,; epr-duosd n; -'onsTii-tec n any torn- o- 
'■lecfifl-ica i--:udinc bhr-.iDr.c-pvi-g (eco'OV'g. or any irfcir'iai'on a--d 'errievslsyste-r 
the D_bi st'is 1 I- ■ o'" i O.T'i,- t jfjai rie (Eon Gi.ooio-ne. e:: "::' i:-uo:is-(V. ;r;i design "i'g.~; 

pub.is-er) 309 II- id Avenue N. n o. ■ ! . ■ ::..'. ■ n: li- 1 ■ ■. r . a, i ■ .■!!■ , 

Canada. Library of CcngisMx oa-:;iog 73-92003 Frs; sd Iky Omni is 3 regist 



Kathy Keeion.assr 
States of America; 
Omni Public; 



THE GREAT EXPERIMENT It is difficult to understand, now that 
Omni magazine is such an obvious success, how great a risk 
Bob Gucoione took when he decided to launch "the maga- 
zine of the future." 

No one had ever dared to produce a magazine that blended 
factual science, science fiction, fantasy, and sophisticated 
graphics into a single handsome package of extremely high 
quality— and high cost. 

Publishing "experts" predicted that the magazine would never 
get off the ground. It would contain science fiction I Who would read 
that stuff? The only people who read science fiction then were tiny 
groups of fanatics who never lifted their noses up from their digest- 
sized magazines and paperback books. They preferred this literary 
isolotion. 

Even within the science-fiction community itself, considerable 
doubt was expressed about an "outsider* bringing out such a 
magazine, someone who wasn't intimately connected with sci- 
ence fiction from childhood, 

I had a deeper worry Omni immediately captured the attention 
of millions of readers. Science fiction was no longer confined to 
digest-sized magazines and a relatively small and "in group" 
readership. As Omni's fiction editor I wondered whether the sci- 
ence-fiction writers would come through for Omni. Could they write 
stories that would entertain those readers who had never read 
science fiction before? 

Take a look 

In just the first twelve issues of Omni, science-fiction writers from 
Asimov to Zelazny came through with memorable, exciting stories. 
This anthology presents the cream of the first years crop: ten fine 
new stories by such Old Pros as Harlan Ellison and Robert Sheckley 
as well as such newer stars as George R. R. Martin and Orson Scott 
Card. 

And in keeping with Omni's breadth of subject material, we 
include in this volume some of the pictorials that, for the first time,- 
opened up the visual side of science fiction to your future-seeking 
eyes. We offer an interview with Arthur C. Clarke, perhaps the 
best-known and most respected science-fiction writer in the world. 

The great experiment that, is Omni has proved to be a stunning 
success. Turn the page and learn why 

—Ben Bova 



FOUND! 



Thousands of lives were 

eopardized by Computer-Two's 

nalfunction ... so we had to go 

aloft and set things straight 



uch larger than it had to be. 



BMBSfig 



t diagnose. Show us (he error and we'll 
i« you the malfunction. Or Joe will, any- 
' j sinqs one's o 



Anyway, this time, neither of us could 
make the diagnosis. 

The first thing that happened was that 
Computer- Two losl internal pressure. That's 
not unprecedented, and it's certainly not 
fatal. Computer-Two can work in a vacuum 
after all. An. internal atmosphere was estab- 
lished in the old days when it was expected 
there would be a steady (low of repairmen 
fiddlmg with it "And it's been kept up out of 
tradition. Who told you scientists aren't 
chained by tradition? In their spare time 
from being scientists, they're human, too. 

From the rate of pressure loss, it was 
deduced that a gravel-sized meteor oid had 
hit Computer- Two. Its exact radius, mass, 
and energy were reported by Computer- 
Two itself, using that rate of pressure loss, 
and a few other irregularities, as data. 

The second thing that happened was the 
break was not seated and the atmosphere 
was not regenerated. After that came er- 
rors, and they called us in. 

It made no sense. Joe let a look of pain 
cross his homely face and said, "There 
must be a dozen things out of whack." 

Someone at Computer-Central said, 
"The hunk of gravel ricocheted very likely." 

Joe said, "With that energy of entry, it 
would have passed right through the other 
side. No ricochets. Besides even with 
ricochets, I figure it would have had to take 
some very unlikely strikes." 



"Well, then, what do we do?" 

Joe looked uncomfortable. I think it was 

at this point he realized what was coming. 
He had made it sound peculiar enough to 
require the troubleshooters on the spot— 
and Joe had never been up in space. It he 
had told me once that his chief reason for 
taking the. job was because it meant he 
would never have.to go up in space, he had 
told it to me 2" times, with x. a pretty high 
number. 

Sol said it for him. "We'll have to go up " 

Joe's only way out would have been to 
say he didn't think he could handle the job, 
and I watched his pride slowly come out 
ahead of his cowardice. Not by much, you 
understand— by a nose, let's say. 

To those of you who haven't been on a 
spaceship in the last fifteen years- and I 
suppose Joe can't be the only one— let me 
emphasize that initial acceleration is the 
only troublesome thing. You can't get away 
from it, of course. 

After that it's nothing, unless you want to 
count possible boredom. You're just a 
spectator. The whole thing is automated 
and computerized, The old romantic days 
of space pilots are gone totally. I imagine 
they'll return briefly when our space settle- 
ments make the shift to the asteroid belt as 
they constantly threaten to do- but then 
only until additional computers are placed 
in orbit to set up the necessary additional 



J 



HjE^zzI^' 



WMm&f 11 




"Now don't say anything that wilt n 



capacity 

Joe held his breath through acceleration, 
or at (east he seemed to. (I must admit, I 
wasn't very comfortable myself. It was only 
my third trip. I've taken a couple of vaca- 
tions on Settlement-Rho with my husband, 
out I'm not exactly a seasoned hand.) After 
that he was relieved for a while, but only for 
a white. He got despondent. 

' I "iooe ih's :hing knows where its go- 
ing," he said, pettishly 

I extended my arms forward, palms up, 
and felt the rest of me sway backward a bit 
in the zero-gravity field, "You," I said, "area 
compj:e- soocia is: Dent you kn-jw i 
knows"?" 
"Sure, but Computer- Two is off." 
"We're not hooked into Computer-Two," I 
said. "There are three others. And even if 
only one were left functional, it could handle 
all the- spaceflights undertaken on an aver- 
age day. 

"All four might go off. If Computer- Two is 
wrong, what's to stop the rest?" 
"Then we'll run this thing manually." 
"You'll do it, I suppose. You know how— I 
think not?" 
"So they'll talk me in." 
"For the love of Eniac," he groaned. 
There was no problem, actually. We 
moved out to Computer-Two as smooth as 
vacuum, and less than two days after 
takeoff we were placed into a parking orbit 
not ten meters behind it. 

What was not so smooth was that, about 
twenty hours out, we got the news from 
Earth that Computer-Three was losing 
internal pressure. Whatever had hit 
Computer-Two was going to get the rest, 
and when all four were out, spaceflight 
would grind to a halt. It could be reorga- 
nized on a manual basis, surely, but that 
would take months at a minimum, possibly 
years, and there would be serious eco- 
nomic dislocation on Earth. Worse yet, sev- 
eral thousand people now out in space 
would surely die. 

It wouldn't bear thinking of, and neither 
Joe nor I talked about it, bur it didn't make 
Joe's disposition sweeter and, let's face it, it 
didn't make me any happier, 

Earth hung more than two hundred 
thousand kilometers below us, but Joe 
wasn't bothered by that. He was concen- 
trating on his tether and checking the car- 
tridge in his reaction gun. He wanted to 
make sure, he could get to Computer- Two 
and back again. 

You'd be surprised — if you've never tried 
it — how you can get your space legs if you 
absolutely have to. I wouldn't say there was 
nothing to it, and we did waste half the fuel 
we used, but we finally reached 
Computer- Two. We hardly made any bump - 
at all when we struck Computer- Two. (You 
hear it, of course, even in vacuum, because 
the vibration travels through the metalloid 
fabric of your spacesuit - but rhere was 
hardly any bump, just a whisper.) 

Of course, our contact and the addition 
of our momentum altered the orbit of 
Computer-Two slightly, but tiny expendi- 



tures Of fuel ccmoersi-r.ee 'or thai, and we 
didn't have to worry about it. Computer- Two 
took care of it, for nothing had gone wrong 
with it. as far as we could tell, that affected 
any of its external workings. 

We went over the outside first, naturally 
The chances were pretty overwhelming 
thai a small piece of gravel had whizzed 
through Computer-Two and left an unmis- 
takable hole. Two of them, in all probability, 
one going in and one coming out. 

The chances of thai happening are one 
m two million on any given day — even 
money that it will happen at least once in six 
thousand years. It's not likely, but it can, you 
know, The chances are one in not more than 
ten billion that, on any one day. it will be 
struck by a meteoroid large enough to de- 
molish it. 

I didn't mention that because Joe might 
realize that we were exposed to similar 
odds ourselves. In fact, any given strike on 
us would do (ar more damage to our soft 
and tender bodies than to the stoical and 
much-enduring machinery of the com- 
puter, and I didn't want Joe more nervous 
than he was. 

The thing is, though, it wasn't a meteoroid. 

"What's this?" said Joe, finally, 

It was a small cylinder stuck to the outer 
wall of Computer- Two, the first abnormality 
we had found in its outward appearance. It 
was about halt a centimeter in diameter and 
perhaps six centimeters long. Just about 
cigarette-size for any of you who've been 
caught up in the antique fad of smoking. 

We brought out our small flashlights. 

1 said, "That's not one of the external 
components." 

"it sure isn't," muttered Joe. 

There was a faint spiral marking running 
round the cylinder from one end to the 
other. Nothing else. For the rest, it was 
clearly metal, but of an odd, grainy 
texture.— at least to the eye. 

Joe said, "It's not tight." 

He touched it gently with a fat and 
gauntleted finger, and it gave. Where it had 
made contact with the surface of Comput- 
er-Two it lifted, and our flashes shone down 
on a visible gap. 

"There's the reason gas pressure inside 
declined to zero," I said. 

Joe grunted. He pushed a liltle harder 
and the cylinder popped away and began 
to drift. We managed to snare it after a little 
trouble. Left behind was a perfectly round 
hole in the skin of Computer-Two, half a 
centimeter across, 

Joe said, "This thing, whatever it is, isn't 
much more than foil." 

It gave easily under his fingers, thin but 
springy, A little extra pressure and it dent- 
ed. He put it inside his pouch, which he 
snapped shut, and said, "Go over the out- 
side and see if there are any other items like 
that on it. I'll go inside." 

It didn't take me very long. Then I went in. 
"It's ciean," 1 said. "That's the only thing 
there is. The only hole." 

"One is enough," said Joe, gloomily. He 
looked at the smooth aluminum of Ihe wall. 



and, in the light of the flash, ihe perfect 
circle of black was beautifully evident. 

It wasn't difficult to place a seal over the 
hole, It was a little more difficult to reconsti- 
-,j:3 he a:"iosphere. Co'-cue'-Twos "'- 
serve gas-forming supplies were low and 
the controls required manual adjustment. 
The solar generator was limping, but we 
managed to get the lights on. 

Eventually we removed our gauntlets and 
helmet, but Joe carefully placed the 
gauntlets inside his helmet and secured 
them both to one of his suit loops. 

"I want these handy if the air pressure 
begins to drop," he said, sourly. 

So I did the same. 

There was a mark on the wall just next to 
the hole. I had noted it in the light of my flash 
when I was adjusting the seal. When the 
lights came on, it was obvious. 

"You notice that, Joe?" I said. 

"I notice " 

There was a slight, narrow depression in 
the wall, not very noticeable at all, but there 
Beyond a doubt if you ran your finger over it. 
It could be noticed for nearly a meter. It was 
as if someone had scooped out a very shal- 
low sampling of the metal so that the sur- 
face was distinctly less smooth than 
elsewhere. 

I said. "We'd better call Computer- 
Centra! downstairs." 

"If you mean back on Earth, say so," said 
Joe. "I hate the phony space-talk. In fact, 1 
hate everything about space. That's why I 
look an Earthside jot)— I mean a job on 
Eartn — or what was supposed to be one." 

I said patiently, "We'd better call Com- 
puter-Central back on Earth." 

"What for?" 

"To tell them we've found the trouble." 

"Oh? What did we find?" 

"The hole. Remember?" 

"Oddly enough, I do. And what caused 
the hole? It wasn't a meteoroid. I never saw 
one that would leave a perfectly circular 
hole with no signs of buckling or melting. 
And I never saw one that left a cylinder 
behind." He, took the cylinder out of his suit 
pocket and smoothed the dent out of its 
thin metal, thoughtfully, "Well, what caused 
the hole?" 

I didn't nesitate. I said, "I don't know." 

"If we reporl to Computer-Central, they'll 
ask the question and we'll say we don't 
know, and what will we have gained? Ex- 
cept hassle?" 

"They'll call us, Joe, if we don't call them," 
"Sure. And we won't answer, will we?" 
"They'll assume something killed us, Joe, 
and they'll send up a relief parly." 

"You know Computer-Central. It will take 
them two days to decide on that. We'll have 
something before then, and once we have 
something, we'll call them." 

The internal structure ot Computer-Two 
was not realty designed for human occu- 
pancy. What was foreseen was the occa- 
sional and temporary presence of trouble- 
shooters. That meant there needed to be 
room for maneuvering, and there were tools 
and supplies. 



There weren't any armchairs, though. For 
that matter, the-e was nc gravitational field, 
either, or any centrifugal imitation of one. 

We both floated in midair, drifting slowly 
this way or that Occasionally one of us 
touched the wall and gently rebounded.. Or 
else part of one of u„s overlapped pad of the 
other. 

"Keep your foot out of my mouth." said 
Joe, and he pushed it away violently. It was 
a mistake because we both began to turn. 
Of course, that's not how it looked to us. To 
us, it was (he interior of Computer- Two that 
was turning, which was most unpleasant, 
and it took us a while to get relatively mo- 
tionless again. 

We had the theory perfectly worked out 
in our plane tside training, but we were short 
on practice. A lot short. 

By the time we had steadied ourselves, I 
felt unpleasantly nauseated. You can call it 
nausea, or astronausea, or space sick- 
ness, but whatever you call it, it's the 
heaves, and it's worse in space than any- 
where else, because there's nothing to pull 
the stuff down. It floats around in a cloud of 
globules, and you don't want to be floating 
around-with it. So I held it back; so did Joe. 
I said, "Joe. it's clearly the compuier 
that's at fault, Let's get at its insides." Any- 
thing to get my mind off my insides and let 
them quiet down. Besides, things weren't 
moving fast enough, I kept thinking of 
Computer-Three on its way down the tube; 
maybe Computer-One and Four by now, 
too; and.thousands of people in space with 
their lives hanging on what we did. 

Joe looked a little greenish, too, but he 
said, "First I've got to think. Something got 
in. It wasn't a meteoroid, because whatever 
it was chewed a neat hole out of the hull. It 
wasn't cut out, because 1 didn'tfind a circle 
of metal anywhere inside. Did you?" 
"No. But I hadn't thought to look." 
"/ looked, and it's nowhere in here." 
"It may have fallen outside " 
"With the cylinder covering the hole till I 
pulled it away? A likely thing. Did you see 
anything come flying out 7 '' 
"No." 

Joe said, "We may still find it in here, of 
course, but I doubt it. It was somehow dis- 
solved and something got in." 
"What something? Whose is it?" 
Joe's grin was remarkably ill-natured. 
"Why do you bother asking questions to 
which there are no answers' If this was last 
century, I'd say the Russians had somehow 
stuck that device onto the outside of 
Computer-Two— no offense. If it was last 
century, you'd say it was the Americans." 
I decided to be offended I said, coldly. 
"We're trying to say something that makes 
sense this century, losif," giving it an exag- 
gerated Russian pronunciation. 

"We'll have to assume some dissident 
group." 

"If so," I said, "we'll have to assume one 
with a capacity for spaceflight and with the 
ability to come up with an unusual device." 
Joe said, "Spaceflight presents no dif- 
ficulties, if you can tap into the orbiting 



computers illegally- which has been 
done. As for the cylinder, that may make 
more sense when it is analyzed back on 
Earth -downstairs, as you space buffs 
would say." 

"It doesn't make sense," I said. "Where's 
the point in trying to disable Computer- 
Two''" 

"As part of a program to cripple space- 
flight " 

'Then everyone suiters The dissidents, 
too." 

"But it get's eve r yone's attention, doesn't 
it, and suddenly the cause of whatever-it-is 
- makes news. Or the plan is to just knock out 
Computer-Two and then threaten to knock 
out the three others. No real damage, but 
lots of potential, and lots of publicity." 

He was studying all parts of the interior 
closely, edging over it square centimeter by 
square centimeter "I might suppose the 
thing was of nonhuman origin." 
"Don't be silly." 

"You want me to make the case? The 
cylinder made contact, after which some- 
thing inside ate away a circle of metal and 
entered Computer- Two. It crawled over the 
inside wall", eai'ng away a rhm layer of metal 
for some reason. Does that sound like any- 
thing of human censrucuori? 

"Not that I know of, bull don't know every- 
thing. Even you don't know everything." 

Joe ignored that, "So the question is, how 
did it— whatever it is — get into the com- 
puter, which is, after all. reasonably well 
sealed. It did so quickly, since it knocked 
out the researing and air-regeneration 
capacities almost at once.'' 

"Is that what you're looking for'?" I said, 
pointing. 



He tried to stop too quickly ana somer- 
saulted backward, crying, "That's it!" 

In his excitement, he was thrashing his 
arms and legs, which got him nowhere, of 
course. I grabbed him, and for a while we 
were both trying to exert pushes in uncoor- 
dinated directions, which got us nowhere 
either. Joe called me a few names, but I 
called him some back and there I had the 
advantage I understand English perfectly, 
belter than he does in fact: but his knowl- 
edge cf Russian is — well, fragmentary 
would be a kind way of putting it. Bad lan- 
guage in an ununderstood language al- 
ways sounds very dramatic. 

"Here it is," he said when we finally had 
sorted ourselves out. 
■Where the computer shielding met the 
wall, a small circular hole appeared when 
Joe brushed aside a small cy hde r I; was 
just like the one on the outer hull, but it 
seemed even thinner. In fact, it seemed to 
disintegrate when Joe touched it. 

"We'd better get into the computer;" said 
Joe. 

The computer was a shambles. 

Not obviously. I don't mean to say it was 
like a beam of wood that had been riddled 
by termites. 

In fact, if you looked at the computer 
casually, you might swear it was intact. 

Look closely, though, and some of the 
chips would be gone. The more closely you 
looked, the more you realized were gone. 
Worse, the s-.ores :ha: Computer- Two used 
in self-repair had dwindled to almost noth- 
ing, We kept looking and would discover 
something e:se missmc. 

Joe took the cylinder out of his pouch 
again and turned it end for end, He said, "I 







4* w%,. 








(to '"' ""^ 




■-" %«&>- ■■ 


lip 


■ .■■ """ ' ; 



suspec; it's a ; i=i- nign-grade s icon in par- 
ticular. I can't say lor sure, of course, but my 
guess is that the sides are mostly aluminum 
and the "flat end is mostly silicon." 

I said, "Do you mean the thing is a solar 
battery?" 

"Part of it is. That's how it gets its energy 
in space— energy to get to Computer- Two, 
energytoeat a hole into il, energy to— to— I 
don't know how e:se to put it. Energy :o stay 
alive.' 

"You call it alive? 

"Why not? Look, Computer-Two can re- 
pair itself. It can reject faulty bits of equip- 
ment and replace them with working ones, 
but it needs a supply of spares to work with. 
Given enough spares of all kinds, it could 
build a computer just like itself, when prop- 
erly p-cgrammed, but it needs the supply; 
so we don't think of it as alive. This object 
that entered Computer-Two is apparently 
collecting its own supplies That's suspi- 
ciously lifelike." 

"What you're saying," I said, "is that we 
have here a microcomputer advanced 
enough to be considered alive." 

"I don't honestly know what I'm saying." 

"Who on Earth couid make such a 
thing?" 

"Who on Earn-? 

I made the next discovery. It looked like' a 
stubby pen drifting through the air. I just 
caught it out of the corner of my eye. and it 
registered as a pen. 

In zero gravity, things will drift out of 
pockets and float off There's no way of 
keeping anything in place unless it is phys- 
ically confined. You expect pens and coins 
and anything else that finds an opening to 
drift wherever the air currents and inertia 
lead it. 

So my mind registered 'Pen," and I 
groped for it absently, and, of course, my 
fingers didn't close on it. Just reaching for 
something sets up an air current that 
pushes it away. You have to reach over and 
sneak behind it with one hand and then 
reach for it with the other. Picking up any 
small object in midair is a two-handed op- 
eration. 

I turned to look at the object and pay a 
little more attention to retrieval, then 
realized that my pen was safely in its 
pouch, I felt for if, and it was there. 

"Did you lose a pen, Joe?" I called out. 

"No." 

'Anything like that? Key? Cigarette?" 

"I don't smoke. You know that." 

A stupid answer. "Anything'?'' I saic in 
exasperation. "I'm seeing things here." 

"No one ever said you were staoie." 

"Look. Joe. Over there. Over there." 

He lunged for it. I could have told him it 
'would do no good. 

By now, though, our ppking around in the 
computer seeded to nave- stirecj tings 
up, We were seeing them wherever we 
looked, They were floating in the air cur- 
rents. 

I stopped one at last Or, rather, it 
stopped itself, for it was on the elbow of 
Joes su ! : sna;ched it off anc shouted. 



Joe jumped in terror and nearly knocked it 
out of my hand. 
1 said, "Look!" 

There was a shiny circle on Joe's suit, 
where I had taken the thing ott. It had 
begun to eat its way through. 

"Give il to me," said Joe. He took it gin- 
gerly and put it against the wall 10 hold it 
steady. Then he shelled it. gently lifting the 
paper-thin metal. 

There was something inside that looked 
like a line of cigarette ash. It caughr the lighi 
and glinted, though, like lightly woven 
metal 

There was a moistness about il, too. It 
wriggled slowly, one end seeming to seek 
blindly. 

The end made contacl with Ihe wall and 
stuck. Joe's finger pushed it away. It 
seemed to require a small effort to do so. 
Joe rubbed his finger and thumb and said, 
"Feels oily." 

The metal worm— I don't know what else 
to call it— seemeo limp now after Joe had 
touched it. It didn't move again. 

I was twisting and turning, trying to look 
at myself, 

"Joe,"" I said, "for Heaven's sake, have I 
got one of them on me anywhere?" 
"I don't see one," he said. 
"Well, look at me. You've got to walch me, 
Joe, and I'll watch you. If our suits are 
wrecked, we might not be able lo get back 
to the ship," 
Joe said. "Keep moving, then," 
It was a grisly feeling, being surrounded 
by things hungry toe ssoive your suit wher- 
ever they could touch it. When any showed 
up, we tried to catch them and stay out of 
their way at the same time, which made 
things almost impossible, A rather long one 
drifted close to my leg, and I kicked' at it, 
which was stupid, for if I had hit it, it mighl 
have stuck, As it was, the air current I setup 
brought it against the wall, where il stayed. 
Joe" reached hastily for it— too hastily. 
The rest of his body rebounded as he 
somersaulted, one booted foot striking the 
wall near the cylinder lightly. When he fi- 
nally richtec himse'f i: was s r > iheio 
"I didn't smash it, did I 9 " 
"No, you didn't," I said. "You missed it by 
a decimeter. It won't get away," 

I had a hand on either side of it. It was 
twice as long as the other cylinder had 
been, In fact, il was like two cylinders stuck 
together longways, with a constriction at 
the poinl of joining. 

"Act of reproducing," said Joe as he 
peeled away the metal. This time what was 
inside was a line of dust. Two lines. One on 
either side of the constriction. 

"It doesn't take much to kill them," said 

Joe. He relaxed visibly. "I think we're safe." 

"They do seem alive," l said reluctantly 

"I ;hink they seem more than that. They're 

viruses — or the equivalent." 

"What are you talking about?" 

Joe said. "Granred I'm a computer 

technologist and not a virologist, but it's my 

understanding that viruses on Earth, or 

'downstairs' as you would say, consist of a 



nucleic acid molecule coated in a protein 
shell, 

"When a virus irvades a cell, it manages 
to dissolve a hole in the cell wall or mem- 
brane by the use of some appropriate en- 
zyme and the nucleic acid slips inside, 
leaving the protein coat outside. Inside the 
cell it finds the malerial to make a new 
protein coat for itself. In fact, it manages to 
form replicas of itself and produces a new 
protein coat for each replica. Once il has 
stripped the cell of all it has, the cell dis- 
solves, and in place of the one invading 
virus there are several hundred daughter 
viruses. Sound familiar?" 

"Yes. Very familiar. It's what's happening 
here. But where did it come from, Joe 9 " 

"Not from Earth, obviously, or any Earth 
settlement, From somewhere else, I sup- 
pose. They drift througn spsce ' J"Oy rncl 
something appropriate in which they can 
multiply. They look for sizable objects 
ready-made of metal. I don't imagine they 
can smelt ores." 

"But large metal objects with pure silicon 
components and a few other succulent 
matters Ike that are the products of intelli- 
gent life only," I said. 

"Right," said Joe. "which means we have 
the best evidence yet that intelligent life is 
common in the universe, since objects like 
the one we're on must be quite common or it 
couldn't support these viruses. And it 
means that intelligent life is old, too, 
perhaps ten billion years old— long enough 
for a kind of metal evolution forming a 
metal/si I icon/oil life as we have formed a 
nucleic/protein/water life. Time to evolve a 
parasite on space-age artifacts." 

I said, "You make it sound :ha: eve: y time 
some intelligent life form develops a space 
cj iure, it is subjected before long to 
parasitic infestation," 

"Right. And it must be controlled Fortu- 
nately, these things are easy to kill, espe- 
cially now when they're forming. Later on, 
when ready to burrow out of Computer- Two, 
I suppose they will grow. Ihicken their 
shells, stabilize their inte r >or. and prepare, 
as the equivalent of spores to drift a million 
years before they find another home. They 
might not be so easy to kill then.' 

"How are you going to kill them 9 " 

"I already have. I just touched that first 
one when it instinctively sought out metal to 
begin manufacturing a new shell after I had 
broken open the first 'one, and that touch 
finished it. I didn't touch the second, but I 
kicked the wall near it, and the sound vibra- 
tion in the meta snook ks nte'icr apa't in:c 
melal dust. So they can't get us — or any 
more of the computer— if we just shake 
them apart, now!" 

He didn't have to explain lurtner-or as 
much. He put on his gauntlets slowly and 
banged at the wall with one. It pushed him 
away, and he Kicked at the wall where he 
next approached it. 

"You do the same!" he shouted. 

I tried to, and for a while we both kept at it. 
You don't know how hard it is to hit a wall at 
zero gravity— ai least on purpose — and 



do it hard enough to make it clang. We 
missed as often as not or just struck a 
glancing blow that sem us whirling but 
made virtually no sound, We were panting 
with effori and aggravation n no time. 

But we had acclimatea ourseves. We 
kept it up and eventually gathered uo more 
of Ihe viruses, There was nothing inside but 
dust in every case. They were clearly 
adapted to empty, automated space ob- 
jects, which, like modern computers, Were, 
vibration-free. Tha;'s what made it possi- 
ble, I suppose, to build up the exceedingly 
rickety-complex meta. lie structures that 
possessed sufficient hstab.iity to produce 
the properties of simple life. 
I said, "Do you think we got them all?" 
"How can I say? If there's one left, it will 
cannibalize the others for metal supplies 
and start all over. Let's bang around some 
more." 

We'did until we were sufficiently worn out 
not to care whether one was still left alive. 
"Of course." I said, panting, "the Plane- 
tary Association for the Advancement of 
Science isn't going to be pleased with our 
k .lino, them all." 

Joe's suggestion as to what the PAAS 
could do with itself was forceful, but im- 
practical. He said, "Look, our mission is to 
save Computer- Two, a few thousand lives, 
and, as it turns out, our own lives, too, Now 
fhey can decide whether to renovate this 
computer or rebuild it from scratch, It's their 
baby. 

"The PAAS can get what they can out pf 
these dead objects, and that should be 
something. It they want live ones, I suspect 
they'll find them floating about in these re- 
gions." 

I said, 'All right. My suggestion is we tell 
Computer-Central we're going to jerry-rig 
this computer and get it doing some work 
anyway, and we'll stay till a relief is sent up 
for main repairs or whatever in-order to pre- 
vent any reinfestation. Meanwhile they'd 
better get 1o each of the other computers 
and set up a system that can set it to vibrat- 
ing strongly as soon as the internal atmo- 
sphere shows a pressure drop," 
"Simple enoucjn." said Joe, sardonically, 
■it's lucky we found them when we did." 
"Wait a while," said Joe, and the look in 
his eye was one of deep trouble. We didn't 
find them. They found us. It metal life has 
developed, do you suppose it's likely that 
this is the only form if takes? 

"What if such life forms communicate 
Somehow and, across the vastness of 
space, others are now converging on us for 
the picking. Other species, too— all of 
them after the lush new fodder of an as- 
yet-untouched space culture. Other 
species! Some that are sturdy enough to 
withstand vibration Some that are large 
enough to be more versatile in their reac- 
tions to danger. Some that are equipped to 
invade our settlements in orbit. Some, for 
the sake of Univac, that may be able to 
invade the earth for the metals of its cities. 
"What I'm going to report, what I must 
report, is that we've been found 1 ." DO 




One danger that haunts sci- 
ence fiction is the looming 
form of threatening robots: 
The earliest of these were 
constructed of flesh and bone 
and would now be called an- 
droids: Frankenstein's mon- 
ster(1817); andCapek's 
R.U.R. (1923), Rossum's Uni- 
verse. Robots, the source of 
the term. The idea thai if you 
built it it couldn't be good car- 
ries on through C.C. Camp- 
bell's T/ie,4vafar(1935).in 
which the perfect artificial 
man becomes dictator of 
the world and has to be 
destroyed, 

It was only with the con- 
struction of metal robots — 
obedient machines— that me- 
chanical men began operat- 
ing on the side of justice. In 
the early pulp magazine. 
Frank Reade's Steam Man 
fought the Indians lor the 
good guys, and Eando 
Binder's robot, built for peace 
to prove its worth to mankind, 
was smart enough to choose 
sides against the Nazis in 
Adam Link Fights a War. Ed- 
mond Hamilton's Captain Fu- 
ture could count upon the 
faithful robot Krag, as well as 
the faithful but not so nice 

H ■ ..-inry i.-- <■-■■" ;s -.Ti o Reed Bocks. 
T9xt©1978C>yKsrryNamson 



ROBOTS 

BY HARRY HARRISON 



A glittering gallery 

to celebrate 

those timeless workhorses 

of science fiction 



android Lothar. to 
aid him at all times. 
A later develop- 
ment is the part man, 
part metal (or plas- 
tic) creature. This 
theme and the psy- 
chological effects of 
bionic engineering 
have been explored 
successfully in 
Budry's Who (1958) 
and more recently in 
the preposterous 
bionic man, woman, 
dog, hamster, etc., 
tv series. The au- 
thors of these stories 
never seem to real- 
ize that all mechani- 




i 



p, 



» 




cal substitutes for 
human parts are far 
weaker than the 
originals; the bi- 
onic man needs a 
wheelchair— not a 
springboard to leap 
over buildings. We 
must slip far into the 
future to rationalize a 
superior technology 
that makes the crea- 
ture work well, as in 
Saul Dunn's Man- 
droid, who is only 10 
percent human, the 
rest being manufac- 
tured parts. 
A touch of order 
entered robotic cir- 




cles in 1940 with Asimov's Rabby and Liar. The 
mechanical men now began lo clank about ra- 
diating security, since they had the Laws of 
Robotics stamped into their 
positronic brains. Asimov gets full credit for 
these laws, and countless are the writers 



who have utilized them; 

1, A robot may not injure a human being, or. 
through inaction, allow a human to 

come to harm. 

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by hu- 
man beings except where such orders 






would conflict with 
the First Law. 
3. A robot must pro- 
tect its own exis- 
tence as long as 
such protection 
does not conflict 
with the First or 
Second Law. 
Once the robotic 
threat had been re- 
moved, the infinitely 
varied relationships 
of robot with man 
could be explored. 
Clifford Simak. in his 
City series, shows 
mankind evolving 
and leaving the 
earth loihe robots 








and highly evolved 
dogs. Jack 
Williamson's With 
Folded Hands . . . 
(1947) does dis- 
cover a danger in ro- 
bot control, but a be- 
nevolent one. To pre- 
vent men from being 
hurt, the robots are 
stunting all develop- 
ment of the human 
race. With all the ro- 
botic goodness 
around it was a plea- 
sure to see Alfred 
Bester's Fori oVy 
Fahrenheit, about a 
slightly insane robot. 
Having once as- 



signed man's attribute to a 
machine, we must consider 
the relationship of this intelli- 
gent machine with man's 
mystical nature. Boucher's 
The Quest for Saint Aquin 
asked it it is possible to have 
a robot saint. Silverberg 
answered the question years 
later with 6000" News from 
the Vatican. It you can have a 
robot pope — then why not 
a saint? 
Of course these are just the 
human-appearing robots, al- 
though there is no good rea- 
son at all to shape a robot in 
this manner, other than it 
looks nice and it is handy to 
have around the house. Real 
robots, the ones actually in 
use in industry today, look 
nothing at all like the classic 
danker. The commonest are 
just collections of machine 
tools and mechanical 
manipulators. 
SF also has nonhumanoid 
robots of this kind. The 
computer-controlled, fully 
automated spaceship has 
been with us for quite a while. 
Fully automated cities, usu- 
ally so well designed that 
they keep operating after 
their inhabitants are gone, 
have had their day, and fully 
automated trains ran first in 
the pages ol science fiction. 
At sea we have Bass's 
Godwhale, a sentient giant 
robot designed for harvesting 
plankton for undersea food 
processing plants. In 
Space— and at war again— 
are Saberhagen's Ber- 
serkers, super war machines, 
launched by alien nutters, 
whose job it is to zip about the 
galaxy destroying 
all forms of life. DO 



te 



BY HARLAN ELLISON 

When I do count the clock that tells the time, 

And see the brave day sunk In hideous night; 

When I behold the violet past prime, 

And sable curls all silverd o'er with white; 

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves 

Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, 

And summer's green all girded up in sheaves 

Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard; 

Then of thy beauty do I question make, 
That thou among the wastes of time must go ... ■ 

William Shakespeare 
TfaXllth Sonne! 



S*i^ 



W. 



Vaking in the cool and cloudy 
absolute dead middle of a Saturday afternoon one day, Ian Ross fell 
lost and vaguely frightened. Lying there in his bed, he was dis- 
oriented, and it took him a moment to remember when it was and 
where he was. Where he was: in the bed where he had awakened 
every day of his 35-year-old life. When it was: the Saturday he had 
resolved to spend doing something. But as he lay there he realized 
he had come to life in the early hours just after dawn, it had looked as 
though it would rain, the sky seen through the high French windows, 
and he had turned over and gone back to sleep. Now the clock- 
radio on the bedside table told him it was the absolute dead middle 
of the afternoon; and the world outside'his windows was cool and 
cloudy "Where does the time go?" he said. 

He was alone, as always: there was no one to hear him or to 
answer So he continued lying there, wasting time, feeling vaguely 
frightened. As though something important were passing him by 



PAINTING BY'MATI KLARWEIN 



- . . r 




ing flesh fcnasd ifteuoioberireBS.piepar- 
ing themselves for Winter's disingenuous 
attentions and the utter absence of tourism. 
The silver birches were already a blazing 
gold, the larches and ash Irees still blend- 
ing off from green to rust: n a lew wee*s the 
Norway spruces and the other conifers 
would darken until they seemed mere 
shadows against the slate sky 

Perthshire was most beautiful at this time 
of year He had taken the time to learn to 
pronounce Ihe names- Schiehallion. Kil- 
liecrankie, Pitlochry. Aberleldy— and had 
come here lo sit. The dream, The one he 
had always hold: silent, close to him. un- 
spoken, in his idle Ihoughts. The dream of 
going to Scotland. For what reason he 
could nol say. But this was the place that 
had always called, and he had come. 

For the first time in his lite. Ian Ross had 
done something. Thirty-seven years old, 
rooted to a tiny apartment in Chicago, vir- 
tually friendless, working five days a week 
at a drafting table in a firm of industrial 
designers. wal;;hng Television till sign-off, 
tidying the two and a half rooms till every 



picture hung from Ihe walls in perfect true 
with the junctures of walls and ceiling, en- 
tering each c-- -n:..> /-non in the little 
ledger with a fme-po<nt ink pen, unable lo 
remember what had happened last Thurs- 
day lhaf made ii oiffereni from lasl 
Wednesday, seeing himself 'oflecled in the 
window of !he cafelera slnwiy eating the 
$2,95 Chrisfmas Dinner Speciai, a solitary 
man, somehow never marking the change- 
of the seasons save to understand only by 
his skin that it was warmer or colder, never 
tasting joy because he could never re- 
member having been told what il was, read- 
ing books aboul things and subject matter, 
lopics not people, because he knew so few 
people and knew none of them, drawing 
straight lines, feeling deserted but never 
knowing where to put his hands to relieve 
that feeling; a transient man. passing down 
the same streets every day and perceiving 
only dimly thai there were slreets beyond 
those streets, drinking water, and apple 
juice, and water, replying when he was ad- 
dressee directly, looking around some- 
times when he was addressed to see if ii 
was. in fact, himself to whom the speaker 
was speaking., buying gray socks and 
while undershorts. staring out the windows 
of his apartment at the Chicago snow, star- 
ing for hours at the invisible sky. feeling the 




demon wind o'f _ak.e V- cnigan rattling the 
window glass in its frame and thinking this 
year he would reputty and this year failing 
to reputty. combing his hair as he always 
had. cooking his own meals, alone with the 
memories ot his molher and father who had 
died within a year of each other and both 
from cancer, never having been able to 
speak more than a few awkward sentences 
to any woman but his mother . . . Ian Ross 
had lived his life like the dust that lay' in a 
film across the unseen top of the tall ward- 
robe cabinet in his bedroom: colorless, un- 
noticed, inarticuialo. neither giving nor tak- 
ing. 

U-il'i one cay ho had said. "Where does 
the lime go?" And in the months following 
those words he had coi"e to realize he had 
not in any remotely valuable manner, lived 
his life. He had wasted it. Months after the 
first words came, unbidden and tremulous, 
he admitted to himsell that he had wasted 
his life, 

He resolved to actualize al least the one 
dream. To go to Scotland. Perhaps to live,. 
To rent or even buy a crofter's cottage on 
the edge of a moor or overlooking one of the 
lochs he had dreamed about, He had all 
the insurance money still put by; he hadn'l 
touched a cent of it. And there, in that far. 
chill place in the north he would live . . . 
walking the hills with a dog by his side, 
smoking a pipe that trailed a fragrant pen- 
nant of blue-while smoke, hands thrust deep 
into the pockets' of a fleece-lined jacket. 
He would live there. That was the dream. 

And from King's Cross Slation he had 
taken the 2130 sleeper to Edinburgh, and 
he had walked ihe Royal Mile and gazed in 
wonder at Edinburgh Castle high on the 
bluff overlooking that bountiful city, and fi- 
nally he had rented a car and had driven 
north out the Queensferry Road , across the 
bridge thai spanned the Firth of Forth, on 
up the A-90 till he reached Pitlochry. Then 
a left, a random left, but noi so random 
that he did nol know it would come out 
overlooking the Queens View, said to be the 
most beautiful view in the world, certainly in 
Scotland; and he had driven the twisting, 
narrow road till he was deep in the hills of 
Perth. 

And there he had pulled off the road, 
gotten out of the car. leaving :he door open, 
and walked away down the Ociober hills to 
finally sil staring at the Loch, green and 
blue and silent as the mirror ol his memory 
Where only the buzzing fly reminded him 
of the past. 

He had been 35 when he said. "Where 
does the time go?" And he was 37 as he sat 
on the hill. 
And il was Ihere that the dream died. 
- He stared at the hills, at the valley that ran 
off to left and right, at the sparkling water of 
the Loch, and knew he had wasted his time 
again. He had resolved to do something; 
but he had done nothing. Again. 
There was no place for him here. 
He was out of phase with all around him, 
He was an alien object. A beer can thrown 
into the grass. A broken wall untended and 



'ailing back into the earth from which it had 
been wrenched stone by stone. 

He felt lonely, starved, incapable of 
clenching his hands or clearing his throat. 
A ruin from anolher world, set down in for- 
eign soil, drinking air that was not his to 
drink. There were no tears, no pains in his 
body, no deep and trembling sighs, In a 
moment, with a fly buzzing, the dream died 
far him. He had not been saved; had. in 
fact, come in an instant to understand lhat 
he had been a child to think it could ever 
change. What do you want to be when you 
grow up? Nothing. As I have always been 
nothing. 

The sky began to bleach out. 

The achingly beautiful golds and 
oranges anc: yellows began to drift toward 
sepia. The blue of the loch slid softly toward 
chalkiness. like an ineptly prepared paint- 
ing left too long in direct sunlight. The 
sounds of birds and forest creatures and 
msects faded, the gain turned down slowly. 
The sun gradually cooled for Ian Ross. The 
sky began to bleach out toward a gray- 
white newsprint colorlessness. The fly was 
gone. It was cold now; very cold now. 

Shadows began to superimpose them- 
selves over the dusty mezzotint of ihe 
bloodless day: 

A city of towers and minarets, as seen 
through shallow, disturbed water; a moun- 
tain range of glaciers with snow untracked 
and endless'as an ocean; an ocean, with 
massive, serpent-necked creatures gliding 
through the jade deeps; a parade of rag- 
ged children bearing crosses hewn from 
tree branches; a great walled fortress in the 
middle of a parched wasteland, the yellow 
earth split like strokes oi lightning all 
around the structure; a motorway with hun- 
dreds of cars speeding past so quickly 
they seemed to be stroboscope lines of 
colored light; a battlefield with men in flow- 
ing robes and riding great-chested stal- 
lions, 'the sunlight dancing off curved 
swords and helmets; a tornado careening 
through a small town of slatback stores and 
houses, lifting entire buildings from their 
foundations and flinging them into the sky; 
a river of lava burst through a fissure in the 
ground and boiled toward a shadowy indi- 
cation of an amusement park, with throngs 
of holiday tourists moving in clots from one 
attraction to another. 

Ian Ross sat. frozen, on the hillside. The 
world was dying around him. No. . .it was 
vanishing, fading out. dematerializing. As if 
all the sand had run out of the hourglass 
around him; as if he were the only perma- 
nent, fixed, and immutable object in a 
metamorphosing universe suddenly cut 
loose from its time-anchor 

The world faded out around Ian-Ross; the 
shadows boiled and seethed and slithered 
' past him. caught in a cyclonic wind-tunnel 
and swept away past him, leaving him in 
darkness. 

He sat now still, quiet too isolated to be 
frightened. 

He thought perhaps clouds had covered 



Ihe sun. 

There was no sun. 

He thought perhaps it had been an 
eclipse, that his deep concentration of his 
hopeless state had kept him from noticing. 

There was no sun 

No sky. The ground beneath him was 
gone. He sat. merely sat. but on nothing, 
surrounded by nothing, seeing and feeling 
nothing save a vague chill. It was cold now 
very cold now 

Aftera long time he decided to stand and 
did stand: there was nothing beneath or 
above him. He stood in darkness. 

He could remember everything lhat had 
ever happened to him in his life. Every mo- 
ment of it. with absolute clarity. It was some- 
thing he had neve' experienced before. His 
memory had been no better or worse than 
anyone else's, but he had forgotten all the 
details, many years in which nothing had 
happened, during which he had wasted 
time — almost as a mute witness at the dull 



6He was out of phase with 

all around him . . . 

an alien object. A ruin from 

another world . . . 

drinking air that was not 

his to drink. . , , In a 

moment, with a fly buzzing, 

the dream died for him3 



rendition of his- life. 

But now. as he walked Ih'ougn Pie . mbo 
that was all he had been left of the world, he 
recalled everything perfectly. The look of 
terror on his mother's face when he had 
sliced through Ihe tendons of his left hand 
with the lid from the tin can of pink 
lemonade: he had been four years old. The 
feel of his new Thorn McAn shoes that had 
always been too tight from the moment 
they had been bought but that he had 
been forced to wear to school every day, 
even though they rubbed him raw at the 
back of his heels: he had been seven years 
old. The Four Freshmen standing and sing- 
ing for the graduation dance. He had been 
alone. He had bought one ticket to support 
the school event. He had been 16. The taste 
of egg roll at Choy's. the first tirne.-He had 
been 24. The woman he had met at the 
library, in the section where they kept the 
books on animals, She had used a white 
lace handkerchief to dry her- temples. It 
had smelled of perfumer He had been 30. 
He remembered all the sharp edges of 
every moment from his past. It was remark- 
able. In this nowhere. 
'And he walked through gray spaces. 



with the shadows of other times and other 
places swirling past. The sound of rushing 
wind, as though the emptiness through 
which he moved was being constantly filled 
and emptied, endlessly, without measure or 
substance. 



Ha< 



■ ■■that > 



clear, drawn back from the absolute past, 
he remembered a day when he had been 
1 1 when his mother had suggested that for 
his birthday they make a small party to 
which he would mvte a few friends. And so 
(he remembered with diamond-bright per- 
fection), he had invited six boys and girls. 
They had never come. He sat alone in the 
house that Saturday, all his comic books 
laid out in case the cake and party favors 
and pin-the-tail-on-lhe-donkey did not hold 
their attention sufficiently. Never came. It 
grew dark. He sat alone, with his mother 
occasionally walking through the living 
room to make some consoling remark. But 
he was alone, and he knew there was only 
one reason for it: they had all forgotten. It 
was simply that he was a waste of time for 
those actually living their lives. Invisible, by 
token of being unimportant, A thing un- 
noticed: on a street, who notices the mail- 
box, the (ire hydrant, the crosswalk lines? 
He was an invisible, useless thing. 

He had never permitted another party to 
be thrown for him. 

He remembered that Saturday now. And 
found the emotion. 26 years late, to react to 
this terrible vanishment of the world. He 
began to tremble uncontrollably, and he sat 
down where there was nothing to sit down 
on. and he rubbed his hands together, feel- 
ing the tremors in his knuckles and the 
ends of his fingers. Then he felt the con- 
striction in his throat, he turned his head 
this way and that, looking for a nameless 
exit from self-pity and loneliness; and then 
he cried. Lightly, softly, because he had no 
experience at it. 

A crippled old woman came out of the 
gray mist of nowhere and stood watching 
him. His eyes were closed, or he would 
have seen her coming. 

After a while, he. snuffled, opened his 
eyes, and saw her standing in front of him. 
He stared at her. She was standing. At a 
level somewhat below him, as though the 
invisible ground of this nonexistant place 
was on a lower plane than that on which he 
sat. 

. "That won't help much." she said. She 
wasn't surly, but neither was there much 
succor in her tone. 

He looked at her and immediately 
stopped crying. 

"Probably just got sucked in here." she 
said. It was not quite a question, though it 
had something of query in it. She knew and 
was going carefully. 

He continued to look at her. hoping she 



could tell him what had happened to him. 
And to her? She was here. too. 

"Could be worse," shesaid. crossing her 
arms and shifting her weight oil her twisted 
let! leg. 1 could've been a Saracen or a 
ribbon clerk or even one oi those hairy 
pre-humans." He didn'l respond, He didn't 
know what she was talking about. She 
smiled wryly, remembering. "First person I 
met was some kind ol a retard, liltle boy 
about 15 or so. Must have spent what 
there'd been of his life in some padded cell 
or a hospital bed. something like lhat. He 
just sat Ihere and stared at me. drooled a 
little, couldn't tell me a thing. I was scared 
out of my mind, ran around like a chicken 
with its head cut off. Wasn't till a long time 
after that before I met someone who spoke 
English." 

He tried to speak and found his throat 
was dry. His voice came out in a croak. He 
swallowed and wet his lips. "Are there many 
other, uh. other people . . . we're not all 
alone . . . ?" 

"Lots of others. Hundreds, thousands. 
God only knows; maybe whole countries 
full of people here. No animals, though. 
They don't waste it the way we do." 

"Waste [I? What?" 

"Time, son, Precious, lovely time. That's 
all there is. just time. Sweet, flowing time. 
Animals don't know about lime." 

As she spoke, a slipping shadow of 
some wild scene whirled past and through 
them. It was a great city in flames. It 
seemed more substantia! than the vagrant 
wisps of countryside or sea scenes that 
had been ribboning past them as they 
spoke. The wooden buildings and city tow- 
ers seemed almost solid enough to crush 
anything in their path, Flames leaped to- 
ward the gray, dead-skin sky: enormous 
tongues of crackling flame that ate the ci- 
ty's gut and chewed the phantom image, 
leaving ash. (But even the dead ashes had 
more lite than the grayness Ihrough which 
the vision swirled.) 

Ian Ross ducked, frightened. Then il'was 
gone. 

"Don't worry aboul it. son," the old 
woman said. "Looked a lot like London dur- 
ing the Big Fire. First the Plague, then the 
Fire. I've seen its like before. Can't hurt you. 
None of it can hurt you." 

He tried to stand, found himself still 
weak. "But what Is it?" 

