[Gregor] pushed the list aside, found a pack of tattered cards, and laid out a hopeless solitaire of his own devising. Minutes later, Arnold stepped jauntily in. Gregor looked at his partner with suspicion. When the little chemist walked with that peculiar bouncing step, his round face beaming happily, it usually mean trouble for AAA … Continue reading Robert Sheckley: The AAA Ace Stories
And still I persist in wondering whether folly must always be our nemesis. Edgar Pangborn, “My Brother Leopold” (1973) Edgar Pangborn had a great name—not enough people mention that, I feel. He’s the latest author to feature in my intermittent project of rereading classic-but-not-now-famous science-fiction stories from my formative years—the sort of stories that some … Continue reading Edgar Pangborn: The Darkening World Cycle
“In my youth I thought I was the world’s worst crackpot screwball. The I met up with you and found that, in comparison, I was merely a sane, sensible, hard-working engineer. I never got over the disappointment of that realization. […]” Colin Kapp, “The Railways Up On Cannis” (1959) If you were a teenage science-fiction … Continue reading Colin Kapp: The Unorthodox Engineers
Ever since first contact, when the Jackaroo kicked off a global war on Earth, and swindled the survivors out of rights to most of the solar system in exchange for a basic fusion drive and access to a wormhole network linking a couple of dozen lousy M-class red dwarf stars, aliens had been tricking, bamboozling, … Continue reading Paul McAuley: The “Jackaroo” Short Stories
LORD, IF ONE MORE PERSON tells me that giving an anaesthetic is like flying a plane, I will swing for them, I really will.