She shrugged. "No one's ever been able 
to tell me for sure. Bet there's some around 
in here who can, though. One day I'll run 
into one of them. If I find out and we ever 
meet again I'll be sure to let you know. 
Bound to happen." But her face grew infi- 
nitely sad and there was desolation in her 
expression. "Maybe. Maybe we'll meet 
again. Never happens, but it might. Never 
saw that retarded boy again. But it might 
happen." 

She started to walk away, hobbling awk- 
wardly. Ian got Io his feet with difficully b,ut 
as quickly as he could, "Hey. wait! Where 
are you going? Please, lady, don't leave me 
here all alone. I'm scared to be here by 



myself." 

She stopped and turned, tilting oddly on 
her bad leg. "Got to keep moving. Keep 
going, you know? If you stay in one place 
you don't get anywhere; there's a way out 
. . you've just got io keep moving till you 
find it." She started again, saying, over her 
shoulder "I guess I won't be seeing you 
again; I don't think it's likely." 

He ran after her and grabbed'her arm. 
She seemed very startled. As if no one had 
ever touched her in this place during all the 
time she had been here. 

"Listen, you've got to tell me some things, 
whatever you know. I'm awfully scared, 
don't you understand? You have to have 
some understanding." 

She looked ai him' carefully 'All right, as 
much as I can. then you'll let me go?" 

He nodded. 

"I don't know what happened io me . 
or to you. Did it all fade away and just dis- 
appear, and everything that was left was 
this, just Ihis gray nothing'?" 

He nodded. 

She sighed. "How old are you. son?" 

"I'm 37. My name is Ian — " 

She waved his name away with an impa- 
tient gesture. "That doesn't matter I can 
see you don't know ahy betterthanldo.Sol 
don't have the time to waste on you. You'll 
learn that. too. Just keep walking, just keep 
looking for a way out." 

He made fists. "Thai doesn't tell me any- 
thing] What was that burning city what are 
these shadows that go past all the time?" 
As if to mark his question a vagrant filmy 
phantom caravan of cassowary-like ani- 
mals dh-ted through them. 

She shrugged and signed "I think its 
history. I'm not sure . I'm guessing, you 
understand. But I think it's all Ihe bits and 
pieces of the past, going through on its way 
somewhere. " 

He waited She shrugged again, and her 
silence indicated— with a kind of helpless 
appeal to be let go— that she could tell him 
nolhing further. 

He nodded resignedly. 'All right. Thank 
you . " 

She turned wilh her bad leg trembling; 
she had stood with her weight on it for too 
ong And sic- started to walk off into the 
gray limbo. When she was almost out of 
sight, hefoundhimsel'aole to spesoga n. 
and he said. . .too softly to reach her. . . 
"Good-bye. lady Thank you." 

He wondered how old she was. How long 
she had been here. If he would one time far 
from now be like her. If it was all over and if 
he would wander in shadows forever. 

He wondered r peop e died here. 

Before he met Catherine, a long time be- 
fore he met her. he met the lunatic who told 
him where, he was. what had happened to 
him. and why it had happened,, . ... 

They saw each other standing on oppo- 
site sides of a particularly vivid phantom of 
the Battle of Waterloo. The battle raged 
past them, and through the clash and 
slaughter of Napoleon's and Wellington's 



forces they waved to each other. 

When the sliding vision had rushed by. 
leaving emptiness between them, the luna- 
tic rushed forward, clapping his hands as if 
preparing hi-nse-f for a long, arduous, but 
pleasurable chore. He was of indetermi- 
nate age but clearly past his middle years. 
His hair waslong and wild, he wore a pair of 
rimless antique spectacles, and his suit 
was turn-of-the-eighteenth-century, "Well. 
well, well." he called, across the narrowing 
space between them, "so good to see you. 
sir!" 

Ian Ross was startled. In ihe timeless 
time he had wandered through this limbo, 
he had encountered coolies and Berbers 
and Thracian traders and silent Goihs . . . 
an endless stream of hurrying humanity 
that would neither speak nc stop. This man 
was something different. Immediately Ian 
knew he was insane. But he wanted to talk] 

The older man reached Ian and ex- 
tended his hand, "Cowper. sir. Justinian 
Cowper, Alchemist, metaphysician, con- 
sultant io the forces of time and space, ah 
yes, time'. Do I perceive in you, sir, one only 
recently come to our little Valhalla, one in 
need of illumination? Certainly! Definitely. I 
can see that is Ihe case." 

Ian began to say something, almost any- 
thing, in response, but the wildly gesticulat- 
ing old man pressed on without drawing a 
breath. "This most recent manifestation, the 
one we were both privileged to witness 
was. I'm certain you're aware, the pivotal 
momentat Waterloo in which the Little Cor- 
poral had his fat chewed good and proper. 
Fascinating piece of recent history. 
wouldn't you say?" 

Recent history? Ian started to ask him 
how long he had been in this gray place, 
but the old man barely paused before a 
fresh torrent of words spilled out, 

"Stunningly reminiscent of thai marvel- 
ous scene in Stendahl's Charterhouse of 
Parma in which Fabrizio. young, innocent, 
fresh to that environ, found himself walking 
across a large meadow on which men were 
running in all directions, noise, shouts, con- 
fusion . . . and he knew not what was hap- 
pening, and not till several chapters later 
do we learn ah, marvelousl — that it was. 
in fact, the Battle of Waterloo through which 
he moved, totally unaware of history in the 
shaping all around him. He was there, while 
not there. Precisely our situation, wouldn't 
you say?" 

He had run out of breath. He stopped, 
and Ian plunged into the gap. "That's whai 
I'd like Io know. Mr. Cowper: What's hap- 
pened tome? 've \qs\ everything , but I can 
remember everything, too. I know I should 
be going crazy or frightened, and I am 
scared, but not out of my mind with it . . .I 
seem to accept this, whatever it is. I-I don't 
know how to take it. but I know I'm not 
feeling it yel. And I've been here a long 
time!" 

The old man slipped his arm around lan's 
back and began walking wilh him. Iwo 
gentlemen strolling in confidence on a 
afternoon by the edge of a cool 



park. "Quite correct, sir, quite correct. Dis- 
sociative behavior; mark ot tine man unable 
to accept his destiny, Accept- it. sir. I urge 
you; and fascination follows. Perhaps even 
obsession, but we must run that risk, 
mustn't we?" 

Ian wrenched away from him. turned to 
face him. "Look, mister, I don't want to hear 
all that craziness! I want to know where I am 
and how I get out of here. And if you can't 
tell me, then leave me alone!" 

"Nothing easier, my good man. Explana- 
tion is the least of it. Observation of 
phenomena, ah. that's the key. You can fol- 
low? Well, then: we are victims of the law of 
conservation of time. Precisely and exactly 
linked to the law of the conservation of mat- 
ter; matter, which can neither be created 
nor destroyed. Time exists without end. But 
there is an ineluctable entropic balance, 
absolutely necessary to maintain order in 
the universe. Keeps events discrete, you 
see. As matter approaches universal dis- 
tribution, there is a counterbalancing, how 
shall I put it. a counterbalancing 'leaching 
out' of time. Unused time is not wasted in 
places where nothing happens, ft goes 
somewhere. It goes here, to be precise. In 
measurable units — which I've decided, 
after considerable thought, to call 'chro- 
nons'." 

He paused, perhaps hoping Ian would 
compliment him on his choice of nomencla- 
ture. Ian put a hand fo his forehead; his 
brain was swimming. 

"That's insane. It doesn't make sense." 

"Makes perfectly good sense. I assure 
you. I was a top savant in my time: what I've 
told you is the only theory that fits the facts. 
Time unused is not wasted; it is leached 
out. drained through the normal space- 
time coniinuum and recycled. All this his- 
tory you see shooting past us is ihat part of 
the time-flow that was wasted. Entropic 
balance. I assure you." 

"But what am / doing here?" 

"You force me to hurt your feelings, sir." 

"What am I doing here?!" 

"You wasted your life. Wasted time. All 
around you, throughout your life, unused 
chronons were being leached out, drawn 
away from the contiguous universe, until 
their pull on you was irresistible. Then you 
went on through, pulled loose like a piece 
of wood in a rushing torrent, a bit of chalf 
whirled away on the wind. Like Fabrizio. 
you were- never really there. You wandered 
through, never seeing, never participating, 
and so there was nothing to moor you sol- 
idly in your own time." 

"But how long will I stay here 7 " 

The old man looked sad and spoke 
kindly for the first time: "Forever. You neves, 
used your lime, so you have nothing to rely 
on as anchorage in normal space." 

"But everyone here thinks there's a way 
. out. 1 know it! They keep walking, trying to 
find an exit." 

"Fools. There is no way back." 

"But you don't seem to be the sort of 
person who wasted his life. Some of the 
others I've seen, yes, I can see that; but 



your' 

The old man's eyes g'ew misty. He spoke 
with difficulty. "Yes. I belong here . . ." 

Then he turned and. like one in a dream, 
lost, wandered away. Lunatic, observing 
phenomena. And fhen gone in the gray- 
ness of time-gorged limbo. Partofaglacial 
period slid past Ian Ross and he resumed 
his walk without destination. 

And after a long, long time that was time- 
less but filled with an abundance of time, 
he met Catherine. 

He saw her as a spot of darkness against 
the gray limbo. She was quite a distance 
away, and he walked on for a while, watch- 
ing the dark blotch against gray and then 
decided to change direction, It didn't mat- 
ter. Nothing mattered : he was alone with his 
memories, replaying again and again. 

The sinking of the Titanic wafted through 
him. 

She did not move, even though he was 
approaching on a direct line. 



47he world was vanishing . . . 

as if all the sand 

had run out of the hourglass 

around him; as If he 

were the only fixed and 

immutable object in a 

universe suddenly cut loose 

from its time-anchor.? 



When he was quite close he could see 
thai she was siring cross-legged on noth- 
ingness; she was asleep. Her head was 
propped in one hand, the bracing arm 
supported by her knee. Asleep. 

He came right up to her and stood there 
simply watching. He smiled. She was like a 
bird, he thought, with her head tucked 
under her wing. Not really, but that was how 
he saw her. Though her cupped hand cov- 
ered half her tace he could make out a 
sweet face, very pale skin, a mole on her 
throat; her hair was brown, cut quite short. 
Her eyes were closed: he decided they 
would be blue. 

The Greek Senate, the Age of Pericles, 
men in a crowd — property owners — 
screaming at Lycurgus's exhortations in 
behalf ol socialism. The shadow of it sailed 
past not very far away. . 

Ian stood staring, and after a while he sat 
down opposite her. He leaned back on his 
arms. and watched. He hummed an old 
tune Ihe name of which he did not know. 

Finally, she opened her brown eyes and 
stared at him. 

At first momentary terror, statement. 
chagrin, curiosity. Then she took umbrage. 



"How long have you been there?" 

"My name is Ian Ross." he said. 

"I don't care what your name is!" she said 
angrily. "I asked you how long you've been 
siting there watching me." 

"I don't know A while." 

"I don'! like being walched; you're being 
very rude." 

He got to his teet without answering and 
began walking away. Oh well. 

She ran after him. "Hey. wait!" 

He kept walking. He didn't have to be 
bothered like that. She caught up with him 
and ran around to stand in front of him. "I 
suppose you just think you can walk oft like 
that!" 

"Yes. I can. I'm sorry I bothered you. 
Please get out of my way if you don't want 
me around." 

"I didn't say that." 

"You said I was being rude. I am never 
rude; I'm a very well-mannered person. 
and you were just being insulting." 

He walked around her. She ran after him. 

'All right, okay, maybe I was a little out of 
sorts. I was asleep, after all." 

He stopped. She stood in front of him. 
Now i-t was her move. "My name is 
Cai'-vj-rine Molnar. How do you do?" 

"Not loo well, that's how." 

"Have you been here long?" 

"Longer than I wanted to be here, that's 
for sure." 

"Can you explain what's happened to 
me?" 

He thought about it. Walking with some- 
one would be a nice change. "Let me ask 
you something," Ian Ross said, beginning 
to stroll off toward the phantom image of the 
Hanging Gardens o! Babylon wafting past 
them. "Did you waste a lot of time, sitting 
around, not doing much, maybe watching 
life's, en a lot?" 

They were lying down side by side be- 
cause they were tired. Nothing more than 
that. The Battle of the Ardennes. First World 
War. was all around them. Not a sound . Just 
movement. Mist, fog, turretless tanks, shat- 
tered trees all around them. Some corpses 
left lying in the middle of no-man's-land. 
They had been together for a space of time 
... it was three hours, it was six weeks, it 
was a month of Sundays, it was a year to 
remember, it was the best of times, it was 
the worst of times; who could measure it? 
There were no signposts, no town criers, no 
grandfather clocks, no change of seasons. 
who could measure it? 

They had begun to talk freely. He told her 
again that his name was Ian Ross, and she 
said Catherine, Catherine Molnar again. 
She confirmed his guess that her life had 
been empty. "Plain." she said. "I was plain. I 
am plain. No. don't bother to say you think I 
have nice cheekbones or a irim figure; it 
won't change a Ihing. If you want plain, I've 
got it." 

He didn't say she had nice cheekbones 
or a trim figure. But he didn't think she was 
plain. 

The Battle of the Ardennes was swirling 



away now. 

She suggested Ihey make love. 

Ian Ross got to his feel quickly and 
walked away. 

She walched him for a while, keeping 
him in sight. Then she gol up. dusted off 
her hands- though there was nothing on 
them, an act of memory, and followed him. 
Quite a long lime later, after Hailing him but 
not trying to catch up to him. she ran to 
match his pace and finally, gasping for 
breath, reached him. 

"I'm sorry," she said. 

"Nothing to be sorry about." 
' "I offended you." 

"No. you didn't. I just felt like walking." 

"Stop it. Ian. I did, I offended you." 

He stopped and spun on her. "Do you 
think I'm a virgin? I'm not a virgin." 

His vehemence pulled her back from the 
edge of boldness. "No. of course you're 
not. lneverthoug.htsucha'thing."Thenshe 
said, "Well ... I am." 

"Sorry." he said, because he didn't know 
the right thing to say. if there was a right 
thing. 

"Not your fault," she said. Which was the 
right thing to say. 

From nothing to nothing. Thirty-four 
years old. the oroperly desperate age for 
unmarried, unmotherhooded. unloved. 
Catherine Molnar, Janesville. Wisconsin. 
Straightening the trinkets in her jewelry 
box. ironing. her clothes, removing and re- 
folding Ihe sweaters in her drawers, hang- 
ing the siacks with the sacKs skirts with 
the skirts, blouses with the blouses, coats 
with the coats, all in order in the closet, 
reading every word in Time and Reader's 
Digest., learning seven new words every 
day. never using seven new words every 
day. mopping the floors in the three-room 
apartment, pulling aside one full evening to 
pay the bills and spelling out Wisconsin 
completely, never the Wl abbreviation on 
the return envelopes, listening to talk-radio, 
calling for Ihe correct time to set the clocks, 
spooning out the droppings from the kitty 
box. repasting photos in the album of 
scenes with round-faced people, pinching 
back the buds on the coleus, calling Aunt 
Beatrice every Tuesday at seven o'clock, 
talking brightly to the waitress in the 
orange-and-blue unitorm at the chicken pie 
shoppe. repainting fingernails carefully so 
the moon on each nail is showing, heating 
morning waler for herself alone for the cup 
of herbal tea. setting the table with a cloth 
napkin and a placemat. doing dishes, 
going to the office and straightening the 
bills of lading precisely, From nothing to 
nothing. Thirty-four. 

They lay side by side but they were not 
tired. There was more to it than that. 

"I hate men who can't think past the pil- 
low." she said, touching his hair. 

"What's that?" 

"Oh. it's just something I practiced, to 
say after the first time I slept with -a man. 1 
always felt there should be something orig- 



inal lo say, instead of all the things I read in 
novels." 

"I think it's a very clever phrase." Even 
now, he found it hard to touch her. He lay 
with hands at his sides. 

She changed the subject. "I was never 
able to get very far playing the piano. I have- 
absolutely no give between the thumb and 
first finger. And that's essential, you know 
You have to have a long reach, a good 
spread. I think they call it, to play Chopin. A 
tenth: that's two notes over an octave. A full 
octave, a perfect octave, those are just 
technical terms, Ociave is good enough. I 
don't have that." 

"I like piano playing." he said, realizing 
how silly and dull he must sound and 
frightened (very suddenly) that she would 
find him so. that she would leave him. Then 
he remembered where they were and he 
smiled. Where could she go? Where could 
he go? 

"I always hated the fellows at parties who 
could play Ihe piano ... all the girls clus- 
tered around those people. Except these 
days it's not so much piano; not too many 
people have pianos in their homes any- 
more. The kids grow up and go away and 
nobody takes lessons and the kids don't 
buy pianos. They get those electric 
guitars." 

'Acoustical guitars."' 

"Yes, those. 1 don't think it would be much 
better for fellows like me who don't play, 
even if it's acoustical guitars," 

They got up and walked again. 

Once they discussed how they had 
_ wasted their lives, how they had sat there 
with hands folded as lime filled space 
around them, swept through, was drained 
off. and their own "chronons' 1 (he had told 
her about the lunatic; she said 'it sounded 
like Benjamin Franklin, he said the man 
hadn't looked like Benjamin Franklin, but 
maybe, it might have been) had been 
leached of all potency. 

Once they discussed the guillotine 
executions in the Paris of the Revolution, 
because it was keeping pace with them, 
Once they chased the Devonian and al- 
most caught it. Once they were privileged 
to enjoy themselves in the center of an Arc- 
tic snowstorm that held around them for a 
measure of measureless time. Once they 
saw nothing for an eternity but were truly 
chilled— unlike the Arctic snowstorm that 
had had no effect on them — by the winds 
that blew past them. And once he turned to 
her and said. "I love you, Catherine." 

But when she looked at him with a gentle 
smile, he noticed for the first time that her 
eyes seemed to be getting gray and pale. 

Then, not too soon after, she said she 
loved him. too. 

But she could see mist through the flesh 
of his hands when he reachedout to touch 
her face. 

They walked with their arms around each 
other, having found each other. They said 
many times, and agreed it was so. that they 
were in love and being together was Ihe 



most impcr'snl tiling m that endless world 
of gray spaces, even if they never found 
their way back. 

And they began to use their time to- 
gether, setting small goals for each "day" 
upon awakening. We will walk that far; we 
will play word games in which you have to 
begin the name of a female movie star from 
the last letter of a male movie star's name 
that / have to begin off Ihe last letter of a 
female movie star; we will exchange shirt 
and blouse and see how it feels for a while; 
we will sing every camp song we can re- 
member. They began to enjoy their time 
together. They began to live. 

And sometimes his vo co taded out, and 
she could see him moving his lips but there 
was no sound. 

And sometimes when the mist cleared 
she was invisible from the ankles down and 
her body moved as through thick soup. 

And as they used their time, they be- 
came alien in that place where wasted time 
had gone to rest. 

And they began to fade. As the world had 
leached out for Ian Ross in Scotland, and 
for Catherine Molnar in Wisconsin, they 
began to vanish from limbo, Matter could 
neither be created nor destroyed, but it 
could be disassembled and sent where it 
was needed for entropic balance. 

He saw her pale skin become transparent. 

She saw his hands as clear as glass. 

And they thought:roo/afe-/fcomesioo late. 

Invisible motes of their selves were 
drawn off and were sent away from that 
gray place. Were sent where needed to 
maintain balance. One and one and one. 
separated on the wind and blown to the 
farthest corners of the tapestry that was 
time and space. And could never be re- 
called. And could never be rejoined. 

So they touched, there in that vast limbo 
of wasted time, for the last time, and 
shadows existed for an instant, and then 
were gone; he first, leaving her behind for 
the merest instant of terrible loneliness and 
loss, and then she, without shadow, pulled 
apart and scattered, followed. Separation 
without hope of return. 

There was the faintest keening whine of 
matter fleeing, 

There was the soundless echo of a di- 
minishing moan. 

The universe was poised to accept re- 
stored order, 

And then balance was regained; as if 
they had never been. 

Great events hushed in mist swirled past. 
Ptolemy crowned King of Egypt, the Battle 
of the Teutoburger Forest. Jesus crucified. 
|he founding of Constantinople, the Van- 
dals plundering Rome, the massacre of the ■ 
Omayyad family, the Court of the Fujiwaras 
in Japan. Jerusalem falling to Saladin . . . 
and on and on. . . great events . . .empty 
time . . . and the timeless population 
trudged past endlessly . . .endlessly, . , 
unaware that finally, at last, hopelessly and 
too late . . . two of their nameless order 
had found the way out. DO 




"I'll never forget you, Xeena; I'll see your face In every omelet, I'll never again touch another dish- of 'coq au vin,' 




INNER DOMAINS 



Uncharted regions of bone and sinew 
become fantastic art in the service of science 

BY KATHLEEN STEIN 

Early in my study of vertebrate structure, I became en- 
tranced by the aesthetic pleasure I derived from con- 
templating the organic form," says the renowned medical 
artist Paul Peck. Like his predecessors from Da Vinci to 
Andrew Wyeth, Peck contradicis the myth that the artist is at 
confinual odds with the stringent discipline and accountability of 
the scientific method. To the contrary, the instant the artist re- 
cords an observation — a leaf, sunlight falling on a pool of water, 
ihe complexities of a human face — he is participating in a scien- 

Peck's three-dimensional tendering ol Ihe various libtous and netlike 
components ol connective tissue (top). Inner structure ol the kidney (top 
right) depicts thousands ot glomeruli and tubules; neurons (below). 





■ ■ ■. ->. 



£ / was determined, " says Peck, "to create art that would reveal the harmony in living organisms.^ 



tiiic even!. Belore the invention of the camera, medical illustration 
was the only means — other than dissecting corpses — of learn- 
ing anatomy Although photography has now replaced the illus- 
trator's tunction in recording the appearance of objects, the 
camera is not able to dramatize important elements or simplify 
and clarity relationships. That is the work of art. In the case of 
anatomy, the arrangements of organs and their vessels and 
nerves are so intricate, the relationships so hidden by overlying 
tissue, that a photograph tends to confuse rather than clarify. 
Medical art captures the essence of life, a more subtle task. In 
fact, advancing photographic technology has done art a ravor in 

The structure of bone (above left). Right ventricle of the heart (above 
right) looking toward the bicuspid valve. Gallstones (below right). Lung 
section (below) painted by Frank Armitage for a pharmaceuticals house. 





J 



./ 





m I would reveal especially those microscopic structures —in a manner to fire the imagination. 



liberating the artist to create more exciting conceptual visions. 
"Artists must realize the creative potential inherent in the in- 
tricacies of science," comments Frank Armitage. who, as an art 
student, had to cajole his way into the dissecting rooms of medi- 
cal schools. Once inside, the space-age Michelangelo made 
sketches and mental notes that would later become epic visions 
of the interior body. Armitage's inner landscapes have become 
the bases of numerous medical films. The SF movie Fantastic 
Voyage is an Armitage odyssey. So, in giving "the inward parts" a 
local habitation and a name, science has enlarged the artist's 
vocabulary: science in service to art. DO 

Armitage's conceptualization o) ihe brain's optic system (above telt). 
Nerve synapse (right). The exposed tendon sheaths ot the hand, palm- 
side lacing up (below left), dorsal view (right). Acrylic on mai board. 




It was a prime corpus, complete 

with reconditioned heart, 

lungs, and enriched glands 

BODY 
GAME 

BY ROBERT SHECKLEY 



D. 



ir Senator. I'm writ- 
ing to you because you are our senior Senator 
and because you said at election time last 
year that you were our servant and that we 
should write to you immediately if we had any 
grievances. You were very definite, and you 
even got a little hutfy and said it was actually a 
citizen's duty to write to his Senator and let him 
know what was going on. Well. Senator. I 
thought about that a lot Naturally. I didn't be- 
lieve the part about you being our servant, 
what with you earning 50 times, or 100 times. 
or for all I know 1000 times what we do But the 
thing about writing to you. which you were so 
insistent on, that part got to me. 

Your words puzzled me at first when you 
said we should let you know what was going 
on here. I mean, you were raised in this city 
same as me, and a man would have to be 
blind, deaf, dumb, and stupid not to know 
what's happening here. But I decided that I 
was being unfair: you've got to spend a lot of 



PAINTING BY SAMUEL BAK 



your time in Washington, so maybe you are 
out of touch. Anyway, I'm taking you at your 
word and taking the liberty of writing to you. 
Specifically, I want to tell you about my 
grandfather's retread body, because it's a 
specific grievance, something you ought to 
know about and maybe even .do something 
about. 

At the time all this began. Grandfather 
was a healthy sprighlly 92 year old with all 
his own teeth still, a full head of white hair, 
and not an ounce of spare meat on his 
bones. He'd always taken care of himself, 
hadn't even had to wear glasses until he 
was 80-something. The old boy had 
worked for 50 years, until they retired him at 
age 65 with a pretty generous pension 
considering that he had been a second- 
grade comptometer operator With the 
pension and social security and what he'd 
saved. Grandfather was able to pull his 
own weight and not be a burden to the rest 
of us, which was lucky since we were barely 
afloat, monetarily speaking, 

The old boy just lay around the apart- 
ment for a while, sleeping late and watch- 
ing television. He always -made his own 
meals, and he always washed up after- 
wards. Afternoons he went down to the 
park and sat with some other old-timers. 
Then home to bed. He was very good with 
our kids; on Sundays he'd take them to 
Sheepshead Bay. and they'd walk along 
the shore and look for nose cones. He went 
tishing, too, just to pass the time; and once 
he caught asand shark, though how it got 
close to shore through all the garbage and 
chemical junk is beyond me. We boiled it 
up for a couple of days and ate it, and it 
wasn't bad if you used enough ketchup. 

But the old guy was getting bored. He'd 
worked for 50 years, and he simply didn't 
know how to retire gracefully. He moped 
around for a while, then made up his mind 
and went out looking for a job. 

Weil, of course, that was just plain silly 
and we told him so. Man of 40 can't find 
anything these days, much less a man of 
70. which was Grandfather's age at the 
time. But he went on trying. He'd wake up 
every morninc. and-ekeh s longevity serum 
prescribed by the Medicare people, wash 
and shave, and off he'd go. 

He didn't find a thing, of course, and 
finally he had to swallow his pride and rent 
a job as a garbage sorter's assistant. It 
didn't cos! him much, which was lucky be- 
cause he didn't have much. But he could 
never get used lo the idea of paying money 
every day in order to work when the gov- 
ernment was willing to pay him to not work. 
"It's a useful job, and I do it damned well." 
he used to tell us. "Why in God's name must 
Ipay in order to work a useful job I do well?" 
As if that had anything to do with it. 

Well, he held that job or others like it for 
nearly 20 years. But then someone in- 
vented self-consuming garbage, and my 
grandfather and a lot of other men were out 
of work. Grandfather was about 90 now, 
and he still had a lot of ideas about useful 
jobs. But he wasn't feeling well. This was 



the first lime in his life he hadn't felt well. We 
took him to Doc Saunders at the U Thant 
Memorial Socio-Medical Center on Easr 
1G3rd Street. It took us the better part of a 
day to hike up there. Those moving side- 
walks cost five bucks a ride, and that's too 
much just to get around. 

Doc Saunders had an otfice filled with 
one hell of a batch of instruments. He ran a 
three-day checkout on Grandfather. At the 
end of il he said, "There's nothing wrong 
with you except old age. Your heart's just 
about used up. and your arteries can't 
stand up to pressure. There's more, but 
that's the most important part." 

"Can you replace anything. Doc?" 
Grandfather wanted to know. 

Doc Saunders shook his head. "Put in a 
new heart, and it'd blow out your arteries. 
Patch and mend your arteries, and your 
lungs couldn't oxygenate the blood flow. 
Do something about that, and your kidneys 
would declare a holiday. Fact is. your whole 
internal system is just plain worn out." 

Grandfather nodded. He read the Daily 
News every morning. He knew about this 
stuff, 

"What should I do?" he asked, 

"Get a new body." Saunders said. 

Grandfather thought it over. "Well, by 
God." he said, "maybe a man my age 
ought to be ready to die; but I'm not Still too 
many things to look at. you know what I 
mean? Sure, I'm ready to put on a new 
ootiy But the money, . . ." 

"That's the problem," Saunders said. 
"Medicare doesn't handle corpus re- 
placement, you know" 

"I know." Grandfather said sadly. 

"Could you meet the price?" 

"Don't see how." Grandfather said. 

For the next couple of days Grandfather 
sat on the curb near our apartment and 
thought. It wasn't too nice for him" there. The 
kids would come by after school and shout 
at him. "Die, old man. why don't you die? 
Selfish old bastard using up air and food 
and water. Lousy old pervert, why can't you 
die decent like old men are supposed to 
do? Die. die, greedy son-of-a-bitch. die!." 

When I heard about that I swore I was 
going out there with a stick and raise some 
welts. But Grandfather wouldn't allow it. 
"They're just repeating what their parents 
say." he told me. "There's no harm in a child, 
no more than in a parrot. And besides, 
they're right: probably I should die." 

"Now don't start that." I said. 

"Die. die." Grandfather said, "Hell. I've 
been worthless for 30 years, and if I had an 
ounce of guts I damned well would die. and 
good riddance to me!" 

"That's crazy talk." I'd tell him, "What do 
you think lhaf longevity stuff is for if they 
meant ior old men to die?" 

"Maybe they made a mistake." he'd say. 

"Like hell they did," I came back. "They 
taught me in school that people have been' 
aiming for long-life for hundreds and hun- 
dreds of years. You've heard of Dr, Faustus. 
haven't you?" 

"Famous Austrian doctor, wasn't he?" 



Grandfather asked. 
"German." I told him. 'A friend of Freud 

and Einstein and smarter than both of 
them. He puf longevity on the map. You 
wouldn't argue with a brainy guy like that. 
would you?" 

Maybe I didn't have all my facts straight. 
but I had to say "something. And I didn't 
want the old man to die. I don't know why 
because it didn't make any sense to have 
an old man in the house with things getting 
tougher every year Buf I wanted him to live. 
He was never any trouble, and the kids 
liked him. and even May, my wife, said he 
was nice to talk to. 

Well, he didn't pay any attention to my 
Faustus talk, which I guess was about what 
it was worth. He sat with his chin on his fist 
and thought. He must have thought for ten 
full minutes. And' then he looked up and 
blinked, like he was a little surprised I was 
still there. 

"Sonny." he asked, "how old is Arthur 
Rockefeller?" 

"One hundred and thirty or so." I said. 
"He's in his third body." 

'And how old is Eustis Morgan Hunt?" 

"Must be about the same age." 

'And Blaise Eisenhower?" 

"Must be a good 175. He's gone through 
four bodies." 

'And Morris Mellon?" 

'Around 210. 220. But what's that got to 
do with anything?" 

He gave me a pitying look. "The poor are 
like children. It takes them nearly a hundred 
years just to grow up. and then they still 
can't do anything because they're dying. 
But the rich can try to live forever." 

He didn't say anything for a while. Then 
he spit into the street, got up. and went 
inside to the apartment. It was time for his 
favorite afternoon show 

I don't know how or where he got the 
money Maybe he had savings tucked 
away, or maybe he went to New Jersey and 
held up a candy store, Your guess is as 
good as mine. All I know is three days later 
he came up to me and said, "Johnny, let's 
go body shopping." 

"Body dreaming, you mean." I said. 

"Shopping." he said again and showed 
me 380 dollars in his list. And ne wouldn't 
tell me where he got it, either — me, his own 
grandson who's going to need a new body 
one of these days. 

So we went body shopping. 

Senator, I guess you know how it is with 
the poor. Everything costs more and is not 
as good. When you are poor like us you 
don't want to go downtown to Saks's Body 
Shop, for example, or Lord & Taylor's Relife 
Center. You figure they'll laugh at you or 
arrest you for loitering, You simply don't 
shop there. You shop in your neighborhood. 

In o.ur case, that means that we bring our 
business to Dapper Dan's Living Models 
store, which is located at 103rd Street and 
Broadway. I'm not trying to get that com- 
pany into trouble, It just happens to be 
■■.■vie re we went. 



Maybe you've read what those places 
ate like. Plenty of neon, three or four good- 
looking bodies in the window, junk inside. 
Always a couple of salesmen in sharp suits 
telling jokes on the videophone. These 
^ salesmen must sell to each other because 
i never see anyone else in there. 

We walked in and started looking over 
Ihe goods. One of the salesmen came drift- 
ing over, nice and easy, smiling while he 
was still 50 feel away. 

"Looking for a nice body?" he asked. 

-No. just looking for a fourth for bridge." 
told him. 

He laughed. I was a very witty fellow 
"Take your time." he said. "Bui if there is 
anything specific — " 

"How much is that one?" Grandfather 
asked. 

"I see thai you're a man of taste." the 
salesman said. "That is our Elon model- 
part of General Dynamics's new spring 
line. The Eton is six feet tall, 170 pounds, 
reflexes rated AA. All its organs have re- 
ceived the Good Housekeeping seal of 
approval. General Clay Baxter occupies a 
modified Eton . did you know that? The brain 
and nervous system are by Dynaco and 
have been rated a 'best buy' by Consumer 
Queries, Sculpturewise, this particular 
model came out very nicely— notice the 
facial flesh tones and the crinkly laugh lines 
around the eyes, You don't always get that 
sort of detail." 

"How much is it?" Grandfather asked. 

"I forgot to mention, it comes with a ten- 
year guarantee on parts and labor backed 
by a Good Housekeeping seal of ap- 
proval." 

"How much?" ■ 

"Well, sir, this week we're having our an- 
nual clearance sale. Solely because of 
thai. I can let you have this number for 
eighteen thousand nine hundred dollars, 
twelve percent off list." 

Grandfather shook his head. "Do you ac- 
tually expect to sell that thing up here?" 

"You'd be surprised." the salesman told 
him, "Sometimes a man hits it on the num- 
bers or comes into an inheritance-" 

"For eighteen grand it'd pay me to die," 
my grandfather said. "You got anything 
cheaper?" 

The salesman had plenty of cheaper 
models. There was a Renault-Bofors 
'Hornbre' for S10.000 and a Socony-GM 
'Everyman' for $6500. There was a Union 
Carbide-Chrysler 'Go-Man' with plastic 
hair and glass eyes for $2200 and a Texas 
Instrument 'Veracruzano' without voicebox. 
gyrocenter. or protein conversion unit for 
$1695. 

"Hell I wasn't interested in a new syn- 
thetic, anyhow." Grandfather said. "You got 
a used-body department 7 " 

"Yes sir we do." 

"Then show me some good relreads." 

He took us into a back room where the 
bodies were stacked against the wall like 
cordwood. It was like one of those old-time 
chamber of horror things, I mean, honestly, 
you wouldn't have worn one of ihose bodies 



to a dog-fight. There really ought to be a law 
against selling that sort of thing— lopsided 
bodies with chewed ears, bodies still 
bloody, with a new heart sewed in quick, 
lab bodies that hadn't worked oui. bodies 
assembled out of parts found at wrecks 
and other disasters, suicides' bodies wiih 
the wrists taped and a couple of quarts of 
new blood pumped in. lepers' bodies with 
flesh-tone plastic sprayed over the- sores. 

We hadn't been expecting the retreads 
to be pretty but we hadn't expected any- 
thing like this, either. I thought Grandfather 
was going to turn around and march out of 
lhai store. But he didn't. Shaking his head a 
little, he picked out a pretty good-looking 
synthetic with an extruded arm and a leg 
missing . God knows it was no beauty, but at 
least it didn't look as i! it had just been 
pulled out of a train wreck. 

"I might be interested in something like 
this." Grandfather said cautiously. 

"You have a good eye for merchandise." 
the salesman told him. "It just so happens 
that this little number will outperform a lot of 
the high-price new jobs." 

"It looks sickly." Grandfather said. 

"Not a chance! This is a prime corpus, 
my dear sir. and it comes complete with 
reconditioned heart, extractor-type lungs, 
heavy-duty liver, and enriched glands. This 
model comes with four kidneys as standard 
. equipment, a double-insulated stomach, 
and two hundred feet of Armour's finest 
intestine. What do you think of that, sir?" . 

"Well. I don't know." Grandfather said. 

But the salesman knew, It took about fif- 
teen minutes for him to sell the lopsided 
body to my grandfather. 

You get a one-month guarantee on re- 
treads. My grandfather got into it the follow- 
ing day. and it lasted him three weeks. Then 
the heart began to race and flutter, one 
kidney shut down completely, and the other 
three only worked part-time. A lung patch 
blew out, the intestines started leaking, 
and the liver began td shrink. 

Grandfather is in bed now. and Doc 
Saunders says it's a day-to-day thing. The 
company won't make good on the body. 
They got some pretty nifty clauses in that 
contract of theirs, and our block legal ad- 
visor says we could fight it in the courts for 
ten years and not be sure of the outcome. 
And in the meantime. Grandfather would 
be dead. 

So I'm writing to you first and primarily, 
Senator, to ask you to do something about 
this quick, while there's still time. My grand- 
father says that all I'll get from you is a form 
letter or maybe even a real letter from your 
secretary expressing regret at your inability 
to rectify this grievous wrong and that you'll 
probably mention how you've introduced or 
sponsored a bill before Congress that'll do 
something about it if it ever gets passed. 
And all that crap. So I and Grandfather 
expect he'll die because he 'hadn't the 
price of a decent body, and nobody will do 
anything about it. That's business as usual, 
right? Isn't that what always happens to the 
little people? 



But that brings me to the second reason 
I've written you. I've been talking it ove 1 with 
my buddies. Senator, and we all agree that 
my grandfather and all the rest of the poor 
have been conned cng enough. This Gold- 
en Age is not so nice for people like us. It's 
not that we want anything so much: we just 
can't goon knowing that other people have 
privileges — like long-life — that we don't 
have. We iigure that that stuff has gone on 
long enough. 

We've decided that if you and the other 
people in power don't do something about 
it. then we're going to. The time has come to. 
take a stand. 

We're going to declare war. 

You may think this is sort of sudden. 
Senator. But it isn't, really. You'd be sur- 
prised how many people nave been think- 
ing about this sort of thing. But each of us 
has thought we were alone and that every- 
one else was satisfied. And now we learn 
that a hell of a lot of us have been thinking 
the same thoughts as Grandfather and 
doing a slow burn about it. 

Before this, we didn't know what to do, 
Now we do know. 

We are simple men. Senator, and we 
don't have any big thinkers among us. We 
figure that all men ought to be roughly 
equal. And we understand that no laws are 
going to do thai. 

So our program is to kill rich guys. Do 
away with them entirely. 

That may notsound very constructive , as 
the tv says. But to us it looks simple, 
straightforward, and we think it'll be effec- 
tive. 

We're going lo kill the rich when and how 
we can. And we're not going to discrimi- 
nate, either. We don't care how the money 
was made, nor what he uses it for. We'll kill 
labor leaders as well as bankers, high- 
class criminals as well as big-deal oil men, 
We'll kill anyone and everyone who has a lot 
more than we do. We'll kill until the rich are 
like us. or we're like them, or until we all 
meet in the middle, We'll kill our own people 
if they profit off of this thing, too. And we'll 
sure as hell kill senators and congressmen, 
too. 

So there it is. Senator. I hope you help my 
grandfather. If you do. it'll mean that maybe 
you see things our way. and we'll be glad to 
put you on the deferred list and give you 
three weeks to get rid of the wealth you've 
been able to accumulate. 

You know where to reach my grandfather. 
Me. you can't reach at all. However this 
thing goes. I'm dropping out oi sight. Don't 
bother- looking for me. 

Remember— there's a hell of a lot more 
of us than there are of you. We've never 
been able to bring this thing off before, my 
grandfather tells me — never in the history 
of the world. But what the hell, there's got to 
be a first time for everything. Maybe we'll 
even make it this time: pull down your Gold- 
en Age and build our own. 

I don't expect you'll see it our way. So 
here's looking at you. Senator — right down 
the sights of a gun. DQ 




UNACCOMPANIED 
SONATA 



He was an artist, so he 

had to be kept under close control 

BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 

When Christian Haroldsen was six months 
Did. preliminary tests showed a predis- 
position toward rhythm and a keen 
awareness of pitch. There were other tests, of 
course, and many possible routes still open to 
him. But rhythm and pitch were the governing 
signs of his own private zodiac, and already the 
reinforcement began. Mr and Mrs. Haroldsen 
were provided wfth tapes of many kinds of sound 
and instructed to play them constantly, whether 
Christian was awake or asleep. 

When Christian Haroldsen was two years old, 
his seventh battery of tests pinpointed the path he 
would inevitably follow. His creativity was excep- 
tional; his curiosity, insatiable; his understanding 
of music, so intense that on top of all the tests was 
written "Prodigy." 

Prodigy was the word that took him from his 
parents' home to a house in deep deciduous 
forest where winter was savage and violent and 
summer, a briei, desperate eruption of green He 
grew up, cared tor by unsinging servants, and the 
only music he was allowed lo hear was bird song 
and wind song and the crackling ol winter wood; 
thunder and the faint cry of golden leaves as they 
broke free and tumbled to the earth; ram on the 
roof and the drip of water Irom icicles; the chatter 
of squirrels and the deep silence of snow falling 
on a moonless night. 

These sounds were Christian's only conscious 
music, He grew up with the symphonies of his 
early years only distant and impossible-to-retrieve 
memories. And so he learned to hear music in 
unmusical things— for he had to find music, even 
when there was none to find. 

He found that colors made sounds m his mind; 
Sunlight in summer was a blanng chord; moon- 
light in winter, a thin, mournful wail; new green in 
spring, a low murmur in almost (but not quite) 
random rhythms: !he fash of 3 red fox in the 
leaves, a gasp of sudden siartjement. 



PAINTING BY EVELYN TAYLOR 



And he learned to play all those sounds 
on his Instrument. In the world were violins, 
trumpets, and clarinets, .as there had been 
for centuries. Christian knew nothing of 
that, Only his Instrument was available. It 
was enough 

Christian lived in one room in his house, 
which he had to himself most of the time. 
He had a bed (not too soft), a chair and 
table, .a silent machine that cleaned him 
and his clothing, and an electric light, 

The other room contained only his In- 
strument. It was a console with many keys 
and strips and levers and bars, and when 
he touched any part of it, a sound came 
out Every key made a different sound; 
every point on the strips made a different 
pitch; every lever modified the tone; every 
bar altered the structure of the sound. 

When he first came to the house, Chris- 
tian played (as children will) with the In- 
strument, making strange and funny 
noises. It was his only playmate; he learned 
it well, could produce any sound he wanted 
lo At first he delighted in loud, blaring 
tones. Later he began to learn the pleasure 
of silences and rhythms. And soon he 
began to play with soft and loud and to play 
two sounds at once and to change those 
two sounds together to make a new sound 
and to play again a sequence of sounds he 
had played before. 

Gradually, the sounds of the forest out- 
side his house found their way into the 
music he played. He learned to make 
winds sing -through his Instrument; he 
learned to make summer one ol the songs 
he could play at will. Green with its infinite 
variations was his most subtle harmony; the 
birds cried out from his Instrument with all 
the passion of Christian's loneliness. 

And the word spread to the licensed Lis- 
teners; 

"There's a new sound north of here, east 
of here: Christian Harqldsen, and he'll tear 
out your heart with his songs." 

The Listeners came, a few to whom vari- 
ety was everything first, then those to whom 
novelty and vogue mattered most, and at 
last those who valued beauty and passion 
above everything else. They came and 
stayed out in Christian's woods and lis- 
tened as. his music was played through 
perfect speakers on the roof of his house. 
When the music stopped and Christian 
came out of his house, he could see the 
Listeners moving away. He asked and was 
told why they came; he marveled that the 
things he did for love on his Instrument 
could be of interest to other people. 

He felt, strangely, even more lonely to 
know that he could sing to the Listeners 
and yet never be able to hear their songs. 

"But they have no songs," said the 
woman who came to bring him food every 
day. "They are Listeners. You are a Maker. 
You have songs, and they listen." 

"Why?" asked Christian, innocently. 

The woman looked puzzled. "Because 
that's what they want most to do. TheyVe 
been tested, and they are happiest as Lis- 
teners. You are happiest as a Maker. Aren't 



you happy?" 

"Yes," Christian answered, and he was 
telling the truth. His life was perfect, and he 
wouldn't change anything, not even the 
sweet sadness of the backs of the Listen- 
ers as they walked away at the end of his 
songs. 

Christian was seven years old, 

FIRST MOVEM ENT ____ 

For the third time the short man with 
glasses and a strangely inappropriate 
mustache dared to wait in the underbrush 
for Christian to come out. For the third time 
he was overcome by the beauty of the song 
that had just ended, a mournful symphony 
that made the short man with glasses feel 
the pressure of the leaves above him, even 
though it was summer and they had months 
left before they would fall. The fall was still 
inevitable, said Christian's song; through 
all their life the leaves hold within them the 
power to die, and that must color their life. 
The short man with glasses wept — but 



•"You have broken the law. You 

were put here because 

you were a genius, creating 

new things with only 

nature for your inspiration. 

Now . , , you're 

derivative. . . . You'll have 

to leave."} 



when the song ended and the other Listen- 
ers moved away, he hid in the brush and 
waited. 

This time his wait was rewarded, Chris- 
tian came out of his house, walked among 
the trees, and came toward where the short 
man with glasses waited. The man admired 
the easy, unpostured way that Christian 
walked. The composer looked to be about 
thirty, yet there was something childish in 
the way he looked around him, the way his 
walk was aimless and prone to stop so he 
would just touch (and not break) a fallen 
twig with his bare toes. 

"Christian," said the short man with 
glasses. 

Christian turned, startled. In all these 
years, no Listener had ever spoken to him. 
It was forbidden, Christian knew the law 

"It's forbidden," Christian said. 

"Here," the short man with glasses said, 
holding out a small black object. 

"What is if" 

The short man grimaced, "dust take it." 
Push the button and it plays." 

"Plays?" 

"Music." 

Christian's eyes opened ■■.■vice "But that's 



torbidden, I can't have my creativity pol- 
luted by hearing other musicians' work. 
That would make me imitative and deriva- 
tive, instead of original." 

"Reciting," the man said. "You're just re- 
citing that. This is Bach's music." There 
was reverence in his voice, 
"I can't," Christian said. 
And then the short man shook his head. 
"You don't know You don't know what you're 
missing. But I heard it in your song when I 
came here years ago, Christian. You want 
this." 

"It's forbidden," Christian answered, tor 
to him the very fact that a man who knew an 
act was forbidden still wanted to perform it 
was astounding, and he couldn't get past 
the novelty of it to realize that some action 
was expected of him. 

There were footsteps, and words being 
spoken in the distance, and the short man's 
face became frightened. He ran at Chris- 
tian, forced the recorder into his hands, 
then took off toward the gate of the pre- 
serve. 

Christian took the recorder and held it in 
a spot of sunlight. coming through the 
leaves.. It gleamed dully. "Bach," Christian 
said. Then, "Who the hell is Bach?" 

But he didn't throw the recorder down. 
Nor did he give the recorder to the woman 
who came to ask him what the short man 
with glasses had stayed for, "He stayed for 
at least ten minutes." 

"I only saw him for thirty seconds," Chris- 
'.'ari answered. 
'And?' 

"He wanted me to hear some other 
music. He had a recorder." 
"Did he give it to you?" 
"No," Christian said. "Doesn't he still 
have it?" 
"He must have dropped it in the woods." 
"He said it was Bach." 
"It's forbidden. That's all you need to 
know. If you should find the recorder, Chris- 
tian, you know the law" 
"I'll give it to you." 

She looked at him carefully, "You know 
what would happen if you listened to such a 
thing." 
Christian nodded. 

"Very well. We'll be looking for it, too. I'll 
see you tomorrow, Christian. And next time 
somebody stays after, don't talk to him. Just 
come back in and lock the doors." 
"I'll do that," Christian said. 
There was a summer rainstorm that 
night, wind and rain and thunder, and 
Christian found that he could not sleep. Not 
because of the music of the weather — he'd 
slept through a thousand such storms. It 
was the recorder that lay against the wall 
behind the Instrument. Christian had lived 
ior nearly thirty years surrounded only by ' 
this wild, beautiful place and the music he 
himself made. But now . . . 

Now he could not stop wondering. Who 

was Bach? Who Is Bach? What is his 

music? How is it different from mine? Has 

he discovered things that I don't know? 

What is his music? What is his music? 



What s his music? 

Wondering. Until dawn, when the storm 
was abating and the wind had died. Chris- 
tian got out of his bed, where he had not 
slept but only tossed back and forth all 
night, and took the recorder from its hiding 
place and played it. 

At first it sounded strange, like noise; 
odd sounds that had nothing to do with the 
sounds of Christian's life. But the patterns 
were clear, and by the end of the recording, 
which was not even a halt-hour long, Chris- 
tian had mastered the idea oi fugue, and 
the sound of the harpsichord preyed on his 
mind. 

Yet he knew that if he let these things 
show up in his music, he would be discov- 
ered. So he did not try a fugue. He did not 
atlempt to imitate the harpsichord's sound. 

And every night he listened to the record- 
ing, learning more and more until finally the 
Watcher came. 

The Watcher was blind, and a dog led 
him. He came to the door, and because he 
was a Watcher, the door opened for him 
without his even knocking. 

"Christian Haroldsen, where is the re- 
corder?" the Watcher asked. 

"Recorder?" Christian asked, then knew 
it was hopeless. So he took the machine 
and gave it to the Watcher. 

"Oh, Christian," said the Watcher, and his 
voice was mild and sorrowful. "Why didn't 
you turn it in without listening to it?" 

"I meant to," Christian said. "But how did 
you know?" 

"Because suddenly there are no fugues 
in your work. Sucder y your songs have lost 
the only Bach-like thing about them. And 
you've stopped experimenting with new 
sounds. What were you trying to avoid?" 

"This," Christian said, and he sal down 
and on his first try duplicated the sound of 
the harpsichord. 

"Yet you've "never tried to do that until now, 
have you?" 

"I thought you'd notice." 

"Fugues and harpischord. the two things 
you noticed first— and the only things you 
didn't absorb into your music. All your other 
songs for these last weeks have been tinted 
and colored and influenced by Bach. Ex- 
cept that there was no fugue, and there was 
no harpsichord, You have broken the law. 
You were put here because you were a 
genius, creating new things with only na- 
ture for your inspiration. Now, of course, 
you're derivative, and truly new creation is 
impossible for you. You'll have to leave." 

"I know," Christian said, afraid, yet not 
really understanding what life outside his 
house would be like. 

"We'll train you for the kin'ds of jobs you 
can pursue now. You won't starve. You won't 
die of boredom. Bui because you broke the 
law, one thing is forbidden to you now" 

"Music." 

"Not all music. There is music of a sort, 
Christian, that the common people, the 
ones who aren't Listeners, can have. Radio 
and television and record music, But live 
music and new music — those are forbid- 



den to you. You may not sing. You may not 
play an instrument. You may not tap out a 
rhythm. " 

"Why not?" 

The Watcher shook his head, "The world 
is too perfect, tod at peace, too happy, for 
us to permit a misfit who broke the law to go 
about spreading discontent. And if you 
make more music, Christian, you will be 
pursued drastically. Drastically."- 

Christian nodded, and when the Watcher 
told him to come, he came, leaving behind 
the house and the woods and his Instru- 
ment. At first he took it calmly, as the inevi- 
table punishment for his infraction; but he 
had little concept of punishment, or of what 
exile from his Instrument would mean. 

Within five hours he was shouting and 
striking out at anyone who came near him, 
because his fingers craved the touch of the 
Instrument's keys and levers and strips and 
bars, and he could not have them, and now 
he knew that he had never been lonely be- 
fore. 



iOnce, Joe went to the piano 

and lifted the lid 
and played every key on the 

piano. And when 

he had done that he put his 

head down on 

the piano and cried. . . . It was 

like . . . losing his bar.? 



It took six mcnt'is before no was ready for 
normal life. And when he left the Retraining 
Center (a small building, because it was so 
rarely used), he looked tired and years 
older, and he didn't smile at anyone. He 
became a delivery-truck driver, because 
the tests said that this was a job that would 
least grieve him and least remind him of his 
loss and most engage his few remaining 
aptitudes and interests. 

He delivered doughnuts to grocery 
stores. 

And at night he discovered the mysteries 
of alcohol; and the alcohol and the 
doughnuts and the truck and his dreams 
were enough that he was, in his way, con- 
tent. He had no anger in him. He could live 
the rest of his life, without bitterness. 

He delivered fresh doughnuts and took 
the stale ones away with him. 

SECOND MOV EMENT 

"With a name like Joe," Joe always said, 
"I had to open a bar and grill, just so I could 
put up a sign saying 'Joe's Bar and Grill.' " 
And he laughed and la'.ghcd, because, 
after all, Joe's Bar and Grill was a funny 
name these days. 



But Joe was a good bartender, and the 
Watchers had put him in the right kind of 
place. Not in a big city but in a small town; a 
town just off the freeway, where truck driv- 
ers often came; a town not far from a large 
city, so that interesting things were nearby 
to be talked about and worried about and 
biched about and loved. 

Joe's. Bar and Grill was, therefore, a nice 
place to come, and many people came 
there. Not fashionable people, and not 
drunks, but lonely people and friendly 
people in just the right mixture, "My clients 
are like a good drink, Just enough of this 
and that to make a new flavor that tastes 
better than any of the ingredients." Oh, Joe 
was a poet; he was a poet of alcohol, and 
like many another person these days, he 
often said, "My father was a lawyer and in 
the old days 1 would have probably ended 
up a lawyer, too. And 1 never would have 
known what I was missing." 

Joe was right. And he was a damn good 
bartender, and ha didn't wish he were any- 
thing else, so he was happy. 

One night, however, a new man came in, 
a man with a doughnut delivery truck and a 
doughnut brand name on his uniform. Joe 
noticed him because silence clung to the 
man like a smell— wherever he walked, 
people sensed it, and though they scarcely 
looked at him, they lowered their voices or 
stopped talking at all, and they got reflec- 
tive and looked at the walls and the mirror 
behind the bar. The doughnut deliveryman 
sat in a corner and had a watered-down 
drink that meant he intended to stay a long 
time and didn't want his alcohol intake to be 
so rapid that he was forced to leave early. 

Joe noticed things about people, and he 
noticed thai this man kept looking off in the 
dark corner where the piano stood. It was 
an old, out-of-tune monstrosity from the old 
days (for this had been a bar for a long 
time), and Joe wondered why the man was 
fascinated by it. True, a lot of Joe's custom- 
ers had been interested, but they had al- 
ways walked over and plunked on the keys. 
trying to find a melody, failing with the out 
of-tune keys, and finally giving up. This 
man, however; seemed almost afra:c c = :t>e 
piano, and didn't go near it. 

At closing time, the man was stiii ttsere. 
and, on a whim, instead of making the man 
leave, Joe turned oft the piped-*) music, 
turned off most of the lights, and wrem ma 
and lifted the lid and exposed the gray 
keys. 

The deliveryman came o\e*" id tre paano. 
Chris, his name tag satd He sal and 
touched a single key. The sound was not 
pretty. But the man touched atl &ie keys one 
by one and then touched them in different 
orders, and all the time Joe watched, won- 
dering why the man was so intense about it. 

"Chris," Joe saud. 

Chris tooted up at him. 
Do you know any songs?' 

Chris's face went funny. 

"i mean, some of those old-time songs. 
not those fancy ass-twitchers on the radio. 
but songs. 'In a Little Spanish Town. My 



mother sang that one to me." And Joe 
began to sing, "In a little Spanish town, 
'twas on a night like this. Stars were peek- 
a-booing down, 'twas on a night like this." 

Chris began to play as Joe's weak and 
toneless baritone went on with the sang. 
But his playing wasn't an accompaniment, 
not anything Joe could call an accompan- 
iment. It was, instead, an opponent to his 
melody, an enemy to it, and the sounds 
coming out of the piano were strange and 
unharmonious and, by God, beautiful. Joe 
stopped singing and listened. For two 
hours he listened, and when it was over he 
soberly poured the man a drink and poured 
one for himself and clinked glasses with 
Chris the doughnut deliveryman who could 
take that rotten old piano and make the 
damn thing sing. 

Three nights later, Chris came back, look- 
ing harried and afraid. But this time Joe 
knew what would happen (had to happen), 
and instead of waiting until closing time, 
Joe turned off the piped-in music ten min- 
utes early. Chris looked up at him plead- 
ingly. Joe misunderstood — he went over 
and lifted the lid to the keyboard and 
smiled. Chris walked stilt y perhaps reluc- 
tantly, to the stool and sat. 

"Hey Joe," one of the last five customers 
shouted, "closing early?" 

Joe didn't answer. Just watched as Chris 
began to play. No preliminaries this time; no 
scales and wanderings over the keys. Just 
power and the piano was played as pianos 
aren't meant to be played; the bad notes, 
the out-of-tune notes, were fit into the music 
so that they sounded right, and Chris's fin- 



gers, ignoring the strictures of the twelve- 
tone scale, played, it seemed to Joe, in the 
cracks. 

None of the customers left until Chris 
finished an hour and a half later. They all 
shared that final drink and went home, 
shaken by the experience. 

The next night Chris came again, and the 
next, and the next.. Whatever private battle 
had kept him away for the first few days 
after his first night of playing, he had ap- 
parently won it or lost it. None of Joe's busi- 
ness. What Joe cared about was the fact 
that when Chris played the piano, it did 
things to him that music had never done, 
and he wanted it. 

The customers apparently wanted it, too. 
Near closing time people began showing 
up, apparently just to hear Chris play. Joe 
began starting the piano music earlier and 
earlier, and he had to discontinue the free 
drinks after the playing, because there 
were so many people ii would have put him 
out of business. 

It went on for two long, strange months. 
The delivery van pulled up outside, and 
people stood aside for Chris to enter, No 
one said anything to him. No one said any- 
thing at all, but everyone waited until he 
began to play the piano. He drank nothing 
at all. Just played, And between songs the 
hundreds ot people in Joe's Bar and Grill 
ate and drank. 

But the merriment was gone. The laugh- 
ter and the chatter and the camaraderie 
were missing, and after a while Joe grew 
tired of the music and wanted to have his 
bar back the way it was. He toyed with the 




idea of getting rid of the piano, but the 
customers would have been angry at him, 
He thought of asking Chris not to come any 
more, but he could not bring himself to 
speak to the strange, silent man, 

And so finally he did what he knew he 
should have done_ in the first place. He 
called the Watchers. 

They came in the middle of a perform- 
ance, a blind Watcher with a dog on a 
leash, and an earless Watcher who walked 
unsteadily, holding on to things for balance. 
They came in the middle of a song and did 
not wait for it to end. They walked to the 
piano and closed the lid gently, and Chris 
withdrew his fingers and looked at the 
closed lid. 

"Oh, Christian," said the man with the 
seelng-eye dog. 

"I'm sorry," Christian answered. "I tried, 
not to." 

"Oh, Christian, how can I bear doing to 
you what must be done?" 

"Do it," Christian said. 

And so the man with no ears took a laser 
knife from his coat pocket and cut off Chris- 
tian's fingers and thumbs, right where they 
rooted into his hands. The laser cauterized 
and sterilized the wound even as it cut, but 
still some blood spattered on Christian's 
uniform. And, his hands now meaningless 
palms and useless knuckles, Christian 
stood and walked out of Joe's Bar and Grill. 
The people made way for him again, and 
they listened intently as the blind Watcher 
said, "That was a man who broke the law 
and was forbidden to be a Maker. He broke 
the law a second time, and the law insists 
that he be stopped from breaking down the 
system that makes all of you so happy" 

The people understood. It grieved them; 
it made them uncomfortable for a tew 
hours, but once they had returned home to 
their exactly right homes and got back to 
their exactly right jobs, the sheer content- 
ment of their lives overwhelmed their 
momentary sorrow for Chris. Atler all, Chris 
had broken the law. And it was the law that 
kept them all safe and happy 

Even Joe. Even Joe soon forgot Chris and 
his music. He knew he had done the right 
thing, He couldn't iigure out. though, why a 
man like Chris would have broken the law in 
the first place, or what law he would have 
broken. There wasn't a law in the world that 
wasn'l designed to make people 
happy— and there wasn't a law Joe could 
think of that he was even mildly interesled 
in breaking. 

Yet. Once, Joe went to the piano and lifted 
the lid and played every key on the piano. 
And when he had done that he put his head 
down on the piano and cried, because he 
knew that when Chris lost that piano, lost 
even his fingers so he could never play 
again — it was like ^ce's losing his bar. And 
if Joe ever lost his bar his life wouldn't be 
worth living. 

As for Chris, someone else began com- 
ing to the bar driving the same doughnut 
delivery van, and no one ever saw Chris 
again in that part of the world. 



TH IRD MOVEMENT 

"Oh, what a beautiful mornin'!" sang the 
road-crew man who had seen Oklahoma! 
tour times in his home town, 

"Rock my soul in the bosom of Abra- 
ham!" sang, the road-crew man who had 
learned to sing when his family got together 
with guitars. 

"Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling 
gloom!" sang the road-crew man who be- 
lieved. 

But the road-crew man without hands, 
who held the signs telling the traffic to Stop 
or Go Slow, listened but never sang. 

"Whyn'tyou never sing?" asked the man 
who liked Rogers and Hammerstein; asked 
all ot them, at one time or another. 

And the man they called Sugar just 
shrugged. "Don't feel like singin'," he'd say, 
when he said anything at all. 

"Why they call him Sugar?" a new guy 
once asked. "He don't look sweet to me." 

And the man who believed said, "His 
initials are CH. Like the sugar. C & H, you 
know." And the new guy laughed. A stupid 
joke, but the kind ot gag that makes life 
easier on the road building crew. 

Not that life was that hard. For these men, 
too, had been tested, and they were in the 
job that made them happiest. They took 
pride in the pain of sunburn and pulled 
muscles, and the road growing long and 
thin behind them was the most beautiful 
thing in theworld. And so they sang all day 
at their work, knowing that they could not 
possibly be happier than ihey were this day. 

Except Sugar. 

Then Guillermo came. A short Mexican 
who spoke with an accent, Guillermo told 
everyone who asked, "I may come from 
Sonora, but my heart belongs in Milano!" 
And when anyone asked why (and often 
when no one asked anything), he'd explain: 
"I'm an Italian tenor in a Mexican body," and 
he proved it by singing every note that Puc- 
cini and Verdi ever wrote. "Caruso was 
nothing," Guillermo boasted. "Listen to 
this!" 

Guillermo had records, and he sang 
along with them, and at work on the road 
crew he'd join in with any man's song and 
harmonize with it or sing an obbligato high 
above the melody, a soaring tenor thai took 
the roof off his head and tilled the clouds. "I 
can sing," Guillermo would say, and soon 
the other road-crew men answered, "Damn 
right, Guillermo! Sing it again!" 

But one night Guillermo was honest and 
told the truth, 'Ah, my friends, I'm no 
singer." 

"Whaf do you mean? Of course you are!" 
came the unanimous answer. 

"Nonsense!" Guillermo cried, his voice 
theatrical. "If I am this great singer, why do 
you never see me going off to record 
songs? Hey? This is a great singer? Non- 
sense! Great singers Ihey raise to be great 
singers. I'm just a man who loves to sing but 
has no talent! I'm a man who loves to work 
on the road crew with men like you and sing 
his guts out, but in the opera I could never 



be! Never!" 

He did not say it sadly. He said it fervently, 
confidently. "Here is where I belong! I can 
sing to you who like to hear me sing! I can 
harmonize with you when I feel a harmony 
in my heart. Bui don't be thinking that Guil- 
lermo is a great singer, because he's not!" 

It was an evening of honesly, and every 
man there explained why it was he was 
happy on the road'crew and didn't wish to 
be anywhere else. Everyone, that is, except 
Sugar. 

"Come on, Sugar. Aren't you happy 
here?" 

Sugar smiled. "I'm happy. I like it here. 
This is good work for me. And I love to hear 
you sing." 

"Then why don't you sing with us?" 

Sugar shook his head. "I'm not a singer." 

Bui Guillermo looked at him knowingly 
"Not a singer, ha! Not a singer, A man with- 
out hands who refuses to sing is not a man 
who is not a singer. Hey?" 

"What the hell did that mean?" asked the 
man who sang folk songs. 

"It means that this man you call Sugar, 
he's a fraud, Not a singer! Look at his 
hands. All his fingers gone! Who is it who 
cuts off men's fingers?" 

The road crew didn't try to guess. There 
were many ways a man could lose fingers, 
and none of them were anyone's business. 

"He loses his fingers because he breaks 
the law and the Watchers cut them off! 
That's how a man loses fingers. What was 
he doing with his fingers thai the Watchers 
wanted him to stop? He was breaking the 
law. wasn't he?" 

"Stop," Sugar said. 

"It you want," Guillermo said, but the 
others would not respect Sugar's privacy. 

"Tell us," Ihey said. 

Sugar left the room. 

"Tell us," and Guillermo told them. That 
Sugar must have been a Maker who broke 
the law and was forbidden to make music 
any more. The very thought that a Maker — 
even a lawbreaker — was working on the 
road crew with them filled the men with 
awe. Makers were rare, and they were the 
most esteemed of men and women. 

"But why his lingers?" 

"Because," Guillermo said, "he must 
have tried to make music again aiterward. 
And when you break the law a second time, 
the power to break it a third time is taken 
away from you." Guillermo spoke seriously, 
and so to the road-crew men Sugar's story 
sounded as majestic and terrible as an op- 
era. They crowded into Sugar's room and 
found the man staring at the wall. 

"Sugar, is it true?" asked the man who 
loved Rogers and Hammerstein. 

"Were you a Maker?" asked the man who 
believed. 

"Yes," Sugar said, 

"But Sugar," the man who believed said, 
"God can't mean for a man lo stop making 
music, even if he broke the law." 

Sugar smiled. "No one asked God." 

"Sugar," Guillermo finally said, "There 
are nine of us on the crew, nine of us, and 



we're miles from any other human beings. 
You know us, Sugar. We swear on our rnolh- 
er's graves, every one of us, that we'll never 
fell a soul. Why should we? You're one of us. 
But sing, dammit man, sing!' 

"I can't," Sugar said. 

"It isn't what God intended," said the 
man who believed". "We're all doing what 
we love best, and here you are, loving 
music and not able lo sing a note. Sing for 
us! Sing with us! And only you and us and 
God will know!" 

They all promised. They all pleaded. 

And the next day as the man who loved 
Rogers and Hammerstein sang "Love, 
Look Away," Sugar began to hum. As the 
man who believed sang "God of Our Fa- 
thers," Sugar sang softly along. And as the 
man who loved folk songs sang, "Swing 
Low, Sweet Chariot," Sugar joined in with a 
strange, piping voice, and all the men 
laughed and cheered and welcomed 
Sugar's voice to the songs. 

Inevitably Sugar began inventing. First 
harmonies, of course, strange harmonies 
that made Guillermo trown and then, afler a 
while, grin as he joined in, sensing as best 
he could what Sugar was doing to the 
music. 

And after harmonies, Sugar began sing- 
ing his own melodies, with his own words. 
He made them repetitive, the words simple 
and the melodies simpler still. And yet he 
shaped (hem into odd shapes and built 
them into songs that had never been heard 
of before, that sounded wrong and yet were 
absolutely right. It was not long before the 
man who loved Rogers and Hammerstein 
and the man who sang folk songs and the 
man who believed were learning Sugar's 
songs and sine rig tnem joyously or mourn- 
fully or angrily or gaily as they worked along 
the road. 

Even Guillermo learned the songs, and 
his strong tenor was changed by them until 
his voice, which had, after all, been ordi- 
nary, became something unusual and fine. 
Guillermo finally said tg Sugar one day, 
"Hey, Sugar, your music is all wrong, man. 
But I like the way it feels in my nose! Hey. 
you know? I like the way it teels in my 
mouth!" 

Some of the songs were hymns: "Keep 
me hungry, Lord," Sugar sang, and the 
road crew sang it too. 

Some of the songs were love songs: "Put 
your hands in someone else's pockets." 
Sugar sang angrily; "I heaf your voice in the 
morning," Sugar sang tenderly: "Is it sum- 
mer yet?" Sugar sang sadly, and the road 
crew sang them. loo. 

Over. the months, tfie road crew 
changed, one man leaving on Wednesday 
and a new man taking nis place on Thurs- 
day, as different skills were needed in dif- 
ferent places. Sugar was silent when each 
newcomer arrived, until the man had given 
his word and the secret was sure to be kept. 

What finally deslroyed Sugar was the 
fact that his songs were so unforgettable. 
The men who left would s'ng the songs with 
their new crews, and those crews would 



learn Them and teach Ihem to others. Crew 
men taught the songs in bars and on the 
road; people learned them quickly and 
loved Ihem; and one day a blind Watcher 
heard the songs and knew, instantly, who 
had first sung them. They were Christian 
Haroldsen's music, because in those 
melodies, simple as they were, the wind of 
the north woods still whistled and the tall of 
leaves still hung oppressively over every 
note and — and the Watcher sighed. He 
took a specialized tool from his file ot tools 
and boarded an airplane and flew to the 
city closest to where a certain road crew 
worked. And the blind Watcher took a 
company car with a company driver up the 
road, and at the end of it, where the road 
was just beginning to swallow a strip of 
wilderness, he got out of the car and heard 
singing. Heard a piping voice singing a 
song that made even an eyeless man 
weep. 

"Christian," the Watcher said, and the 
song stopped. 
"You," said Christian. 
"Christian, even after you lost your fin- 
gers?" 

The other men didn't understand — all 
the other men, that is, except Guillermo. 

"Watcher," said Guillermo. "Watcher, he 
done no harm." 

The Watcher smiled wryly. "No one said 
he did. But he broke the law. You, Guillermo, 
how would you like to work as a servant in a 
rich man's house? How would you like to be 
a bank teller?" 

"Don't take me from the road crew, man." 
Guillermo said. 

"It's the law that finds where people will 
be happy. But Christian Haroldsen broke 
the law And he's gone around ever since, 
making people hear music they were never 
meant to hear." 

Guillermo knew he had lost the battle 
before it began, but he couldn't stop him- 
self. "Don't hurt him, man. I was meant to 
hear his music. Swear to God, it's made me 
happier." 

The Watcher shook his head sadly. "Be 
honest, Guillermo. You're an honest man. 
His music's made you miserable, hasn't it? 
You've got everything you could want in life, 
and yet his music makes you sad. All the 
time, sad." 

Guillermo tried to argue, but he was hon- 
est, and he looked into his own heart. And 
he knew that the music was full of grief. 
Even the happy songs mourned for some- 
thing; even the angry songs wept; even the 
love songs seemed to say that everything 
dies and contentment is the most fleeting of 
things. Guillermo looked in his own heart, 
and all Sugar's music stared back up at 
him; and Guillermo wept. 

"Just don't hurt him, piease," Guillermo 
murmured as he cried. 

"1 won't," the blind Watcher said. Then he 
walked to Christian, who stood passively 
waiting, and he held the special tool up to 
Christian's throat. Christian gasped. 

"No," Christian said, but the word only 
formed with his lips and tongue. No sound 



came out. Just a hiss of air. "No." 

"Yes," the Watcher said. 

The road crew watched silently as the 
Watcher led Christian away. They did not 
sing lor days. But then Guillermo iorgot his 
grief one day and sang an aria from La 
Boheme, and the songs went on from there. 
Now and then they sang one of Sugar's 
songs, because the songs could not be 
forgotten. 

In the city, the blind Watcher furnished 
Christian with a pad of paper and a pen. 
Christian immediately gripped the pencil in 
the crease ot his palm and wrote: "What do 
l do now?" 

The blind Watcher laughed. "Have we 
got a job for you! Oh, Christian, have we got 
a job for you!" 

APPLAUSE 

In all the world there were only two dozen 
Watchers. They were secretive men who 
supervised a system that needed little 
supervision because it actually made 
nearly everybody happy. It was a good sys- 
tem, but like even the most perfect ot ma- 
chines, here and there it broke down. Here 
and there someone acted madly and dam- 
aged himself, and to protect everyone and 
the person himself, a Watcher had to notice 
the madness and go to fix it. 

For many years the best of the Watchers 
was a man with no fingers, a man with no 
voice. He would come silently, wearing the 
. uniform that named him with the only name 
he needed— Authority. And he would find 
the kindest, easiest, yet most thorough way 
of solving the problem and curing the mad- 
ness and prese'v no. the system (hat made 
the world, for the first time in history, a very 
good place to live. For practically every- 
one. 

For there were still a few people — one or 
two each year — who were caught in a cir- 
cle ot their own devising, who could neither 
adjust to the system nor bear to harm it, 
people who kept breaking the law despite 
their knowledge that it would destroy them. 
Eventually, when the gentle maimings 
and deprivations did not cure their mad- 
ness and set them back into the system, 
they were given uniforms, and they, too, 
went out. Watching. 

The keys of power were placed in the 
hands of those who had most cause to hate 
the system they had to preserve. Were they 
sorrowful? 

"I am," Christian answered in the mo- 
ments when he dared to ask himself that 
question. 

In sorrow he did his duty. In sorrow he 
grew old. And finally the other Watchers, 
who reverenced the silent man (for they 
knew he had once sung magnificent 
songs), told him he was free. "You've 
served your time, "said the Watcher with no 
legs, and he smiled. 

Christian raised an eyebrow as if to'say ' 
"And?" 
"So wander." 

Christian wandered. He took off his uni- 
form, but lackifio neiihftr money nor time he 



found few doors closed to him. He wan- 
dered where in his former lives he had once 
lived. A road in the mountains, A city where 
he had once known the loading entrance ol 
every restaurant and coffee shop and 
grocery store. And, at last, a place in the 
woods where a house was falling apart in 
the weather because it had not been used 
in forty years. 

Christian was old. The thunder roared, 
and it only made him realize that it was 
about to rain. All the old songs. All the old 
songs, he mourned inside himself, more 
because he couldn't remember them than 
because he thought his life had been par- 
ticularly sad. 

As he sat in a coffee shop in a nearby 
town to stay out of the rain, he heard four 
teenagers who played the guitar very badly 
singing a song that he knew. It was a song 
he had invented while the asphalt poured 
on a hot summer day. The teenagers were 
not musicians and certainly were not Mak- 
ers. But they sang the song from their 
hearts, and even though the words were 
happy, the song made everyone who heard 
it cry, 

Christian wrote on the pad he always 
carried, and showed his question to the 
boys. "Where did that song come from?" 

"It's a Sugar song," the leader of the 
group answered. "It's a song by Sugar" 

Christian raised an eyebrow, making'a 
shrugging motion. 

"Sugar was a guy who worked on a road 
crew and made up songs. He's dead now 
though," the boy answered. 

Christian smiled. Then he wrote (and the 
boys waited impatiently for this speechless 
old man to go away): 'Aren't you happy? 
Why sing sad songs?" 

The boys were at a loss for an answer. 
The leader spoke up, though, and said, 
"Sure, I'm happy. I've got a good job, a girl I 
like, and man, I couldn't ask for more. I got 
my guitar. I got my songs. And my friends." 
And another boy said, "These songs 
aren't sad, mister. Sure, they make people 
cry, but they aren't sad." 

"Yeah," said another. "It's just that they 
were written by a man who knows." 

Christian scribbled on his paper. "Knows 
what?" 
"He just knows. Just knows, that's all." 
And then the teenagers turned back to 
their clumsy guitars and their young, un- 
trained voices, and Christian walked to the 
door to leave because the rain had stopped 
and because he knew when to leave the 
stage. He turned and bowed just a little 
toward the singers. They didn't notice him, 
but their voices were all the applause he 
needed. He left the ovation and went out- 
side where the leaves were just turning 
color and would soon, with a slight inaudi- 
ble sound, break free and fall to the earth. 
For a moment he thought he heard him- 
self singing. But it was just the last of the 
wind, coasting madly through the wires 
over the street. It was a frenzied song, and 
Christian thought he had recognized his 
voice. 00 



Mysteries of the miniscule seen through the eye 
of a scanning electron microscope- 
Science fact looking like science fiction 
BY SCOT MORRIS. 

A tree ant becomes a futuristic alien: marijuana-resin sacs 
ripe with hashish become Disneyesque mushrooms; typ- 
ing paper looks like a nightmare road map. 
This is the miniature world ot David Scharf, whom Time called 
"the Ansel Adams of inner space" and whose photos Adams has 
described as "absolutely wonderful." Scharf's peephole is the 





scanning electron microscope (SEM). An electron beam re- 
places visible light (hence, there is no color involved) and scans 
every contour to produce a 3-D image entirely in focus and 
incredibly litelike. In part that's because Scharf's subjects are 
alive. Previously, most SEM photography was of subjects that 
were dead, dried, and coated with gold alloy. But Scharf has 
perfected ways of shooting living subjects temporarily im- 
mobilized in a vacuum. "I want my pictures to be an accurate 
representation ol life," he says. "I take great care to keep my 
specimens uninjured. Some are returned to my garden alive." 

Clockwise from above: drug-secreting resin nodules of a female 
marijuana flower: paper, helxine budding flower and leaves: fiberglass 
fabric; a curved protuberance from the style of a hibiscus flower, 



6 The heartbeat of a small animal can cause enough vibration to make photographing impossible. 3 




• I'm extremely careful to keep my specimens uninjured; some are returned to my garden alive. ? 



How does he get an insect to hold still while scanning him for 
seventy seconds per portrait? "The truth is, they don't all hold still. 
They tend to freeze in their tracks when the air is removed from 
the chamber, but many photos have been ruined by unpredicted 
The mere heartbeat of a small' animal can cause 
enough vibration of a limb to make photographing impossible." 

Though Scharl's pictures contain impressive information, they 
are intended primarily as visual studies. Composition, balance, 
detail, and beauty are what he looks for. His photos are scientific 
records second, works of art first. DO 





ICEBACK 






BY HAYFORD PEIRCE 

"Give me your tired, your 
poor . . ." Russians? 

PAINTING BY EVELYN TAYLOR 



There was a minor incident at the polling station in Si 
Tropez that year, nothing serious, merely another 
case of an inebriated American, good for 3 laugh at 
the discos that evening after the votes had been 
counted, but a nuisance nevertheless to those authorities 
who had to deal with it along with all the other problems of 
Election Day. 

"Nume/o 2871, Monsieur Goodman, Alexandre.' 
yelled the registrar, sitting behind the long table on which 
rested the voting list, the piles of unused ballots, and the 
ballot box itself, 

"Monsieur Goodman, Alexandre, numero 2871." cried 
the second official, making a note in a register and hand- 
ing a ballot to the red-faced, semi-dazed gentleman who 
stood before him dressed in bedraggled white linen. 

"Listen, you. ecoutez," enunciated Mr. Goodman with 
some difficulty (lunch aboard the dear Aga's yacht was 
always so tipsy making), "I wanna ballot in English, ya 
hear?" 

"Comment, Monsieur?" 

"I said I want, aw. the hell with it, ye veux voter en 
anglais, comprenez?" 

"Mais, Monsieur, on n'est pas en Angleterre, on esl en 
France, replied the baffled registrar with a polite smile. 

"Won, non, I mean oui, oui, je sais, je veux mon vote," 
here Mr Goodman waved his ballot vigorously before the 
noses of the officials, "en anglais, pas francais, vous 
comprenez? C'est mon right. '.' 

An impatient murmur arose from those standing in 
line behind Mr. Goodman as the two officials conferred 
hastily. 

"Qu'est-ce qu'il dit? Son accent . . ." 

"Sije comprends bien, it veut qu'on lui donne un bulle- 
tin de vote traduit en americain'." 

"Mais tu rigolesi" 

"Mais non, c'est lui qui tigole' Attends, on va voir" 
Turning to Mr. Goodman, he said in that fluent Oxford- 
accented English that so many Frenchmen possess and 
yet are so loath to use, "You are indeed a French citizen, 

"Course I am," replied Mr. Goodman stoutly. "Ten years 
now" 

"And you wish to cast a ballot paper en americain?" 

"Oui, 6ui, now you comprenez'." 

The mayor. twoagen(s de police, and a gendarme had 
been attracted by the noise. 

"Mais c'est impossible," pointed out the mayor, who 
prided himself on his grasp of Cartesian logic. "Vous efes 
en France, n'est-ce pas? Par definition, quoi. on vote en 
francais, vous voyez ce queje veux dire?" 

"Mais nonl" cried Mr. Goodman passionately. "In New 
York they got Spanish ballot, in California they got 
Spanish ballot, espagnol, savvy? It's their right, saver, 
. espagnol. I jus' wan' my rights, tha's all. AmericainF 

"II est fou," explained the mayor to the others. 

"Votez, espece de salaudl" shouted the gendarme, 
less tolerant of folly. 

"Won." replied Mr Goodman, folding his arms with 
dignity. 

"II est fou,' agreed the gendarme. A whistle was blown; 
brown khaki surged into the room; truncheons rose and 
fell; and presently Mr. Goodman's inert form was carried 
to Ihe rear of a small jeep, which roared away in a cloud of 
dust. He awoke some time later in the maison de fous of 
Nice, tightly swathed in a wet sheet, from which three 
years later his lawyer would succeed in getting him re- 
leased for a probationary weekend. . . . 



The two border-ua^ci agents of the Im- 
migration and Naturalization Service 
stared at each other glumly. 

"Going to lose that arm, Padillo?" 

"Naw. only us wops know how to really 
use knives. The doc says it'll take a couple 
months' therapy to get it working again and 
it'll always be a little stiff, but, what the hell, 
that oughta be okay for a desk job, right?" 

"A nice desk jot; sounds p'eity good to 
me righl about now," said O'Hara, who lay 
immobilized inthe hospital bed, connected 
to a collection of tubes, drains, and monitor- 
ing devices. "So what happened to those 
mothering wetbacks that jjnped us? After 
that shotgun started blasting . . ." 

Padillo scowled outlandishly. "Did you 
say wetback, you dumb mick?" 

O'Hara grinned weakly. "Excuse me, 
commissioner. Illegal alien is what I meant 
to say." 

'Illegal alien!" 

"Well, pardon me all to hell, your honor 
Undocumented worker" 

"Worker?'' 
"Okay. Okay. I've got it. Probationary citi- 
zen. Undocumented probationary citizen. 
Or have they come up- with a new one while I 
been in a coma?" 

"Nope, undocumented probationary 
citizens is what carved me up and gunned 
. you down, Don't hurt as much that way, 
does it, O'Hara''" 

"Only when I laugh, pal, only when I 
laugh." 

"Well, hold on to your sides then. This is 
really going to break you up. The six guys 
what did the carving have been released in 
custody of their new citizen-sponsors, the 
United Brotherhood of Sanitation Workers 
of Los Angeles. Their complaint sworn 
against us mentions little things like as- 
sault, battery, illegal use of force, unwar- 
ranted and unjustified stop and search, 
and there's about a dozen other charges 
pending before the court. The district di- 
rector is trying to get. them quashed, but he 
doesn't know how good the chances are. 
The UB swings a lotta weight, and there's, a 
lotta garbage cans up in LA needing to be 
emptied," 

"So it's our asses that swing, huh?" 

"It sure is, O'Hara, it sure is." 

"It is the end," announced President Mar- 
tinez with gloomy foreboding, "of the Re- 
public as we know it." 

"Oh yeah?" said Secretary of State 
Richard XYZ. a study in ebony skepticism. 
"Our reparations to Black Africa is bein' 
paid on time, ain't they?" 

"Humph!" snorted Attorney General 
Ahmed El-Ali. "Under my our, your adminis- 
tration, all political prisoners detained be- 
cause of race, color, creed, or revolutionary 
beliet have been released." 

"How exciting," drawled Labor Secretary 
Antonelli languicly. "Without having to refer 
the question tomy er, 'family' I feel certain 
that no union problems are about to arise.' 

"Ugh," concurred Interior Secretary 
Chief Running Clubfoot, first and lasf a 



presidential supporter. "White man takem 
land belong Indian, n'est-ce pas?" and re- 
verted to his customary lethargy. 

"Gentlemen, please" implored the Pres- 
ident. 

"Gentlemen? Men?" cried Secretary of 
Enforcement of Women's Constitutionally 
Guaranteed Equality Eliza Heliogabalus, 
founder and national chaircreature of the 
minority but powerful Le's Begin Perty 

"Gentlepersons." 

"Touchy, touchy," muttered Rafael laPine. 
HEW, softo voce, to Ms, Heliogabalus. "Re- 
jected another ball transplant, dear?" 

"Dat still leave her wit' two more dan you, 
ya fuckin' transveslite." explained Jeremy 
"Rocky Knucks" Kawo'ski. director of penal 
sequestration and rehabilitation, "so let's 
shut ya mout' arV listen to what da man has 
to say, huh?" 

"Beast," muttered Mr laPine, turning for 
sympathy to, and groping for the leg of, 
Commerce Secretary Codfish Saltcnstall 
Winthrop — tall, dim, pinstriped, the token 



£This is the most egalitarian 

army ever created, it 
consists of 51 percent femaies, 

47 percent males, 

1 percent transsexuals, 1 percent 

transvestites, 4 percent 

lesbians, 6 percent gays, 

7 percent criminals.^ 



WASP of President Martinez's Cabinet. 

"The end of the Republic?" repeated 
Welfare Payments Secretary Morgan 
Phipps DuPont, "As we know it, of course. In 
what way?" 

"The army," snapped President Mar- 
tinez, glaring a: DoreriL-pSscetary Mildred 
Haggleman. 

"But surely," interjected Budget Director 
Cyrus Openhand, "next year's defense 
budget is some $950 billion?" 

"Exactly," replied the President; "and do 
you realize that with a budget of nearly a 
trillion dollars a year, the entire armed 
forces personnel — Army Navy, Air Force, 
Marines, National Guard, and what have 
you— is currently 348,000 effectives? Total I 
This in a country of 300 million?" 

"On the other hand," pointed out Ms. 
Heliogabalus, "it is an exceptionally well- 
equaiized army." 

"Extremely important," concurred 
Richard XYZ. 

"Overriding consideration, even." SUg-' 
gested Ahmed El-Ali. 

"Figures, Ms. Secretary Haggleman?" 
"Certainly," she replied proudly, "It is the 
most egalitarian armed force ever cre- 



ated. As of today it consists of 51 percent 
females, 47 percent males, 1 percent 
transsexuals, and 1 percent transvestites. 
it is. furthermore, 8 percent biack, 26 per- 
cent Hispanic, 1 percent Amerind, 2S per- 
cent Catholic. 2 percent Jewish, 1 percent 
Muslim, 4 percent lesbian, 6 percent gay, 
11 percent bisexual, 14 percent hand- 
icapped and mentally retarded, 7 percent 
criminal, 9 percent pacifist, 21 percent illit- 
erate, and 100 percent unionized)" 

"Bravo," applauded Mr. laPine. 

"An' how many ot dese bums is combat 
ready?" inquired "Rocky Knucks" Kawolski 
with professional interest, 

'An extremely favorable ratio. Aside from 
the 6,200 men in the missile submarines at 
all times, I sincerely believe that upon sev- 
enty-two hours' notice, the armed forces of 
the United States of America could field 
some 27,000 battle-ready combat troops!" 
Ms. Haggleman blushed modestly. "And in 
six weeks we could double that figure!" 

Mr, Kawolski nodded thoughtfully but 
remained a man who demanded absolute 
certitude. His massive jaw swung majesti- 
cally around to confront President Mar- 
tinez. "You mean like dere ain't enough 
guys in da army to defend da country, and 
dat's da end of da Republic?" he asked. 

President Martinez gaped. "Why, what- 
ever gave you that idea? I was referring, of 
course, to the potential dangers of a mili- 
tary coup\" 

Charlie "The Fighting Eskimo" Ruben- 
stein, circuit judge tor the Twenty-seventh 
District, pouted dolefully "It's all over." he 
moaned, "the election is down the tubes. 
Me, an ex-judge at forty-two. And by a 
lousy two hundred votes. That's what hurts, 
Maxie, two. hundred votes, just — " 

"Pipe down, Charlie, I goita tell ya again 
to stop your worrying? Your two hundred 
votes will be coming in any moment now" 
The campaign manager pulled his rum- 
pled jacket together, straightened his col- 
lar, and began to slick down his hair. "Get 
presentable, Charlie boy, your victory 
speech will be coming up any moment 
now. " 

"But, Maxie," enunciated Charlie pon- 
derously, "where are the votes going to 
come from? We already counted the gay 
vote, the graveyard vote, the anti-pot vote, 
the Aaron Burr Society vote, the vegetarian 
vote, the men's-liberation vote, and we're 
still behind!" 

"Charlie," said Maxie gently "I'm gonna 
tell ya somepin: A lotta people don't like ya, 
But it don't matter, because that ballot box 
which they is carrying in and dumping on 
the registrar's table over there and which 
they are now opening up and counting the 
ballots thereof, that ballot box is gonna give 
you a landslide margin of a matfer of thirty 
or maybe even forty votes. Believe me, 
baby, the electorate of the Twenty -seventh 
District has declared its will, and Charlie 
Ruben-stein is the one they willed." 

Charlie shook his head in battled awe. 
"But Maxie, we've courted every nut group 



from herG to the funny farm and — " 

'Ah hah\" crowed Maxie. "I knew ya'd 
forget! " 

"Forget? Forget what?" 

"The funny farm." 

"The funny farm?" 

"Of course the funny farm." 

"Maxie. Listen io me. What are you say- 
ing? Do you take me lor some kind of a 
NUT?" 

"Ssshhh." 

" — certify 367 votes from the Sixteenth 
Ward, Sub-Division E, Polling Station Four. 
Seventeen votes for Sitka, Ihree hundred 
fifty votes for Rubenstein. The winner in the 
Twenty-seventh District is — " 

"You, ya dummy. Now—" 

"Polling Station Four is the funny farm?" 

"Woodchopper State Hospital for the 
Mentally Retarded," said Maxie smugly. 
"That's it." 

Charlie inhaled slowly and profoundly, 
his eyes glazed. Suddenly he exhaled with 
a whoosh. He broke into a maniacal grin. 
"Maxie," he cried, staggering Maxie with a 
gleeful thump between the shoulder 
blades, "now I get it. Wow I get it. You mean 
like you had the fix in, and like the doctors 
and the nurses and the orderlies and the 
gardeners and the guards and all ot the 
others that take care of the nuts—" 

" — mentally retarded, Charlie—" 

" — and like, they're the ones that voted 
for me. Right, Maxie, isn't that right, 
Maxie?" 

"Wrong, Charlie. They all vote in their own 
precincts, where they live, just like every- 
one else. I mean like the mentally retarded 
nuts in the funny farm is who has just 
reelected you the distinguished circuit 
judge for the glorious Twenty-seventh — " 

The distinguished Judge could only 
sputter 

"Ya sound like a motorboat," said Maxie 
sourly._ "Fa chrissake, they been doing it 
down in LA since 76 or 78, somepin like 
that, ten, fifteen years now." 

"They have?" 

"Sure they have. They get the hospital 
staffs to run voter-education plans, and 
the League of Women Voters comes in 
and conducts workshops, and they got 
judges and shrinks to certify that this one 
and that one suchlike moderately or mildly 
retarded patient is now deemed able to 
form, if ya see what I mean, an appropriate 
opinidn." A didactic finger jabbed the 
Judge's breastbone painfully. "An' ihat's all 
it takes." 

'And this is legal? Not like getting out the 
graveyard vote?" 

"Of course it's legal. Ain't they got their 
own constitutional rights just like you and 
me and all the rest of the distinguished 
voters of this great district?" 

The Judge fell into deep and somber 
thought. At last he uttered uncertainly, 
"Yeah, I suppose now that I think of it, 
they're no dumber than anyone else that's 
voting these days." Charlie's tone of voice 
did not carry absolute conviction. Another 
long moment's anguished thought and he 



was able to articulate that profound dis- 
quiet which had been nibbling like a fox at 
his 'bosom for some minutes now. "But, 
Maxie, doesn't that mean , . . like, these 
retarded guys, couldn't they . . . you know, 
have voted for the other guy?" 

"For chrissake, Charlie," snarled Maxie, 
"who else would be dumb enough to vote 
for a schmuck like you? Now straighten ya 
tie, here comes the TV camera." ' 

"Enough!" shouted the party secretary 
balefully "You will support me on this mea- 
sure or— " 

"You will have us shot, Dimitri An- 
dreyevich?" smirked the director of state 
security. "No, comrade, I think I speak on 
behalf of the entire Politburo when I say that 
your heroic labors in aid of the glorious 
peoples of the Soviet Union have earned 
you that so richly rewarding retirement from 
the cares of the anti-imperialist struggle in 
the quiet calm of your beloved dacha on the 
distant S:de of ne Ural Mountains." 



Q The minister of consumer 

planning was suave, 

eager to expunge memories of 

the trifling matter 
of 54 million left shoes produced 

throughout the 

Soviet Union, excluding any right 

shoes whatsoever.^ 



Somewhat later, after the former party 
secretary had been conveyed discreetly 
from the room and was snugly ensconced 
en route to his cozy one-roomed birch wood 
cabin deep in the trackless evergreen 
forests to the east of Lake Baykal, the for- 
eign minister cleared his throat author- 
itatively: 

"Actually comrades, a certain, er, former 
person's project might well be construed to 
contain certain elements of interest. Let us 
be blunt," he snapped sharply. "The Soviet 
Union has not been so poorly off in relation 
to the rest of the world since the years be- 
fore the Great Patriotic War. 

"Consider: The European Common Mar- 
ket is now the single most powerful eco- 
nomic force in the world: Our Warsaw Pact 
allies are being drawn inexorably into its 
orbit. Our eastern flank is threatened mili- 
tarily by the revisionist traitors and capital- 
ists ot the Sino-Nippo'iese conspiracy. Our 
policy in black Africa is a shambles, good- 
ruble after bad is poured into a bottomless 
cesspool. The Arabs have squandered 
their oil and are bankrupt; the Moslem ir- 
redentists have declared holy war against 
the Communist infidel, a million of our 



agents and comrades lie slaughtered in 
a dozen countries." Vasily Pavlovich 
pounded the table. 

' 'And finally, the United States surrounds 
us with submarines, with cruise missiles, 
with laser-armed satellites. Its dollar 
weakens, its economy groans, its morals 
decay, its will to survive atrophies, its army 
is nearly nonex stent, t ;s clearly in the last 
days of degeneracy. But." he thumped the 
table anew, "still it survives. Clearly it is as 
comparatively dangerous to the Soviet 
Union as it was twenty years ago, There- 
fore, I submit thai the tactics of fifty years of 
struggle have been to no avail, and that we 
implement — " 

"That goat-befouled Resolution Six?" 
cried the minister of agriculture incredu- 
lously 

'Ah," said the minister of consumer plan- 
ning suavely, eager to expunge memories 
of a trifling matter, recently discussed, of 
some 54 million left shoes produced 
throughout the Soviet Union to the exclu- 
sion of any rignt snoes whatsoever, "but ask 
yoursell this, dear Ivan Mikhailovich: By 
adopting and implementing Resolution Six. 
what have we actually to lose?" 

"And of equal importance." concluded 
the director of state security decisively, 
"even if anything does go wrong, what, 
short of nuclear war, can they do to us?" 

"Fifteen years ago," said O'Hara, still at- 
tached to his plumbing, "I got called Io 
testify in Orinda, the one that pulled the 
plug on the border patrol and let every 
greaser south of the border into the country 
and onto the payroll as easy as kiss my Irish 
ass." 

"You were? In Orinda?" marveled Padillo, 
who settled back to listen to the story for the 
dozenth time. 

"Sure was. Doin' a sweep through the 
garment-factory section. Pulled in these six 
guys couldn't speak a word of English. No 
ID, so off they go, Next thing we know, the 
sweatshop employer and all the rest ot the 
clothing manufacturers, the ACLU, the 
League ot Mexican Voters — and get this, 
the unions, 'cause they're losing member- 
ship all over the place and the union bosses 
figure they won't have no one to boss 
around much longer— all of these charac- 
ters decide to make this a test case. So 
there I am in court listening to their million- 
dollar shyster defending these six scared 
Mexes what don't even understand what's 
going on." 

"Laid it on pretty thick, I hear" prompted 
Padillo. 

O'Hara snorted. "With a trowel, pal. 
'What right,' says he, 'by what right does 
this uniformed and brutal Gestapo seize 
and humiliate these poor innocent honest 
hard-working migrants? Possibly, it isn't 
proven, they crossed the border unknow- 
ingly certainly not in any intentionally illegal 
tashion. Does this deny them the right to 
work, the right to live peacefully among 
their families, the right to be free from attack 
by jackbooted authority?'" O'Hara's lips 

55 



pursed bitterly at the memory. 

'And then?" 

"And then our guy, he says, 'But, Your 
Honor, all these fine INS boys is doing is 
trying to uphold the law of the land, what 
says that illegal i:"m grants s just thai, i.e., 
illegal, donqha know? And viz, by definition 
therefore aren't supposed to come into this 
country and work, and bring their children 
and wives, and sslabiisn residences, and 
go to schools, and'a million other things, 
and all these overworked upstanding no- 
blelike officers is doing is asking these 
guys who are plainly illegal is if they have 
any ID to identity themselves. Not a pass- 
port with an entry visa, mind you. and not 
even a green card, Your Honor, and maybe 
not even something in English, but just 
plain anything for chrissakesl' " 

"Hey! Easy, pal, easy! You'll pull all your 
plumbing out." 

■ "Yeah, so after a bil more of this, the 
judge, who knows which side his bread is 
buttered on, comes to his decision— name- 
ly, that 'since by the appearance of things, 
the defendants were doing nothing illegal 
or suspicious or immoral or fattening, no- 
body on God's green earth, except maybe 
outside this court's jurisdiction, has any 
right whatsoever to ask them for any iden- 
tification whatsoever, merely because they 
happen to look i Ke Mexicans and not like 
this big dumb Irishman what is sitting here, 
since it still isn't illegal in this here glorious 
slate ol Calitornia or even in these here 
glorious United States to look like Mexi- 



cans, a little light background music, 
maestro, and the case is hereby dis- 
missed.' Pah!" 



The first elements of the invasion force 
crossed the Bering Strait in mid-afternoon 
of August 1 7 in three dilapidated unmarked 
ground-effect machines. Leaving behind 
the choppy gray waters that form the fifty- 
tour-mile gap between the eastern* point of 
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and 
Cape Prince of Wales, the western tip of the 
continental United States, the six men and 
women in each craft heaved a sigh of relief 
as the ear-splitting whine of the turbines 
changed pitch and the GEMs moved slug- 
gishly up the spume-tossed shingle and 
into the heartland of the Seward Peninsula, 

Bypassing ;-ic i ny serJc-rnenls of Wales 
and Lost River a few miles to the south, the 
three specially equipped long-range Arctic 
GEMs were off on the seven hundred-mile 
haul to the capital of the North Slope oil 
fields, Prudhoe Bay. One would disappear 
forever with all hands aboard into, the 
depths of a snow crevasse, but the other 
two would successfully navigate the myri- 
ad hazards of overland travel within the 
Arctic Circle to reach their goal. . . . 

'And that was Orinda, huh?" 

"Yup, and that was O'Hara himself in the 
full flower of his youth up there on the wit- 
ness stand what got that son-of-a-bitching 
million-dollar shyster so mad he could 
hardly decide whether to poop or blind, 




The Judge strikes the whole thing off the 
record," he added sadly, "my one chance 
for fame. 

"See, "here I am up on the stand and this 
lawyer is going at me pretty good, 'ge- 
stapoing 1 here and 'jackbooiing' there and 
all that, and finally he says, 'So let me ask 
you, Officer, just w'hat it is when you see 
these here innocent brown faces that 
makes you think, Officer, that you have the 
right, Officer, to make these outrageous 
and unconstitutional demands, that's what 
the Court would like to know. Officer.' 

"And he draws himself up and cocks an 
ear at me and his snoot at the judge, who's 
eating this up, and gets ready for his next 
speech, since obviously this isn't a ques- 
tion wants any answering by some dumb 
INS officer, and a mickto boot. 

"So just as he gets his yap open again 
ready to start shooting another line, I holds 
up my hand and says, 'Just a minute here,' 
and this Beverly Hills shyster is so sur- 
prised since no one in thirty years has ever 
told him to do that, he actually does hold it a , 
minute. And everyone in the courtroom is 
looking at me now, I 'mean rea//y looking, 
even the Mexes. like they're. just seeing me 
for the first time, 

"And 1 reach behind me and pull out my 
wallet and I start to leaf through it, all those 
credit card holders and photo holders, you 
know, and after a while I pull out these two 
pieces of paper, and I sort of squint at them 
like I never seen them before, and everyone 
in the courtroom is craning forward so that 
they can see what the hell it is I'm waving 
around, and I says real puzzled like; 

'"Well, Counselor,' I says, 'I'm just a poor 
country boy and not much education, and 
I'm just a plain ol' US citizen, nothing spe- 
cial or fancy-like like these gentlemen over 
here,' and I wave a hand in the direction of 
the Mexes, 'and right here I've got these 
two pieces of paper, and the first one, 
which is called — lemrne see, yes. it's writ- 
ten right up on top here — Selective Service 
System Notice of Classification , it says right 
here on the back: "You are required to have 
this notice, in addition to your registration 
certificate, on your person at all times." And 
hereon this other piece of paper (you might 
have guessed, Counselor, this one says 
Selective Service Sysisrri Registration Cer- 
tificate), it says: "The law requires you to 
have this certificate in your personal pos- 
session at all times for identification and to 
notify your local board of any change of 
address." 

"Now by this time the shyster is jumpin' 
up and jumpin' down and hootin' and holler- 
in' and rantin' and ravin', and the Judge is 
pounding his gavel and I'm ignoring the 
low-born bastards like I can't hear any of 
this hoohah at all and I'm saying: 'And it 
seems to me, Counselor, that if a native- 
born US citizen, who's got all his parents 
native-born US citizens, and all his grand- 
parents native-born US citizens, and this 
here US citizen is peaceful and law-abiding 
and pays his taxes and ups in the army 
when they tell him to and goes oft to get his 



ass shot ofi in some stinking hole like Viet- 
nam and maybe gets shipped home in a 
box, and this here guy is required by law by 
law, Counselor,' I shout, 'to carry this ID 
around by law, and if he don't the lederal 
marshals can come and take this guy and 
throw his ass into a federal jail, Counselor, 
then it seems to me that the United States 
Immigraiion and Naturalization Service has 
a right to ask (or a Utile ID from a bunch of 
guys what can't even speak English and 
are about two hundred yards from the Mex- 
ican border and there's a great big hole 
under the fence and — ' 
■ "By now the judge has broken his gavel 
he's banging so hard, and he's- yelling, 
'Bailiff I Bailiff! Bailiff I !' and the lawyer is just 
sort of pop-eyec ana m..jtte' ng, 'Objection, 
objection, objection,' and about half the 
courtroom has burst into applause, and the 
other half is looking around tor rocks to 
throw at me, and, and, and . . . and I guess 
that was it." 
"Jeez. So then what happened?" 
"So then the judge chewed my ass and 
threatened to send me to jail for contempl 
but didn't, and the supervisor chewed my 
ass, and the district director chewed my 
ass, and the commissioner, he flew out from 
Washington, and he chewed my ass, and 
that's why I'm forty-six years old and been 
in the same fio ci grace : or ¥teen years now 
and am lying in a hospital with a belly full of 
buckshol instead of sitting behind some 
desk and calling in the reporters to tell them 
things like: 'We must stop picking on un- 
documented workers and start working 
harder !o help them qe: settled in this coun- 
try 1 

"So that's what happened, PadiPo. Noth- 
ing much at all." 

"Send them back?" exclaimed the fore- 
man. "Listen, Bailey, you try to send them 
broads back and there'll be a mutiny." 

"But" they're Russians, you idiot," cried 
the production manager. North Slope Divi- 
sion, of Octopus Oil Organization. 

"But they're Russian broads, you dried- 
up old dodo, and they also happen to be 
Russian wfrore-type broads, and the boys 
have got them set up in a couple of trailers 
down in the living quarters and there's a 
three-day waiting list already." 

"In the trailers?" gasped the production 
manager. 

"Well, where else? It's twenty-nine de- 
grees and snowing, or hadn't you noticed? 
Now look, Bailey, let's be reasonable, shall 
we? Just because there hasn't been any 
Women up here in the fifteen years you little 
old ladies been running things doesn't 
mean there'd never be no broads, does it?" 

"But they could be spies," said Bailey 
dubiously. 

"Spies! All you have to do is— er, shake 
hands with one of them to know they ain't no 
spies. Hell, man, you never saw such a 
bunch of broads who know more about 
supply and demand and cash and carry 
and all the rest of the capitalist system." 
MacKensie leaned forward and winked 



knowingly. For chrisss<es. Mr. Bailey, they 
even take Visa and Master Charge. Now tell 
me,whai have we got to hide from a couple 
of cute little of capitalists like that, huh?" 

"Well . . . what about those trailers where 
they're staying? We can't have any guys 
living there who might be susceptible to 
charges of — " 

"Forget it! How many guys do you think 
are breaking their contracts and scram- 
ming out of this hell-hole every week? 
There's at least twenty vacant trailers at any 
given time." 

"Humph! I feel certain that this gross ir- 
regularity should be reported to the 
proper—" 

"Authorities?" snee-ec MacKensie, "The 
government, huh? All this talk about how 
the government should leave the oil com- 
panies alone, and now just because an oil 
company wants to hire a couple of Diversi- 
fied Entertainment Engineers we've gotta 
ask permission from Uncle Saphead? 
Thai'sthespiritthat made John D. Rockefel- 
ler rich, is it?" 

"Okay, okay! But what about these six 
men? That's another kettle of borscht. Or 
are there enough roughnecks of, an, re- 
fined appetites to propose—" 

"Come on, be serious, will ya? Four of 
these guys are roughnecks themselves, 
one's a cold-weather engineer, and the 
other's a petroleum geologist. And they all 
speak English, a little funny, sure, but still 
English." 

"You're suggesting ..." 

"I'll tell you one thing, Boss, you won't 
have to pay them no union wages or union 
benefits. They'll work anywhere for any- 
thing, just so long as it ain't Siberia where 
they been working." 

"But you're a union — " 

"So screw the union," said MacKensie 
expansively. "We're gettin' a bonus based 
on production, ain't we? And we're sd un- 
dermanned up here I'll go the rest of my 
hitch without gettin' any of that bonus 
money. Anyone who can . . ." 

"Yes, I take your point.'" Running his ' 
hands through his thinning hair, Bailey 
gazed through the triple-glazed window at 
the flurries of snowflakes whirling about 
outside and made his decision. "So how 
can it hurt things? And if you think it'll, help 
morale and production. . ." 

"You just watch that oil start to pump, Mr. 
Bailey!" 

"Humph." Bailey leaned forward. "Off the 
record, MacKensie. You don't think there's 
something just aleetle funny about the way 
these characters just happen to turn up 
here? A trillion miles from nowhere?" 

"So where else would they go— join an 
Eskimo village to help them chew whale 
blubber''" 

"Humph," Bailey stood up. "All right, 
MacKensie. all right." As the. .foreman 
began to bundle himself up, he added, 
"Did you say three-day waiting list?" 

"Hey, Padillo. still got your arm attached, I 
see. Next time you come by, these tubes'll 



be out and I'll be outta bed. So what's 
new?" 

"What's new? Jesus, /'// tell you what's 
new. You ain't gonna believe it, I mean like 
you just not gonna believe it." 

"For chrissake, we're at war? No? Well, 
what is it?" 

"Like we already got like forty million il- 
legal Mexicans and Latin Americans and 
Hispanics in this country, at least, right?" 

"Hey, Padillo! I work for the INS, re- 
member? I said; What's new?" 

'And I'm telling you, O'Hara. I'm telling 
you the reason we. only got forty million 
illegal aliens or undocumented workers or 
unsomethinged citizens whatever they are, . 
instead of maybe one hundred million, is 
that the other sixty million has been made 
citizens by executive order some seven, 
eight years ago, am I right?" 

"Well, does a bear poop in the woods, for 
chrissake?" 

'And it doesn't really make much differ- 
ence whether the other forty million are citi- 
zens or not, since they can live here and 
work here and not get kicked out of here, 
right?" 

"Right.," echoed O'Hara wearily. 

"And since that last Supreme Court ruling 
they can now also vote here, even though 
they're not citizens, 'the burden of absolute 
proof of nonnationality being the onus of 
the registering official, rather than positive 
proof of nationality being the responsibility 
of the voter.' Remember that. O'Hara?" 

"Why do you think I stopped voting? Why 
do you think we got two Mexican senators 
and twenty-seven Mexican congressmen 
from' this state alone, six of which can't 
speak English, but that don't matter no 
more neither, since the Congressional 
Record is printed up in two languages so 
they tell me, sd's that President Martinez 
and Chief Justice Guerrero don't have to 
get out their dictionaries to find out what the 
braceros are up to over on The Hill. Yeah, I 
remember all right, Padillo. But like I said, 
ya dumb wop, what's new?" 

"If you'd shut up for a minute. I'd tell ya! 
It's not wetbacks we're chasing now, but 
ice backs'! " 

"Icepacks?" echoed O'Hara blankly 

"\cebacks, dummy.- Illegal Russian 
icebacks." 

"Did you say — ?" O'Hara stopped as 
Padillo rocked back and began to shake 
with laughter. Finally, he wiped his eyes. 
leaned forward, and tapped O'Hara on tne 
shoulder. 

"What I'm looking forward to," said 
Padillo, "is seeing just how these hundreds 
of millions of Hispanic -Americans is gonna 
deal with all these new Russian- 
Americans." 

"But where, for chrissake? It don't make 
sense." 

"In Alaska, of course, where else? The 
Bering Sea, it's just like the Rio Grande. 
ain't it, only a little wider and a little colder. 
They're wading across on ground-effect 
machines and snowmobiles and dogsleds 
and on snowshoes and skis, and they even 



drove a couple of army-ruck ioads across 
now It's winter." 

"But. but, but—" 

"An' if they get caught, they say two 
things; One, they're fleeing the oppression 
of communist tyranny; and two, in any 
case, they're just returning to their ances- 
tral lands where their old grandpappies 
made time with the papooses before the 
wicked czar gave it away illegally to the 
imperialists." 

"But—" 

'And get this, O'Hara, every one oi these 
clowns is big, brawny, and just dying to go 
to work for the oil companies and Ihe log- 
ging companies and the mining com- 
panies and the fishing companies, and all 
the broads are young and beautiful and 
descended from White Russian princesses 
and either they're trying to screw every 
red-blooded Alaskan male to death or 
they're trying to find work as housemaids 
for room and board and a dollar a week." 

"But that's an invasion, forchrissake!" 

"Of course it's an invasion, but if nobody 
cares, then it ain't an invasion no more, is 
it?" 

O'Hara shook his head numbly. "Well, 
how many are there?" 

Padillo shrugged. "Maybe a thousand, 
maybe twenty thousand. How can you tell? 
You noticed many border patrols up in 
Alaska to keep Canadian Eskimos from 
sneaking across the border?" 

"So what are the politicians doing about 
it?" 

Padillo grinned broadly. "Well now, Agent 
O'Hara." he said, puncfuating his reply with 
taps on the other's shoulder, "That kinda 
depends on the politician, don't it?'" 

"It's election time already?" wailed 
Judge Charlie "The Fighting Eskimo" 
Rubenstein. "Jeez, ii seems like only yes- 
lerday we were counting up the retard vote 
and—" 

"We're gonna have to be doing more than 
just counting the 'tard vote," said Maxie. 
"That's a gimmick that only works once: 
Those guys have gotten smart— they could 
vote for anyone." 

"Oof, So what are the chances, old 
Maxie?" 

"Lousy Charlie, just plain lousy. It's like I 
tol' ya a couple years ago; A lotta people 
stilt don't like ya." 

The Judge lowered his ample chins 
against his pouter-pigeon breast in token of 
profound thought, but was interrupted by a 
tap on the chamber door and the court 
recorder calling, "Two o'clock, Judge, 
they're waiting on you." 

"Sure, sure, be right there." Judge 
Rubenstein climbed ponderously to his 
feet, "Think on it, Maxie, think on it." 

"Jeez, Charlie," complained Maxie, "we 
got important stuff to talk about, you gotta 
go out there and try some jaywalking ticket 
or somepin?" 

"Yeah, I know what you mean, Maxie, but 
there's lots of reporters and like that out 
there. That Russian iceback case." 



"Iceback case?" 

"Sure. The feds are asking for a court 
order allowing them to round up those 
Russkies that are working all over the 
place, That's what they're asking for at any 
rate, but I think they'd settle for just the right 
to ID them." 

"Well, I should hope nod" exclaimed 
Maxie. "You let them bastards 'round up' 
those two Russkie maids we got working at 
home and the old lady'll kill ya! And so will I, 
(hough not for the same reason," he added 
with a leer. 

"Well, gee, Maxie, I know, they're awfully 
useful and all that, but there's an awful lot of 
them around now you know, like maybe a 
hundred, two hundred thousand, and — " 

"Two hundred thousand?" echoed Maxie 
in wonderment. 

" — and they say there's an awful lot of 
these big Russkies carrying guns, you 
know, not like hunting rif— " 

"Charlie boy," said Maxie, eyes peering 
rapturously into the future, "isn't one of the 



iWhy do you think 
we got 27 Mexican congressmen 

from this state alone, 

six of whom can't speak English? 

It's so President 

Martinez don't have to get out 

his dictionary.^ 



duties of judges naturalizing immigrants? 
Yes?Tell me, Judge Rubenstein, how would 
you like to become a United States senator 
in one easy election?" 

"Look, Commissioner, I don't care 
whether you think I been drinking or not. I'm 
telling ya there's fifty thousand Russkoffs 
staging a sit-in on — yeah, you guessed it, 
Commissioner, Russian Hill. So what are 
you gonna do? 

"Well, where do ya think they're gonna 
sit, except in the street? Sure the traffic's 
jammed up. from the Civic Center to the 
Golden Gate. . . . 

"Naw, they're peaceful all right, singin' 
and chantin' and wavin' banners. . . . Hold 

on, lemme look Yeah, they're all about 

how California and San Francisco useta. 
belong to ihe Russkies, and Fair Play for 
Russo-Americans, and Give Us Back Rus- 
sian Hill. . . . Hold it a minute, oh, it's himself 
Ihe Mayor I'm talking to now is it?.Hold it, Mr.- 
Mayor, they're chanting, something, .. . 
Yeah, listen, I'll repeat it: 

'Hey, hey, vote our way. 

Vote a bill, for our Hill. 

Just beware, Mr. Mayor, 



Be unfair, no more mayor 

If we vote, we'll change your coat. 

Hey, hey . ..' 

"You hear that, sir?" 

"Er, yes, Inspector Before I, er, call the 
National Guard, how many did you say 
were, en demonstrating?" 

"Oh, I'd say a good titty thousand spread 
over a six-block area." 

'And they all seem of, er, voting age?" 

"Oh, yes, sir, all of voting age." 

"I see, I see. Tell me, Inspector Houlihan, 
do you think that Russians can, er, vote. 
Houlihan?" 

"Gee, sir," said Houlihan in what he 
hoped was a soothing tone. "I think these 
are maybe Alaskan-type naturalized Rus- 
sians, but 1 guess you'd have to ask the city 
attorney about that. ..." 

"Has anyone noticed," inquired the chief 
operation officer of the walnut-paneled 
boardroom of Octopus Oil Organization, 
"that our entire Prudhoe Bay operation, in- 
deed, the entire Morth Slope fields and 
Alaskan pipeline, are now, for all practical 
purposes, being manned and maintained 
by some twenty thousand Russian work- 
ers?" 

"Huh?" said the chairman of the board, a 
retired general straight from the Joint 
Chiefs of Sta ; ", awak-ng w'th a snort. 

"Well, really," frowned the president of 
Triple O, wondering how soon he could de- 
cently ask the steward to fetch a martini. 

"You don't think it might be possible to 
view such a situation as a kniieblade held 
at the jugular vein of Triple O, the rest of Ihe 
oil industry, and by extension the United 
States of America?" 

The chairman gaped blankly while the 
president reviewed the ancient olive-onion 
controversy. 

"Well, leaving all these emotional-type 
issues to one side," interjected the vice- i 
president for public relations, "what's the 
bottom line?" 

"Production is up 26 percent," replied 
the VP for accounting (internal, confiden- 
tial) instantly. 

"Profits?" 

"Up 32 percent on gross, 47 percent on 
net." 

"There's your bottom line, gentlemen," 
said Public Relations with finality 

"Does lhat mean a bigger dividend?" in- , 
quired the chairman with that charming 
naivete which had caused his election to 
the boards of forty-seven major industrial 
concerns. 

"Yes, sir, a much larger dividend." 

"Well, that's good, isn't it?" beamed the 
general, "and surely what's good for Triple 
is good for the country. Isn't it?" 

"Ya know, Charlie," mused Maxie, "I been 
thinkin'. Thinkin' about you bein' president, 
Charlie." 

"President?" gasped the junior senator 
from Alaska, Charlie "The Fighting Eskimo" 
Rubenstein. 

"So why not?" asked Maxie reasonably. 



"Look, we already got some fifty, sixty mil- 
lion so-called undocumented probationary 
citizens, most of 'em Mexes, voting in the 
federal elections, right?" 

"Right, Maxie." 

'And you got yourself a natural constit- 
uency of maybe, a million Russkie-Ameri- 
cans back home, and maybe another live 
million in California and the Northwest, 
right? They oughta yote for ya, you're the 
lighting judge what showed 'em the way to 
citizenship, aren't ya?" 

"Sure, Maxie." 

"So the next step, and it's only logical. 
Charlie, is to get the vote extended to all 
them other undocumented probationary 
Russkie-American cilizens what ain't yet 
got the opportunity to visit this glorious 
country of theirs, and what has to vote .by 
absentee ballot back there in the old Moth- 
erland! Like maybe three hundred million of 
them I" 

"But, Maxie—" 

'All they'd haveta do is mail in an absen- 
tee ballot, like millions of other overseas 
Americans, right? So all you gotta do, Char- 
lie, is introduce a bill that ..." 

"... is working perfectly," chortled the 
director of state security. "I told you my plan 
would work!" 

"My plan, Vladimir Vasilyevich," growled 
the foreign minister. 

"Please, comrades," interceded the 
minister of agriculture, "what, if you please, 
is the next step? I am so looking forward to 
voting in the next presidential elections." 

'Ah hah!" crowed Vladimir Vasilyevich 
Ostrovsky. "Already the order has gone out, 
already the fraternal-aid contingent stands 
ready, all two million o( them, already the 
doom of the capitalist-imperialist warmon- 
gers is pending, already—" 

"So all right already," muttered the minis- 
ter of hydroelectric power, who had at- 
tended an extremely amusing seminar in 
Brooklyn the year before, but not so loudly 
that the director might overhear him, 

"Comrades! The moment we have been 
waiting for has arrived! The orders have 
come trom Moscow! The workers' general 
oil-field strike will begin tomorrow at dawn, 
the pipeline will be seized at noon, the 
housemaids and clerical workers shall re- 
volt in the afternoon, and by evening Alaska 
will be ours! Five million fellow citizens on 
the West Coast will rise in sympathy and 
immobilize half the country. Attacked by the 
running-dog gestapo lackeys of fascist 
capitalism, they shall appeal for fraternal 
aid to their brothers-in-arms across the 
waters, and within hours, millions of 
peacekeeping personnel of the glorious 
and fraternal Red Army shall — " He went on 
for some time. 

"Jeez," whispered Mikhail Nikolayeyvich 
to his wife Natasha Petrovna, "whaddya 
think this'll do to the interest rate on the 
mortgage?" 

'And that new washing machine I — " 

"My new snowmobile." interjected Pietor 



Sergeyevich glumly. 

"in just three days the World Series'" 
cried Daniel Danielovich. 

"My bonus, trip to Hawaii!" moaned Ka- 
trina Varvarana. 

"Just when we'd found a school for the 
kids with none of those disgraceful Eskimos 
cluttering it up!" complained Alexsey 
Ivanovich. 

"I think we had better think thrs over." 
whispered MiknaN N -;o:ayeyvich. 

"Very carefully, " grated his wife between 
clenched teeth. "Oh shut up, you blithering 
fathead!" she yelled at the speaker. KGB 
Colonel Yevgeny Fyodorovich Zhukovsky, 
who instantly fell silent from sheer as- 
tonishment. 

"Ohdear, oh dear, oh dear, "bleated Pres- 
ident Martinez piteously. 

"Capitalist tool," rejoined Defense Secre- 
tary Haggleman. 

"Pig" hissed Ms. Heliogabalus. 

"Knock it off, ya fuckin' broads," ad- 



<mJhe Bering Sea is just like the 

Rio Grande, only 

a little wider and a little colder. 

They're wading 

across it on ground-etfect 

machines and 

snowmobiles, skies and 

trucks. 9 



monished Mr. Kowalsk . "Wnaf's da prob- 
lem now, Senor Jelly-Belly?" 

"The problem is all tfiese wretched Rus- 
sians ready to revolt all over the Northwest 
and West Coast. And once they've 
paralyzed the country they'll simply invite in 
the Red Army and we will all be put up 
against a wall!" President Martinez broke 
into sobs. 

"Speak for yaself. Jelly-Belly," snarled Mr. 
Kowalski. "No Russkoff is sticking Mrs. 
Kowalski's little boy up against no wall. Da 
ioist t'ing ya do," jabbing a thick finger 
deep into the quivering breast of Defense 
Secretary Haggleman, "is ta send in da 
army against dese strikers or revolters or 
whadever dey are. and den — " 

'"What army?" wailed President Mar- 
tinez. 

"Oh yeah, dat's right. I lorgot." Mr. Ko- 
walski nodded somberly. "What army?" 

" — the issue is clear." read Chief Justice 
Esteban Guerrero : "With one dissenting 
vote," he paused lo glare briefly and un- 
judiciously at Mr. Justice Rubenste'in, re- 
cently appointed by President Martinez to 
preempt those strongly rumored presiden- 



tial aspirations of The Fig 
The Great Northwest, "v. 
vote. I say. this court hold 



vert to their previous status o' legally an: 
being, i.e. that of be'ng il'egal aliens, illega 
ly in this country. There are numerous prec 
edents for this judgment, among them . 

"Comrades! It just came over the radio 
We've been deprived ol our ci; zensmg 1 " 
"My house'' 
"My washing machine'" 



"There is only one thing to do," replied 
Pietorevich somberly. "Correction, two. 
First, we shut up that-madman. Next ..." 

"Mr. President! Mr. President!" cried an 
aide as he burst into the emergency ses- 
sion of the National Security Council. "Oh 
please slop crying, sir. Please?" 

"What now?" groaned that unhappy 
man. "Texas has sececed Iror- Mexico 7 

"No, sir. The flash just came in from the 
Pentagon -" 

"Oh no . , . ." 

"All over the West Coast si- Mil ions and 
millions of Russians, sir—" 

"The invasion, it's all over. . . ." 

"No, sir. It hasn't started yet. and maybe if 
never will. It's our Russians. They're all join- 
ing the army!" 

"They're what? I seem to have misun- 
derstood you."" 

"The army, sir. They're flooding every 
Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine recruit- 
ing station west of the Rockies. The best 
estimate is three million men and women 
already sworn in. and another three million 
waiting their turn." 

President Martinez looked peevishly at 
the director of the CIA. "But why? They're 
supposed to be invading the country, not 
defending it, they don'i need to — " 

"But, sir, don'l you remember? If you're a 
foreign-type alien and you join the armed 
forces, at the end of your enlistment you 
become a United States- citizen!" 

"You do? How strange," mused Presi- 
dent Martinez. "But why would anyone 
want to become a US citizen?" he inquired 
of the room at large. 

"Beats me, sir," replied the aide. "But I 
think I heard someone mention something 
about a bonus trip to Hawaii. . . ." DO 



VISIONS OF THE COSMOS 

An exclusive gallery of Soviet space art 
offers revealing glimpses of Russian fact and fantasy 

BY EC. DURANT III 

Cosmonauts Romanenko and Grechko carried a special cargo 
with them into celestial orbit. Aboard Soyuz XXVII! were two 
paintings by Russia's foremost space artist. Andrei Sokolov. 
The paintings were gouache on nontolding cardboard, measured 47 
centimeters by 36 centimeters, and weighed 130 grams each. They 
were transferred to the orbiting space laboratory Salyut, there to be- 
come the first orbiting art exhibition in history. 





Sokolov's paintings later returned to earth aboard Soyuz XXX in July 
1978. Thrilled that his paintings had been sent aloft, the artist pre- 
sented one of them to Polish cosmonaut Miroslaw Hermazewski , com- 
mand pilot of Soyuz XXX. Entitled Cosmic Morning (page « ) T it is a 
fanciful representation of Salyut VI with two Soyuz craft docked at both 
ends, lit by the morning sun, Sokolov is currently reworking the other. 
Over the Aral Sea , making corrections in color tones and geographical 
features from notes provided by the crew. 

Since Sputnik I, Andrei Sokolov has dedicated his professional life to 
artistic concepts of the cosmos. His art now numbers more than 150 
works. These paintings vary; some are rough impressions, others are 
precise and meticulous. He illustrates contemporary space activities of 
the USSR and US, as well as future encounters with planets of far-off 
stellar systems. Sokolov is big physically, over six leet. a burly and pow- 



6 My greatest challenge in life is to visualize and depict future cosmic voyages. •> 





• Cosmic exploration," opines Andrei Sokoiov, "staggers the human imagination. 9 



erful former motorcycle racer whose boldness is reflected in his art. 

Sokoiov was born in Leningrad 48 years ago and grew up in Moscow 
His lather was a construction engineer prominent in building the Mos- 
cow metro in the 1930s. Trained as an architect. Sokoiov was capti- 
vated by Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 more than 20 years ago. 
Visualizing scenes from the book, he created a numberof paintings, his 
first in this genre. The artist has presented one ol these to Bradbury. 

Since 1965, Sokoiov has collaborated with cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, 
An amateur artist, Leonov sketched views of space white in orbit and 
upon return rendered Ihem in watercolor and oils. Works of Sokoiov and 
Leonov have been published in four art books in the Soviet Union; the 
most recent is Man in the Universe (1975). Moreover, collections of 
postcards and some 20 Soviet postage stamps carry their art. Through 
his close relationship with Leonov and other cosmonauts. Sokoiov is 



Counterc tookwis e 

from right: Lunar 

Cosmodrome; To. 

tfie Crab Nebula. 

Cosmic Morning, 

which orbited 

the earth in Salyut: 

Shuttle to Orbit. 

fanciful rendering o'< 

Russian shuttle. 




able to keep abreast of advances in space technology. 

In 1975, the Soviet space artist married Nina F Lapinowa. Today, they 
live and work in an attractive sludio apartment in downtown Moscow 

Several years ago, the Soviet Artists Union sponsored a touring 
exhibil of US space art throughout Russia. In exchange, a Soviet space 
arl show was displayed at the Smithsonian insiiiuiion's National Air and 
Space Museum in 1976. Included were 14 works by Sokolov and 
Leonov. Under the auspices of the Smithsonian, the show toured in 
the US for 18 months. Both arlisis have donated works to the National 

Air and Space Muse um. DO 

Much of Sokolov's art has never been published in the US; counterclockwise 
ham above: Apollo Soyuz Rendezvous in Orbit Launch of Soyuk XXVI: Entering 
the Atmosphere of Mars, early vintage communications satellite Molniya XIV. 



* Sokolov describes the immensity of the cosmos as "awesomely unknowable: 



IN IT 






I t's not easy to keep 
exactly one-eighth inch of beard on your 
face. For a writer, though, it's good protec- 
coforation. With a suit ; 
a gentleman who's { 
beard. With rumpled old Salvation Army 
clothes, you look like a down-and-out 
rummy. It depends on the c'~ ~~ 
int to listen lo, study. 

" ny outfit when I met Bill 

-Jible story. At 



***¥wS*f*» 



business. He was for real, tho 
There's (his wonderful s 



is in the window, 
has a busted laser that flutters 
cally. You don't want to sit toe 
dow. It's a good bar for priv 
tions because it's r a . 
laner that sweeps out over the 

of traffic, all day 



w mm 



light. The bartender is missing ; 

ten front teeth and smiles frequen..,. . 

booze is cheap; they make most of their 



M 



I sat down at the bar, and the bartender 
polished glasses while one of the whores, a 
pretty boy-girl, sidled in for the kill. When I 
she pleaded mechanically, saying 
«. .o ..«,* saving for a real pair of tits and The 
Operation. I hesitated — I string for the Bad 



Wire Service sometimes, and they 

PAINTING BY 
GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN 




like sexy bathos but turned her down 
more finally. Bad News doesn't pay that 
well. 

When she left, the bartender came over 
and I ordered a Meyers with a beer chaser, 
a suitably hard-core combination. I'd taken 
two Flame-outs before I came, though, so I 
could drink a dozen or so without too much 
ill effect. Until morning. 

"Little early in the day tor that, isn't it?" 
The man next to me chuckled hoarsely. 
"Not to criticize." He was nursing a double 
bourbon or scotch, neat. 

"Dusty." I said. The man was dressed a 
little more neatly than I, in faded work 
clothes. He looked too old to be a laborer, 
shock of white hair with a yellowish cast. 
■ But he did have the deep tan and perma- 
nent squint of one who's spent decades in 
the Florida sun. I tossed back the jigger of 
rum and sipped the beer. "Come here of- 
ten?" 

"Pretty often," he said. "When my check 
comes in I out a few bucks on a number 
Otherwise ..." He shrugged. "Gheap 
whiskey and pretty women, To look at." 

"How many of them do you think are 
women?" 

"Just looking, who cares?" He squinted 
even more, examining me. "Could I see 
your palms?" 

Oh boy, I thought, a fortune-teller. Might 
be a story if he actual .y oolicves in it. I held 
out my hands. 

He glanced at them and stared at my 
face. "Yeah, I could tell by the eyes," he 
said softly. "You're no alcoholic. You're not 
as old as you look, either. Cop?" 

"No. Used to be a teacher." Which was 
true. "Every now and then I go on these 
binges." 

He nodded slowly "Used to be a teacher, 
too. Until '83. Then I worked the sponge 
boats twenty years." When he picked up 
his glass, his hand had the regular, slow 
shake of a confirmed alky. "It was good 
work." 

I reached in my pocket and turned on the 
tape recorder. "What was it made you stop 
teaching? Booze?" 

"No. Who drank in the eighties?" I didn't, 
but I wasn't old enough. "It's an interesting 
sort of pancake. You want to hear a story?" 

"Sure." I signaled the bartender for two 
drinks. 

"Now, you don't have to buy me anything. 
Yo.u won't believe the story, anyhow." 

"Try me." 

"You a social worker? Undercover social 
worker?" He smiled wryly. 

"Is there such a thing?" 

"Should be. I know— you're a writer," 

"When I get work, yeah. How could you 
tell, Sherlock?" 

"You've got two pens in your pocket, and 
you want to hear a story." He smiled. "Steal 
a story maybe. But you'll never get if pub- 
lished. It's too fantastic." 

"But true." 

"It's true, all right. Thank you kindly." He 
touched his new drink to see whether it was 
real, then drained off the old one in-one 

70 



gulp and s : ghed. 

"My name's Bill Caddis; Doclor William 
Caddis, it used to be." 

"Medical doctor?'" 

"I detect a note of reproof. As if no medi- 
co ever Well, no, I was an academic, 
newly tenured at Florida State. History de- 
partment. Modern American history." 

"Hard to get a job then as it is now?" 

"Just about. I was a teal whiz." * 

"But you got fired in '83." 

"That's right. And it's not easy to fire a 
tenured professor" 

"What, bolting the little girls?" 

That was the only lime he laughed that 
day, a kind of wheeze. "Undergraduates 
were made for boffing. No, I was dismissed 
on grounds of mental instability; with my 
wife's help, my then-wife, they almost had 
me institutionalized." 



<m"Don't they teach you anything 

about relativity? If you 
get up from the bar, go to the 

John, and return in a 

couple of minutes, the bar's 

moved thousands of miles. 

But it's still here. You're 

on the same track, that's all."? 



"Strong stuff." 

"Strong." He stared into his drink and 
swirled it around. "I never know how' to start 
this. I've told dozens of people, and they all 
think I'm crazy before I get halfway into it. 
You'll think I'm crazy too." 

"Just jump in feet-first. Like you say, I'm a 
writer, I can believe in six impossible things 
before my firs! drink in the morning." 

'All right. I'm not from . . . here." 

A loony, I thought; there goes the price of 
a double. 'Another planet," I said, seriously. 

"See? Now you want me to say some- 
thing about UFOs and how I'm bringing the 
secret of eternal peace to mankind." He 
raised the glass to me. "Thanks for the 
drink." 

I caught his arm before he could slug the 
drink clown. "Wait. I'm sorry. Go on." 

"Am I wrong?" 

"You're right, but go on. You don't act 
crazy" 

He' set the drink down. "Layman's "error. 
Some of the most reasonable people you 
meet are strictly Almond Joy." 

"If you're not from 'here,' where are you 
from?" 

"Miami." He smiled and took a sip. "I'm a 
time traveller. I'm from a future." 

I just nodded, 

"That usually fakes some explaining. 
There's no the future. There's a myriad of 



"T;iures radiating : rom eve'y instant. If I were 
to drop this glass on the floor and it broke, 
we would shift into a tuture where this bar 
owned one less glass." 

'And the futures where Ihe glass wasn't 
broken . . ." 

"They would be.^ And we would be in 
them; we are now." 

"Doesn't it get sort of crowded up there? 
Billions of new futures every second?" 

"You can't crowd infinity." 

I was trying to think of an angle, a gbof- 
ball feature. "How does this time travel 
work?" 

"How the hell should I know? I'm just a 
tourist. It has something to do with chro- 
nons. Temporal uncertainly principle. Con- 
servation of coincidence. I'm no engineer." 

"Are there lots of these tourists?" 

"Probably not here and now. You get quite 
a crowd clustered around historically im- 
portant events. You can't see them, of 

"I can see you." 

He shrugged. "Something went wrong. 
Power lailure or something; someone 
tripped over a cable. 'Happens." 

"They -did n't try to come back and rescue 
you?" 

"How could they? There are lots of fu- 
tures but only one past. Once I materialized 
here, I wasn't in my own past anymore. 
See?" 

"So you can kill your own grandfather," I 
said. 

"Why would I want to do that? He's a nice 
old bird." 

"No, I mean, there's no paradox in- 
volved? If you killed him before you were 
born, you wouldn't cease to exist?" 

"Of course not. I'd have to be there to kill 
him." He sipped. "For that matter, I could go 
back and kill mysef. as a boy If I could 
afford it. Travel gets more expensive the 
closer you get to the present. Like com- 
pressing an imintely tough spring." 

"Hold it." I had him. "I'll buy another 
round if you can talk your way out of this 
one. The earth is moving all the time, spin- 
ning around, going around the sun; the 
sun's moving through space. How Ihe hell 
do you aim this time machine?" 

He bleared at me. "Don't they teach you 
anything about relativity? Look, if you get 
up from the bar, go to the John, and come 
back in a couple of minutes, the bar's 
moved thousands of miles. But it's still here. 
You're on the same track, that's all." 

"But I'm talking about time, and you're 
talking about space!" 

"There a difference?" He drained his 
glass and slid it toward me with one finger 

I decided I'd stay cng enough to find out 
what his con was. Maybe do a one-pager 
for a crime magazine. I ordered him 
another double. "You folks from the future 
can sure hold your liquor." 

"Couple of centuries of medicine," he 
said. "I'm ninety-two years old." He looked 
about seventy. 

Looked like I was going to have to push 
him for the gaff. "Seems to me you could be 



sed to drin 






Peooe ir\ 




= time, there s no law 


ainst it. Bu 




jrsel" n tl-s position 
he past. What do. you 




?Buyo 


d money from colloc 



"I really was a ms'ory processor special- 
izing in the history of tecrmOi jyy. i saved up 
my money to go back and see the first flight 
to the Moon." 

"That was in 70?" 

"No, '69. It was during the launch when 
the accident happened. Nobody noticed 
me materializing: I didn't even notice until I 
tried to walk throuyn someone afterwards. 

"Fortunately Uial was a time when ev- 



"Yeah. I liked our way belle-' Anyway, me 
bottom dropped out. I had to tell my wife 
that we were broke and in debt; I had to tell 
her everything I thought I knew her. I 
thought she would believe. The rest is pret- 



"You could take golci ana uiamonds." 

"Sure. But it you can afford that— and 
time travel isn't cheap either why not in- 
vest it in your own present? Remember, 
once you materialize, you aren't in your own 
past anymore. You can never tell what 
might have changed. People do try it, 
though. Usually Ihey take gadgets." 

"Does it work?" 

"Who knows? They can't come back to 
tell about it." 

"Couldn't they build their own time ma- 
chine; go back to the future?" 

"Aren't you hearing me? There's no such 
thing asfne future. Even if you could travel 
forward, there's no way you could find the 
right one." 

Somebody came into the bar; I waited 
until the door eased shut, muting the traffic 
noise. "So what happened to you? You 
made some bad investments?" 

"In spades. Seemed like a sure thing. Let 
me explain. Where I come from, almost no- 
body lives on Earth, just caretakers and the 
time-travel people. It's like a big park, a big 
museum, Most of us live in orbital settle- 
ments, some on other planets. 



i.My 



e didn't agre 



no way I could tell her why I was so su'e. 

"I went ahead and invested heavily in 
space industries — really heavily, buying on 
the margin, wheeling, dealing -but my 
wife thought n was all going into a conser- 
vative portfolio of municipals. I even 
snitched some stationery from our accoun- 
tant and wrote up annual reports to show 
her." 

"I think I see what's coming." Not a bad 
story. 

"Yeah. The Soviet-American Orbital 
Non-Proliferation Treaty, the goddamned 
Proxmire Bill." 

"Well, killer satellites . . .' 

"That's the kicker. That's really the kicker. 



"Right." He took a long drink and stared 
moodily into the cloudy mirror behind the 

ThatS':?"Noscam? 

mat s t. Write it up. You'll never sell ft." 

I checked my wafch. Could just make the 
1:35 to Atlanta, get in a half-day at the 
typewriter. "Well, I gotta run. Thanks for the 
story. Bill." 

I stood up and put my hand on his shoul- 
der. "Take it easy on the sauce, okay? Ye.. ^ 
no spring chicken anymore." 

"Sure." He never looked at me. 

On toe way to the subway terminal it oc- 
curred .to me that I shouldn't try to sell the 
thing as a human-interest feature. Just 
write it up as fiction, and I could hawk it to 
Planet Stories or one of those rags. 

The ticket machine gave me an argu- 
ment about changing a hundred-ruble 
note, and I had to go find a conductor. Then 
there were repairs going on, and it took us 
twenty minutes to get to Atlanta; I had to 
sprint to" make my Seattle connection. 

Space settlements. Time travel. Nobody 
would swallow that kind nl bull in '924.00 




GALATEA GALANTE 



He created the Perfect Woman, 
with one little flaw designed into her 

BY ALFRED BESTER 






.*-#* 



.. 



He was wearing a prefaded jump suit, beautifully tailored, 
the dernier cri in ihe nostalgic 21 00s, but really too youth- 
ful for his thirty -odd years. Set square on his head was a 
vintage (circa I950) English motoring cap with the peak 
leveled on a line with his brows, masking the light' of lunacy in his 
eyes. 

Dead on a slab, he might be called distinguished, even hand- 
some, but alive and active? That would depend on how much 
demented dedication one could stomach. He was shouldering 
his way through the crowded aisles of 

THE SATURN CIRCUS 

50 PHANTASTIK PHREAKS 50 

itlALLAUENSfll 

■ He was carrying a mini sound-camera that looked like a 
chrome-and-ebony pepper mill, and he was filming the living, 
crawling, spasming, gibbering monstrosities exhibited in the 
large showcases and small vitrines, with a murmured running 
commentary. His voice was pleasant; his remarks were not. 

"Ah. yes, the Betlatrix basilisk, so the sign assures us. Black- 
and-yellow bod ot a serpent. Looks like a Gila-monster head 
attached. Work of that Tejas tailor who's so nitzy with surgical 
needle and thread. Peacock coronet on head. Good theater to 
blindfold its eyes. Conveys Ihe conviction that its glance will kill. 
Hmrnm, Ought to gag the mouth, too. According to myth the 
basilisk's breath also kills .... 

And the Hyades hydra. Like wow Nine heads, as per revered 
tradition. Looks like a converted iguana. The Mexican again. 
That seamstress has access to every damn snake and lizard in 
Central America. She's done a nice join of necks to trunk -got to 
admit that — but her stitching shows to my eye. . . . 

"Canopus cerberus. Three dog heads. Look like oversized 
Chihuahuas. Mastiff bod. Rattlesnake tail. Ring of rattlers around 
the waist. Authentic but clumsy That Tejas woman ought to know 



you can't graft snake scales onto hound hide. They look like crudl 
but at least all three heads are barking. . . . 

"Well, well, well, here's the maladroit who claims he's my rival 
the Berlin butcher with his zoo castoffs. His latest spectaculail 
the Rigel gritiin . Ta-daaa! Do him justice, its classic. Eagle hearJJ 
and wings, but it's molting. Lion bod implanted with feathers. An J 
he's used ostrich claws for the feet. / would have generates 
authentic dragon's feet. . . . 

"Now Martian monoceros; horse bod, elephant legs. stagJ 
tail. Yes. convincing, but why isn't it howling as it should, ai 
ing to legend? Mizar manUcora. Kosher. Kosher Three rows o 
teeth. Look like implanted shark's. Lion bod. Scorpion tail. WonH 
der how they produced fhat red-eyed effect. The Ares assidaV 
Dull. Dull. Dullsville Just an ostrich with camel feet, and stumj 
bling all over them, too. No creative imagination! 

"Ah, but I call that poster over the Sirius sphinx brilliant theatefl 
My compliments to the management It's got to be recorded fol 
posterity: the public is respectfully requested not to give thJ 

CORRECT ANSWER TO THE ENIGMA POSED BY THE SPHINX. 

"Because if you do give the correct answer, as Oedipus founrJ 
out. she'll destroy herself out of chagrin. A sore loser. I ought tfj 
answer the riddle, just to see how they stage it. but no. TheateB 
isn't my shlick; my business is strictly creative genesis. . 

"The Berlin butcher again, Castor chimera. Lion head Goal'^ 
bod. Looks like an anaconda tail. How the hell did he surgify t( 
get it to vomit those flames? Some sort of catalytic gimmick in 
throat. I suppose. It's only a cold corposant fire, quite harmless! 
but very dramatic — and those fire extinguishers around thrJ 
showcase are a lovely touch. Damn good theater Again, i 
compliments to the management 

"Aha! Beefcake on the hoof. Zosma centaur. Good-looking] 
Greek joined to that Shetland pony Blood must have been a 
problem They probably drained both and substituted a neutral 
surrogate. The Greek looks happy enough; in fact, damn smugM 
Anyone wondering why has only to see how the pony's hung, . 



0" .'• l <t*m<&®i> 






*^* 



PAINTING BY H.R, GIGER 



"What have we here? Antares unicorn, 
complete with graited narwhal tusk but not 
with the virgin who captured it, virgin girls 
being the only types that can subdue uni- 
corns, legend saith. 1 thought narwhals were 
extinct. They may have bought the tusk 
from a walking-stick maker I know virgins 
are not extinct. / make 'em every month; 
purity guaranteed or your money back. . . . 

'And a Spica siren. Lovely girl. Beautiful. 
She — But damn my eyes, she's no man- 
ufactured freak! That's Sandra, my Siren! I 
can recognize my genesis anywhere. What 
the hell is Sandy doing in this damn dis- 
gusting circus? Naked in a showcase! This 
is an outrage!" 

He charged the showcase in his rage. He 
was given to flashes of fury that punctuated 
his habitual exasperated calm. {His deep 
conviction was that it was a damned in- 
transigent world because it wasn't run his 
way, which was the right way.) 

He beat and clawed at the supple walls, 
which gave but did not break. He cast 
around wildly for anything destructive, then 
darted to the chimera exhibit, grabbed a 
fire extinguisher, and dashed back to the 
Siren. Three demoniac blows cracked the 
plastic, and three more shattered an es- 
cape hatch. His fury outdrew the freaks, 
and a fascinated crowd gathered. 

He reached in and seized the smiling 
Siren. "Sandy, get the hell out. What were 
you doing there in the first place?" 

"Where's your husband?" 

"For God's sake!" He pulled off his cap. 
revealing pale, streaky hair. "Here, cover 

yourself with this. No, no, girl, downstairs. 
Use an arm for upstairs, and hide your rear 
elevation against my back." 

"No, I am not prudish, I simply will not 
have my beautiful creation on public dis- 
play. D J you think I — " He turned fiercely on 
three security guards closing in on him and 
brandished the heavy brass cylinder "One 
more step, and I let you have it with this. In 
the eyes. Ever had frozen eyeballs?" 

They halted. "Now look, mister, you got 
no—" 

"I am not called 'mister' My degree is 
Dominie, which means master professor. I 
am addressed as Dominie, Dominie Man- 
wright. and I want to see the owner at once. 
Immediately. Here and now. Sofort! Im- 
mediatamente! Mr. Saturn or Mr Phreak 
or whatever! 

"Tell him that Dominie Regis Manwright 
wants him here now. He'll know my name, or 
he'd better, by God! Now be off with you. 
Split. Cut." Manwright glared around at the 
enthralled spectators. "You turkeys get lost, 
too. All of you. Go eyeball the other sights. 
The Siren show is kaput." 

As the crowd shuffled back from Man- 
wright's fury, an amused gentleman in 
highly unlikely twentieth-century evening 
dress stepped forward. "I see you under- 
stand Siren, sir. Most impressive." He slung 
the opera cape off his shoulders and of- 



fered it to Sandra, "You must be cold, 
madame. May I?" 

"Thank you," Manwright growled. "Put it 
on, Sandy. Cover yourself. And thank the 
man." 

"I don't give a damn whether you're cold 
or not. Cover yourself. I won't have you 
parading that beautiful body I created. And 
give me back my cap." 

"Women!" Manwright grumbled. "This is 
the last time I ever generate one. You slave 
over them. You use all your expertise to 
create beauty and implant sense and sen- 
sibility, and they all turn out the same. Irra- 
tional! Women! A race apartl And where 
the hell's 50 Phantastik Phreaks 50?" 

"At your service, Dominie," the gentle- 
man smiled. 

"What? You? The management?" 

"Indeed yes." 

"In that ridiculous white tie and tails?" 

"So sorry, Dominie. The costume is tradi- 
tional for the role. And by day I'm required 



6 He beat and clawed 

at the supple walls, which gave 

but did not break. 

He cast around wildly for 

anything destructive, then. . . 

grabbed a fire 

extinguisher and dashed back 

to the Siren.V 



to wear hunting dress. It is grotesque, but 
the public expects it of the ringmaster." 

"Hmph! What's your name? I'd like to 
know the name of the man I skin alive." 

"Corque." 

"Cork? As in Ireland?" 

"But with a QUE." 

"Corque? Cor-kew-ee?" Manwright's 
eyes kindled. "Would you by any chance 
be related to Charles Russell Corque. Syr- 
tus professor of ETM biology? I'll hold that 
in your favor." 

"Thank you, Dominie. I am Charles Rus- 
sell Corque, professor of extraterrestrial 
and mutation biology at Syrtus University." 

"What!" 

"Yes." 

"In that preposterous costume?" 

'Alas, yes." 

"Here?0nTerra7' 

"In person." 

"What a crazy coincidence. D'you know, I 
was going to make that damned tedious 
trip to Mars just to rap with you." . 

"And I brought my circus to terra hoping 
to meet and consult with' you." 

"How long have you been here?" 

"Two days." 

"Then why haven't you called?" 



"Setting up a circus show takes time. 
Dominie. I haven't had a moment to spare." 
"This monstrous takery is really yours?" 
"It is." 

"You? The celebrated Corque? The 
greatest researcher into alien life forms that 
science has ever known? Revered by all 
your colleagues," including myself, and 
swindling the turkeys with a phony freak 
show? Incredible, Corque! Unbelievable!" 

"But understandable. Manwright. Have 
you any idea of the cost of ETM research? 
And the reluctance of the grants commit- 
tees to allocate an adequate amount of 
funds? No, I suppose not. You're in private 
practice and can charge gigantic fees to 
support your research, but I'm forced to 
moonlighf and operate this circus to raise 
the money I need." 

."Nonsense, Corque. You could have pat- 
ented one of your brilliant discoveries- - J 
that fantastic Jupiter III methophyte. for in- J 
stance. Gourmets call it The Ganymede 
Truffle.' D'you know what an ounce sells 
for?" 

"I know, and there are discovery rights 
and royalties. Enormous. But you don't 
know -university contracts, my dear 
Dominie. By contract, the royalties go to 
Syrtus, where" — Professor Corque's smile 
soured — "where they are spent on such 
studies as Remedial Table Tennis, De- 
monia Orientation, and The Light Verse of 
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch." 

Manwright shook his head in exaspera- 
tion. "Those damned faculty clowns! I've 
turned down a dozen university offers, and 
no wonder. It's an outrage that you should 
be forced to humiliate yourself and Lis- 
ten. Corque. I've been dying to get the de- 
tails on how you discovered that 
Ganymede methophyte. When will you 
have some time? I thought — Where are you 
Staying on Terra?" 

"The Borealls." 

"What? That fleabag?" 

"I have to economize for my research." 

"Well, you can economize by moving in 
with me. It won't cost you a cent. I've got 
plenty of room, and I'll put you up for the 
duration, with pleasure. I've generated a 
housekeeper who'll take good care of 
you — and rather startle you, I think. Now do 
say yes, Corque. We've got a hell of a lot of 
discussing to do and I've got a lot to learn 
from you." 

"I think it will be the other way around, my 
dear Dominie." 

"Don't argue! Just pack up, get the hell 
out of the Borealls, and — " 

"What, Sandy?" 

■ "Where?" 

"Oh, yes. I see the rat-fink." 

"What now, Manwright?" 

"Her husband. I'll trouble you to use re- 
straint on me, or he'll become her late hus- 
band." 

An epicene hove into view — tall, slender, 
elegant, in flesh-colored SkinAII — with 



namented codp.ece. Manwright juggled 
the extinguisher angrily, as though groping 
for the firing pin of a grenade. He was so 
intent on the encounter that Corque was 
able to slip the cylinder out of his hands as 
the epicene approached, surveyed thern, 
and at last spoke. 

'Ah, Manwright." 

"Jessamy!" Manwright turned the name 
into a denunciation. 

"Sandra." 

■ 'And our impresario." 

"Good evening, Mr. Jessamy." 

"Manwright, I have a bone to pick with 
you." 

"You? Pick? A bone? With me? Why, you 
damned pimp, putting your own wife, my 
magnificent creation, into a damned freak 
show!" He turned angrily on Professor 
Corque, "And you bought her, eh?" 

"Not guilty, Dominie. I can't supervise 
everything. The Freak Foreman made the 
purchase." 

"He did, did he?" Manwright returned to 
Jessamy. "And how much did you get for 
her?" 

"That is not germane." 

"That little? Why, you padded procurer? 
Why? God knows, you don't need the 
money. " 

"Dr. Manwright--" 

"Don't you 'Doctor' me. it's Dominie." 

"Dominie — " 

"Speak." 

"You sold me a lemon." 

"What!" 

"You heard me. You sold me a lemon." 

"How dare you!" 

"I admit I'm a jillionaire." 

"Admit it? You broadcast it." 

"But nevertheless I resent a rip-off." 

"Rip! I'll kill the man. Don't restrain me. I'll 
kill! Look, you damned minty macho, you 
came to me and contracted for the perfect 
wife. A Siren, you said. The kind that a man 
would have to lash himself to the mast to 
resist, a la Ulysses. Well? Didn't you?" 

"Yes, I did." 

"Yes, you did. And did I or did I not gen- 
erate a biodroid miracle of beauty, en- 
chantment, and mythological authenticity. 
guaranteed or your money back?" 

"Yes, you did." 

'And one week after delivery I discover 
my Pearl of Perfection sold to the distin- 
guished Charles Russell Corque's 
obscene freak show and displayed naked 
in a bizarre showcase. My beautiful face 
and neck! My beautiful back and buttocks! 
My beautiful breasts! My beautiful mons 
veneris! My—" 

"That's what she wanted." 

"Did you, Sandy?" 

"Shame oh you, girl. I know you're vain. — 
that was a glitch in my programming— but 
you don't have to flaunt it. You're a damned 
exhibitionist." Back to Jessamy; "But that 



doesn't excuse your selling her. Why, 
did you do it, dammit? Why?" 

"She was tearing my sheets." 

"What?" 

"Your beautiful, enchanting Pearl of Per- 
fection was tearing my monogrammed silk 
sheets, woven at incredible cost by brain- 
damaged nuns. She was tearing them with 
her mythologically authentic feet. Look at 
them." 

There was no need to look. It was unde- 
niable that the beautiful, enchanting Siren 
was feathered Irom the knees down and 
had delicate pheasant feet. 

"So?" Manwright demanded impatiently 

"She was also scratching my ankles." 

"Damn you!" Manwright burst out. "You 
asked for a Siren. You paid for a Siren. You 
'oceved a Siren." 

"With bird feet?" 

"Of course with bird feet. Sirens are part 
bird. Haven't you read your Bulfinch? Aris- 
totle? Sir Thomas Browne 7 Matter of fact, 
you're lucky Sandy didn't turn out bird from 
the waist down. Ha!" 

"Very funny." Jessamy muttered. 

"But it wasn't luck," Manwright went on. 
"No, it was genius. My biodroid genius for 
creative genesis, and my deep under- 
standing o! the sexual appetites." 

"Don't be impudent, girl. I have sexual 

appetites, too, but when I guarantee a vir- 
gin. I— No matter. Take her home, Jes- 
samy. Don't argue, or I'll kill you, if I can find 
that damned brass thing I thought I had. 
Take Sandra home. I'll refund Professor 
Corque in full. Got to support his brilliant 
research. Sandy, trim your talons, for God's 
sake! Sense and sensibility, girl! Corque, 
go pack up and move in with me. Here's my 
card with the address. What the devil are 
you doing with that silly-looking fire extin- 
guisher?" 

'And that's the lull shmeer. Charles. I'm 
sorry I haven'tany work in progress to show 
you, but you can see I'm no tailor or 
seamstress, cutting up mature animals, 
human or otherwise, and piecing parts to- 
gether, like you see with those show-biz 
monsters in your circus. No, I macrogener- 
ate 'em, pure and whole, out of the basic 
DNA broth. Mine are all test-tube babies. 
Florence-flask babies, as a matter of fact, 
which is where I start 'em. Biodroids need 
womb space like any other animal." 

"Fascinating, my dear Reg, and quite 
overwhelming. But what I cant fathom is 
your RNA process." 

"Ah! The RNA messenger service, en?" 

"Exactly Now we aJI know thai DNA is the 
life reservoir—" 

- - :.e --. ■-:■■' -a ,.■ : : :;.. -- 
Some time I'll show you the abuse I get from 
the Scripture freaks." 

"And we know that RNA is tiys messenger 
service delivering commands to the devel- 
oping tissues." 

"Right on, Charles. That's where the con- 
trol lies." 

'.'But how do you control the controls? 



How do you direct the RNA to aelive r soe- 
cific Commands from DNA to embryo? And 
how do you select the commands?" 

"Penthouse." 

"Wh-what?" 

"Come up to the penthouse. I'll show 
you." 

Manwright led Corque out of the enor- 
mous crimson-lit cellar laboratory which 
was softly glowing with ruby-colored 
glassware and liquids ("My babies must be 
insulated from light and noise") and up to 
the main floor of the house. It was deco- 
rated in the Dominie's demented style: a 
hodgepodge of Regency, classic Greek. 
African, and Renaissance. There was even 
a marble pool inhabited by iridescent ■ 
manic fish, which gazed up a! the two men 
eagerly. 

"Hoping we'll fall'in," Manwright laughed. 
"A cross between piranha and golden carp. 
One of my follies." 

Thence to the second floor, twenty-five 
by a hundred, Manwright's library and 
study: four walls shelved and crammed 
with tapes, publications, and software; a 
rolling ladder leaning against each wall, a 
gigantic carpenter's workbench center, 
used as a desk and piled with clutter. 

Third floor divided between dining room 
(front), kitchen and pantry (center), and 
servants' quarters (rear overlooking gar- 
den). 

Fourth floor, enjoying maximum sky and 
air, bedrooms. There were four, each with its 
own dressing room and bath, all rather se- 
vere and monastic. Manwright regarded 
sleep as a damned necessity which had to 
be endured but which should never be 
turned into a luxury. 

"We all gel enough sleep during our nine 
months in the womb," he had growled to 
Corque, "and we'll get more than we'll ever 
need after we die. But I'm working on re- 
generative immortality, off and on. Trouble 
is, tissues just don't want to play ball." He 
led the professor up a narrow stair to the 
penthouse. 

It was a clear plastic dome, firmly an- 
chored against wind and weather. In the 
center stood a glimmering Rube Goldberg, 
Heath-Robinson. Da Vinci mechanical 
construct. If it resembled anything it would 
be a giant collapsing robot waiting for a 
handyman to put it together again. Corque 
stared at the gallimaufry ana then at Man- 
wright 

"Neutnnoscope." the Dominie explained. 
"My extrapolation of the electron micro- 
scope ' 

.*.-=:" ' -z .-■ --.-' ~- _■ cers-decay pro- 
cessr 

'. -_-:.:.' ■;:::-: . :■""" ned with 3 
__.._.. ^.. : ., r .. c _ ;g , Ti . ;je selection 

that way and acceleration up to ten Mev. 
Selection's the crux. Charles. Each genetic 
molecule m the RNA coil has a specific 
response to a specific particle bombard- 
ment. That way I've been able to identify 
and isolate somewhere in the neighbor- 
hood of ten thousand messenger com- 



"But-bul — My dear Reg, this is positively 
fantastic!" 

Manwright nodded again, "Uh-huh. Took 
me ten years." 

"But I had no idea that — Why haven't you 
published?" 

"What?" Manwright snorted in disgust. 
"Publish? And have every damned quack 
and campus cretin clowning around with 
the most sacred and miraculous phenom- 
enon ever generated on our universe? Pah! 
Mo way!" 
"You're into it. Reg." 

Manwright drew himself up with hauteur. 
"I. sir, do not clown." 
"Bui Reg-" 

"But me no buts, professor. By heaven, if 
Christ, in whom I've never believed, ever 
returned to Terra and this house, I'd keep it 
a secret. You know damn well the hell that 
would break loose it I. published. It'd be 
Golgotha all over again." 

While Corque was wondering whether 
Manwright meant his biodroid techniques, 
Christ's epiphany, or both, there was a 
sound of a large object slowly falling up- 
stairs. Manwright's scowl was transformed 
into a grin. "My housekeeper." he chuck- 
led. "You didn't get the chance to see him 
when you moved in last night. A treasure." 
An imbecile face, attached toapinhead, 
poked through the penthouse door. It was 
followed by a skewed hunchback body 
with gigantic hands and feet. The mouth, 
which seemed to wander at will around the 
face, opened and spoke in a hoarse voice. 
"Mahth-ter ..." 
"Yes, Igor?" 

"Should I thteal you a brain today, 
mahth-ter?" 
"Thank you, Igor Not today." 
"Then breakfahtht ith therved, mahth- 
ter." 

"Thank you, Igor. This is our distin- 
guished guest, the celebrated Proiessor 
Charles Corque. You will make him com- 
fortable and obey him in everything." 

"Yetri, mahth-ter. At your thervithe, thele- 
brated Profethor Charlth Corque. Should I 
thteal you a brain today T 
"Not today, thank you." 
Igor bobbed his head, turned, disap- 
peared, and there was a sound of a large 
object rapidly falling downstairs. Corque's 
face was convulsed with suppressed 
laughter "What in the world -V 

'A reject." Manwright grinned. "Only one 
in my career No. the first of two. if we count 
Sandy but I do think Jessamy will keep his 
Siren. Anyway," he continued, leading 
Corque downstairs, "this client was abso- 
lutely hypnotized by the Frankenstein 
legend. Came to me and contracted for a 
faithful servitor, like the Baron's ac- 
complice. Returned five months later, paid 
like a gent, but said he'd changed his mind. 
He was now on a Robinson Crusoe kick and 
wanted a Friday, I made him his Friday, but I 
was stuck with Igor." 

"Couldn't you have dissolved him back 
into the DNA broth?" 
"Good God, Charles! No way Never. I 



generate life; I don't destroy it. Anyway, 
Igor's an ideal housekeeper. He does have 
this brain-stealing hang-up that was part 
of the original model- and I have to lock 
him in a closet when there's thunder and 
lightning, but he cooks like an absolute 
genius." 

"I hadn't known that Baron Franken- 
stein's henchman was a chef." 

"To be quite honest, Charles, he wasn't. 
That was an error in programming — I do 
glitch now and then— with a happy ending. 
When Igor's cooking, he thinks he's making 
monsters." 

The card came in on the same tray with 
the Tomato-Onion Tart (ripe tomatoes, 
sliced onions, parsley basil, Gruyere, bake 
in pastry shell forty minutes at 375T), and 
Manwright snatched the embossed foil off 
the salver. 

"What's this, Igor? Anthony Valera, 
Chairman, Vortex Syndicate, 69 Old Slip, 
CB: 0210-0012-036-216291'?" 
"In the waiting room, mahth-ter." 
"By God. Charles, a potential client. Now 
you may have your chance to watch my 
genesis from start to linish. Come on!" 

"Oh, have a heart, Reg. Let the chairman 
wait. Igor's monster looks delicious." 

"Thank you, thelebrated Profethor 
Charlth Corque." 

"No, no, Igor. The thanks go from me to 
you." 

"Pigs, both of you," Manwright snorted 
and dashed for the stairs. Corque rolled his 
eyes to heaven, grabbed a slice ot tart, 
winked at Igor, and followed, chewing ec- 
statically. 

One would expect the chairman of a 
syndicate with a seventeen-figure CB tele- 
phone number to look like Attila the Hun. 
Anthony Valera looked and dressed like a 
suave Spanish grandee; he was black and 
silver, including ribboned peruke. He was 
very much au courant, for as Corque en- 
tered he smiled, bowed, and murmured, 
"What a happy surprise, Professor Corque. 
Delighted. I had the pleasure of hearing 
you speak at the Trivium Charontis conven- 
tion." And Mr. Valera considerately offered 
his left palm, Corque's right hand being 
busy with the tan. 

"He wants an ideal executive secretary." 
Manwright refused to waste time on cour- 
tesies. "And I told him that my biodroid tal- 
ents are damned expensive." 

"To which I was about to respond when 
you mosf happily entered, Professor 
Corque, that Vortex is criminally solvent." 

"Then it's to be a company contract?" 

"No, Dominie, personal." Mr. Valera 
smiled. "I, also, am criminally solvent." 

"Good. I hate doing business with com : 
mittees. You must know the old saw about 
camels. Let's discuss the specs and see 
whether we understand each other. Sex?" 

"Female, of course." 

"Of course. Physical appearance 9 " 

"You don't lake notes?" 

"Total recall." 

"You are lucky. Well, then. Fair. Medium 
tail. Endowed with soft grace. Soft voice. 



Blue eyes. Clear skin. Slender hands. 
Slender neck. Auburn hair." 

"Mmm. Got any particular example ol the 
type in mind?" 

"Yes. Botticelli's Birth ol Venus." 

"Ha! Venus on the Half-shell. Lovely 
model. Character?" 

"What one would expect of a secretary; 
sterling, faithful, devoted ... to my work, of 
course." 

"To your work, of course." 

'And clever," 

"D'you mean clever or intelligent?" 

'Aren't they the same?" 

"No. Cleverness requires humor. Intelli- 
gence does not." 

"Then clever. I'll provide the intelligence. 
She must be able to learn quickly and re- 
member. She must be able to acquire any 
skill necessary for my work. She must be 
perceptive and understand the stresses 
and conflicts that make a chairman's life ' 
one constant battle." 

"So far you could hire such a girl," Man- 
wright objected. "Why come to me?" 

"I haven't finished, Dominie. She must 
have no private life and be willing to i 
everything and be instantly available ; 
limes." 

'Available for what?" 

"Business luncheons, dinners, last- 
minute parties, client entertainment, and 
so forth. She must be chic and fashionable 
and able to dazzle men. You would not 
believe how many tough tycoons have 
been charmed into dubious deals by a 
seductive secretary." 

"You've left out an important point. On 
what salary will she be seducting?" 

"Oh, I'll provide the money for the ward- 
robe, the maquillage, and so forth, She 
must provide the taste, the charm, the wit, 
the entertaining conversation." 

"Then you want a talker?" 

"But only when I want her to talk. Other- 
wise, mum." 

Corque whistled softly. "But you're de- 
scribing a paragon, my dear sir." 

"I would say a miracle, Professor Corque, 
but Dominie Manwright is celebrated for his 
miraculous creations." 

"You married?" Manwright shot. 

"Five times." 

"Then you're a chaser." 

"Dominie!" 

'And easily landed." 

"Really, you're extraordinarily blunt. A 
chaser? Well . . . let's say that I'm attracted, 
occasionally." 

"Would you want your executive secre- 
tary to be responsive— occasionally? Is 
that to be programmed 7 " 

"Only unilaterally. If I should happen to 
desire, I would want a beautiful response. 
But she is not to make demands. Neverthe- 
less she will, of course, be faithful to me." 

"These parameters are preposterous," 
Corque exclaimed indignantly. 

"Not at all, Charles, not at all," Manwright 
soothed. "Mr. Valera is merely describing 
what all men desire in a woman: an As- 
pasia. the beautiful femme galanle who 



was the ador ng mis-ress and adviser to 
Pericles ol ancient Greece. It's wishful fan- 
tasy, but my business is turning fantasy into 
reality, and I welcome the challenge. This 
gir! may be my magnum opus." Again he 
lired a shot at Valera. "And you'll become 
very bored." 
"What?" ■ 

"Within six months this adoring, talented, 
dedicated slave will bore you to tears." 
"But how? Why?" 

"Because you've left out the crux of a 
kept woman's hold over a man. Donl pro- 
test. Valera. We know damn well you're or- 
dering a mistress, and I make no moral 
judgment, but you've forgotten the drop ol 
acid." 
"Dominie. I do protest. I—" 
"Just listen. You're contracting for an en- 
chanting mistress, and it's my job to make 
sure that she remains enchanting, always. 
Mow there are many sweet confections that 
require a drop of acid to bring out the full 
flavor and keep them enjoyable. Your As- 
pasia will need a drop of acid for the same 
reason. Otherwise, her perpetual perfec- 
tion will cloy you in a matter of months." 

"You know," Valera said slowly, "thai's 
rather astute. Dominie. What would you ad- 
vise? I'm all anticipation!" 

"The acid in any woman who can hold a 
man: the unexpected, the quality lhaf 
makes it impossible to live wifh them or 
without them." 

'And what would fhat be in my ... my 
secretary?" ■ 

"How the devil can I tell you?" Manwright 
shouted. "If you knew in advance, it 
wouldn't be unexpected; and anyway / 
won't know I can't guarantee surprise and 
adventure with a woman. All I can do is 
program a deliberate error into the genesis 
of your perfect Aspasia. and the discovery 
of that kink will be the charming drop of 
acid. Understood?" 

"You. make it sound like a gamble." 
"The irrational is always a gamble." 
After 1 a pause Valera said. "Then you're 
challenging me, Dominie?" 

"We're both being challenged. You want 
the ideal mistress created to your specs; 
I've got to meet them to your complete 
satisfaction." 

"And your own, Reg?" Corque mur- 
mured 

"Certainly my own. I'm a professional. 
The job is the boss. Well. Valera? Agreed?" 
After another thoughtful pause, Valera 
nodded. "Agreed. Dominie." 

"Splendid. I'll need your Persona Profile 
from the syndicate." 

"Out of the question. Dominie! Persona 
Profiles are Inviolable Secret. How can I ask 
Voriex to make an exception?" 

"Damn it, can't you understand?" Man- 
wright was infuriated by this intransigence 
but controlled himself and tried to speak 
reasonably. "My dear chairman, I'm shap- 
ing and conditioning this Aspasia for your 
exclusive use. She will be the cynosure 'of 
all men, so I must make sure that she'll be 
implanted with an attraction for your qual- 



ities and drawn to you alone." 

"Surely not all, Dominie. I have no delu- 
sions of perfection." 

"Then perhaps tq your defects, and that 
will be your charming drop of acid. Come 
back in twenty-one weeks." 

"Why twenty-one specifically?" 

"She'll be of age. My biodroids average 
out at a week of genesis for every physical 
year of the creation's maturity. One week for 
a dog; twenty-one weeks for an Aspasia. 
Good day. Mr. Valera." 

After the chairman had leff, Manwright 
cocked an eye at Corque and grinned. 
"This is going to be a magnificent experi- 
ment, Charles. I've never generated a truly 
contemporary biodroid before. You'll pitch 
in and help, I hope?" 

"I'll be honored, Reg." Suddenly, Corque 
returned the grin. "But there's one abstruse 
reference I can't understand." 

"Fear not, you'll learn to decipher me as 
we go along. Whaf don't you understand?" 

"The old saw about the camel." 



4 The usual biodroid 

accommodations weren't good 

enough for Manwright's 

magnum opus. . . . The red 

infant was on the floor, 
flat on her belly, propped on 

a pillow, and deep 

in a book. She looked up and 

crawled. 9 



Manwright burst out laughing. "What? 
Never heard it? Penalty of spending too 
much time on the outer planets. Question: 
What is a camel? Answer A camel is a 
horse made by a committee." He sobered. 
"But by God, our gallant girl won't be any 
camel. She'll be devastating." 

"Forgive the question, Reg: Too devastat- 
ing for you to resist?" 

"What? That? No way! Never! I've 
guaranteed and delivered too many virgin 
myths, deities, naiads, dryads, undso wel- 
ter. I'm seasoned, Charles; tough and hard 
and impervious to all their lures. But the 
breasts are going to be a problem," he 
addoc absently. 

"My dear Reg! Please decipher." 

"Her breasts, Charles. Botticelli made 
enrtoo small in his Venus. I think f should 
program 'em fuller, bul what size and 
shape? Like pears? Pomegranates? Mel- 
ons? It's an aesthetic perplexity." 

"Perhaps your deliberate error will solve 
it." 

"Perhaps, but only the Good Lord, in 
whom I've never believed, can know what 
her mystery kink will turn out to be. Selah! 
Let's get to work on our perfect misfress, 



Charles, or, to use an antique expression 
that's just become a new vogue word, our 
perfect Popsy." 

The Dominie's program for a devastating 
Popsy who was ;o be o rich an ling, trustwor- 
thy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, 
obedient, cheerful, clever, chic, soft- 
spoken, beautiful, busty, eloquent on de- 
mand, and always available to entertain, 
began as follows: 



7 % 0-8-4 -{MSG) 



0-8-3 
12-8-3 



Undso welter for 147 pages. Und good 
luck to the computer software for creative 
biogenesis, which couldn't possibly inter- 
est anyone. 

"Anyway, there's no point in reading the 
program, Charles. Numbers cant paint Ihc 
picture. I'll just describe the sources I've 
used for the generation of our Popsy. You 
may not recognize some of the names, but I 
assure you that most ol them were very real 
and famous celebrities in their time." 

"What was your lecture to Igor the other 
day, Reg? A chef is no better than his male- 
rials."'" 

"Right on. And I'm using the best. 
Beauty -Botticelli's Venus of course, but 
with Egyptian breasts. I thought of using 
Pauline Borghese. but there's a queen in a 
limestone relief from the Ptolemaic period 
who's the ideal rr.udo. Callipygian rear ele- 
vation. Maidenhair frontispiece, delicate 
and fritillary. Did you say something, 
Charles?" 

"Not I, Reg." 

"I've decided not to use Aspasia tor the 
virtues." 

"But you said that was what Valera 
wanted." 

"So I did, but I was wrong. The real As- 
pasia was a damned premature Women's 



Rights activist, Too strong for the chair- 
man's taste." 

"And yours?" 

'Any man's. So I'm using Egeria instead." 

"Egeria? I haven't had an education in 
the classics, Reg." 

"Egeria, the legendary fountain nymph 
who was the devotee acviser to King Nurna 
of ancient Rome. She also possessed the 
gift of prophecy, which might come in 
handy for Valera. Let's see. Fashion and 
chic— a famous couturiere named Coco 
Chanel. Subtle perceptions — the one and 
only Jane Austen. Voice and theater 
sense — Sarah Bernhardt. And she'll add a 
soupcon of lovely Jew." 

"What on earth for?" 

"It's obvious you haven'l met many on the 
outer planets or you wouldn't ask. Remark- 
able race, Jews; freeth inking, original, cre- 
ative, obstinate', impossible to live with or 
without" 

"That's how you described Ihe ideal mis- 
press, wasn't it?" 

"I did." 

"But if your Popsy is obstinate, how can 
she respond to Valera's desires?" 

"Oh, I'm using Lola Montez for that. Ap- 
parently, she was a tigress in the sex de- 
partment. Hrnmrn. Next? Victoria Woodhull 
lor business acumen. La Pasionaria for 
courage. Hester Bateman — she was the 
first woman silversmith —for skills. Dorothy 
Parker for wit. Florence Nightingale for sac- 
rifice. Mata Hari for mystery. What else?" 

"Conversation." 

"Quite right. Oscar Wilde." 

"Oscar Wilde!" 

"Why not? He was a brilliant talker; held 
dinner parties spellbound. I'm giving her 
dancer's hands, neck, and legs, Dolly 
Madison hostessing, and — I've omitted 
something. . . ." 

"Your deliberate mistake." 

"Of course. The mystery kink which will 
catch us all by surprise." Manwright flipped 
fhrough.the software. "It's programmed 
somewhere around here. No, that's Valera's 
Persona Profile. Charles, you won't believe 
the damned intransigent, stubborn, know- 
rt-all, conceited egomania concealed be- 
neath that polished veneer. It's going to be 
hell imprinting our girl wifh an attraction 
engram lor such an impossible man. Oh. 
here's ihe unexpected in black and white." 

Manwrighljoointed to: 
R-LU'N 

"Wail a minute," Corque said slowly. 
"That equation looks familiar." 

"Aha." 

"I think I remember it from one of my 
boyhood texts." 

"Oh-ho." 

"The ... the most probable distance . . ." 
Corque was dredging up the words "... 
from the lamppost after a certain number of 
...of- irregular turns is equal to the average 
length of each track that is—" 

"Straight track, Charles." 

"Right. Each straight track that is walked, 
times the square root of their number." 
Corque ooken a: Mariwnqnt with a mixture 



ot wonder and amusement. "Confound 
you, Reg! That's the solution to the famous 
'Drunkard's Walk' problem from The Law o! 
Diso'rder. And this is the deliberate uncer- 
tainty that you're programming? You're 
either a madman or a genius." 

'A little of both, Charles. A little of both. 
Our Popsy will walk straight lines within my 
parameters, but we'll never know when or 
how she'll hang a right or a left." . 
"Surely she'll be aiming for Valera?" 
"Of course. He's the lamppost. But she'll 
do some unexpeclec staggering on the 
way." Manwright chuckled and sang in an 
odd, husky voice. "There's a lamp on a 
post, There's a lamp on a post, And it sets 
the night aglowin'. Boy girl boy girl, Boy boy 
girl girl. But best when flakes is snowin'." 

Regis Manwright's laboratory notes pro- 
vide a less-than-dramatic description (to 
put it politely) oi the genesis and em- 
bryological development of Galatea 
Galante. the Perfect Popsy. 

GERMINAL 

Day 1 : One hundred milliliter Florence flask. 
Day 2 Fi-,o .--.■ncrfid rr-lliiiiK' Hcrence (lank. 
Bgy3 One thousand m liluc = n:c-cu ias< 
Day 4: Five thousand milliMer Florence flask 
Day 5: Decanted. 

(E & A charging too damn much for 
flasks!!!} 

(Baby nominal. Charles enchanted with 
her. Too red for my lasie Poured out of Ihe 
amnion blowing bubbles and talking. 
Couldn't shut her up. Just another fresh kid 
with a damn big mouth.) 

"Reg, Gaily must have a nurse." 

"For heaven's sake, Charles! She'll be a 
year old next week." 

"She must have someone to look after 
her. " 

"All right. All right. Igor. She can sleep in 
his room." 

"No, no, no. He's a dear creature, but 
hardly my idea of a nursemaid." 

"I can convince him he made her. He'll be 
devoted." 

"No good. Reg; he isn't child oriented." 

"You want someone child oriented? 
Hmmm. Ah, yes. Got just the right number 
for you. I generated The Old Woman Who 
Lived in a Shoe for the Positively Peerless 
Imitation Plastic company to use in their 
genuine plastics sales promotion." 

"'She had so many children she didn't 
know what to do*?" 

"The same." Manwright punched the CB 
keyboard. "Seanbhean? This is Regis." 

The screen sparkled and cleared, A 
gypsy crone appeared with begging hand 
outstretched for alrns. 

"How's everything going, Seanbhean?" 

"Scanruil adualar. Regis." 

"Why''" 

"Briseadh ina ghno e." 

"What! PPIP gone bankrupt? That's 
shocking. So you're out of a job?", 

"Deanlaidh sin!" 

"Well perhaps I have something tor you, 
Se.v"il:ihean. I '«;■■' |js; generated— " 

"Cut off, Reg" Corque broke in sharply. 

Msnwrighl was so startled by Corque's 



tone that he obeyed and looked up per- 
plexedly "Don't think she'll do, Charles?" 

"That old hag? Out of the question." 

."She isn't old," Manwright protested. 
"She's under thirty. I made her took like that 
according to specs: Sevenly-year-old Irish 
gypsy They call 'em 'tinkers' in Ireland. 
Speaks Irish and can handle kid actors 
who are a pain in the ass. And I delivered, 
by God." 

"As you always do; but still out of the 
question. Please try someone else." 

"Charles, has that damn infant got you 
enthralled?" 

"No." 

"Her first conquest, and she's just out of 
the flask! Can you imagine what she'll do to 
men in another twenty weeks? Be at each 
other's throats. Fighting duels. Ha! I am a 
genius, and I don't deny it." 

"We need a nurse for Gaily, Reg." 

"Nac. nag, nag." 

"Someone warm and comforting after 
the child has endured a session with you." 

"I can't think what the man is implying. All 
right, cradle-snatcher, all right. I'll call 
Claudia." Manwright punched the CB. 
"She's warm and maternal and protective. 
Wish she'd been my nanny. Hello? 
Claudia? It's Regis. Switch on. darling." 
The screen sparkled and cleared. The 
magnificent head and face of a black 
mountain gorilla appeared. 

"!!" she grunted. 

"I'm sorry, love. Been too busy to call. 
You're looking well. How's that no-good 
husband' of yours?" 

"And the kids?" 

"Splendid. Now don't forget. You prom- 
ised to send them to me so I can surgify 
them into understanding our kind of 
speech. Same like you, love, and no 
charge, And speaking of kids, I've got a 
new one, a girl, thai I'd like you to — " 

At this point the stunned Corque col- 
lected himself enough to press ihe cutoff 
stud. Claudia faded. 

"Are you mad?" he demanded. 

Manwright was bewildered. 'Whats 
wrong. Charles?" 

"You suggest that terrifying beas! (or the 
child's nurse?" 

"Beast! She's an angel of mother love. 
She'll have the kid climbing all over her. 
hugging and kissing her. It's interesting." 
he reflected, "I can manipulate Hie cogni- 
tion centers, bui I can't overcome muscular 
limitations. I gave Claudia college-level 
comprehension of spoken and whiten 
communications, but I couldn't give her 
human speech. She's still forced to use 
Mountain, which Is hardly a language of 
ideas. Damn frustraiing. For both of us." 

'And you actually want her io mother 
Gaily?" 

"Of course. Why not?" 

"Your Claudia will frighten the daylights 
out of the infant." 

"Ridiculous." 

"She's hideous." 



"Are you mad? She's beautiful. Pure. 
Majestic, And a hell of a lot brighter than 
your Remedial Table Tennis bums at Syrtus 
University." 

"But she can't talk. She only grunts." 

"Talk? Talk? For God's sake, Charles! 
That damn red Popsy was poured out talk- 
ing sixteen to the dozen. We can't shut her 
up. She's tilling the house with enough ot 
her jabber as il is. Be grateiul for some 
silence." 

So Claudia, the black mountain gorilla, 
moved into the Manwright menage, and 
Igor was furiously jealous. 

The first morning that Claudia joined 
Manwright and Corque at breaktast (while 
Igor glowered at his massive rival), she 
printed a message on a pad and handed il 
to the Dominie: R DO vu gv g tlt trg in vr 

FRGRM? 

"Let's see if I remember your abbrevia- 
tions, darling. Did you . . . that's me . . . give 
Galatea , . . yes, toilet training in your pro- 
gram? My God, Claudial I gave her the best 
of 47 women. Surely al least one of them 
must have been toilet trained." 

BY DPRS 

"By what, Claudia?" 

"Buy diapers. Reg." 

"Oh. Ah. Of course. Thank you, Charles. 
Thank you, Ciauc' a Mora coffee, love? It's 
frustrating, Charles. Muscular dyspraxia 
again. Claudia can manage caps in her 
writing but she can't hack lower case. How 
many diapers, Claudia?" 



"Right. One doz. Zu Befehl. Did you bring 
your kids to play with the baby?" 

TOOD 

"Too odd for what?" 

TOO OLD 

'Your kids'''" 

G 

■'What? Galatea? Too old for your boys'? 
And still in-diapers? I'd best see for myself." 

Ohe.o.f the lop-floor bedrooms nad been 
converfed into a nursery The usual bio- 
droid cellar accommodations weren't good 
enough for Manwright's magnum opus. 
When the Dominie entered with Claudia, 
the red infant was on the floor, flat on her 
belly, propped on a pillow, and deep in a 
book. She looked up and crawled en- 
■njsiasiically to Claudia. 

"Manny dear, I've found the answer, the 
old linear shorthand. Just slashes, dots, 
and dashes, and you won't have to worry 
your hand and head over cursive abbrevia- 
; cms H':-; , : ; s:-npie style, and we can prac- 
tice together." She climbed up on Claudia 
and kissed her lovingly. "One would think 
this might have occurred to that egotistical 
know-it-all whose name escapes me," The 
infant turned her auburn head. "Why. good 
morning, Dominie Manwright. What an un- 
pleasant surprise." 

"You're right. Claudia," Manwright 
growled. "She's too damned old for your 
kids. Diaper her." 

"My sphincter will be under control by 
tomorrow. Dominie," Galatea said sweetly. 



"Can you say the. same for your tongue?" 
"Guh!" And Manwright withdrew with 
what he hoped was impressive dignity. 

Ot course, she -shot up like a young 
bamboo plant and filled the house with joy 
as she entertained them with her es- 
capades. She taught herself to play Man- 
wright's Regency harpsichord, which was 
sadly out of repair She convinced Igor that 
it was a monster in the making, and to- 
gether they refinished and tuned it. The 
sound of concert-A on the tuning fork 
droned through the house with agonizing 
penetration. The others were forced to eat 
out because she gave Igor no time for cook- 
ing. 

'She studied linear shorthand with 
Claudia and then translated it into finger 
language. They had glorious raps, silently 
talking to each other until Manwright 
banned the constant finger waggling, 
which he denounced as a damned inva- 
sion of vision, They simply held hands and 
talked info each other's palm in their secret 
code, and Manwright was too proud to ask 



6 Corque took her to his Saturn 

Circus, where she 
mesmerized him into letting her 

try ■ riding bareback 
and leaping through burning 

hoops. . .and 

thrusting her auburn head into 

a lion's mouth. 9 



what they were gossiping about. 

"As if I'd get an answer anyway," he 
growled to Corque. 

"D'you think that's her mystery surprise. 
Reg?" 

"Damned if I know. She's unexpected 
enough as it is. Rotten kid!" 

She stole liquid licorice from Igor's 
sacred pantry and tarred herself; phos- 
phorous from Manwright's sacred labora- 
tory and irradiated herself. She burst into 
Corque's dark bedroom at three in the 
morning, howling, "ME methophyte mother 

FROM GANNYMEEDY! YOU KILL ALL MY CHILDERS. 



She sneaked up into the sacred pent- 
house and decorated the robotlike neu- 
trinpscope with items stolen from Man- 



wright's wardrobe. The construct assumed 
a ludicrous resemblance to the Dominie 
himself. 

. The innocent child fast-talked E '& A 
Chemical delivery— "My Daddy forgot to 
order it. So absent-minded, you know" 
into an extra gallon of ethyl alcohol which 
she poured into th'e marble pool and got the 
piranhas disgustingly drunk. Then she 
jumped in and was discovered floating with 
her plastered pals. 

"Doesn't know the meaning oifear. Reg." 

"Pahi Just the Pasionaria 1 
programmed." 

She stole two hundred meters of mag- 
netic tape from the library and fashioned a 
scarecrow mobile. The gardener was en- 
raptured- Manwright was infuriated, par- 
ticularly because a r t-dealer f.'.onds otfered 
huge amounts for the creation. 

"But thal's her charming unexpected, 
Reg Gaily 's a born artist." 

"Like hell she is, That's onlyjhe Hesler 
Bateman I gave her. No L x V N yet. And I 
the nightmares are continuing in se- 
quence. Those damned Red Indians have i 
cut me off at the pass." 

Claudia took Galatea to her home, where I 
the girl got on famously with Claudia's two 
sons and 'brought them to Manwright's 
house to demonstrafe a new dance which | 
she'd devised called: "The Anthro Hustle." 1 
It was performed to a song she'd com- 
posed entitled: "Who Put the Snatch on 
Gorilla Baby?" which she banged out for- 
tissimou'sly on the harpsichord. 

"Bring back the tuning fork," Manwright 
muttered. 

Corque was apijlai.d ng enthusiastically. 
"Music's her surprise kink, Reg." 

"Call that music?" 

Corque took her to his Saturn Circus, 
where she mesmerized him into letting her 
try riding bareback and leaping through 
burning hoops, acting as target for a knife I 
thrower trapeze aerobatics, and thrusting ] 
her auburn head into a lion's mouth. He 
couldn't understand how she'd persuaded 
him to let her take such horrifying risks. 

"Perhaps cajolery's her mystery quality," 
he suggested. "But she did miraculously 
well, Reg. My heart was in my moulh. Gaily 
never turned a hair. Pure aplomb. She's a 
magnificent creation. You've generated a 
Super-Popsy tor Valera." 

"Guh." 

"Could her unexpected kink be psy- 
chic?" 

"The redskins have got me surrounded," 
Manwright fretted. He seemed strangely 
disoriented. 

What disturbed him most were the daily 
tutoring sessions with the young lady. Invar- 
iably they degenerated into bickering and 
bitching, with the Dominie usually getting 
the worst of it, 

"When our last session ended in another 
bitch we both steamed for the library door," 
he told Corque, "I said. Age before beauty, 
my dear,' which you must admit was gra- 
cious, and started out, That red Popsy snip 



said, 'Pearls before swine,' and swaggered 
pasl me like a gladiator who's wiped an 
entire arena." 

"She's wonderful!" Corque -laughed. 

"Oh, you're insanely biased. She's been 
twisting you around her fingers since the 
moment she was poured." 

"And Igor and Claudia and her two boys 
and the CB repair and the plumber and the 
electronics and :he garcener and the laun- 
dry and E & A Chemical and half my Gir- 
cus?AII insanely biased?" 

"Evidently I'm the only sanity she can't 
snow. You know the simple psychological 
truth, Charles; we're always accusing 
others of our own faults. That saucebox has 
the impudence to call me intransigent, 
stubborn, know-it-all, conceited. Me! Out of 
her own mouth. QED," 

"Mightn't it be the other way around, 
Reg?" 

"Do iry to make sense. Charles. And now 
that the Grand Teton breastworks are mak- 
ing her top-heavy (I think maybe I was a 
little too generous with my Egyptian pro- 
gramming) there'll be no living with her van- 
ity. Women take the damned dumbest 
pride in the thrust of their boozalums." 

"Now Reg, you exaggerate. Gaily knows 
we'd all adore her even if she were flat- 
chested." 

"I know I'm doing a professional job, and 
I know she has too much ego in her cos- 
mos. But next week we start schlepping 
her to parties, openings, talk-ins, routs, 
and such to train herforValera. That ought 
to take her down a peg. The Red Indians 
have got me tied to a stake," he added. 

"Canapes?" 

"Taevahso.Lahvelypahty Ms. Galante." 

"Thank you. Lady Agatha. Canapes?" 

"Grazie, Signofina." 

"Prego, Commendatore. Canapes?" 

'A dank, meyd'l. Lang leb'n zolt ir." 

"Nitb far vus, General. Hot canapes, 
- dear Professor Corque?" 

"Thank you, adorable hostess. Igor's?" 

"Mine." 

"And perfection. Don't be afraid of the 
Martian counsul. He won't bite." 

"Canapes, M'sieur Consul?" 

'Ah! Mais oui! Merci, Mademoiselle Gal- 
lee. Que pensez-vous du lumineux 
Dominie Manwhghl?" 

"C'est un type tres competent." 

"Oui. Romanesque, rnais formidable- 
ment competent." 

"Quoi? Manwright? Romanesque? Vous 
me genez, mon cher consul." 

"Ma toi. oui, romanesque. Mademoiselle 
Gallee. C'est jusiement son cote roman- 
esque qui lui cause du ma) a se trouver une 
femme." 

"These damn do's are a drag, Charles." 

"But isn't she wonderful?" 

"And they're making my nightmares 
worse. A sexy Indian squaw tore my clothes 
otf last night." 

"Mi intemsso pa'ticolarmonte ai libri di 



fantascienza, magia-orrore, umorismo, 
narrativa, attualita, filosofia, sociologia, e 
cattjvo. putrido Regis Manwright." 

"Charles, this is the last literary talk-in I 
ever attend." 

"Did you see how Gaily handled those 
Italian publishers?" 

"Yes, gibes at my expense. She put iron 
claws on her hands." 

"My dear Reg, Gaily did no such thing." 

"I was referring to that sexy squaw." 

"Entao agora sabes danger?" 
"Sim. Dango, falo miseravelmente 
muchas linguas; estudo ciencia e filosofia, 
escrevo uma lamentaval poesia, estoiro- 
mecomexperienciasidiotas, egrimocomo 
un louco, jogo so boxe como up palhaco. 
Em suma, son a celebra bioroid, Galatea 
Galante, de Dominie Manwright." 

"She was magnificent dancing with that 
Portuguese prince, Reg." 

"Portuguese ponce, you mean." 

"Don't be jealous." 

"She's heating the claws in a damned 
campfire, Charles." 

"Didn't you ever fight back, Sandy?" 
r-3-i 



"Yes, I know, he's a bully. But all bullies 
.are cowards at heart. You should have 
iought him to a standstill, like me. Did he 
ever make a pass at you?" 



keit, zwei Teile Selbsisjchr. emen Teil Eitel- 
keit, und einen Teil Esel, mische kraftig, 
fuge etwas Geheirnnis hinzu, und man 
erhalt Dominie Regis Manwright." 

"Especially my private parts." 

"Dominie Manwights biodroid esta al . 
dia en su manera de tratar los neologis- 
mos, palabras coloquiales, giro y modis- 
mos. cliches y terminos de argot. Senor. Yo 
soy Galatea Galante. la biodroid." 

"Thank you, madame. I am not Spanish; I 
merely admire and respect the old Castilian 
style." 

"Oh, Souse me, chorley guy You toller- 
day donsk?" 

He burst out laughing. "I see you re very 
much with the classics, madame. Let me 
think. Yes. The proper response in that 
James Joyce litany is 'N.' " 

"You talkatitf scowegian?" 



J 9 #*?;r-^ 



"Un-huh. Me neither. He's an arrogant 
egomaniac, too much m love with himseli to 
love anyone else." 



"What Sandy'? Me? Give the come-on to 
that dreadful man? Never! Did you 7 




"Uh-huh. And he didn't even have to lash 
himself to the mast. Iceberg City. Ah, Mr 
Jessamy. So sweet of you to give us your 
box tor the concert. I've just been compar- 
ing notes with your adorable wife on our 
common enemy, whose name escapes me. 
He's the gentleman on my right, who slept 
through the Mozart." 

'And dreamed that snes toruring me 
with her burning claws. Charier a I over my 



cilo Selbsto^talli;::- 



"You spigolty 
"Nnn." 

"You phonio saxo?" 

"Nnnn." 

"Clear all so. "Its a Jute. Let us swop hats 
and excheck a few strong verbs weak oach 
eather yapyazzard." 

"Brava, madame! Bravissima!" 

She tilted her auburn head and looked at 
him strangely. "Against my will," she said 
slowly, "I'm compelled to invite you to a 
dinner party tonight." 

"More classics, madame? The Beatrice 
and Benedict scene from Much Ado About 
Nothing?" 

"No, it's the Galatea and— I don't know 
your name." 

'"Vaiera. Antony Valera.'' 

■ Its the Galatea and Valera scene. Can 
you come?" 

"With delight. ■ 

"When this bash is finished HI give you 
the address." 

"I know' it. Galatea." 

"My friends call me Gaily. How do you 
know my address? We've never me! " 

"I contracted with —I'm acquainted with 
Dominie Manwright, Gaily. Tonight"? Eight 
o'clock?" 

"Eight tonight." 

"D^ess party?" 

"Optional," She shook her head *Z2 - 
don't know what's got- into me. Vaiera. The 
moment I saw you at this clambake 1 knew i 
had to see you again, intimately i m pos- 
sessed 1 " 

The rest of the household was dining m 
The Gastrologue, and their moods were not 
compatible. 

"Thrown out." Corque keot repeating. 
"Thrown out without a moments notice by 
that ungrateful tyrant 1 " 

"Naturally. She wants to be alone with 
Valera. Charles. Instant, devoted attraction, 
as per my brilliant programming. I tell you, 
I'm a genius." 

"She athed me to make month-terth for 
her to therve, mahih-ter." 

"Quite right. Igor. We must all pitch in and 



abet Valera's romance. He was so turned 
on meeting her at that bash this afternoon 
that he sent his check by messenger. Pay- 
ment in full ... to protect his claim on my 
Perfect Popsy, no doubt." 

"Thrown out! Thrown out by that tyrant!" 

'And good riddance to her very soon, 
Charles. The house will be back to normal." 

"But she didn't order a brain, mahlh-ter." 

"Not to worry, Igor. Tell you what; we'll 
order cervelles de veau au beurre noir, and 
if Gastrologue doesn't have any calves' 
brains you can go out and steal some." He 
beamed and bobbed his pale, streaky 
head. 

"Thank you, mahth-ter." 

"Evicted!" 

The silent Claudia printed: plantains fr 
ME PLS RENELLOS DE AMARILLO. 

At one minute past eight Valera said, "It's 
fashionable to be a half-hour late, but I — Is 
it all right to come in?" 

"Oh please! I've been biting my nails for 
a whole minute." 

"Thank you. To tell the truth. I tried to be 
Chic, but it didn't take as long as I thought it 
would to walk up from Old Slip." 

"Old Slip? Isn't that where your ofiice is? 
Were you working late, poor soul?" 

"Hive there too, Gaily. A penthouse on top 
of the tower." 

'Ah, a la Alexander Eiffel?" 

"Somewhat, but the Syndicate complex 
is no Tour Eiffel. What a fantastic place this 
is. I've never'done more than peep beyond 
the waiting room." 

"D'you want the full tour?" 

"I'd like nothing better" 

"You've got it. but drink first. What would 
you like?" 

"What are you serving?" 

"My dear Valera, I — " 

"Tony " 

"Thank you. My dear Tony, I share this 
house with two and a half men and a moun- 
tain gorilla. We have everything in stock." 

"Stolichnaya, please. Half?" 

"Igor, our housekeeper," Galatea ex- 
plained as she brought a tray with a bucket 
of ice, a bottle, and shot glasses. She 
opened the vodka deftly and began revolv- 
ing the bottle In the ice. 'A biodroid replica 
of Baron Frankenstein's accomplice." 

"Oh yes. I've met him. The lisping hunch- 
back." 

"A dear, dear soul, but only half with it." 

'And a gorilla?" 

"That's Claudia, my beloved nanny. She's 
beautiful. This vodka really isn't chilled 
enough yet, but let's start anyway." She 
tilled the glasses. "Russian style, eh? 
Knock it back, Tony. Death to the fascist, 
imperialist invaders from outer space." 

'And their Conestoga star-wagons," 

They knocked their shots back. 

"Gaily, what miracle are you wearing?" 

"La. sir!" She did a quick kick-turn. "Like 
it?" 

"I'm dazzled." 

"If I tell you, promise not lo turn .me in?" 

"I promise." 



'I copied it from a Magda.'' 

"Who or what is a Magda? Oh, thank 



you. 

"I'm afraid I filled it too high, but boys like 
big sandwiches and big drinks. She's the 
vogue designer of the year. Down with 
countertenors." 

"May they be heard only in Siberia. Why 
must I keep it a secret about your copy?" 

"Good Lord! They hang, draw and quar- 
ter you if you pinch a designer original." 

"How did you manage?" 

"I fell in love with it at one of her openings 
and memorized it." 

'And made it yourself? From memory? 
You're remarkable!" 

"You're exaggerating. Don't you re- 
member complicated stock manip- 
ulations?" 

"Well, yes." 

"So with me it's the same damn thing. 
Oops! That's the tag of a dirty joke. 
Apologies to the chairman." 

"The chairman needs all the dirty jokes 
he can get for client entertainment. What's 
this one?" 

"Maybe someday, if you coax me nicely." 

"Where do you get them? Surely not from 
Dominie Manwrighl." 

"From Claudia's naughty boys. Another 
shot to the damnation of Blue Laws, and 
then the guided tour." 

Valera was bewildered and delighted by 
the madness of Manwright's house, and 
enchanted by the high style with which 
Galatea flowed through it with equally mad 
comments. An old song lyric haunted him: 

Hey. diddle-dee-dee. 

I've found the girl for me. 
With raunchy style 
And virgin guile 
She's just the girl for me. 

"Never mind the polite compliments, 
Tony," she said, pulling him down on a 
couch beside her and refilling his glass. "I'll 
give you the acid test, O'f all things in this 
house, which would you be most likely to 
steal''" 

"You." 

"I didn't say kidnap. Come on, man, steal 
something." 

"I think I spilled my drink." 

"It's my fault; I joggled your arm. Don't 
mop. So?" 

"You're so sudden, Gaily. Well . . . don't 
laugh.... The scarecrow mobile in the 
garden." 

"Oh. I love you for that! / made it. when I 
was a little kid months ago." She gave him a 
smacking kiss on the cheek and jumped 
up. ""Like some music?" She turned' on the 
hi-fi and a soft murmuring drifted through 
the house. 

Valera glanced at his watch. "Your 
guests must be frightfully chic." 

"Oh?" 

"You said eight. That was an hour ago. 
Where's everybody?" 

"As a matter of fact, they came early," 

"I'm the only one who was early." 



'That's right." 
You mean I'm . . . ?" 
'That's right." 

"But you said a dinner parly, Gaily." 
"It's ready any time you are." 
"The party is us? Just us?" 
"I can call some more people if you're 
bored with me." " 
"You know that's not what I meant." 
"No? What did you mean?" 
"I—" He stopped himself. 
"Go ahead," she bullied. "Say it. I dare 
you." 

He capitulated. For perhaps the first time 
in his suave life he was overpowered. In a 
low voice he said. "I was remembering a 
tune from twenty years ago. Hey, diddle- 
dee-dee/I've found the girl for me/With 
raunchy style/And virgin guile/She's just 
Ihe girl for me." 

She flushed and began to tremble. Then I 
she took refuge in the hostess role. "Din- 
ner." she said briskly. "Beef Strogsnoff, 
potatoes baked with mushrooms, salad, 
lemon pie. and coffee. Mouton Rothschild. 
No. not upstairs. Tony. I've made special 
arrangements for you. Help me with the 
table.". 

Together, in a sort of domestic intimacy, 
they arranged a gaming table alongside 
the marble pool with !wo painted Venetian 
chairs. She had already set the table wrth 
Spode china and Danish silver, so it 
needed some careful balancing. Before 
she began serving, she drew the cork from 
Ihe Bordeaux bottle and poured a few 
drops into Valera's goblet. 

"Try it, Tony," she said. "I've never been 
able to decide whether the concept of 'let- 
ting a wine breathe' is fact br show-offey. I 
appeal to your sophistication. Give me your 
opinion." 

He tasted and rolled his eyes to heaven. 
"Superb! You're magnificent with your 
compliments, Gaily. Sit down and try it 
yourself. I insist." And he filled her glass. 
"Wait," she laughed. "The floor show first. 
I snowed electronics into bootlegging ul- 
tralight into the pool. That's why I wanted 
our table here. Wait till you see 20 Perform- 
ing Piranhas 20." She ran to a wall, extin- 
guished the living room lights, and flipped 
a switch. The pool glowed like lava, and the 
excited fish became a ballet of darting em- 
bers. Galatea returned to the table, sat op- 
posite Valera. and raised her goblet to him, 
He smiled back into her face. 

"Hey, diddle-dee— " he began and then 
froze. He stared . Then he started to his feet 
so violently that he overturned the table. 
"Tony!" She was appalled. 
"You goddamn bitch," he shouted. His 
face was black. "Where's the CB?" 
"Tony!" 

"Where's the goddamn CB? Tell me be- 
fore I break your goddamn neck!" 

"Th-that table." She pointed. "B-but I 
don't understand. What's — " 

"You'll understand soon enough." He 
punched buttons. "By God, you and this 
whole damn lying house will understand, 
Rip me? Play me for a patsy?" His rage was 




"It's one goddam thing after another. " 



a terrilying echo of Manwright at his worst. 
"Hello. Larson? Valera. Don't waste time 
with visual. Crash mission. Call lull Security 
and comb the city for a son of a bitch 
named Regis Manwright. Yes, that's the 
pig. I give you a half hour to find him and—" 

"B-but I know where he is," Galatea fal- 
tered. 

"Hold it, Larson. You do? Where?" 

"The Gastrologue." 

"The bastard's in The Gastrologue Club, 
Larson. Go get him and bring him to his 
house, which is where I am now. And if you 
want to get rough with him I'll pay all legals 
and add a bonus. I'm going to teach thai 
lying pimp and his bitch a lesson they'll 
remember for the rest of their lives." 

The four were herded into the main floor 
of Manwright's house at the point of a 
naked laser which Larson thougni advis- 
able in view of the threat of Claudia's mass. 
They saw a grotesque: Valera and Galatea 
silhouetted before the glowing pool in the 
dark room. Valera was holding the weeping 
girl by her hair, for all the world like a chattel 
in a slave market. 

In this ominous arise Manwright dis- 
played an aspect ot his character which 
none had ever seen: a tone of quiet com- 
mand that took obedience for granted, as if 
by divine right, and won it through its as- 
surance. 

"Mr. Larson, you may pocket lhal laser 
now. It was never needed. Valera, you will 
let Galatea go," he said softly. "No, dear, 
don't move. Stay alongside him. You belong 
to him, unless he's changed his mind. Have 
you, Valera?" 

"You're goddamn right I have," the 
chairman stormed. "I want no part of this 
cheap secondhand trash. Larson, keep 
that gun handy and get on the CB'. I want 
my check stopped." 

"Don't bother, Mr. Larson. The check has 
not been deposited and will be returned. 
Why, Valera? Doesn't Galatea meet your 
exalted standards?" 
' "Of course she does," Corque burst out. 
"She's brilliant! She's beautifull She's per- 
fection! She — " 

"I'm handling this, Charles. I repeal: Why, 
Valera?" 

"I don't buy whores at your prices." 

"You think Galatea's a whore?" 

"Think? I know." 

"You contracted for the perfect mistress 
who would be faithful and loving and de- 
voted to you." 

Galatea let out a moan. 

"I'm sorry, my love, you never knew. I'd 
planned to tell you, but only after I was sure 
you were genuinely attracied to him. I never 
had any intention of forcing him on you." 

"You wicked men!" she cried. "You're all 
hateful!" 

'And now, Valera, you think of a mistress 
" as a whore? Why this sudden eruption of 
archaic morality?" 

"It isn't a question of morality, damn you. 
It's a question of secondhand goods. I want 
no part of a shopworn woman." 



"Must I stay here with him? Does he own 
me? Am I bought and paid lor?" 

"No, love. Come to us." 

She dashed away from Valera's side and 
then hesitated. Claudia held out her arms, 
but Galatea surprised everybody by going 
to Manwright, who took her gently. 

"All right. Valera," he said. "Go now and 
take your army with you. Your check will be 
returned first thing in the morning." 

"Not until I know who it was." 

"Not until who what was?" 

"The goddamn lover-boy who knocked 
her up." 

"What?" 

"She's pregnant, you goddamn pimp, 
The bitch has been sleeping around, and I 
wantto know the stud who knocked her up. 
He's got plenty coming." 

After a long pause, Manwright asked, 
"Are you under a psychiains- s care 9 '' 

"Don't be ridiculous." 

"No more ridiculous lhan your slander, 
Galatea pregnant? My lovely, tasteful 
young lady sleeping around with studs? 
You're obviously quite mad, Go." 

"Mad, am I? Ridiculous? You can't see 
thaf she's pregnant? Turn her around and 
look at her face in this ultralight. Look at 
her!" 

"I'll go through the motions only to get rid 
of you." 

Manwright smiled at Galatea as he 
turned the girl around. "Just a gesture, 
love. You'll have your dignity back in a mo- 
ment, and I swear you'll never lose it ag — " 

His words were cut off. as if by a guil- 
lotine. In the ultralight from the glowing pool 
there was no mistaking the dark pregnancy 
band across Galatea's face, similar to the 
banded mask of a raccoon. He took a slow 
deep breath and answered the confusion in 
her eyes by placing a hand over her mouth. 

"Go, Valera. This is now a family affair," 

"I demand an answer. I won't leave until I 
know who it was. Your half-wit hunchback, 
Igor, probably. I can-picture them in bed; 
the slobbering idiot and the — " 

Manwright's interruption was an explo- 
sion. He hurled Galatea into Claudia's 
arms, drove a knee into Larson's groin, tore 
the laser away from the convulsed man, 
whipped Valera across the neck with the 
barrel, and held the staggering chairman 
over the edge of the pool. 

"The piranhas are starving," he mur- 
mured. "Do you go in or get out?" 

After the syndicate had left, not without 
dire promises, Manwright turned up the 
house lights and extinguished the pool ul- 
tralight and, with that, the pregnancy 
stigma banding Galatea's fade. In' a 
strange way they were all relieved. 

"Not to play the district attorney" he said, 
"but I must know how it happened." 

"How what happened?" Galatea de- 
manded. 

"Sweethearl. you are pregnant." 

"No, no, no!" 

"I know it can't be anyone in this house. 
Claudia, has she been at all promiscuous 



outside? 

NO 

"How can you ask such questions!' 
. "Has Gaiatea occn alone wi:h a man m a 
possibly intimate sifuation?" 

"You're hateful!" 

NO 

"Reg. we all Know that We've chap- 
eroned Gaily every moment outside; you. 
me. Claudia." 

"Not every moment. Charles. It could 
have happened with this innocent in five 
minutes." 

"But nothing ever happened with a man! 
Nothing! Ever!" 

"Dear love, you are pregnant." 

"I can't be." 

"You are, undeniably. Charles?" 

"Gaily, I adore you, no matter what, but 
Reg is right. The pregnancy band is unde- 
niable " 

"But I'm a virgin." 

"Claudia?" 

HR MNS HV STOPT 

"Her whaf have stopped?" 

Corque sighed. "Her menses. Reg." 



All s 



.■vicked. ue^su.ibl.-, 



"I m. a virg 
men. A virgin!" 

Manwright took her frantic tace in his 
hands. "Sweetheart, no recriminations, no 
punishments, no Coventry but I must know 
where I slipped up. how it happened. Who 
were you with, where and when?" 

"I've never been with any man. anywhere 
or anywhen." 

"Never?" 

"Never . . . except in my dreams." 

"Dreams?" Manwright smiled. 'All girls 
have them. That's not what I mean, dear" 

R MAB U SHD MN 

"Maybe I should mean what, Claudia?" 

LTHRTLUHRDRM3 

"Let her tell me her dreams? Why?" 

JST LSW 

"All right, I'll listen. Tell me about your 
dreams, love." 

"No. They're private property." 

"Claudia wants me to hear them." 

"She's the only one I've ever told. I'm 
ashamed of them." 

Claudia fingerwagged. "Tell him. Gaily, 
You don't know how important they are." 

"No!" 

"Galatea Galante. are you going to dis- 
obey your nanny? I am ordering you lo tell 
your dreams." 

"Please, nanny. No, They're erotic." 

"I know, dear. That's, why they're impor- 
tant. You musi tell." 

At length", Galatea whispered. "Put out 
the lights, please." 

The fascinated Corque obliged. 
- In the darkness, she began, "They're 
erotic. They're disgust.ng. I'm so ashamed. 
They're always the same . . . and I'm always 
ashamed ... but I can't stop. . . . 

"There's a man, a pale man, a moonlight 
man, and I . . . I want him, I want him to . . .to 
handle me and ravish me into ecstasy 
b-but he doesn't want me, so he runs, and I 
chase him. And I catch him. Th-there are 



some sort of friends who help me catch him 
and tie him up. And then they go away and 
leave me alone with the- moonlight man, 
and I . . . and I do to him what I wanted him 
to do to me. . . ." 

They could hear her trembling and rus- 
tling in her chair. 

Very carefully, Manwright asked, "Who is 
this moonlight man, Galatea 7 " 
"I don't know." 
"But you're drawn lo him?" 
"Oh yes. Yes! I always want him," 
"Just him alone, or are there other moon- 
light men?" 
"Only him. He's all I ever want." 
"But you don't know who he is. In the 
dreams do you know who you are?" 
"Me. Just me." 
'As you are in real life?" 
"Yes, except that I'm dressed different." 
"Different? How?" 

"Beads and . . . and buckskin with 
fringe." 
They all heard Manwright gasp. 
"Perhaps like . . . like a Red Indian, 
Galatea?" 

"I never thought of that. Yes. I'm an In- 
dian, an Indian squaw up in the mountains, 
and I make love to the paleface every 
night." 

"Oh. My. God. ' The words were 
squeezed out of Manwright. "They're no 
dreams." Suddenly he roared. "Light! Give 
me light, Charles! Igor! Light!" 

The brilliant lights revealed him standing 

and shaking, moonlight pale in shock. "Oh 

my God, my God, my God!" He was almost 

I incoherent. "Dear God. what have I cre- 

i aied?" 

"Mahth-ter!" 
"Beg!" 

"Don't you understand? I know Claudia 
I SiSpected; that's why she made Galatea 
nine her dreams." 

"B-but they're only dirty dreams," 
iiatea wailed. "What could possibly be 
s harm?" 

"Damn you and damn me! They were not 
Streams. They were reality in disguise. 
s the harm, That's how your dreams 
n with my nightmares, which were real- 
It too. Christ! I've generated a monster!" 
"Now calm yourself, Reg, and do try to 
ike sense." 

I can't. There's no sense in it. There's 
I nothing but that lunatic drop of acid I prom- 
ed Valera." 

"The mystery surprise in her?" 
"You kept wondering what it was. 
I Charles. Well, now you know, if you can 
\ siterpret the evidence." 
"What evidence?" 

Manwright forced himself into a sort of 

I Ihunderous control. "I dreamed I was pur- 

Isued and caught by Red Indians, tied up, 

I and ravished by a sexy squaw. I told you. 

es?" 

"Yes. Interminably," 

"Galatea dreams she's a Red Indian 
-iiii.aw. pursuing, capturing, and ravishing 
paleface she desires. You heard-her?" 
"I heard her." 



"Did she know about my dreams?" 

"No." 

"Djd I know about hers?" 

"No." 

"Coincidence?" 

"Possibly." 

"Would you care to .bet on that possibil- 
ity?" 

"No." 

"And there you have it. Those 'dreams' 
were sleep versions or distortions ot what 
was really happening; something which 
neither of us could face awake. Galatea's 
been coming into my bed every night, and 
we've been making love." 

"Impossible!" ' 

"Is she pregnant?" 

"Yes." 

'And I'm Valera's lover-boy. the stud re- 
sponsible. My God! My God!" 

"Reg, this is outlandish. Claudia, has 
Gaily ever left her bed nights?" 

NO 



*His words were cut off, as if 

by a guillotine. 

-In the ultralight from the 

glowing pool there 

was no mistaking the dark 

pregnancy band 

across Galatea's face He 

took a slow breath.3 



"Damn it, I'm not talking about a conven- 
tional, human woman. I didn't generate 
one, I'm talking about' an otherworld crea- 
ture whose psyche is as physically real as 
her body, can materialize out of it, ac- 
complish its desires, and amalgamate 
again. An emotional double as real as the 
flesh. You've pestered me about the delib- 
erate unexpected in my programming. 
Well, here's the R = L x VN . Galatea's a 
succubus." 

"A what?" 

'A succubus. A sexy female demon. Per- 
fectly human by day. Completely conform- 
ist. But with the spectral power to come, like 
a carnal cloud, to men in their sleep, nights, 
and seduce them." 

"Not" Galatea cried in despair. "I'm not 
that." I can't be." 

"And she doesn't even know it. She's an 
unconscious demon. The laugh's on me, 
Charles," Manwghisaid ruefully. "By God, 
when I do glitch it's a beauty knock myself 
cut programming the Perfect Popsy with an 
engram for Valera, and she ruins every- 
thing by switching her passion to me." 

"No surprise. You're very much alike." 

"J'm in no mood lor jokes. And then 



Galatea turns out to be a succubus who 
doesn't know it and has her will of me in our 
sleep every night." 

'No, no! They were dreams. Dreams!" 

"Were they? Were they?" Manwright was 
having difficulty controlling his impatience 
with her damned obtuseness. "How else 
did you get yourself pregnant, eh: en- 
ceinte, gravida, knocked up? Don't you 
dare argue with me, you impudent red 
saucebox! You know," he reflected, "there 
should have been a smidgen of Margaret 
Sanger in the programming. Never oc- 
curred to me." 

He was back to his familiar impossible 
self, and everybody relaxed. 

"What now. Reg?" 

"Oh, I'll marry the snip, of course. Can't 
letadangerouscreai.L/olikc Galatea out of 
the house." 

"Out of your life, you mean." 

"Never!" Galatea shouted. "Never! Marry 
you. you dreadful, impossible, conceited, 
bullying, know-it-all, wicked man? Never! If 
I'm a demon, what are you? Come. 
Claudia." 

The two women went very quickly up- 
stairs. ■ 

'Are you serious about marrying Gaily. 
Reg?" 

"Certainly, Charles. I'm no Valera. I don't 
want a relationship with a popsy, no matter 
how perfect." 

"But do you love her?" 

"I love all my creations." 

"Answer the question. Do you love Gaily 
as a man" loves a woman?" 

"That sexy succubus? That naive de- 
mon? Love her? Absurd I No, all I want is the 
legal right to tie her to a stake every night, 
when I'm awake. Ha!" 

Corque laughed. "I see you do, and I'm 
very happy for you both. But, you know, 
you'll have to court her." 

"What! Court? That impertinent red 
brat?" 

"My dear Reg, can't you grasp that she 
isn't a child anymore? She's a grown young 
woman with character and pride." 

"Yes, she's had you in thrall since the 
moment she was poured," Manwright 
growled. Then he sighed and accepted 
defeat. "But I suppose you're right. My dear 
Igor!" 

'Here, mahth-ter." 

"Please set up thai table again. Fresh 
service, candles, (lowers, and see if you 
can salvage the monsters you created for 
the dinner White gloves." 

"No brainth, mahth-ter?" 

"Not this evening. I see the Mouton 
Rothschild's been smashed. Another bot- 
tle, please. And then my compliments to 
Ms. Galatea Galante, and will she have the 
forgiveness to dine, a deux, with a most 
contrite suitor. Present her with a corsage 
from me . . . something orchidy. This will be 
a fun necromance, Charles." he mused. 
"Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, 
alevai. Man and Demon. Our boys will be 
devils, sorcery says, and the girls witches. 
But aren't theyall?"DQ 

85 





ALIEN LANDSCAPES 

Science-fiction classics, 

as envisioned by talented visual artists, show 

four worlds of imagination 



THE TIME MACHINE 

"The Time Traveler ... led the way down (he long, draughty 
corridor to his laboratory. ... We beheld a larger edition of the 
little mechanism we had seen vanish before our eyes. : . . Cut by 
the horizon lay the huge hull of the sun, red and motionless. The 
sky overhead was no longer blue. ... I cannot convey the sense of 
abominable desolation that hung over the world."— H. G. Wells 



4 Paul looked down and saw sand 
spewing out of the metal and plastic beneath them 
. . . like a . . .tan and blue beetle. V 




DUNE 



"Flecks ol dust shadowed Ihe sand around the crawler now. The 

big machine began to tip A gigantic sand whirlpool began 

forming Then they saw it! A wide hole emerged tram the 

sand. Sunlight Mashed from glistening white spokes within it. The 
hole's diameter was at (east twice the length of the crawler. . . . 
'Gods, what a monster!' muttered a man beside Paul — The 
men crowded around him . . ..staring fearfully." — Frank Herbert 




MISSION OF ORAVITY 

"The world [Mesklyn] is ralher surprising in several ways. Us 
equatorial diameter is forty-eight thousand miles. From pole to 

pole ... it measures nineteen thousand It rotates on its axis 

. . . making the day some seventeen and three quarter minutes 
long. At the equator I would weigh about four hundred eighty 
pounds ... at the poles I'd be carrying something like sixty 
tons — A large part of the southern hemisphere will receive no 
sunlight tor fully three quarters of the year and' should in conse- 
quence develop . . . frozen methane at the expense of the 
oceans — Tremendous storms rage across the equator, carry- 
ing methane vapor . . . while the southern regions warm up . . . 
for creatures with liquid methane in their tissues."- Hal Clement 



£The Earthman began to realize just what the winds of Mesklyn could do even in this gravity. . 



£From an embankment of the 
railroad, Chris sat silently watching the city of 
Scranton . . . preparing to take off. 9 




CITIES IN FLIGHT 



"There was no longer any reason why a vehicle to cross space 
needed to be small, cramped. . . . The most massive and 
awkward object could be lifted and hurled off the earth and 
carried almost any distance once antigravity was an engineer- 
ing reality. . . . Whole cities could be moved."— James Blish DO " 



Pijrjlisr.*a in n* U S h.,.M;iylliV,.,,-.!'. ,k : . ;N. ■.'.■ v : 




The astronaut trainees had to 
be taken down a peg — 
or so their officers thought 



KINSMAN 



BY BEN BOVA 

Chet Kinsman is a young 
Air Force iieutenant, 
training to be an 
astronaut. His first mis- 
sion in orbit, aboard a 
space shuttle, teams him with 
Lieutenant Frank Colt: black, 
brilliant, quick-tempered. 
Since Kinsman and Colt have 
scored highest among the 
astronaut trainees so far. the 
older officers in charge of the 
shuttle have decided to take 
them down a peg Colt sees 
this as discrimination against 
him. And Kinsman realizes 
that his own chances to be an 
Air Force astronaut are 
inextricably linked with Colt's. 

From the enthralling novel 
Kinsman, published by Dial 
Press. 

When he finally slid out of 
his bunk, Kinsman felt too 
keyed up to be tired. Colt 
seemed tensed like a coiled 
spring, too, as they pulled on 
their pressure suits. 

"So the Golddust Twins 
finally get their chance to go 
EVA," Smitty kidded them as 
he helped Kinsman with the 
zippers and seals of his suit. 
_ "I thought they were gonna 

PAINTING BY 

JOHN SCHOENHERR 



keep us after school," Colt , 
said, "for being naughty 
yesterday." 

"Pierce'll find a way to take 
you guys down a notch," Jill 
said. "He's got that kind of 
mind." 

"Democracy in action," 
Kinsman said. "Reduce 
everybody to the same low 
level." 

"Hey!" Art Douglas 
snapped, from across the 
compartment, where he was 
helping Colt inlo his suit. "Your 
scores weren't that much 
higher than ours, you know" 

"Tell you what," Colt said. 'A 
couple of you guys black your 



faces and see how you get treated." 
They laughed, but there was a nervous 

undertone to it. 

Kinsman raised his helmet over his head 
and slid it down into place. "Still fits okay," 
he said through the open visor. "Guess my 
head hasn't swollen too much." 

Captain Howard slid down the ladder 
railing, already suited up, but with his hel- 
met visor open. The pouches under his 
eyes looked darker than usual; his face had 
a gray prison pallor. 

"You both checked out?" 

Mr. Personality, thought Kinsman. 
, Howard wasn't satisfied with the 
trainees' check of their suits. He went over 
them personally. Finally, with a sour nod, he 
waved Colt to the airlock. The lock cycled. 
and then Howard himself went through, 
closing the metal hatch behind him. 

Kinsman slid his visor down and sealed 
it, turned to wave a halfhearted "so long" to 
the others, then clumped into the airlock. 
The heavy hatch swung shut, and he could 
hear, faintly, the clatter of the pump sucking 
the air out of the phone booth-sized 
chamber. The red light went on, signaling 
vacuum. He opened the other hatch and 
stepped out into the payload bay. 

Colt and Howard seemed to be deep in 
conversation, back beside the only remain- 
ing satellite in the bay. Kinsman shuffled 
toward them, keeping the lightly mag- 



netized soles of his boots in contact with 
the steel strips set into the deck plates. 

Colt tapped Howard on the shoulder and 
pointed to Kinsman. Like scuba divers in an 
underwater movie, Kinsman said to him- 
self. Howard turned, tapped the keyboard 1 
on his left wrist, and held up four fingers. 

Kinsman touched the button marked 
four on his own wrist keyboard. 

Howard's voice immediately came 
through his earphones. "We're using chan- 
nel four for suit-to-suit chatter. Ship's fre- 
quency is three; don't use it unless you 
have to talk to the flight deck." 

"Yes, sir," said Kinsman. 

"Okay. Let's get to work." 

Under Howard's direction, Colt and 
Kinsman peeled away the protective 
aluminized sheeting from [he third and final 
satellite in the bay. It was a large, fat drum, 
tall as a man and so wide thai Kinsman 
knew he and Colt could not girdle it with 
their outstretched arms. The outer surface 
of the satellite was covered with dead black 
solar cells. 

"Kinsman, you come up top here with me 
to unfold the antennas," Howard ordered. 
"Colt, get back to the main bulkhead and 
open the doors." 

Floating up to the top of the satellite with 
the captain beside him, Kinsman asked, 
"What kind of a satellite is this? Communi- 
cations?" 




"In a polar orbit?" 

"Oh. No. I guess not. We've changed or- 
bital planes so often that I didn't realize . . ," 

"Start with that one." Howard pointed to 
the largest antenna, in the center of the 
drumhead. 

Kinsman hung head-down over the satel- 
lite and read the assembly instruction 
printed on it by the light of his helmet lamp. 
The antenna support arms swung up easily 
and locked into place. Then he opened the 
parasol-folded parabolic dish that was the 
antenna itself. 

"Now the waveguide," Howard com- j 
manded laconically. 

"It's not an observation satellit 
Kinsman said as he worked. "No ports for 



"Keep your mind on your work." 
"But what the hell's it for?" Kinsman 
blurted. 

With an exasperated sigh, Howard said, 

"Strategic Command didn't bother to tell J 

me. kid. So I don't know. Except that it's top 

secret and none of our damned business." 

"Ohh ... a ferret." 

"A what?" 

"Scuttlebutt that we heard back at the 
academy" Kinsman explained. "Satellites 
that gather electronic intel inence : -;"" 
other satellites. This bi'ci s going into a : " v 
orbit, right?" 

Howard hesitated before answer 
"Yes," he replied. 

Nodding inside his helmet, Kinsr 
wenl on: "She'll hang up there and listen on 
a wide band of frequencies, mostly the 
freaks the Soviets use. Maybe some 
Chinese and European bands, too. She 
just sits in orbit and passively collects all 
their chatter, recording it. Then when she 
passes over a command station in 
States, they send up an order and she spits I 
out everything she's recorded over the 
course of a day or a week. All data-com- 
pressed so they can get the whole wad of 
poop in a few seconds." 

"Really" Howard's voice was as flat and 
cold as an ice tray. 

"Yes, sir. The Russians have knocked a 
few of ours down, or so they told us at the 
academy." 
Howard's response was unintelligible. 
"Sir?" Kinsman asked. 
"I said," he snapped, "that I never went to 
the academy. I came up the hard way. So I 
don't have as much inside information as 
you bright boys." 
Touchy! 

"Colt, when the hell are you going to get 
them doors open?" 

"I'm ready anytime, sir." Colt's voice 
came through the earphones. "Been wait- 
ing for your order." 

"Well, open 'em up, damn it, and get 
back here." 

Soundlessly the big clamshell doors 
began to swing open. Kinsman started to 
return his attention to the satellite, but as 
the doors swung farther and farther back, 
he saw more and more stars staring at him; 
hard, unwinking points of light, not like 



ewels sel in black velvet, as he had ex- 
pected, not like anything he had ever seen 
before in his life. 

"Glory to God in the highest . . ." Kinsman 
heard himself whisper the words as he 
rose, work lorgotten, drifting up toward the 
infinitely beautiful stars. 

"Get your ass back here, Kinsman!" 
Howard shouted. It was like ice picks jab- 
bing at his eardrums. 

"Bui I never thought . . ." Kinsman found 
himself drifting halfway down the payload 
bay, high enough so that his head and 
shoulders were out in the open. He 
grabbed a hinge of the open door to steady 
himself. 

Colt was beside him. "Fantastic!" 

Kinsman realized his mouth was hang- 
ing open. But he didn't care. Inside the 
helmet, ir>the utter privacy of his impervi- 
ous personal suit, he stared at the universe, 
seeing it for the first time. It was endless, 
shining, hypnotically beautiful. 

"All right, all right." Howard's voice was 
softer, gentler. "Sometimes I forget how it 
hits some people the firs! time. You've got 
five minutes to see the show. Then we've 
got to get back to work or we'll miss the 
orbit-injection time. Here"— and Kinsman 
felt a hand on his shoulder— "don't go drift- 
ing loose. Use these for tethers." 

He felt a line being hooked into one ofthe 
loops at the waist of his suit. Looking 
around, he saw Howard do the same thing 
for Colt, 

"Go out and take a good look," Howard 
said. "Five minutes. Then we've got to 
count down the satellite." 

Kinsman floated free, outside the con- 
fines of the ship, and let the full light of Earth 
shine on his face. It was dazzling, over- 
powering, an all-engulfing expanse of curv- 
ing blue decked with bri:. : .an; white clouds. 
Hardly any land to be seen, just unbeliev- 
ably blue seas and the pure white of the 
clouds". 

It was- huge, filling the sky, spreading as 
far as he could see: serene blue and spar- 
kling white, warm, alive, glowing, a beckon- 
ing, beautiful world, the ancient mother of 
mankind. The earth looked untroubled 
from this distance. No divisions marred her 
face; not the slightest trace of the frantic 
works of her children soiled the eternal 
beauty of the planet. It took a wrenching 
effort of will for Kinsman to turn his face 
away from her. 

By turning his body, Kinsman could see 
the sun shining so fiercely that even his 
heavily tinted photochromic visor wasn't 
enough protection. He squeezed his tear- 
ing eyes shut and spun away.'angry yellow 
splotches flecking his vision. 
"Can't see the moon," he heard Colt say. 
"Must be on the other side of the earth," 



he a 



-ered. 



"Look! That red star. I think it's Mars." 

"No," Kinsman said. "It's Antares ... in 
Scorpius." 

"Christ, it's beautiful." 

When I consider thy heavens, the work of 
thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which 



thou hast ordained . . . 

'All right, all right," Howard's voice broke 
through to them. "Time to get back to work. 
You'il get plenty of chances to see more, 
soon enough. Come on. Hurry it up." 

Reluctantly Kinsman turned away from 
the stars and back to the dark interior of the 
payload bay. Colt trailed behind him. Work- 
ing with Caplain Howard, ihey set the satel- 
lite on the shuttle's payload-deployment 
arm, a long metal boom that swung ihe 
squat drumlike mechanism up and com- 
pletely outside the emptied cargo bay. 

"Good work," Howard said. He touched 
his keyboard and reported back to the 
flight deck. 

"Now we wait," he said to Colt and 
Kinsman, "You guys were so good, we 
finished eight minutes ahead of schedule." 

Kinsman felt himself smiling at the cap- 
tain, Not that they could see each other's 
faces through the tinted visors. But some- 
thing had softened Howard. He's just as 
wiped Qui by all this grandeur as we are. 



<mAs the boom swung back 

inside the payload bay and 

folded itself into place along the 

deck, Captain Howard said, 

"Now for the final chore. It's a 

big one; we've been saving it for 

you boys. "9 



Only he won't let his emotions show. 

They switched their suit radios to the 
flight deck's frequency and listened to the 
final orbital maneuvering that placed 
the shuttle in the right spot for launching the 
satellite, Twice the confrol jets at the rear of 
the ship, near the root of the big tail fin, 
flared— such quick puffs of light that they 
were gone before they had truly registered 
on Kinsman's eyes. When the moment 
came to release Ihe satellite, it was utterly 
unspectacular. 

". . . three, two, one," said Major Jakes's 
heavy voice. 

There was no sound, just a brief puff of 
escaping gas as the tiny Ihrusier built into 
the bottom end of the satellite pushed Ihe 
drum away from the boom arm. The satellite 
quickly dwindled into the distance and dis- 
appeared among the stars. 

As the boom swung back inside the 
payload bay and folded itself into place 
along the deck, Captain Howard said, 
"Now for the final chore. It's a b'g one;' we've 
been saving it for you boys." 

Kinsman Iried to glance over at Colt, but 
when he turned his head, all he saw was 
Ihe inside lining of his helmet. 



"You were too excited !o notice," Howard 
was explaining, "but we haven't detached 
the booster fuel tank that we rode up on. 
It's still strapped to the orbiter's belly." 

"Can't reenter with that thing hanging 
onto us," Colt said. 

"Right. We have no intention of doing 
that. We're heading now for a rendezvous 
point where the last six missions have sep- 
arated their booster tanks and left them in 
orbit. One of these days, when the Air Force 
gets enough astronauts and enough 
money, we're going to convert all those 
empty tanks into a permanent, full-sized 
space station." 

"I'll be damned," Kinsman said, grinning 
to himself. 

"Your mission," Howard went on, "is to 
separate our tank and attach it to the as- 
sembly that's already there." 

"Simple enough," Colt said. "We did 
somelhing like that at the neutral-buoyancy 
tank in Alabama." 

"It sounds easy," Howard said. "But I 
won't be there to help you. You're going to 
be on your own with this one." 

"Okay," Kinsman said. "We can handle it 
without. any trouble." 

Howard said nothing for a long moment. 
Kinsman saw him floating before them, his 
dark visor looking like the dead, empty eye 
of some deformed cyclops. 

'All right," the captain said at last. "But 
listen to me. If something happens out 
there, don't panic. Do you hear me? Don't 
panic." 

"We Won't." Colt said. 

What's he worried about? Kinsman won- 
dered briefly. 

But he put the thought aside as Howard 
began testing them' on their proficiency 
with their suit-maneuvering units. They jet- 
ted themselves back and forlh along the 
length of the empty payload bay. did 
pirouettes, planted their feet at precise 
spots that the captain called out to 
them— all on puffs of cold gas from the 
pistollike thruster units, 

"There'll be no umbilicals or tethers on 
this task," Howard warned them. "Too 
much tankage hanging around to foul up 
your lines. You'll be operating indepen- 
dently, On your own. Do you understand?" 

"Sure." 

"No funny stuff and no sightseeing. You 
won't have time for stargazing. Now fill your 
propellant and air tanks. I'm going inside to 
check with the flight deck." 

"Yes, sir." 

"He's pretty edgy," Kins-ma- := : - --_ 
suit-to-suit frequency after Howard had 
disappeared through the airlocK. 

"Just puttin' us on, man." 

"I don't know. He said this is the most 
difficult task of ihe whole mission.* 

"That's why they saved it for us. huh?" 

"Maybe." 

He could sense Coll shaking his head, 
frowning. "Don't let 'em get to you. He had 
other jobs , . . like inspecting thai Russian 
satellite. That was tougher than what we're 
gonna be doing." 



"That was a one-man task," Kinsman 
said. "He didn't need a couple of rookies 
getting in his way. And the Reds probably 
have al! sorts of alarm and detection sys- 
tems on their birds." 

"Yeah, maybe . . ," 

"He's a strange little guy." 

"You'd think he'd have made major by 
now," Colt said. 

"Or light colonel. He's as old as Murdock. 
Maybe older," 

"Yeah, but he's got no wings. Flunked out 
of flight training when he was a kid." 

"Really?" 

"That's what Art was telling me. He's 
nothing more than a glorified tech special- 
ist. No academy. Lucky he made captain. 
He was almost passed over." 

"No wonder he looks pissed off most of 
the time." 

"Most of the time?" 

Kinsman said, "I got the feeling he en- 
joyed watching us go bananas over the 
stars." 

"Hey, yeah, I forgot all about that." 

Kinsman turned and rose slightly off the 
deck plates so that he could look out at the 
sky again. How quickly She miraculous be- 
comes ordinary! 

"Sure is some sight," Colt said from be- 
side him. 

"Makes me want to just drift out of here 
and never come back." said Kinsman. 



"Just go on and on forever" 

"You'd need a damned big air tank." 

"Not a bad way to die. if you've got to go, 
Drifting alone, silent, going to sleep among 
the stars , . 

"That's okay for you, maybe, but I intend 
to be shot by a jealous husband when I'm 
in my nineties." Colt said. "That's how I 
wanna go: bare-assed and humpin'." 

"White or black?" 

"The husband or the wife? Both of 'em. . . 
honkies, man, Screwin' white folks is the 
best part of life." 

Kinsman could hear his partner's happy 
chuckling, 

"Frank," he asked, "have you ever 
thought that by the time you're ninety there 
might not be any race problems anymore?" 

Colt's laughter deepened. "Sure. Just 
like we won't have any wars and all God's 
chillun got shoes. That's just how it'll be." 

"All right, there it is," Captain Howard told 
them. 

The three men were hovering just above 
the open clamshell doors of the payload 
bay, looking out at what seemed to 
Kinsman to be a giant stac; of beer bottles. 
Except that they're aluminum, not glass. 

Six empty propellant tanks, each of them 
nearly twice the size of the orbiler itself, 
were arranged in two neat rows. From this 
distance they could not see the connecting 
rods that held the assembly together 



"You've got three hours," Howard told 
them. "The booster-tank linkages that hold 
it to the orbiter are buill to come apart and 
reattach to the other tanks . . ." 

"Yeah, yeah, we know," Colt said impa- 
tiently. 

Kinsman was thinking, This shouldn't 
take more than an hour. Why give us three? 

"Working in zero-g on a task like this ain't 
easy," Howard said, as if in answer to 
Kinsman's unspoken question. "It's differ- 
ent from the water tank. You'll be floating 
free — no resistance at all. Every move you 
make will make you keep on moving until 
you make a countermove to cancel the mo- 
tion." 

"We learned all that in training," Colt in- 
sisted. 'And how we shouldn't overheat 
ourselves inside the suits." 

"Yeah, sure you did. Pardon me. I 
should've remembered you guys know ev- 
erything already." Howard's voice was acid 
again. "All right, you're on your own. Just 
don't panic if anything goes wrong.' 

Almost an hour later, as they were attach- 
ing the empty propellant :ank to the six 
others, Colt asked, "How many times we 
practice this stunt in training?" 

"This particular business?" 

"Naw . . just taking pieces apart and 
reassembling them." 

Kinsman looked up from the bolt- 




"Did you hear someone say, 'Eureka'? 



tightening job he was doing. Colt was float- 
ing some forty meters away, up at the nose 
end of the fat propGllant tank. He looked 
tiny next to the huge stack of tanks, gleam- 
ing brightly in the strong sunlight. But his 
voice in Kinsman's earphones sounded as 
if he was inside the helmet with him. 

"Hell," Kinsman answered, "we did so 
much of this monkey work I thought they 
were training us to open a garage." 

"Yeah. That's what I was thinking. Then 
why was Howard so shaky about us doing 
this? You fiavin' any troubles?" 

Kinsman shrugged inside his suit, and 
'the motion made him drift slightly away 
from the strut he was working on. He 
reached out and grabbed it to steady him- 
self. 

"I've spun myself around a couple 
times," he admitted. "It gets a little confus- 
ing, with no up or down. Takes some gelling 
used to." 

Colt's answer was a soft grunt. 

"The suit heats up, too," Kinsman went 
on. "I've had fo stop and let it cool down a 
couple times." 

"Yeah. Me, too. But no trouble." 

"Maybe Howard's worried about us 
being so far from the ship without telhers." 

"Maybe." But Colt didn't sound con- 
vinced. 

"How's your end going?" Kinsman 
asked. "I'm almost finished here." 

"I oughtta be done in another ten min- 
utes. Three, hours! This damned job's a 
piece of cake if ever . . . Holy shit!" 

Kinsman's whole body jerked at the 
urgency in Colt's voice. "What? What is it?" 

"Lookit the shuttle!" 

Turning so rapidiy that he bounced his 
shoulder into the tank. Kinsman peered out 
toward the spacecraft, some seventy-five 
meters away from them. 

"They've closed the payload bay doors. 
Why the hell would they do that?" 

Colt jetted down the length of the tank, 
stopping himself as neatly as an ice skater 
with a countering puff of cold gas from the 
thruster gun. Kinsman reached out and 
touched his arm. 

"What the hell are they doing?" he asked, 
bewildered. 

Colt said, "Whatever it is, I don't like it." 

Suddenly a cloud of white gas jetted 
from the shuttle's nose. The spacecraft 
dipped down and away from them. Another 
soundless gasp \<o r - the reaction jets back 
near the tail and the shuttle slewed side- 

"What the hell they doin'?" Colt shouted. 

The shuttle was si'dirg away from them, 
scuttling crabwise farther from the propel- 
lant tanks where they were stranded. 

"They got trouble! Somethin's wrong . . ." 

Kinsman punched the stud on his wrist 
keyboard for the flight deck's radio fre- 
quency. 

"Kinsman to flight deck. What's wrong? 
Why are you maneuvering?" 

No answer. The shuttle was dwindling 
away from them rapidly now. 

"Jesus Christ!" Coll yelled. "They're 



gonna leave us here!" 

"Caplain Howard!" Kinsman said into his 
helmet mike, trying to keep the tremble out 
of his voice. "Major Podolski, Major Pierce 
. , . come in! This is Kinsman. Colt and I are 
still outside the spacecraft! Answer, 
please!" 

Nothing but the crackling hum of the 
radio's carrier wave. 

'Those sons of bitches are stranding us!" 

Kinsman watched the shuttle getting 
smaller and smaller. It seemed to be hur- 
tling madly away from them, although the 
rational part of his mind told him that the 
spacecraft was only drifting; it hadn't fired 
its main engines at all. But the difference in 
relative velocities befween the tankage as- 
sembly and the shuttle was enough to 
make the two fly apart from each other. 

Colt was moving. Kinsman saw that he 
was aiming his thruster gun. 

Grabbing Colt's arm to stop him, 
Kinsman snapped, "Noi" Then he realized 
that his suit radio was still tuned to the flight 



m'How many times have they 

called us hotshots, the 

Golddusl Twins' 7 We're the top 

two men on the list. They just 

want to rub our noses in the dirt 

a little . . .just like the 

upperciassmen used to do at 

the academy."? 1 



deck's frequency. 

Banging the stud on his wrist, Kinsman 
said, "Don't panic. Remember? That's what 
Howard warned us about." 

"We gotta get back to the shuttle, man! 
We can't hang here!" 

"You'll never reach the shuttle with the 
maneuvering gun," Kinsman said. "Not 
enough range." 

"But something's gone wrong . . ." 

Kinsman looked out toward the dwin- 
dling speck (hat was trie shuttle. It was hard 
to see now against the glaring white of the 
earth. They were passing over the vast 
cloud-covered expanse of Antarctica. With 
a shudder, Kinsman felt the cold seeping 
into him. 

"Listen. Maybe nothing's gone wrong. 
Maybe this is their idea of a joke." 

'A joke?" 

"Maybe that's what Howard was trying to 
tell us." 

"That's crazy . . ," 

"No. They've been sticking \\ to us all 
through the mission, haven't they? Pierce is 
a snotty bastard, and this looks like some- 
thing he might dream up." 
. "You don't joke around with lives, man!" 



"We're safe enough. We've got four 
hours' worth of air. As long as we don't 
panic, we'll be okay. That's what Howara 
was trying to toll us." 

"But why the hell would they do some- 
thing like this?" Colt's voice sounded 
calmer, as if he wanted to believe Kinsman, 
as if he needed to believe. 

Your paranoia's deserted you just when 
you need it most, Kinsman thought. He an- 
swered, "How many times have they called 
us hotshots, the Golddust Twins'? We're the 
top two men on the list. They just want to rub 
our noses in the dirt a little . , . just like the 
upperciassmen used to do at the academy." 

"You think so?" 

Its either that or we're dead. Kinsman 
glanced at the digital watch set into his 
wrist keyboard. "They allowed three hours 
for our task. They'll be back before that time 
is up. Less than two hours." 

"And if they're not?" 

"Then we can panic." 

"Lotta good it'll do then." 

"Won't do much good for us now, either. 
We're stranded here until they come back 
for us." 

"Basfards," Colt muttered. Now he was 
convinced. 

With a sudden grin, Kinsman said, "Yeah, 
but maybe we can turn the tables on them." 

"How?" 

"Follow me, my man." 

Without using his thruster gun. Kinsman 
clambered up the side of "their" propellant 
tank and then drifted slowly into the nest 
created by the six other tanks. 

Like a pair of skin divers floating in the 
midst of a pod of whales, Colt and Kinsman 
hung in emptiness, surrounded by the big, 
curving, hollow tanks, 

"Now when they come back, they won't 
be able to see us on radar," Kinsman ex- 
plained. "And the tanks ought to block our 
suit-to-suit chatter. So they won't hear us, 
either. That should throw a scare into them." 

"They'll think we panicked and jetted 
away." 

"Right." 

"Maybe that's what they want." 

"Maybe. But think of the explaining 
they'd have to do' back at Vandenberg if 
they lost the two of us. Four officers' careers 
down the drain." 

Colt giggled. "Almost worth dyin' for." 

"We'll let them know we're here," 
Kinsman said, "after they've worked up 
enough of a sweat. I'm not dying for any- 
one's joke, not even my own." 

They waited, while the immense pan- 
orama of the earth flowed beneaih them 
and the stern stars watched silently. They 
waited and they talked. 

"I thought she split because we were 
down in Houston and Huntsville and she 
couldn't take it," Colt was saying. "She was 
white, you know, and the pressure was on 
her a lot more than me." 

"I didn't think Houston was that prej- 
udiced. And Huntsville struck me as being 
pretty cosmopolitan . . ." 



"Yean? Try it with my color, man. Try buy- 
ing some flesh-colored Band-Aids il you 
wanna see how cosmopolitan everybody 
is." 

"Guess I really don't know much aboul 
il," Kinsman admitted. "Must've been pret- 
ty rough on you." 

"Yeah, but now thai I think back on il, we 
were having our troubles in Colorado, too. 
I'm not an easy man to live with." 

"Who the hell is?" 

Colt chuckled. "You are, man. You're 
supercool. Never saw anybody so much in 
charge of himself. Like a big bucket of ice 
water." 

Ice water? Me? "You're mistaking slow 
reflexes for self-control." 

"Yeah, I bet. Is it true you're a Quaker?" 

"Used to be," he said' automatically, try- 
ing to shut out the image of his father. 
"When I was a kid." Change the subject! "I 
was when that damned shuttle started 
moving away from us. A real Quaker." 

With a laugh, Colt asked, "How come 
you're not married? Good-looking, rich. . ." 

"Too busy having fun, Flying, training for 
this. I've go! no time for marriage. Besides. I 
Irfce girls too much to marry one of them." 

"You wanna get laid, but you don't wanna 
get screwed." 

"Something like that. Like you said, 
there's lots of chicks in the world." 

"Yeah. Can't concentrate on a career and 
a marriage at the same time. Leastways, I 
can't." 

"Not if you 'want to be really good at either 
one." Kinsman agreed. Oh, we are being 
so wise. And not looking at our watches. 
Cool. man. Supercool. But out beyond the 
curving bulk of the propellant tanks the sky 
was empty except for the solemn stars, 

They talked, so that the sound of their 
voices could steady their nerves, each of 
them staying calm and brave in the pres- 
ence of the other. 

Kinsman's rnind'drifted as he hung sus- 
pended in space, talking and listening with 
only the frontmost reflexive part of his mind. 
He watched the earth sliding by like some 
huge diorama, and his thoughts wandered 
back to Diane, to the first night he had met 
her, to that first lovemaking in the misty, 
dreaming light of earliest dawn back in her 
room in Berkeley. 

He remembered coming out of the tiny 
bathroom later that morning, to see that she 
had set up toast and a jar of Smucker's 
grape jelly on the table by the window. The 
teakettle was on the two-burner stove, and 
a pair of chipped mugs and a jar of instant 
coffee stood alongside. 

They sal facing each other, washing 
down the crunchy toast with hot. bitter cof- 
fee. Diane watched the people moving 
along the street below them. Kinsman 
stared at the clean, bright sky. 
"How long can you stay?'' she- asked 
"I've got ... I leave tonight," 
"Oh." 

"Got to report back to the Academy to- 
morrow morning." 
"You have to." 



He nodded. 

"I was going to let you stay here . . if you 
wanted to quit the Air Force." 

He started to answer, but his mouth was 
suddenly dry. He thought of the Academy. 
The cold, gray mountains and ranks of uni- 
forms marching mechanically across the 
frozen parade ground. The starkly func- 
tional classrooms, the remorselessly effi- 
cient architecture devoid of all individual 
expression. 

And he thought of his father: cold, im- 
placable. Was it pride and anger that 
moved him. or was it fear? 

Then he turned back, looked past the 
woman across the table from him, and saw 
the sky once again. A pale ghost of a moon 
was grinning lopsidedly at him. 

"I can't stay with you," he said quietly 
finally. 

That was probably the b:gqssi '^rn^.v ■:;■' 
yourlife, he said to himself. 

Frank Colt's sharp-edged voice brought 
him back to reality, to the world he had 



•Switching back to the 

flight deck's frequency, the two 

lieutenants heard; "Pierce, 

goddammit, if those two kids 

have been lost, I'll put you up for 

a murder charge."^ 



chosen for himself. 

"I don't just wanna be good," Colt was 
saying, "I got to be the best. 1 got to show 
these honkies that a black man is better 
than they are." 

"You're not going to win many friends that 
way." 

"Don't give a shit. I'm gonna be a general 
someday. Then you'll see how many friends 
I get." 

Kinsman shook his head, chuckling, "A 
general. Jeez, you've sure got some long- 
range plans in your head." 

"Damn right! My brother, he's all hot and 
fired up to be a revolutionary, Goin' around 
the world looking for wars to fight against 
colonialists and injustice. Wanted metojoin 
the underground here in the States and 
fight for justice against the Man." 

"Why doesn't he stay in the States?" 
Kinsman asked. 

"The FBI damn near grabbed him a year 
or so back, last time he came home." 

"What for?" 

"Hit a bank ... to raise money for the 
Peoples Liberation Army." 

"He's one of those?" 

"Not anymore. There ain't no PLA any- 



more. Most of 'em are dead, the res: scat- 
tered. I watched my brother playin' cops 
and robbers. Didn't look like much fun to 
me. So I decided I ain't gonna fight the 
Man. I'm gonna be the Man." 
"If you can't beat 'em . ." 
"Looks like I'm joinin' 'em, yeah," Colt 
said, with real pas'sion building in his voice. 
"Butl'mjustworkin'myway up the ladder to 
get to the top, Then /■'// start givtn' the or- 
ders. And there are others like me, too. 
We're gonna have a black president one of 
these days, you know," 
'And you'll be his chief of staff." 
"Could be." 

"Where does that leave us?" 
A small, sharp, beeping sound shrilled in 
Kinsman's earphones. Emergency signal! 
Automatically both he and Colt switched to 
the shuttle's flight-deck frequency 

"Kinsman! Colt! Canyouhearme?Thisis 
Major Jakes. Do you read me?" 

The major's voice sounded distant, dis- 
torted by ragged static, and very con- 
cerned. 

Kinsman held up a hand to keep Colt 
silent. Then, switching to their suit-to-suit 
frequency, he whispered, "They can't see 
us in here among the tanks. And they 
haven't picked up our suit-to-suit talk. The 
tanks are blocking it." 

"We're getting their freak scattered off 
the tanks?" It was a rhetorical question. 

"Kinsman! Colt! Do you read me? This is 
Major Jakes." 

Their. two helmeted heads were close 
enough for Kinsman to see the grin glitter- 
ing on Colt's dark face. 

"Let 'em eat shit for a coupla minutes, 
huh?" 
"Right." 

The shuttle pulled into view and seemed 
to hover about a hundred meters away from 
the tanks. Switching back to the flight 
deck's frequency, the two lieutenants 
heard: "Pierce, goddammit, if those two 
kids have been lost, I'll put you up for a 
murder charge." 
"Now you were in on it, too, Harry." 
Howard's voice cut in. "I'm suited up. 
Going out the airlock," 

"Should we get one of the trainees out to 
help search for them?" Pierce's voice. 

"You've got two of them missing now," 
Jakes snarled. "Isn't that enough? How 
about you getting your ass outside to 
help?" 
"Me? But I'm , .," 

"I think it would be a good idea," said a 
new voice, with such weighty authority that 
Kinsman knew it had to be the mission 
commander, Major Podolski. Among the 
three majors he was the longest in Air Force 
service and therefore as senior as God, 
"Eh, yes, sir," Pierce answered quickly. 
'And you, too, Jakes. You were all in on 
this, and it hasn't turned out very funny." 

Colt and Kinsman, holding on to one of 
the struts that connected the empty tanks, 
could barely suppress their laughter as 
they watched the shuttle's cargo doors 
swing slowly open and three spacesuited 



" :;jres emerge. 

"Maybe we oughtta play dead," Colt 
whispered. 
L "Mo. Enough is too much. Let's go out 
now and greet our rescuers." 

They worked their way clear of the tanks 
and drifted into the open. 

"There they are!" The voice sounded so 
jubilant in Kinsman's earphones that he 
couldn't tell who said it. 

"Are you all right?" 

"Is everything . . ." 

"We're fine, sir," Kinsman said calmly. 
"But we were beginning to wonder if the 
spacecraft malfunctioned." 

Dead silence tor several moments. 

"Uh, no . . ." Jakes said as he jetted up to 
Colt and Kinsman. "We . . . uh, well, we sort 
of played a little prank on you two fellas." 

"Nothing personal," Pierce added. 

Sure, Kinsman thought. Nothing per- 
sonal in getting bitten by a snake, either. 

They were great buddies now as they 
jetted back to the shuffle. Kinsman played it 
straight, keeping himself very formal and 
correct. Coit followed Kinsman's lead, 

if we were a couple of hysterical, gibber- 
ing, scared tenderfeet, they'd be laughing 
their heads off at us. But now the shaft has 
turned. 

Once through the airlock and into the 
passenger compartment, Coit and Kins- 
man were grabbed by the four trainees. 
Chattering, laughing with them, they 
helped the two lieutenants out of their hel- 
mets and suits. Pierce, Jakes, and Howard 
unsuited without help. 

Finally Kinsman turned to Major Pierce 
and said, tightlipped, "Sir, I must make a 
report to the commanding officer." 

"Podolski knows all about . . ." 

Looking Pierce in the eye. Kinsman said, 
"1 don't mean Major Podolski, sir. I mean 
Colonel Murdock. Or, if necessary, the 
judge advocate general." 

Everything stopped. Jill Meyers, who had 
somehow wound up with Kinsman's hel- 
met, let it slip from her fingers. It simply 
hung Ihere in midair as she watched, 
wide-eyed and open-mouthed. The only 
sound in the compartment was the taint 
hum of electrical equipment. 

"The . . . judge advocate general?" 
Pierce looked slightly green. 

"Yes, sir. Or I could telephone my uncle, 
the senior senator from Pennsylvania." 

Now even the trainees looked scared. 

"Now see here, Kinsman," Jakes started. 

Turning to face the major, close enough 
to smell the fear on him, Kinsman said, 
"This may have seemed like a joke to you, 
sir, but it has the look of racial discrimina- 
tion about it. And it was a damned danger- 
ous stunt. And a waste of the taxpayers' 
money, too." 

"You can't . . ." Pierce somehow lost his 
voice as Kinsman turned back toward him. 

"The first thing I must do is see Major 
Podolski," Kinsman said evenly. "He's in- 
volved in this, too." 

With a resigned shrug. Jakes..pointed 
toward the ladder. 



Kinsman glanced at Colt, and the two of 
them glided over to the ladder and swam 
up to the flight deck, leaving absolute si- 
lence behind them. 

Major Podolski was a big, florid-faced 
man with an old-style RAF mustache. His 
bulk barely fitted into the commander's 
left-hand seat. He was half-turned in it, one 
heavy arm draped across the seat's back, 
as Kinsman rose through the hatch. 

"I've been listening to what you had to 
say down there, Lieutenant, and if you 
think ..." 

But Kinsman put a finger to his lips. 

Podolski frowned. 

Sitting lightly on the payload specialist's 
chair, behind the commander, Kinsman let 
himself grin. 

"Sir," he whispered, "I thought one good 
joke deserved another My uncle was voted 
out of the Senate years ago." 

He could see a srugg e of emotions play 
across Podolski's face. Finally a curious 
smile won out. "I see . . . you want them to 
stew in their own juices, eh?" 

Glancing up at Colt. Kinsman answered, 
"Not exactly, sir. I want reparations." 

"Repa— What're you talking about, Mis- 
ter?" 

"This is the first time Frank and I have 
been allowed up on the flight deck." 

"So?" 

"So we want to sit up here while you fly 



her back through 'Gentry ano landing." 

Podolski looked as if he had just swal- 
lowed a lemon, whole. "Oh, you do? And 
maybe you want to take over the controls, 
too." 
Colt bobbed his head vigorously "Yes. 

"Don't make melaugh." 

"Sir . . I meant it about the judge advo- 
cate general. And [have another uncle. . ," 

"Never mind!" Podolski snapped. "You 
can sit up here during reentry and landing. 
And that's all! You sit and watch and be 
quiet and forget this whole stupid incident. 
That's an order!" 

"That's all we want, sir," Kinsman said- 
He turned toward Colt, who was beaming. 

"You guys'll go far in the Air Force," 
Podolski grumbled. "A pair of smart asses 
with the guts of burglars. Just what the fuck 
this outfit needs." But there was a trace of a 
grin flitting around his mustache. 

"Glad you think so, sir," said Kinsman. 

"Okay . . . we're due to break orbit in two 
hours. You guys might as well sil up here 
through the whole routine and watch how 
it's done." 

"Thank you, sir." 

The major's expression sobered. "Only 
. . . who's going to tell Pierce and Howard 
that they've got to sit with the trainees?" 

"Oh. I will," Colt said, with the biggest 
smile of all, "I'll be glad to!" DO 





:«# 







*ew 



^4 m-« 



7~ne urban landscape of 
the future — fully automatic 
and utterly fantastic 



SPACE 
CITIES 



BY HARRY HARRISON 



Science fiction has 
presented bigger, better 
and more exciting cities 
than any others ever seen on 
the tace of the Earth. Only 
recently have writers begun to 
see cities as places of 
oppression for mankind: after 
all. there have been more rural 
hells than urban ones in our 
history. Memory is fleeting, so 
we should keep reminding 
ourselves that right up to the 
end of the twentieth century, 
all the real action 
— intellectual, artistic, social, 
linancial — took place in Ihe 
cities. The creative people left 
their bucolic backgrounds 
and made their way to London 
or New York or the major city of 
their choice. Emily Dickinson 
wrote that she never saw a 
train, going anywhere, that 
she did not want to board. 
This is meaningless to a 
happily ensconced city 
dweller but elicits a depth ol 
response trom someone of 
intellectual ambitions who is 
buried in Booniesville. 

So, writers who loved cities 
designed bigger and better 
ones for the future. Wells in 
The Steeper Awakes had the 
sleeper wake up in a city full 
of gadgets and transportation 
and communication wonders- 
Aimost all the book-lengih 
Utopias have been cmfied 
Utopias. Then, when the pulps 
began churning along, cities 
grew in complexity and 
design. Just as with the 
a universal 



supercity came 
into existence, a 
concept shared 
by writers and 
illustrators. A 
writer could set 
a story in this 
city without 
going into too 
much 
background or 
detail. The 
reader 
accepted 
eagerly and 
read on 
But city growth 
has its limits, 
reached in 
Asimov's 
Foundation 
series with the 
planet-wide city 
of Tranter 
(transformed to 
Helior and 
examined in 
some depth in 
Harrison's Bill, 
the Galactic 
Hem). There is a 
natural limit to 
this kind of 
growth; once 
you have the 
supercity built, 
you can either 
keep it running 
or destroy it. Or 
move it to a new 
dimension. 
Factories, 
power-generat- 
ing satellites, 
spaceship 




stations, war 
satellites— allot 
them have to be 
built in space. 
with the 
exception ot 
James Blish's 
Cities in Flight. 
Here, great 
an tig rarity 
machines called 
spindizziesare 
put into position 
around 
Manhattan 
Island -and lift 
the entire heart 
of New York City 
into space. A 
dazzling 
concept indeed 
—New York 
followed by 
other cities that 
leave the tired 
economies of 
Earth for the 
excitement of 
the stars. For 
many years, the 
biggest city in 
space was in 
Clifford Simak's 
Limiting Factor, 
where the 
spacemen 
discover an 
artificial metal 
world that is so 
big that when 
they explore it 
they can make 
no sense of it at 
all. Howe.T" s 
world, and an 






the others, are 

small-time when 

compared with 

the concept of 

physicist 

Freeman Dyson. 

He speculated 

that it all of the 

planets of the 

solar system 

were ground up 

and melted 

down, there 

would be 

enough material 

available to form 

a thin sphere 

about the sun, a 

giant shell thai 

could be 

inhabited on its 

inner surface. 

This design was 

first used by 

Bob Shaw in 

Or bit sv Me. 

which, though 

written earlier. 

was not 

published until 

1975. Here the 

Earth explorers 

zip into the 

sphere and 

must spend 

years getting 

back to the 

entrance they 

originally came 

in through 

Dyson's design 

was also used 

by Larry Niven in 

Ringworld 

(1970). though 

he limited 

himself to a 




single band in 
space rather 
than to a sphere. 
For every 
inhabited alien 
city we find in SF 
there must be a 
dozen ruined 
ones. Exploring 
them is fun — as 
well as being 
dangerous— 
and rarely so 
well done as by 
Beam Piper in 
Omnihngual, 
where our 
scientists learn 
to translate the 
records of a 
vanished alien 
race. Sounds 
impossible — 
until the author 
explains 
logically just 
how I can be 
accomplished 

arger scale is 
Arthur C 
Clarke's 
wandering 
planet in 
Rendezvous 
with Rama. 
where an entire 
abandoned 
world-city 
comes whistling 
through our 
solar system. 
Now. tnner-city 
violence seems 
to have put an 
end to the 
day of the 




really "super" city. Authors 
are now returning to nature, 
the village, and the 
isolated house in. the hills. 
The great cities are either 
dismembered or allowed 
to lall into ruins, 
warnings to the youth 
of the future of the 



)r of their ancestors' ways. 
SF is basically a literature of 
entertainment, The limitations 
are only those of the author If 
you think big you write big. 
The open-minded philosophy 
of SF is a reflection of 
the best thinking in social 
and scientific man. OO 



HALFJACK 



Half-man, half-machine, 
he roamed among the stars, seeking fulfillment 

BY ROGER ZELAZNY 



He walked barefoot along ihe beach. Above the city 
several of Ihe bnghter slars held for a few final 
moments against the wash of light from the east. He 
lingered a stone, then hurled it in Ihe direction from which the 
sun wou'd come. He watched for a long while until it had 
vanished from sight. Eventually if wou.d begin skipping. Be- 
fore then, he had Turned and was headed back, to the city, the 
apartment, the girl 

Somewhere oeyord the s'vNne a vehicle fted bum-rig its 
way into the heavens It took Ihe remainder of the night with it 
as it faded, Walking on. he smelled the ccunryside as well as 
the ocean It was a pleasant world, and this a pleasant city— 
spaceport as well as seaport— here in this backwater limb of 
ts galaxy. A good place in which to res: and immerse the 
-leg acted oohion of himself in ihe flow of humanity, the colors 
and sounds of the city the constant tugging of gravity, But it 
had been three months now: He fingered ihe scar on his brow, 
Hs had let two offers pass hi" by lo 'inger There was another 
pending his consideration. 

As he walked up Kami's street, ne saw that her apartment 
was still dark. Good, she would not even have missed nim. 
agam. He pushed past the oig front door still not repaired 
smce he had kicked if open the evening of the fire, two— no. 
three— nights ago. He used the stairs He let himself in ouietly. 

He was in the kitchen preparing oreakfast when he heard 
her stirring 



"Jack''" 

"Yes. Gcoo morning " 

"Come back." 

"All right." 

He moved to the bedroom door and entered the room. She 
was lying fhere. smiling. She raised her arms slightly. 

"I've thought of a wonderful way to begin t'ne day'' 

He seated himself on the edge of the oed and embraced 
her For a moment she was sleep-wa'm and sleep-sof: against 
him, but only for a moment 

"You've got foo much on." she said, unfastening his shift 

He peeled it off and dropped it. He removed his trousers 
Then he held her again, 

"More." she said tracing the long fine scar that ran down as 
forehead, alongside his nose, traversing his chin, his nee* me 
nghl side of h'S ches:and abdomen, passing to one side of his 
groin, where it stopped. 

"Come on." 

"You didn't even know aoout it until a few nights ago 

She kissed him, brushing his cheek with her lips. 

"it really does something for me " 

"For almost fhree months — " 

"Take it off. Please." 

He signec ano gave a half-smiie. He rose to his feet. 

All right." 

He reached up and put a hand to his long black hair He 



PAINTING BY MICHEL HENRICOT 



c-oppo- 



:n^nai 



top hi£ 



The rigor s.de of his head was : 
pletely bald: the left had a begin 
growth of dark hair. The two areas v 
precisely divided by a continuation o1 
faHscarcnhisfceoeac. 

HKOaceclh^Vcer'ioslnop-ne' or 



"Yes." 

He-entered the bathroom, emerged with 
;wo : istfuls ot persona, items, and dropped 
them into the bag. 

"Why?" 

He rounded the oed, picked up his 
bcdygleve and hairpiece, rolled them into a 
parcel, and out them inside the oag. 

"It's not what you may think," he said 
then, "or even what I thought until jus; a few 
HO'-enrs age." 

She sat up. 



sh.p uo that 
il field. Jack 
dihen broxe 
world half a 



Then. aca. .1*3* [fr] m I" c'he edge of 
the bee oe ro. ed it down hs eg over rhe 
thigh Knee, calf heel, He treated his foot 
as he had his hand, pnehmg each toe free 
separately before pulling off the body- 
glove. He shook it out and placed it with 
his clothing. 

Standing, he turned toward Kathi, whose 
eyes had not let; him during al 1 this time, 
Again, the half-smile. Tne uncovered por- 
tions ot his face and body were dark metal 
and plastic, precision-machined, with vari- 
ous openings and protuberances, some 
gleaming, some dusky, 

"Halfjack," she said as he came to her. 
"Now I know what that man in rhe cafe 
meant when he called you that." 

"He was ucky you wee wirn ^e. There 
are places where that's an L.rnono y -.er~ 
"You're beauti'ul," she said 
"I once knew a girl whose body was al- 
most entirely pros:he!ic. She wanted me ro 
keep the glove on — at all times. It was the 
flesh and the semblance of flesh that she 
found attractive." 
"What do you call that kind of operation?" 
"Lateral hemicorporectomy." 
After a time she said, "Could you be re- 
paired? Can you replace it some way?" 
He laughed. 

"Either way," he said. "My genes cou'd 
befractioneo, and the proper replacement 
parts could be grown. I could be made 
whole with grafts of my cwViesh. 0- 1 col. Id 
have -uch of rhe -est r emovec and re- 
placed with biomechanical analogues. But 
I need a stomach and bails and lungs, be- 
cause I have to eat and screw and breathe 
to feel human." 

She ran her hands down his back, one an 
metal, one on flesh. 

"I don't understand " she said -when "rev 
finally drew apart. "What sort of accident 
was it?" 

'Accident? There was no accidenv he 
said. "I paid a lot of money for this work, so 
that I could pilot a special sort of ship. I am 
a cyborg. I hook myself directly into each of 



v Standing, he turned 
toward Kathi. whose eyes 

had not teft him. , , , 
Again, the half-smile. The 
uncovered portions 
of his face and body 
were dark metal and 
plastic . . . machined. , , , ? 



nor it at all. Y 


.;,-,_, 


and used that for 


here and lea 


p ■■..<■ 


to be hones- 


with 


to you That' 


no 


He drew o 


ihlF 


"Whs! the 


?" s 


"It's just th 




call it, I'vesta 




gravity we . 




going agar 




realized this 


VI'P 


ro your feenn 


QS- 



■vok :: 
met tfe 



anal hanc 

dark Iqu; 



beiieve me c not you- reactiors to my bet- 




rer half don't matte' i _ s what 1 =aid tnoLgh 




Nothing else, And row I've gofn s feeing i 


-"ov^c out >r =ncompas=i the e 


won* be much fun anvmore if vol really 




like me, you'll let me go wimou* a lot of 




fuss." 


■aneousv to decisions areat and 


He finished dressina She got out of the 


_;',■ ,■* n'VTi 7.". n,= ■-,,-■■ ;. 


bed and faced htm, 


Jack. 


"If tha:s the wav i : has :o be, she saic. 


—I'd say 


"Okay." 


Morgana held m'" ligntlv. Thei 


1 d better just go, then. Now" 


ojicDO 



fascia- 
i clann 




-Qwi'J-s nv-; ens o- !f.e ':<:,! Ojcomskers ever bu:i:. " 



SANDKINGS 



His interest piqued when told of the creatures' 
proficiency for warfare and worship 

BY GEORGE R. R. MARTIN 



^^imon Kress lived aione in a 
3 among dry, rocky hills fifty kilometers 
1 he was called away unexpectedly on 
ghbors he could conveniently impose on 
no problem; t roosted n 



' fed it 



t to tent 



iha. posed a diffi- 
nto the huge tank. 



me nexta.=)y hctlo-.v niSi-Kirvr.s- '■;- .".sqr-irc. .--, loumoy o - sens 
two hund'ed kilometers Asgard was Baicurs largest city ana 
boasted the oldest a~c -argesi s:arpor: as well, < r ess liked lo 
imoiess 'us (Mends with a* na's ma: ■■.■vers um,sL.-.l. ente-'tamirg 
and expensive; Asga'c was the place :o C-jy mem, 

This rime, though, he had poor luck Xencpets hac c^osed Is 
oocs t'Emerane the Pe:sel er :nec :o foist ano:her ca r rion haw* 
off on h n. and Strange Waters offered nothing more exotic than 
pi-anna glowsharks andspioersouids Kress hac had all :nose; 



PAINTING BY ERNST FUCHS 




ne wanted so'-othire new. so'-etnirg that 
would stand out 

Nea r dusk .he found himself walking 
down Rainbow Boulevard, looking for 
places he hao not patronized before So 
close to the stanoort. the street was nee by 
importers' ma r ts. The big corporate em- 
poriums had impressive long windows, in 
which rare and costy alien artifacts re- 
posea on felt cushions agamst aarkdraoes 
that rriede the interic-s of the stores a mys- 
tery. Setween them we-e the .unk shops- 



narrow nasty little places wncsK- c solay 
areas were cammed with all manner of 
oTworid oric-a-brac. Kress :< ed both k nos 
Of shops, with equal cissatisfacion 

Then he ca-^e across a store that was 
Different. 

It was very near the port K r ess had never 
been there before The snop occupied a frontage. It was dimly 
small. single-story building c' moderate 
size se: oetweei a euphoria ttia 1 and a 
temple nrothel of the Secret Sisterhood 
Down :his far, Rainbow Bcuevard grew 
tacky. The shop itself was unusual. A-rest- 
■ ng. 

The w noows we r e ; ull c ; '"" st — row a 
pale r ed. new the gray of true fog now 
spark'ing anogooer. The mist swirled and 
eddied and g owed ; aintly ''orr, witnin 
K'ess g mpsed co.iects n the wroow— 
machines peces of art, other things he 



could rot recognize — but he could nol get 
a good look at any of them, The mists 
foweo sensuous y around them,, display- 
ng a bi: cf : i r st ere thing anc then another. 
;ner c-cakinc a i It was intngu.ng. 

As he watched, -.he mis: began to 'orm 
letters. One word at a time. Kress stood and 
read. 

WO AND SHADE 'MFORTERS. AFT RAG'S ART. 

The ette-s stopoed. "trough the fog 
Kress saw something moving That was 
enough fc him. :nat and the lifeforms in 
their adve",:sement. He swept h s walk ng 
cloak-over nis shcLider and entered the 



de. <>ess feh. disoriented. The interior 

seemed vast muci args r ihan he would 

have guessec fro"" the 'elativey mooest 

"':. peacefu . Thecerl- 

;rjmpie"e witn spi'al 



"Are you Wo o' Shade' 7 ' Kress asked. "Or 
only saes help?" 

"Jala Wo, ready to serve you " she re- 
p ec. 'Shade does net see customers We 
have no sales help." 

"You have quite a ,rge establishment." 
Kress said. 'Odd that I "have never heard o : 
you before. ' 

"We have only just opened this shop on 
Baldur," the woman saic. "We have fran- 
chises on a numbe' of other welds, how- 
ever. What can I se.i you 7 Art, perhaps? You 
have the look of a collectc We have some 
'ine No" T a!ush cysta; carv res." 

'No," Kress said. "I own all the crysta 
carvings I desire. I came to see about a 
pet." 

'A lifeform?" 

"Yes." 

-AlisnT 

"Of course." 

"We have a mimic in stocK. From Ceiia's 
World. A clever .ittle simian. Mot only w I i; 
learn to speak, but eventually it will mimic 
yo:j r voice inflections gestures, even fa- 
cia expressions " 

"Cute, said Kress. "And common I have 
no use -or eilhet Wo I want something exot- 
ic. Unusual And not cute. I detest cute 
animals. At the moment I own a shamoler 
Imported from Cotho. at no mean expense. 
From time to time I feed him a litter of un- 




warned kittens. Tnat is what I tnmk of cuie. 
Do I make myself understood?" 

Wo smiled enigmatic^ y '-ave you eve' 
owned an animal thai wcsh ped you?" sne 
asked. 

Kress grinned. 'On. now and again. But I 
dor I reoi. re worsh.p Wo. Just entertam- 
ment " 

"You misunderstand me," Wo said, still 
wearing her strange smile. "I meant wor- 
ship literally." 

■What are you talking about?' 

"I think I have jus' the thing for you " Wc 
sa>d. "Follow me.' 

■She led him between the radiant count- 
ers and down a long foo-sn-nudec a sic- 
beneatn false starlight Ttisy passed 
th'ougn a war ot must mo an-mer sectior o f 



meters square. Pae sane tinted scar:et by 
■.van 'ed light. Rocks, basalt and quar-z 
and granite. In each corner of the tank 
stood a castle. 

K-css bunked and peered and corseted 
himself: actually [here were only three cas- 
tles stanoing The feu'th leaned, a crum- 
bled broken ruin. The three others were 
crude but intact, carvec of stone and sand. 
Ove' their battlements and th'cugh their 
rounded porticoes tmy creatures climbed 
and sca'-bco K'ess pressed t -:■ l.-ioe 
against the plastic, "Insects'^" he asked. 

"No," Wo replied. 'A much more complex 
lifsform More intelligent as well, Smarter 
than your shambler by a considerable 
amount. They a's cai.se sandkings " 

Insects." Kress said, drawing back from 
the tank. "I don't care how complex they 
are " He '"-owned. And Kindly don't f r y tc 
gull me with this la* of inte gence Toese 
things are fa r loo small :o have anytning but 
the most rudimentary brains." 

"They share hivemmds," Wo sad. "Cas- 
: e minds .n th s case There are only three 
organisms in the tank, actually. The fourth 
died v ou see how her castle- has fallen " 

Kress looked oack at the lank 
"Hivemmds, eh? Interesting." He frowned 
again "Sti it is on y an oversized ant farm 
I'd hoped for something better," 

"They fight wars." 

"Wa r s" Hmm.iTi " K<ess looked ag-i 'i 

"Note the colors, if vol. will, Wo said. Sns 
pointed to the creaturesthat swarmed over 
the nearest castle. One was scrabbling at 
the rank wa ■. Kress studee it. To hs eyes, i: 
sti : ookec ike an .nsect. Barely as long as 
his fingernail. six-lim,oed. with six tiny eyes 
set ai around its oody. A wicked set of 
mandibles clac-tec v.sibiy. wh e :wo cno 
fire antennae wove patterns in the air An- 
tennae, mandibies, eyes, and legs were 
sooty black, cut the dominant color was the 
burn; orange of its armor plating "It's an 
insect." Kress repeated 

"I: is not an nsect. Wc insisted ca:miy 
"~he armored c-xcsteietoi" is sheo when 
no sand", no grows large" '■'' it grows larger 



In a tank this size, i: won'".." She look Kress 
oy the elbow and led him around the tank to 
the next caste. "Look at the colors here " 
He did. They we-e oi'fe-ent Here the 
sandkmgs had b r ght reca'mor antennae. 



mandib:es. eyes. ■ 




K'ess c anced acre 




zens 0: the third i.vi 


a castle were off-v 


with -ed mm. "Hmrr 


lm " he saic 


"They war, as 1 m 


■id, Wo told him. 


even have truces a 


no alliances It w. 


a arce tna" oest'o 


/ed the fourth ca; 


this tank. The blac 


ks were becomin 


numerous ana so 1 


he others iomedf 


I;-, ne=t-nv ■he'- 




Kress remamedi. 


nconvi need. 'Ami 


no coub:. But insec 


;ts fight wars. too. 


"Insects do not « 


orship," Wo said 



mThe black castle 
was the first completed, 

followed by the 
white and red fortresses. 

Kress . . . sat 
on the couch, so he could 

watch. He expected 
. , war to break out . . , now. *, 



ng my iacc to ceccrate then ouildmgs 



; have [her'- 



" Tney 



On me castle the face of Jaa Wo was 
serene, peaceful, and very ifelike. Kress 
marveled at the workmanship "How oo 
they do if" 

"The foremost legs double as a-ms, They 
even have "incers of a sen th-ee small 
texibie tenor ils And they cooperate well. 
Poth in building and in battle. Remember, 
all the mob les of one color sna'e a s ngle 
mind." 

■Tell -'p "-:j-e " K'ess requested 

Wo sin led. ,_ ne --aw lives in the castle. 
Maw is my name for her- a pun. if you w I. 
The thing is mother and stomach both. 
Female, large as your fist, immobile. Actu- 
ally, sandking '3 a bit of a misnomer. The 
■~ob os are oeasants and warriors. The 
real ruler is a queen. But that analogy is 
faulty as well. Ccnside'ed as a whole, each 
castle is a sinele hermaphroditic creature." 

'-.What do they eat?" 



"The mooiles oat oao. orecyos:od -ocd 
ootained insice me caste. T'ney get it from 
the maw after sne lias worked on it for- sev 
e-'aldays T heir stomachs can I handle any- 
thing else. I* the maw dies, tney soon die as 
well. The maw ... the maw eats anything, 
Ybi. II have no special expense- the'e Table 
scraps -,v . 1 1 do excellently. ' 

:i L,ve food? K'ess askec. 

Wo shrugged. "Each maw oats -obi es 
I'd.m Ihe otner castles, yes " 

"I an- infigueo." he admitted. "If only 
they weren't so small!" 

"Yours can be larger Tnese sandk ngs 
a'S s">i because Ine r tank s s—a They 
seem to limit their growth to fit available 
space. If I mevee these to a larger tank, 
they d sta't growing again " 

"Hmrnm My piranha tark is twice this 
size and vacant It coulc be ceaned out. 
filled with sand . . 

"Wc arid Shade wen d take ca'o of tna 
msiallaiion It woulc be ou-' pleasure " 

"Of cou'se." Kress said. "I wou d expect 
four intact castles." 

"Certainly," Wo said. 

' ne-y oegan to hagg e about tne price. 

Three days later Jaia Wo ar- ved a: Simon 
Kress's estate, with dormant sandkmgs 
and a wc/- crew to take cha-ge of the in- 
stallation Wos assistants were aliens un- 
like any Kress was familiar with— saua: 
oroad bipeds with four arms and bu-ging 
■mu Uaceteo eyes. Their sk n was thick ana 
leathery and twisted into horns and spines 
and protrusions at odd places upon their 
bodies. But they were very strong, ana 
good workers. Wo crcerec tnem ahoui in a 
musical tongue that Kress has neve' 
heard before. 

in a day it was done Tney moved hs 
piranha tank fo the center of his spacious 
vine room, arranged couches on either 
side of it fc better viewing, scrubbed it 
c can. and fi led '. two thirds of the way up 
with sand and rock Then they instai so a 
special lighting system, both to p r ovice the 
dim red illumination the sancKings p r e- 
fe'red and to proiect holographic images 
mtc the tank On too they mountce a stu'dy 
plastic cover, with a feeder mechanism 
bu.lt in. This way you can 'eed your sana- 
kings without removing the too of the ta.-- 
Wo explained "You would net want to ;a-=e 
any chances on the mooiles escao - g 

The cover also mc uced sfenate-COWO 
devices, toconoerse .ust *ne -gir a-:.": 
of moisture from the air You want it a-, out 
not too dry," Wo said 

Finally one of the four-armed workers 
climbed into the tank and dug deep pits in 
the tour corners. One of his companions 
handed the dormant maws ove r to him re- 
moving them., one by ens ; 'cm thei'-rosted 
cryonic traveling cases. 

They were nothing to 'oox at Kress de- 
cided they resembled nothing so much as 
mottled, haf-spoied cm.-iks c" raw meat 
Each with a mouth. 

The alien buried them, one in each 
corner of the tank. Then the work party 



:ea:eci ■! a. up and lock then leave 

The heat will b-mg ihe ™aws ojt 

nancy." Wo said "In less Shan t 

~ob les will oegir, to ha:ch and by 

the sur'ace Be cedain to aiv, 

enty of food. Tney wi I need a 



Ar:o r ly ; acc'' Wncn a II 'ne: 



/id be patient, in:-, 
nease oa . Wo the 
a. SheGov.ec Th 



ho thought. Humming hacpiy to r« ; 
he osgan drawing jp a guest si. 



On rr,e fourtn day Kress though: ne 
ghmpsed motion benealh the sand— 
sjb:o suble'ranean s: rings. 

On the fifth day he saw bs I rsi mobile a 
lone white. 

On ;he iX lh day ne counted a dozen cf 



/hen he put food ntc:ne:ankthcfo-ow- 
aay. a ;.nree-cc-nercd ba::e brc<e cji 
r its possession. "he wh les were ~ne 



:nem. v 
orange: 



. The 



:ayed"tabe scraps. The mThe attacking guGS[ 

rtobt es sensed ii at once, rushed ro ■■:. and sandkings Washed Over the On 

°^e^°^Y^%'o^lo^^Sm spider. Mandibles JJ^ 

snapped shut on iegs and He' 

on disappoiniad. but he decided to give abdomen, andclung. " su f 

The.oranges made their apoea-ance on ® ne of them found an eye . . . ' &e \f'\ 

;irgs ripped it ioose. , . . you a 

e^ting^ud^nt ' ■■ -^ nm j^iidld ^ss smiled and pointed* A ^ e 



3-i,=de s. :■!.." K-essM"iOjgnl :hc.y -,-v ■:.''■' 



nd 



Tne castes were a bit plainer thar 
<ress wc.iid have ikec. but be had an ce; 
ibout tha:. :nc next t:av he evelec throuct 



yCe 10 '■■■,■ .-ewest oetS ' Cj'-'V'iC In-: 

, he conducted them nto his iving 



fecwed oy ne white and rod stresses His face er-e-t 

The oranges we-e las:, as usua. Kress took At V 5 t a.i fear" 

his meas into ine vmg 'oom ano ate nim Cu: as tne ■•« 

seated on the couch so ho could wa;cn. ~<e stuc ed "he -errc 

expecteothefirstwartooreakcutanyhour :ec" subtle cfe- 

He was disaopomted Days passed, ine us/ig tiny f.akes 

castles grew taller an .d more grana, and his ha.r. The whits 

Kress seldom ieT Ihe :an.< except tc a::enu m sch evous :c m 



Where did me sanding; 



full of ques- inio h( 

final, 
come frorn^ faces. 



'"Ths Even the 



licnf Den ! ■.".'O-ry. fhe'e will oe o:ies oar 



ot insects." Jala Wo about a 
was c f f arc. runnirq. week y 
■nes.ghtes: attention ga-es. 



■A'irh ihe idea. An an m 
about rules and odds ens 
almost an hour F.nany the 
take tneir leave. 
Ja.a Wo was ihe last 



•J:-. 


K-ess ■::■■.: 








3d, af-er al 








noulses? i 






■j a 


to suit me 






=itir 










=,' said Wo. 


I win dis 


uss me mater 




none of vou 


c oncer 


, or lis." K'ess 



■| m.jsl o.d vcj aoco-niGiv.. then' Wc 
sad -.v.n -escna:on 3j'. as sne slipped 




hao o:ner concern? and -.no 
slipping his mind 

Finally, after a month in which nis losses 
totaled more than a mousano standarcs 
Rakkis arrived at the war games Ho was 
carrying a small pasnc case under nis 
arm. Inside was a spiderlike tiling covered 
with fine golden hair. 

"A sard spider,' Rakkis announced, 
■'-rorr Caihacay. I got it this afternoon f r om 
rFme-anc- the Pe'.se; er. Usually they re- 
move the oc son sacs, but this one is intact. 
Are you game Simon 7 i want my ~oney 
UaoK, I'll bet a thousand stanoards. sand 
soioer against sardkings." 

Kress stLdieo the soice- in is plast c 
prison. His sandkings hao grown— they 
were twice as large as Wos. as she'e 
predicted — but they were sii : dwarfed by 
this thing. It was venomed, and they were 
net Si I :.nere wsre an av-.tjl lol ol '.hem 
Besides, the endless sanding wars lately 



,nd crevcos, ana— weii. watch— 
siraight into those castles and e 



<ep' he saiciimtaby. Then he went to fresher 



too arac 


to be cycled 




gh the f 


od ehamoer, 


They D t and :ce. One of tnem found an 


le ped R t 


kKis slide the 


and ripped it loose wth tn v vellow -.end 




and Maiada 


Kress sirred and pomteo 




him.Heshook 


But tnev were small, and they had 




ly on a minia- 


venom., and the spider cd not stop tsi 




d castie and 


fheked sanakings off tc erne' siue 
oripomc aws found one- ire s't - 



)egan to move toward the 
■i the gate. From tne tower 
Press's countenance stared 

i was a flurry of activity. The 

ooiles formed themselves 

3S and streamed over the 

he spider, Mare warriors 

side the castle and assem- 

ne :c guard the app'oach lo 

the underg-ojne chamber where the maw 

'iyed. Sccu:s came scuttling over the 

dunes, reca led to fight. 

Batfle was oinoc. 

The attacking sardk ngs washoc over 



bed r 



>gs, the spider 
o the darkness 




f^fihH^kdi 




-ry^^vYM 



ice at the other castles, if you 



Rakkis did =,-,c r--- 



ice at the 
have brp.ught foi 



swore Teams 
ip the gates % 



"St II. 



won. My spider 



new easing your damned maw,' 

Kress die not 'epiv He waited. There was 
motion in the shadows. 

A at once r ed mobi es Oooa-i not.' 
out of the gate. They took the r positions on 
the castle ana began -epa ring ihe dam- 
age that the spicei nad wro.jgnt "neothe- 
armies dissolved and began to retreat tc 
Ihe.r respect vo corners. 

Jad " K'ess saio. I think you are a o : 
confused aoout whe is eating whom. ' 

The to ow ng week Rakkis brcught fo- r 
slim silver snakes. Tne sandkings dis- 
patched fhem without much trouble. 

Next ne tried a la'ge bar.* bi r d. t ate 
more than thi'ty while mobiles, and its 
thrashing and blundering virtually de- 
stroyed that castle, but ultimately : fs wings 
grew tired, and the sandkings atlac-eo - 
fece whereve r it landed. 

After that it was a case of insects, ar- 
mc r ed beetles not loo unhke the sandk'ng- 
themselves But stupid, stupid. An allied 



them. 

RakKis began giving Kress p r cm ssory 
notes. 

It was around that time that Kress met 
Cath m Lane agam. one evening when he 
was dining ir Asgard a: his tavcr !e 'estau- 
rant. He stopped at her table briefly and 
told her about the war games, inviting ne' 
to join them. She flushed, then regained 
control ot herself anc grew icy. ■Someone 
has to put a stop to you. Simon I guess i s 
going to oe me," she said. 

Kress shrugged anc enjoyed a cvely 
meal and thought no more about her threat. 

Until a week later, when a small, stout 
woman arrived at his door and showed him 
a poi ce wisiband We've had com- 
plaints." she said. Do you Keep a tank tull 
of dange r cus insects, Kress 7 ' 

"Not insects, ' he said, tu r ious. "Come, I'll 
show you." 

When she had seen -ne sandkings, she 
shook her head, "This will neve' do. What 
do you know about these creatures any- 
way 9 Oc you <ncw what world they're from 9 
Have they seen cleared oy the Ecological 
Board? Do you have a license fc r these 
th ngs? We nave a reoort that they' r e carni- 
vores and possiby dangerous. We also 
have a repor: that they are semisentient. 
Where aid you get these creatures any- 
way?" 

"From Wo and Shade. ' ^ress replied 

■Never hea'd of them," the woman said. 
"Probably smuggled them in. knowing our 
sec cgists wou d never approve them. No. 
K r ess this won'i do. I >~ going to confiscate 
mis tank anc have it oesfoyed. And you re 
going to have to exoect a tew 'mesas wen." 

Kress offered her a hundred standards 
to forget all about mm, anc hs sandkings 

She isked. "Now I'l have to add attempt- 
ed bribery to the cha'ces agamst vo.i 

Not until he raised tne figure to two 
thousand standards was sne willing to be 
persuaded. "It's not going to be easy, you 
know," she said. "There are forms to be 
altered, records to be wiped. And getting a 
icged cense from the scolog sts w ce 
time-consuming. Not to mention dealing 
with the complainant. What if she calls 
again?" 

"Leave her to me," Kress said. "Leave 
her to me." 

He thought about t for a while. That night 
he made some calls. 

First he got t'Ltne'ane the Petseller, "I 
want to buy a dog, he said. "A puppy." 

The round-faced me r chant gawked al 
him. "A puppy 9 That is not like you, Simon. 
Why oont you come in 9 I have a lovely- 
choice." 

"I wan: a very specific kmd of puppy'' 
K'ess said. "Take notes. I" ; describe to you 
what it must look like." 

Afierwards he punched (or Idi Nored- 
dian. "Ici," he said. "I want you out here 
'onighl wiih you' nolo equipment. I have a 
notion to record a sandking battle. A pres- 



ent for one of my friends." 

The night after they made the recording, 
Kress stayed lo ate. He absorbed a con- 
troversial new drama n his sensorium. 
fixed himself a small snack, smoked a 
couple of joy sticks, and broke out a bottle 
of wine Feeling ve'yhapoywtn m—seL he 
wande r eo into the living room, glass in 
hand. 

The lights were out. The red glow of the 
tcna' urn made the shadows '00k flushed 
and fevensh. Kress walked ever to survey 
h s domain, curious as to how the olaeks 
were doing in the repairs on their castle.. 
The puppy had ieft it in ruins. 

the restoration wen; we,. But as Kress 
inspected the work through his magnifiers, 
he chanced tec ance c osely at the face. on 
the sand-caste wall. I; staniec him.. 

He drew back, blinked, took a healthy- 
gulp Of wine, and looked again. 

The face on the wall was sti h's. But t 
was ail w'ong. a. twisted His cneeks were 



i/-/e smiled and lowered his 
firing hand. "Cath was always 

hard to swallow, " he. said, 

delighted at his wit. "Especially 

for one your size. Here, let me 

give you some help. What are 

gods for, alter ail?"3 



bloated and piggish; his smile was a 
crooked eer He'ookec impossibly malevo- 
lent. 

Uneasy, he moved around the tank to 
nsoec; the otner cast es. Tney were each a 
bit different, DUt ultimately all the same. 

The oranges had left out most of the fine 
detail, but tne result sti'H seemed rnon- 
sfous, cruce: a brutal mouth and mindless 
eyes. 

The reds gave him a satanic, twitching 
sort of smile. His mouth crd odd, unlovely 
things at its corners. 

The whites. h,s favorites nad carved a 
cruel idiot goo. 

K r ess -lung nis wine acoss the room in 
-age "You ctars. he said unoer h s b r eatn 
"Now you won't eat for a week, you 
damneo , .''His voice was Shrill "I'll teach 
you " 

He had an idea. He strode out of the 
room, then returnee a moment later with an 
antique iron throwing sword .n his hand. U 
was a meter long, and the point was still 
sharp. Kress smiled climDed up and 
moved the tanK cover aside just enough to 
give him work ng room exposmg one 
comer o 1 the desert. He leaned down and 



jabbed the sword at the white casus be cw 
hi 1 -. He waveo it oact and forth, smashing 
towers and ramparts and walls. Sand anc 
stone collapsed, burying the scrambling 
mooiles. A flick of his wrist obliterated the 
features of the insoient. insulting caricature 
that the sandkings had made of his face, 
Then he poised the point of the sword 
above the darn mouth that opened down 
mto the maw's cnamber he thrust with a" 
his strength, meeting with -esstance He 
heard a soft, squishing souno. All the 
mobiles trembled and collapsed, Satisfied. 
Kress pulled back. 

He watched for a moment, wondering 
whether he had tilled the maw. The poini of 
the throwing sword was wet anc sli^y But 
finally the white sandkings oegan tc move 
aga.n — feeb y. siowty— but they moved 

He was oreparing to slide the cover bacK 
into place and move on to a second castie 
when he felt someth ng crawling on h s 
hand. 

He screamed oropp ng Ihe swed, and 
brushed the sandking fro^ his flesh. It fell 
to the carpet, and heg'ounc it beneath nis 
hee : . crushing it thoroughly long after it was 
dead It had crunched when he stepped on 
it After that trembling, he hurriedly sea ; ed 
the tank up again. He msnod of' to showe- 
and inspected himself care'uuy. He boiled 
his clothing 

Later, after d'inking severa. glasses of 
wine, he returned to the -'ving -qo^ Me was 
a bit ashamed of the way he had been 
ter-fiec Oy the sandk.ng But he was net 
about to open the tanK again, mm 1 " tne- -- 
the cove' would stay sealed permanently 
Stik he had to punish the others. 

He decided to lubricate his menial pro- 
cesses with another glass of wine. As he 
finished : t, an inspiration came to him.. He 
went to the tank ana made a few adjust- 
ments tc the humidity controls 

By tne time ho fell as eeo on the couch, 
his wine glass still in nis nanc. the sano 
castles were melting in the r ain. 

Kress woke tc angry pouncing on his 
door. 

He sat up. groggy, his head throbbing, 
Wine hangove-'s were always the worst, he 
thought. He lurched to the entry chamber. 

Cath m'Lane was outside "You monster," 
she said, her face swollen and puify and 
streaked with tea's. "I cried all night, damn 
you. But no more, Simon, no more." 

"Easy,'' he said, holding h.s head. "Ive 
got a hangover." 

She swore and shoved hum- aside and 
pushed her way into his hduse. The sham- 
bier came peering rdund a corner to see 
what the nose was. She spat at t ft 
stalked into the living room, Kress tra ng 
ineffectually after her. 'Hold on, ' he sa z 
"where do you ... you can't . -e 

stopped, suddenly horro'-stmc- ~r- : = 
carrying a heavy sledgef-am'---- " ~- - 
hand. "No." he said. 

Sne went directly to tne sandkmgs lan* 
"You like the little charmers so mjch Si- 
mon 9 Then you can live with them 



mace a low oluboenng sound of despair, iha; Cath nad not tola anvore ner plars fc 

But the plastic held. the day. It was very umkey she nad. She 

She swung aga n Th s tune !is-s was a could only have goiter -me gift late las: 

■■'-> : s r, c a r:eiwc-; o : -h- res aopeared n ghc She said tna: sne hac ced a ■ nignt 

n the wall of the tans, 5r -c she was alone wncn she ami.-ed Vorv 

Kress threw himse f at her as she drew we' he had one bcuy ann one s-.i'-imer to 

oae;< her hammer to take a thru swirg. dispose of. 

' i&; ''-er" . Oovvr fla rtQ ano r 0l ed ove' she That e't "he sanoMros Tney rn ■-: -t| p,',"ye 

lost her grip or the na~me' ana -ed to ~orc olacfl culty Mo ccuot thev nao a 

th'-o-oe hirn. hi.: Ives #ran hecSftaesncI aseacsd o-. mm The -loiK-hi of mem 



,nd Kill ;hem. He 



-ishxcc. oleedng. 



imWhen he shoved 

her, she looked briefly 

startled. She 

screamed as she tumbled 

down the stairs. 

"I'm hurt," she called . . . 

and shortly afterward 

. . . the screaming started* 



row ne woulc he (her oesmoyer 
He wen: snooping oefce ne ' ew bac 



□■ They were ca 
Mew of them ven 
3 the carpet. Moi 



when Kress broke 



aa criminating skimmo 1 oulsiae his horn aco 1 
ie- He resolved to try later, 
ila Some seven:y ki cms-era re th o : Kress s 

nd estate was a range o ! aows vo canoes. He 
oe ' ew ~.ne:a Calh $ skimmer in tow, Above the 
g cwerinc core of Ihe largest vocaro ne 
released the magnaiock and watched the 
skimmer plummet- down and vanish ir the 
lava below. 

It was desk when he returnee :o his 
nouse. 'his gave i>m cause. Brief'y he 
considerec flying oack ;c '.he sty ana 
spending the nigh-. there. He our the 
thought aside. There was work to do. He 
wasr t sate ye:. 

He scattareo the poison pellets a r ounc 
the exterior of hs house. No one wou'c 
thr> this susoicious. He had always had a 
rockjoCK p'oblem. When this task was 
comp.etea, he orimec '.he- canister o : pes- 
'.iciue and ventu'ed oacK ns go the hcuse 
K'css went through the house, room by 
room, turning on lights eve'yv.here he wer; 
until he was surroundec oy a blaze of a r hfi- 
cia jm. nation Ho paused to clean uo - 
the living r oom shove ing sane and plastic 
fragments hack irtc tne oro*;en tank. The 
sandkings were all gone, as he'd feared. 
The castles were shrunken and distorted, 
slagged by the watery bombardment 
Kress had visited upon them and what little 
of them remained was cjmblina as it 
dried. 

He frowned ana searched further, the 
canister of pest sp'ay s; r aooed across his 
shoulders, 

Down in the w-ne ceila' he could see 
Cath m'Lane's corpse. 

It sprawled at the foot of a steeo flight of 
stars, the mbs :w sted as if oy a lall While 
■Tiobi es were swarm ng a ever i;. arc: as 
Kress' watched, the body moved jerkily 
across the hard-packed dirt fioor, 

He laughed and "w-sted the illumination 
up to maximum, -n ;he far come' a squat 
little earthen caste and a oark hole were 
visible between two wine racks. Kress 
could make out a -ouoh outline of his face 
on the ceila' wa.. 

he bocy shifted orce again mcv ng . ;; 
; ew cent —sters towa'c the castle. Kress 
had a sudden vision of the white maw wait- 
ing hungrily. It might oe able to get Ca.ths 
foot in its mouth, but no more, It was too 
absurd. He laughed again arc sra.rtec 
down nto me cellar. tnge r poisea on the 
t'gger of the hose that srak.ee dowr his 
• ght arm. The sandmngs — buncrec-s of 
them moving as one— deserted the body 



ings. He 
lo'ough 



e skimmers were ready he 
o h'S skmtnins and went n- 
Saih's body „ 

i -h'ojgn the "ast-clrying sand 
a there was ro douot of it, the 
:g"l\ C-ouid sne nave dragged 
/"Unlikely o.it K -ess searched 
spection of his hcuse turned up 
oody nor any sign of the sand- 
lid noi have time for a more 
'vestigatior not win me in- 



so oa: 



Sudcen 
He smnec 
■■Calh was 
de aimed- 
s.ze. Here, 
are cocs f 

He ret re 
wth a eli 
wa lee an; 
Cath m'U 
pieces. 



need it. The w 
cellar and he 



i.oht.the cams 
did not evenu 
ed in the with h 



no -.nisnea the cleanup of 'nana 

the living rosy-'. When he was through, nc -nenti 

-'ace ot inc st-uaale remsinsc excop! for ded :■ 

-e broken :ank. " 83. Qi 



n ot nis balke 
ich had opens 



z< cut a good ke< 
a be::er oaiate He 



"ha: 'sfl only ihe burnt-orange sand- 



wns ;:■-;,: nc jp "he 



M the swimming po 
;e:iied in a pit. sl.i 
;oncrete anc battle 



oy eating :ns pcson penets. as :no red 



His -evene was uronupted vvhen ni- 
viewscreen began to b'nk at nirr. It was 
Jad Rakkis. ca'.ng to brag aoout some 
cannibal worms he would bring to the wa 
ga-es tomgh:. 

Kress nad forgone r, about mat out he 



^a^is was incicnant Bl: ,vha: 



sc-acne nac answa-od at the other e 
K-ess fiic<ecl c ; f 



Idi an vcd on sonedu e ap nou' ater She 
was surprised :o find "he party had oeen 




them off and stamped them to death, but 
erne's wee approaching rapidly. They 
were larger than he -emembered. Some 
were amost as big as his :hu"b. 

He ran. 

By the time he reachec the safety o ; the 
house his hear: was racing and he was 
short of breath He c osed the door behind 
him and hurned to lock it. His nouse was 
supposed to be oestprcof. He'd be safe in 
here 

A stiff orin< steadied his nerve. So 
ooison aoesn ; laze them, he thought. He 
should have known. Jala Wo had warned 
mm :na; me maw couid est anything He 



l,:<; 'm 



. He took 
, donned 



hand from side tDssde. 

Where the mist fell, the sano*ir 
twitched vio-enrly and died in sudc 
spas'-?,. K-esssmilec They we -e no ng 
for him He sprayed in a wice arc bef 
h r - ai"ds:eooeo ■orwardooiiidei ■ ■. ;v; 
iller e- nsek and rec: nodies lne ani- 



le back. K-ess acvanced. intent on cutting 
through them to their maws. 

All at once the retreat stopped. A 
ino.jsano sandk.ngs surgeo loward him 

K-esshac beer ejecting the courtera:- 
tack. He stood his ground, sweeping his 
■--isty swco oefo-e h - n great Icopmc 



i-the'e.r-vcedoiasi.c of ms s<irr. ns He 
gno'ecthem and kept soraying. 

Then ne began to : "ee soft m pacts on his 
read and shoude-s. 

Kress tremblec ana spun and looKed up 
ibovenim,. The f'cnt o' h'S nouse was aive 
jith sandk ngs places ai'c reos. hundreds 
if them Ihey were lajnch'ng themselves 
ttothe a r. ram rig dcwr on him Tneyfei all 
.round him One lanoeo on h,s facepate. 
S mandibles scraoing at ms eyes fo r a 
smo'e seconc oetce ne oucked >: away. 

He swung jp h-s hose and sorayeo tne 
■r ..n';,'.." 'f noose sp'ayec until tne 
■.irbc-nesand^mgs were all deader dying, 
he mist se::ed bac< on him. making him 
ougn But he keot sp-ay re Only when 
ne mi ' c' ■■■: .■'■.. " ■■■..•_ cc-an cic Kress 



Tn< 



num. dozens 
:y, nund'eds 
] He turned 
went dead. 
? deadly fog 




"These continued rumors that I don't exist are 
making it very difficult for me to obtain credit!" 



rose in a great c-cud from between his- 
shoulders c caking him choking hi- 1 ~a<- 
mg his eyes burn anc bur He felt for the 
hose, and his hand came away covered 
with oying sandkings. The hose was sev- 
e r ed. they'd eaten it through. He was sur- 
'cj'"_L'. '_■.■ ash.'cuc o- pesticide, blinded. 
He stump ec and sc-earr.ec and oegan to 
run back to the house, pu lino sandkinos 
from his body 



onaossn 



■edo.. 



them out nervously "Damn, he Kept mut- 
tering, 'damn' H.s throat was dry After 
search ng tne entry nan thoroughly to make 
certain it was clean, he a owed himself :o 
s t and pour a drin< "Damn. ' ne repeated 
His hand shook as ne poured, soppng 
liquor on the carpet. 

The aleoho. settled mm but * oo net 
wash away the fea r Ho had a seconc drm*. 
arc! went ic the window ■"unvely Sandkings 
were moving across the thick p ast c oare. 
He shuddered ant nsweeisd *c n.s corn- 



He t 



. He ^ 



uld 



tell -.hem. about the whites in his 
cellar, and they'd find the oodles there. 
Perhaps the maw m-gr: nave n'nished Cath 
m Lane by now. but cs'tainly no: idi Nored- 
o:ar He hadn't ever cut her up. Besides, 
there would be bones. No, the police could 
be called in on'y as a last reset. 

He sat at the console, trewn'ng. His 
communications equipment fi : ed a whole 
wah. From he - e he cou c 'each anyone on 
Baiour. He had plenty of money and his 
cunning: no had always p r ded ni'^seil on 
■ms cunning. Ho wcu'c handle this some- 
how: 

3rietiy ne cons dered ca mg Wo but he 
soon dismissed the idea. Wo knew too 
much, and she would ask questions, and 
he did not trus: ner. No, ne needed some- 
one who would do as he asked withoux 
questions. 

His frown slowly turned into a smi e. 
Kress had contacts. He put through a ca" 
to a number he had not used in a long time. 

A woman s face took shape on his 
view'screen. — wnite-haired. olank of ex- 
pression, with a long, hooded nose. He' 
voice was brisk anc eff cienc "Simon." she 
sad. "How is business 9 '' 

"Business s "ine i.issandra <iess "e- 
pied. "I nave a ; ob fcr you ' 

A remeva' 7 My pries has gone up since 
lasttime Simon. It has oeen ten years after 



al." 



'You ■,'. 



i be well pa'd. ' Kress said. "You 



know I'm gererous. ' want ycu for a oil of 
pest control." 

She smiled a tnin smile. "No need to use 
euphemisms. Simon. The ca'l is shielded." 

No. I'm se'icjs. i have a pest p'oblem. 
Dangerous pests ~a-<e cere c- them f or me. 
Nc questions. Lmcersxod? 

'Understood." 

■Good You'll neeo . . oh, t'nree to four 
operatives Wear heat-resistant Sr-jivmrm. 
and equip the"' with flamethrowers- o-' la- 
sers, some:hng on that order. Come out to 
my place. You'll see :he problem. Bugs, lots 
and lots of the m In my 'oo< garden ano the 
cd swimming pool you'll find castles. De- 
stroy them, kill everything inside them, 
Then knock on the door, anc I'll show you 
what else needs to be done, Can you get 
out here quickly''" 

Her face remained impassive-. "We'll 
leave within the hour." 

Lissandra was true to her wora. She ar- 
'ived in a lean, black summer with thme 
ooe relive s Kress watched them from the 
sa'ety of a second -story window. They were 
all faceless in dark plastic sk nthins. Two of 
them wore per tab e ferret brewers; a third 
carried lase^carnon and exolosives. Lis- 
sandra carrieo nothing; Kress recognized 
her oy me way she gave oras's. 

Their skimmer passed low ov= r head h'rst, 
checKing out the situaiion. The sandkings 
went mad. Scarlet and c-oon mob es rap 
everywhere, frenetic. Kress cou d see the 
castle in the rocK garden from his vantage 
point U stood ta as a man Its r amparts 
were crawling with black d.efenoers. and a 
steady st'earn of mooiles flowed down into 
its depths. 

Lissandra's shimmer cam.e down next to 
K-ess's and tne opera; ves vaulted out and 
un mbered their weapons. They looked in- 
human deadly. 

The biacK army drew up between !hem 
and the castle: The reds — Kress suddenly 
realized that he cou d no; see :he reds. He 
blinked. Where had they gone? 

Lissandra pointed and shouted, and ne' 
two flamethrowers sp r eac out ano openeo 
uo on the b'ack sandKings. Their weapons 
coughed dully and began to roar, i ng 
tongues of blue-ano-sca r et f-re licking out 
before them Sandkings crisped and 
shriveled and died The operatives began 
to play the fire back and forth in an efficient 
intcocking pattern. They advanced wim 
careful, measured steps. 

The black army burned and disinte- 
grated, the mobiles fleeing in a tnousanc 
different direcliors. seme back toward tne 
cas;ia. others toward ;he enemy None 
reached the operatives wth the f ame- 
tn-owers Lissancra's people were very 
professional. 

Then one of tnem stumbled. 

Or seenec to stumdle Kress locked 
again and saw that the ground had given 
way benestn the —an. "unnels. ne thought 
with a tremor of fear; tunnels, pits, traps. 
THe flamer was sunk ir sanouo to his waist, 
and sudden : y the ground around h m 



seemeo to erup;. anc be was covered with 
scarlet sandkmgs He drooped the flame- 
thrower and began :c e aw wi ciiy at his own 
bodv. His sce-ams were homble to hear 

His companion hesitated, then swung 
and fired A bias: of 'lame swal owed 
human and sanc^rgs bcth. "ne sceam- 
ng stopped abrupt y Gauged ;ne second 
flamer :U rned bac< to the castle Iook 
another step reward, anc receded as his 
foot broke th-cugn the ground and van- 
ished up to the ank'e. He tried to pull it back 
and retreat, and the sand all around him 
qave wav He cs: n.s balance and stum- 
bled fiatinc. and ;he sandkings were ev- 
e'vwhcre. a ocilmc mass of tnem covering 
him as ne wnthed anc rolled Hs f a^e- 
rhrowar was 1188*383 and forao-ten 

Kress pounded wildv en the wirocw 
shouting for attention, The casiie! Get the 
casile!" 

Lissarcra standing back by her sKim- 
ms' heard and gestured ■-:.:■ th-'d ooe'.-:- 
t ve signteo with tne aseroanncn anc f red 



• The heavy door 
was still nailed shut, as he 

had left it. But 

it bulged outward slightly, 

as if warped by 

some tremendous pressure. 

That made Kress 

uneasy, as did the silence. . . .' 



but the reds were pulling pack hurriedly 
ano re-torm'ing. He' Operate stood unce r - 
:air. men reached down anc pul ! ed out 
anothe- explosive ball. He :cok one s;ep 
forward, but Lissancra called him. anc he 
sprinted oack in her di r ection. 

simole then. He reached the 



sk.mn 



mo Lis 



Kk:ss 'jshea ;c anelf 
room to watch. They c 
over tne pool, and the 



The boa"" th-oboec across ;nc grounds 
and sliced off the top of the castle. He 
brought the cannon down sharply, hacking 
at the sand and stone parapets. Towers fell, 
Kress's face disintegrate. The laser bit 
ntc the grounc. searching rounc and 
about. The eastlc- crumbed. Now it was 
only a heap of sand, But the black mobiles 
continued tc move. The maw was ouried 
too deep y "ne beams hacn't touched t. 

'_ ssandra gave another crcer Hc--coera- 
riye oisca r dee the lase". primed an explo- 
sive, and darted forward. He leapeo ove' 
the s™ck ng corose of the first flamer. 
ardeo on solid g/ound within, Kress's 'ock 
garden, and heavec. "he exoosve ba 
landec soua-e atop me -uins of the olac- 
castle, White-hot ight seared Kress's eyes, 
anc ihere was a tremendous gout of sand 
anc rocK and mco,les. Fc a mo—enl cast 
obscured everything. It was raining sand- 
<mgs anc pieces of sand*, ngs 

Kress saw that the olack mobiles were 
dead ano unmoving. 

"The poci! ' he shoutec aewn through the 
window. "Get ;he castle in the poo 1 ' 

Lissandra understood quickiy; the 
ground was . tterec wi:n motionless blacks. 







iuI my wme cellar" 




There's ai 


icther castle down 
:do it without exp.o- 




' want m.y h 


ouse commg oown 


Lissandra 


motioned 


to he r operative. 


"Go outside 


and get R; 


i : k'sflameth r cwe r 1: 


shouid be ir 


itact." 




He return,- 


ad armed. 


ready, snent. Kress 


ed them to 






The heav- 




stni nailed shut, as 


he had ef: n 




:ed outward snghtly. 


as if wa'pe 




tremendous p-'es- 


sure. That n 


■aae- Kress 


uneasy. as dio the 


silence that 


reiqned ac- 


out them. He stooc 


well away fr 


orn the doc 


r while Lissanc-as 


operative re 




-ails and pianks Is 


that safe in 1 




■und nimselfmutte'- 


ing, pomtim 
want a fire : 










■". have tn 


a laser" L.s 


;ssndra sac Ne n 


use that ton 


.hekir. The 


flamethrower s r oD- 


ably won't b 


a needed. Bull want a' 


in case. Tim 


3re are wot 


■se things tnar f re 


Simon " 






He nodds 


■o. 




The last ; 




s free : ; the cellar 



s car* o:r. 



mem 



is me -e a gnm ^.ssan.qra asKC-u 
"Just inside the door. K-ess said. Or, 
the nght-hano side Mind the sta ; rs. They're 
quite steep " 



whimpered and tell to her knees. 

"I think my lingers are broken,' she said 
softly. The b.ood was still -".owirc freely. Sns 
haa dropped the laser near the cellar door. 

"I'm not going down there." her operative 
announced in clear firm tones. 

Lissandra looked up at him. "No," she 
said. "Stand in the door and flame it all. 
C.noer it. Do you understand?" 

He nodded. 

K'c-ss moanec. "My house." he said, His 
stomach churned, The white sandking had 
beer so large, How many more were down 
the r e' ? "Don't." he continued. 'Leave it 
alone. I've changed my mind. ' 

Lissandra misunderstood. She held out 
net hand. It was covered with blood and 
greenish-black ichor 'Your ittle friend bit 
csai through my glove, and you saw what 
it took to get it off. I don't care about your 
house. Simon, Whatever s cown :here s 
going to die," 

Kress hardly heard her: He thought he 
cou'd see movement n the shadows be- 
yond the cellar door. He imagined a white 
army bursting out. each soldier as big as 
the sandking that had attacked Lissandra. 
He saw himself oeir.g ifted oy a hundred 
tmy arms and being dragged down into the 
darkness, where the maw waited hungrily. 
He was afraid. "Don't," he saio. 

They ignored him. 

K'ess da'ted fcwaro, ano his shoulder 
slammed into the back of Lissandra's 
operative just as the man was bracing to 
: i r e. ~ne coerahve crurteo cs: his ba ■ 
ance, and pitched forward into the black. 
Kress listened to him, [all cown the stairs, 
Afterwards there were other noises — 
scuttlings and snaps and sett, squishing 
sounds. 

Kress swung around to face Lissandra. 
He was drencheo in cole sweat, but a 
sck y < nd of exc tement possessed him. It 
was almost sexual. 

Lissandra's calm, coid eyes regarded 
him through her mask. "What are you do- 
ing?" she Demanded as Kress picked up 
the aser she had dropped, "Simon!" 

"Making a peace," he said, giggling. 
"Threywon'thurtgod. nc not so cngasgod 
is good ano generous. I was cruel. Starved 
Ihem I have to make uo for ■: now. you see. ' 

"Yoj'-a insare." _ ssardra said t was 
the last thing snesaid. K-ess burned a hole 
n he r cnest big enough to pur his arm 



through. He dragged the body across the 
f cor and roleo it down the Cellar stairs. The 
noises were louder — chin nous clacking? 
and'scrapings and echoes that were thick 
and cuid Kress na led uo the door once 
again. 

As he fled, he was filled with a deep 
sense of contentment that coated his fear 
like a layer of syrup. He suspecteo it was 
not his own. 

Heplri-inecto eave nis home, to fly 1c the 
city anc take a room : or a nignt or perhaps 
for a year. Instead he started drinking. He 
was no; qui:e sure why. He drank steadily 
for hours ano retcheo it all up violently on 
his liv-ng-room carpet. At some point he fen 
asleep When he woke, ii was pitch-dark in 
the house. 

He cowered against the couch. Hecou:d 
hear noises. Things were moving in the 
walls, "hey were a: arouno him. His hear- 
ing was extraordinarily acute. Every little 
creak was the footstep of a sandking. He 



•Something moved 

from shadow into light. 

A pale shape on 

the seat. . . . It was as long 

as his forearm. 

Its mandibles clacked 

together softly. . . . 

Kress slowly backed away* 



c csed r s c-yet, and wa tec exceeding to 
feel their teriote touch, afraid to move lest 
he brush agains; one. 

Kress sobbed and then wasvery still. 

Time passed, but nothing happened, 

He opened his eyes again. He trembled, 
Slowly the shadows oegan re soften and 
dissolve. Moonlight was I Iterirq through 
the high wincows. His eyes acjjst.ee. 

The livmg room was empty. Nothing 
there, nothing nothing. Only his drunken 
fears. 

Kress sieelsc; himself and rose ana w^r.; 
to a light. 

Nothing there. The room was desehed. 

He listened. Nothing. No sound. Nothing 
in the walls. It had all been nis imagination, 
hs tea' 

I'remerric'ieso' Lissandra and the thing 
in. the cellar returned to him unbidaen 
Shame and anger washed ovc him. Why 
had ne done that? He could nave helped 
her burn it out. kill it. Why ... he knew why 
~he maw had core it to nim. had put fear in 
him, vVo nao said it was ps;onc even wnc-n 
it was s.Tia' . And now it was la'ge. so largo, 
it had feasted on Cath and Idi. and now it 
had two more bodies oown there, It would 



Keep g'cw ng Arc it nao leamec to like the 
taste of human fiesh, he thought, 

He began to shake, Out he took coniro' of 
himself again and stopoed It wouldn't hurt 
him: he was god. the whites had always 
oeen his favorites. 

He remembered how he had stabbed it 
with his throwing sword Tna: was before 
Catn came. Damn her. anyway. 

He coudn't stay here, The maw would 
grow hungry again. Large as it was. it 
wojIc'Yt take long. Its appetite would be 
ternole What wou.d t dc then? He had to 
get away, back to the sa'ety c ; the city wh ie 
the maw was still contained in his wine cel- 
lar It was only plaster and hard-packed 
earth down there, and the mobiles couic 
dig and tunnel When they got free . . 
K-ess C'dn't want 10 think aoout it. 

He went to his bedroom ano packed. He 
took three bags. Just a single change of 
clothing, that was a he needed; the rest of 
the space he h'lled with his valuables, with 
jewelry and art and other things he could 
not dear to lose. He did not expect to return 
to this place ever again. 

His shambler foi oweo him down the 
stairs, staring at nim from its baleful, glow- 
ing eyes. It was gaum. Kress reaized that it 
had been ages since ne hac fee it. Nor- 
mally it coud take care of itself, but no 
ooubt tne pekirgs hac g'owr ; ear of late 
When it tried to c utch at his leg. he snarled 
at it anc kic<ed it away ano it sct.-'ed c'f 
obviously hurt and offended 

Car r ymg h s oags awkward-/ Kres; 
s loosd outs de arc snut the doo r bsh no 
him 

For a moment ne stood p-essed against 
the house, his neart thudding ir nis chest 
Or y a few meters oetween fr\-- arc hi; 
summer He was af r aid to take those -ev, 
stops "no mcenhgnt ^as iright. and f-: 
grouncs in front of his house were a scene 
of carnage. The oodies of _issardra's two 
ramers ay where they had fallen, one 
twisted and ourned, the otne' swC'.en be- 
neath a mass c' cead sanc-^rcs And the 
mobiles, the back ana reo mobiles, rhey 



,nd i-ii.-T 



ml:-:' tnai 



was a ■ 



He 



■id and 



So-- Gil-rig moved from shacow into 
light, A pale shaoe en the seat cf his sk m- 
mer. It was as long as, his forearm, its mar- 
di~ e-t- ■:; ac-.ed together soft y and it looked 
up a- him ! -or si* small eyes set a arouro 



its body. 

Kress wet his oants anc backet: 
s owly. 

There was more motion from msii 
sKimmer. He had 'eft the door ope 
sandking ei 
caul 

hiding bene; 
upholstery. I 
formed a rac 



Oii-e 



ing arouhd the shimmer, 
lips, turned, arc moved 
quickly to Lissandra's skimmer. 

He stopped before ns was nahway there. 
Things were moving nside that one. too. 
Groat maggoty things half-seen oy the light 
of the moon. 

Kress whimpered and re;reated" back 
towaro the house. Near the front door, he 
■ooked up. 

He counted a dozen long white shapes 
creeping oack and form across the walls of 
the building. Four of the" -ve-e c jste^eo 
close together near the top of the unjsec 
belfry, where the cardan hawk had once 
f oosted. They were carving something. A 
■;i-jc. A vs'v rycognizrfbv.- face. 

Kress shrieked ana -an back inside. He 
neadea for his liquor cabinet. 

A sufficient quantity of tiring brought him 
the easy obiivon ne sought But he woke. 
Despite everyth ng, he woke He hac a te> r - 
'ific headache, anc he stank, anc he was 
hungry. Oh. so very hungry! He had never 
oeer so hungry 

Kress knew t was net his own stomach 
hurting. 

Awhile sandking watched him from atop 
the dresse' in his bedroom, its antennae 
r-cv ng fsirily. It was as big as the one in the 
skimmer the night oefce. He tried not to 
shrink away. "I'll . , I'll feed you,' hesaip to 
ii "I 1 . ; esd you." His mouth was horribly dry, 
sandpaper-dry He icked his lips and fled 
from the f oom, 

The house was full of sandkmgs; he had 
to be careful where he put his -eet They ai 1 
seem.ed busy on erranos of their own They 
were making modifications n his house, 
burrowing into or out of his wa : is. carving 
things. Tw ce he saw his own xeress sta'- 
mg out at him from unexpected places, The 
faces were wa'oec. twisted, livic with fear 

-e -.vent outsice to get the bodies that 
had been rotting in the ya'o. hoping to ap- 
oease :ne whi:e ~aw's hunger. They we'.e 
gone, ooth rj -.hem. K r ess -e-membered 
how easily the mobiles could ca"y things 
many times their own weight. 

It was terrible to thnk mat the maw was 
stil! hungry afte r all of that. 

When Kress reentered the house, a col- 
umn of sanbkings was wending its way 
aewn [ho stairs. Each carrieci a piece of his 
shambler. The- heac seeir-ec :o ook a' him 
reproachfully as it went by. 

Kress emptied n, sneezers, o s cab'nets, 
everything, piling an the food in the house 
n the center of his kroner hoc A cozen 
whites wa led to lake I away They avodeo 
the frozen fooc. leav ng it to thaw in a great 
puddle, but carried o'f everyrh ng e:se 

Whenai the fooc: was gone. Kress re this 



■-is callcc Jac: Ra-<k s nex: and then the 
othe's. By the tire ne hac finished, five of 
them nac acccp:ec his irvitatcr. K-s-ss 
hcoed that would be enough. 

Kress met ms guests outside— the 



obiles na 


nt door. He let 


rernarkaby 
ked almost as 
—and walked 
hem enter first. 


osed the o 


of them had 
mdsm up hi 
oor behind h 

sta r tleo exc 


gone tnrough 

courage He 

i latest guest, 

amations that 




into Shn" g 


bbering, and 
s man had ar- 
tbumbed the 
programmed 


umbprmt o 
R a -Biswas 

sbythearn 
KK in quic 


me next to am 
sit set oown a 
ashewascin 
kly.'nesaid, 


o its owner s 

e. Kress ran to 
id seized Rak- 
bing out. "Get 
ushing, "Take 



me to the city. Humy, jao. Get out of hsret" 

BLt Rakkis only stared at him and would 
not move. "Why whats wrong, Simon? I 
oon't understand. What about you' pa r ty?" 

And then it was too late, because the 
loose sand all arouno them was stirring, 
and the -ec eyes wee staring at tnem. and 
the mandibles wee c lac -nog Rakk s '"ads 
a choking scuna and -wed to got back in 
his skimmer, but a pair of mandibles 
snapped shut about his ank.e and sud- 
denly he was on his Knees. "he sane 
seemed to bo- wtn subterranean activity 
Rakkis thrashed and cred terrioly as they 
tore him apart. Kress could hardly bear to 
watch, 

After mat. he die no: try to sscape agan 
When it was a , over, he cleaned out what 
remained in his liquor cabinet and got ex- 
tremely drunk. It woulc be the last time he 
would emoy that uxury he knew, The only 
alcohoi re-aih ng in the house was stored 
down in the wine cellar 

Kress did not touch a b'te of fooc the 
entire aay, but he lei as eep feeing 
bloated, sated at last the aw'u hunger 
vanquished. His ast tnougnts oefore the 
nightmares 'cck h.m we r e aooi.,' w.ncrn he- 
could ask out tomorrow, 

Mcning was nor and cry K r ess oosned 
h s eyes to see the white sancUmg or h s 
d'esser again He shut nis eyes again 
quickly, noping tns cream wouic leave him, 
It dio not, and he could not go back id 




sleep, and soon he found himself staring al 
the thing. 

He stared for almost five minutes before 
the strangeness of it dawned on him; the 
sanaking was not moving. 

Tne mob les could be oreternatura:ly 
still, to be sure. He had seen :hem wait and 
watch a thousand times, But always there 
was some motion about them: The mandi- 
bles clacked. ;ne legs tw tehee. tie long, 
fine antennae stirred and swayed. 

But the sandking on his dresser was 
completely s:i : 

Kress rose, holding his breath, not daring 
:c nope Col. o it bo csad? Could some- 
thing have killed it? He walked across the 
room. 

The eyes were giassy and black. The 
creature seeme-o swollen, somehow, as if is 
were soit anc 'otting inside fin-rig up with 
gas that pushed outward at the plates of 
white armor. 

Kress reached out a trembling hano and 
touched it 

It was warm; hot even, and growing hot- 
ter, But it did not move. 

He pulled his Hand back, and as he did 
a segment of the cricking'; white exo- 
skeleton fell away from it. T he flesh beneath 
was the same color, but softer-looking, 
swollen and feverish, And it aimost seemed 
to throb, 



K-ess backed a/vay ana ran tc Ihe doc 

Three more white mobi es lay n r-s i-.-:h i 
They were all like the one in his bedroom. 

He ran down rhe staks. jumping over 
sandkjngs. None of them moved. The 
house was full of them, all dead, dying, 
comatose, whatever. Kress tftd not care 
what was wrong with them. Just so they 
could not move. 

He found tour of them inside his skimmer. 
He picked them up, one by one. and threw 
them as far as he could. Damned 
monsters. He slid back in, on the ruined 
half-eaten seats, and :humbed the 
startpiate. 

Nothing happened. 

Kress tried again .and again. Nothing. It 
wasn't fair. This was his shimmer, i: ought to 
sfart. Why wouldn't it lift? He didn't under- 
stand. 

Finally he got out and checked, expect- 
ing the worst. He iound it. Jite sandkings 
had torn apart his gravity grid. He was 
trapped. He was still trapped, 

G'imy K'ess marched back into the 
house. He went to his galls- y ana iound the 
antique ax that had hung next to the throw- 
ing sword he had used on Cathm'Lane He 
set to work. The sandkings dio not stir even 
as he chopped them to pieces. But they 
splattered when he made the first cut, the 
bodies almost bursting. Inside was awful; 



strange half-formed cgans. a viscous red- 
oish coze tnat coked almost like njmar 
booa, and the yeiow .chor. 

K r ess oestroyeci twenty of them- before 
he realizec the futility of what he was doing. 
The mobiles were nothing, really. Besides, 
there were so many of them, He could work 
for a day and night and still rot kill tnem all. 

He: had to go down into the wine cellar 
and use the ax on the maw. 

Resolute, no sta-lec toward the cellar He 
got within sight of the door, tner stopped 

it was not a door anymore. The walls had 
been eaten away, so that the hole was twice 
the size it had been and round A oil that 
was all. The-e was no sign that the-e had 
ever been a door naiie.d shut over that black 
abyss. 

A ghastly, cnoking. tetic occ seemed to 
come from beow. 

And the walls we'e wel and bloody and 
covered win patches of white fungus. 

And worst, it was breathing. 

K r ess stood ac-css 'ho -oom ana 'e * Te 
warm wire wash over him. as it exnaiec 
and he trieo not to choke ard wher \ h T 
wind reversed erection he fed. 

Back in the liv ng room he desi r oye: 
three "to'e mobiles ard co lapsed Wir/ 
was happening? He didn't understand. 

Then he rememberec the only person 
Who might understand. Kress went to his 




p-ayec fervently that 

ered hebwadown 

hoLt interruption, no 
. slignt frown on ner 
-i Kress had -ifsnec 



lank— " equip- 



h- due east, as Wo had suggested 
3n he had been running for several 
with no sign a' rescue. Kress begar 
w cer;ain that he had miscalculated 



j gave it : is O'coao 



mKress stopped suddenly. 
"No," he said, "oh, no. Oh, no." 
He backpedaied, slipped on 
the sand, got up, and tried to 
run again. They were ghastly 
little things with bulging eyes 
and dusky orange skin* 



ing him 


.and 


-ibis hu 


nqe r 


j mo led 


now 


e -is fell 


. Ihft 


; hand 


on a 


v. He su 


,-^n 


-orried about 


■ benir.c 


him. 


oed to 


walk 


for the i 


ugh'.. 



sa.d. 



.. But 



ndHmgs nad split open, 
coverea w,:h p.ptisn- 
ie uo out of the gap and 
e dead s<h aside. 



n tn. 



Kress began 

He had no! d 

The h 3 KM 
~then:x,se 



s- s -Snaoe s-.s 



hace = a sarcoma ' K-ess rerj;;a:ed socn ^ 

numoly. "And you so d me a tan* of . . of . agan 

nfants. ah .. W«l*® 

Do not oe absuro." Wo said. "A first- fierce, 

stace sarc-.mg is more like a soerm than wishei 

:.e an nfam. Tne wars :empe' and cor.ro *a:er. 

them .n nature. Only one m a nuncrec seemc 
reaches the second siaoe Or ■■, one -, a -e . 

thousand achieves tne -. • -■■■- -'"-. '-'•■' 




PLANET 
STORY 



How an army of lizards 
missed the train 



A 



i new pictorial 

novel by Harry Harrison and Jim 
Burns dramatizes the sense of 
experimentation publishers are 
now bringing to science fiction. 

Planet Story opens with an ec- 
centric space commander who 
decides that the fragile planet 
Sabmus is an ideal spot io pur- 
sue his hobby: driving antique 
■ocomotives. A monstrous ma- 
chine is dispatched to lay track 
indiscriminately over the tiny 
planet's surtace. 

The mothership descends on 
Sabinus to oft-load a gold-plated 
locomotive. The commander's 
entourage boards the train and 
r oars off down computer-built 
tracks. It becomes immediately 
clear to everyone on board that 
Sabinus is not uninhabited. 
Liza'dlike aliens appear every- 
where. Thei r outrage a! the earth- 
ing assault is a call to battle, but 
their puny spears are no match 
for the speeding train. 

Having 'eve led one alien en- 
clave, the train stops on the far 
side of a simulated London 
Bridge. The commander asserts 
that nc manner of lizardoid 
"greenie" will disrupt his pen- 
chant for rodding and railing. 




* Lasers burned to the accompaniment 

of shrill alien screams. Depressed by their newest 

failure, the lizards withdrew. 9 




The 
squadron of :-zar~- :- rs a;rer:o::~-g ae'ctfac; ,:■:?■£ r ■:-;-.': 

armament ::• e-/e'ycne s asionshmenr : 'e;es T "f. - 

dtvecrappmg us'' "ye/- - s ;fce cd.'; 1 '™. id's,' c.-- - "' , Se^: "i" "f 3 

ate harmless Theirair- :u'cnes iry.varciine r^e»: :.: = * = :s 

o wa!: built across <r*e irscks From t>ehind ,■': ite ;<za!0'o;Q's pi 

locomotive with boulders. Short, powerful bursts of laser t 

!he tram's response The aiens ,ve qc-ne long t,e:ors tnen w 



^Supertrack cut the lizardoid city 

exactly in two, which is why the aliens had 

prepared a pointed welcome. 9 




m 




The train miir, on to the ours-ov's tit :v!\n appear? !e os the capital j.' 

lizardoidom Awaking trie tocomot^e i.-; ti gtani 'pine se! on 
the tracks, there !o intpato the cncamir.q eatihimgs. The time has 

come to party wit.n those aliens. Talking through a 
translator, the two siaes reach an agreement- The train win go tree 

Hthe humans heip the Hzarooids defeat the iatter's mortal 

enemy, a gaggle of crustaceans The lizaraoias prepare to scout 

enemy lines in a spy bailed': Several humans go along. 




• As soon as those lizardoids grab us. 

they'll nationalize your 

railroad and you'll follow us through 

the kitchen* 



The oai'oor. vee.'s :oo c'cso ■:•;■ crustacean 

AA bauenes ano is shot own m ;ne mpss 'r-n' ■i:-"'c.vs 

out nurr-an r-e-o:r.e -s capr-jred and 

earned away to ~M icc-sier king Fir toe smart f& the 

ftrrr.pr-sciner. He offers todea: His 'peep's" are in 

'.rouble The lizardoids nan: <o eat itiem. 

Humans, he assw~~ ;r.->. cr.r.rr-.-inder, v/iii te nex;. 

Convinced, the commander agrees !o dupe tie 

itzaraoios :r-K ia : 07."!g n-i ;ram a#ay 

from the defenses-; icons- i. Av.-sfeonry a: ine : as; 

minute of <his ;'&■&'?. -he- tzanj hordes 

charge after the train but the locomotive is sate. 

K chugs otf'nio '.he Una: episode cf Plane-. Story 

brought 10 youpy A&W Publishers (New York/ 

OO 




teA 



'There's a tremendous amount 
of space travel 

going on around the universe, 
When a vehicle arrives 
here, we'll know about it " 



irUTERV/IEUU 



:i 





zPkt'.- 



Ir 19^5. a young Eng.'Sh Technical oi"ice r who nad soert '■A'o'-ci 
War II helomg to oevelop radar systems for the Royal Air Force 
published a 'emar^ab'y prescient article in the Br'tish journal 
WirBl&ss World. The article showed m detail how artificia satellites 
could os used 1c relay electronic communications around the 
world. Tie writer was Arthur C. Clarke. 

T nus Oegan :he mcsl "ema r ><able marriage of ; ar-flung imagina- 
tion and realist c so entific fact in the history of English etters, for. 
„ as r-ucn as anyone, Cla'<e nas been a founder of the Space Age. 
* In hs wings, both 'ictior and nomicton, Clarke has been tne 
s Space Ages p'conel and one of its chief movers. 
§ Hs books are wdd 'enowned. and his writing has esrnec 
s ntenational awards, Less well known is the fact that he helped to 
| pusn a doubling scientific community nto serious consideration of 
e space flight, back in. the days when 'Shooting ; or the moon" was 
§ synonymous with attempting the imoossib e 
£ As charman of the British Interplanetary Society. Clarke en- 



couraged scienlsts arc engineers :o cok at :*e -ea z :== c ■ ss 
of space :'avel. -His invem.cn of hecomm.un cat :■ ; sste re .-.as a 
natural outgrowln ol nis ceaseless search : o--re car := -eai^es 
that wouic bring tne Oream of space "light mio ,=r ; - : e 

In his science-fiction stories and novels. *~e ca'tec "utjre 
scenarios in which space travel was an imeg'a 3"c -ecaceaoe 
part of human life in the very near future In - s - y" ction artices 
and books, he preserved powerful argi, —=-■; -c explo'ing 
space— and the inner depths o : Earth's oceans 

His nonficton works induce such classes as interplanetary 
Fiignt, The Exploration of Spaoe . Profiles o' r~ -..:,'£. ; /o;ces 'rem 
the Sky and The Promise m Space . H s sc ence-'" etion novels are 
4 anything, even bette'-known arounc the wor a Perhaps Clarke's 
most stunning contribution was his screenplay (with Stanley Ku- 
brick) and novel, 200?. A Scacs Odyssey 

Clarke now resides in Sr Lanka, wnere he was interviewed 
exclusively for Omni by .ournalist-photograoher iValcolm K.rk. 



SRI LANKA, MARCH 1979 

Omni: I .jpce'star.d you have giv- 



yoj kn 
tossv 
at :n s 



Omni: 
Clarke: 
A parr 



Omni:f\rei 
that you n 


■is re am 
light be 


■ inte- 


on— unde r 
Clarke: Op 


V-'': - 


yvy. h 



Then we did a two-hOL- Ceylonese epic 
ihat was a smash h t ard s still ore of tne 
nest films ever mane or *he ocal ma-kef— 
in oo or cgmal sound, eg nai -use. a re- 
ally first-rale film. We reissued : a ; ter morc- 
thap ten years, and it is packipg themjn. 

And :he next thng ' did was 2001 . 
Omni: Have you ever intended. af:e' 200* 
:o ge: ir-.ovoc in arylh ng else'^'ap "' 



; F ana | 3 ac;hc and 0'en:| 



cocktai pa't:es, dinners 



they re so tn-e-corsurr ng. the class c c; 

Omni: No rno'e bast' ng away * the "yoe- Baoylcn " T". 



Clarke: I haven't been act ve n :hat way tor Omni': Sot 

:-. :orc:l--e : became TC'J .- OSra ■/--;::: r The O'-ily :v 



(no, whch i fm 



l jsec tc be aoe to stay uncerwate' for tr the world. Omni: was just go 

nea r y tojr -iinutes. ever :nougn I didn't r 1976, the Ino-ans had This very mnor- [ha:, 

take up c v ng ml I was reany (Flirty :s.rt exoer men;. brcad:;asiina eeucanor-al Clarke: s'n dv net f 

Omni: Hyoervenr atirg? programs TOm a satel He banco by NASA fere I've see- Srar 

Clarke: Ybs. wh:cn s daugccus. s st..o:c cugh y hkec H I fee ■_■. 

Omn/: A-e you active.y involved .n any oro- ^^^^ ^ ^^^"^~ " veous". n-, A- ts e, 



'ip^o l f ., n J J - : . '" "-- •Space brought me to p; 

centers yoj i see hjnd-eds ot oeoo e Sri Lanka. I was interested in sn 

smasn'ng uo^he^oeajt^tjl ree*s. ngh: be- C#W/7£ /lere Simply ''^ 

i.,.. i ,■»!.,■! ..... . ■ ■ . ,,.,,,..., because it is the only way of e s: 

sure to oo it tna: no one is able to stop it. I m reproducing the 3r: 

omnrco^v)^- ■ ■■■■ tine Id waSrferrtsin condition of weightlessness, ^ 

-■a tjti,.-c' ol ccoarocraoh c explora: or w/7/'c/7 /S Characteristic of CIs 

work^wtth dolpnins-tnings along Those spaceflight.? JJ 

Clarke: Well I've a ways oeen tascmatea rati 



It was callec [he Satel :te Insrucuona "'e c- rrysolf 

vision Expe'mer:. Ard :o my delight ano Omni: 'v' 

surprise, tne re an Soacc Ressa-cn Or- Omn," 

ganizaton dew n a comp BIS crojrc s'a- Clarke: 

don. set t up on -y -oot. anc cave it lo me trea-mer 



ve'-y coselo and Omni: Do you tnmk ire curen^ rSSfSS n people, because I do UkS th s .e';, ser- 

k :c ale-.oeooleto think i: mc cates a « ■.- * resJanonglha a ~ost -possible tc ge: an -po-tant sJb- 
Ttone :"at several oopulation at ia-ao m :ne near hMM? ,ect taKen as seriously as It snoula oe. I 
Lis I rr very mucn Clarke: H-eres always oeen a oaokg-curd hcoe Omni can cc someth.ng aoouT this, 
i teacn people. Ac- ot interest ir science nctior Its awa Y s Of course, tiers s nothing you can co 
\ It ycu gotames- beer popu a r w-.eTe' ts beer oa ec eg- aocu: :ne ccmoeto r..ts. tne relig o js ma- 
in ' But that a one ence Noon c net =>;g--it oac.< tc Verne and niacs whe believe m -ymg saucers .andmg 
it purpose, tc make Wells and then tc the -coern era w ih me all :ne time I mean. :ney -e just mad. and 
:he r mal sower. But science-ficticn '-agazmes Almost any that s all there is to i:. 



Omni: What are ycu r feelings about th ngs 
1 v2 teleoatny ar'C UFOs arc 'a tn nea -ng? 
Clarke: Wall, you've put a ounch o-dhfe-'ent 



JFOs? 

Clarke: When I'm 
Which I have been 
hundred thbusand 



Oovicuslv we dc 
universe. As far as 
bending, and that scr 
oeside Geller wnen 
and I think I know ho\ 
Randi are quite sure 
it. 

Omni: how do you rr 
Clarke: Frs: of a.- 



Omni; Y 
Carke: 



4We should only be concerned 

with close encounters. 

Either they exist or they don't. 

If anyone reported 

a Tyrannosaurus rex loose 

in Central Park 

I'd verify it quite quickly; same 

with flying saucers*- 



you would -lake? 
Clarke: What I have dor 



found out nis 
Clarke: Then 
this. Yet, it's h 


t.on. You iorg 
the hits. Schc 
hits are stg.ni 



matter how [antaslic. 


can 




Omni: TTn 


comcicence. And t' 




icul: to quantify 


dism.ss :^ 


this. 




get on. to s Pro- 


Clarke; i 


; esso' Lou s Alvares. 




opel Laureate in 


around !h 


physics a* Berkeley 




i s a man who 


when one 


invented ground-cor 




approach raoar 


about it, T 


Louis then-assemb 


led 1 


he first atonic 




bomo. Tnen he aoi 


tfffi 


Nobe Prize for 


probaoo 


physics a few years a 




nd he's pemaps 


even nis'u 


one of f hp most a s 




ished American 




p:nvsicis:s .'.-II, 1= ^ 




erj this problem 




of co ncidences and 




paranormal and 




has wrrten a numbe' 




ireresting letters 


Omni: Dc 


to science abcj'. t 






receded ■ 


Omni: Whats your 


own 


opmon about 


of cjrren; 



Changes. Arc this has prcvec :o oe :ne 

Omni: So tne f uxre doesn t appear :c you 
any dif'e r ent now than t did ar :ne : : me :hat 
you wroie those 7 

Clarke: Not m genera; Of course, a lot o J 
■hings have tu-ned cut different. The 
biggest su'prise of ai was the speed at 
when we got to tie mean. Seconc-o.ggest 



; ■. ally 
Cla;Ke: ■ 



peneci today, 
these project; 
and ending inflaf 
the Ic 
Omni 



l.andthedolla 



-J. '.;v:. 



co vol. nink we QLtj.nl ;o com- 
~ i... -i'ca:e with cession civi zanons ojI n 
cj.aco'' I was reading an interesting little 
root' callec Lives of a Ceii har suggestec 
music be our form o J communication 
Clarke: That „vas:re idea r C'oss E"ccun- 



"org, because I don't 
n of commun : caticn. 
"icu ti; s to make any 
> c for Western ears, 
turn out to oe a very 



ng =ar:nassnaxrai widemess^ 1 
Clarke; I think tnat perhaps many of the 
heavy indJstr.es and p'ocicton systems 
may go "o space, or I suggest the planet 
V'ercjry whe'e you have all ;he power you 
neec from :he sun and probacy all the 
heavy metals as well I don : want :o mess 
up the moon. I want to preserve the lunar 
wiloerness. 

Omni: But you think that human beings can 
'■-■■a-ie ll-a'. psyciolog ca- orea* wth Earth 
a-o i ve !- hose k'nds of ar hca env ron- 



Cla-xe: 



luman beings can go 
'thing as long as hey 
nc anc pcnaps nave 
= -ior.— ! ".~ey need t 



:■ o do: 



: see-- :c 



have about trying 



iThe biggest surprise was the 

speed at which 
we got to the moon. Second- 
biggest surprise 
was the speed at which we left 
the moon, probably 
not to be back until the end 
of the century. • 



'es!nc:eci thing. 

Omni: How would you do ic yourself? 

Clarke: By ! ogic and mathematics, which 

must be universal, 

Omni; What k nd c~ informa: en dc you :h nk 

we ought to send out? 

Clarke: 'Wei . t's too late. We've sent ou: so 

much new -hat hat's at been sculee years 

ago. Umorr.Lnareiy. th nx o; a he super- 

c v canons icok ng ai ■'' Love L.:cy 

Omni: What son o* rc-oe-cussions do yc.i 

think the r e would be n we were lo lea r n we 

are a:cns in the universe? 

Clarke: Well, we can neve; learn that, of 

course because the universe is so enc- 

mous that if we go on icr the next hundred 



t be c 



ng i 



ndmg r 
■ tha: eve' t 



body, we c 

next hill there isn't someone I ac~i: ma: 
after he next hundred mi! ton years or so r. 
will look more and more like there's nobody 

though we've on'y ■oox.ed at two andmg 
sights, we found no face C" any:h ng anc 
so il see-s p'ooab e :nat there's noire on 
Mars But we can't be sure, oy any means, 
Omni: What cc you see as the mes: mteres:- 



b.iological mathoc 
succeed m gettin 
ganisn, tha: wil N 
fertilizer problems. 
World will be enom 
possibilities. A'so 
People are worrie 
nanr-DNA work, I t 
exaggerated, thou 



have a .5.1 percent chance o 



IOOK 
THROUGH THE 
WINDOWS OF 
TOMORROW 




onnrui 






s the lotest 

hnologyano 

■e future. The 

oking 

-vty like Carl 



C Cla-ke. isoac Asimoy Rober Hemlein and Ray- 
ays Bradbury prophesy the philosoohncal, ernotonai, 
: the and structural realities ct the world to be 

"fin te Omni is the world's fi'st major publication to 
come combine scenes fiction enc science fact, 
me first publication to afford paranormal 
phenomena the Simple dignry of c prcoe- 
ongoing scientific ingu ry Cmms aim is to 
heighten ano e" ver the wee we Ive h — 
to discover, clarify ora inform Omm's -cnge. 
editorially and graphically s as broad os the 
universe, os i ""■ f i n te os time. 



onnrui 



Sagan. Alvn Tcffler Buckmrster Fu ler, Stephen 
Hawking, Robert Jastrow and i J Good have 
their work featured or are profilea ond inter- 
viewed "op science 'iction wrirers such os Arthur The magazine of tomorrow. Subscribe today! 



THEBESTOF 

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SCIENCE FICTION 

A NONPAREIL ANTHOLOGY OF STOR'IS AND 
PICTORIALS. TEN FANTASTIC FICTION FEATURES 
, BY SUCH OLD PROS AS HARLAN ELLISON AND 
ROBERT SHECKLEY AS\WELL AS SUCH NEWER 
STARS AS GEORGE R. R. MARTIN AND ORSON 
SCOTT CARD. GREAT ARTISTS CONTRIBUTING 
TO THE MIND-EXPANDING PICTORIALS INCLUDE 
H. R. GIGER, SAMUEL BAK, AND ERNST FUCHS. 
THERE IS ALSO AN -EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH 
WORLD-RENOWNED SCIENCE-FICTION AUTHOR 
ARTHUR C. CLARKE. 144 PAGES, 76 IN FULL 
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VOLUME IS THE QUINTESSENCE OF OMNI, it 
DESERVES PRIDE OF PLACE IN YOUk LIBRARY