Paingod and Other Delusions
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Robert Heinlein says, ?This book is raw corn liquor ? you should serve a whiskbroom with each shot so the customer can brush the sawdust off after he gets up from the floor.? Perhaps a mooring cable might also be added as necessary equipment for reading these eight wonderful stories: They not only knock you down?they raise you to the stars. Passion is the keynote as you encounter the Harlequin and his nemesis, the dreaded Tictockman, in one of the most reprinted and widely taught stories in the English language; a pyretic who creates fire merely by willing it; the last surgeon in a world of robot physicians; a spaceship filled with hideous mutants rejected by the world that gave them birth. Touching and gentle and shocking stories from an incomparable master of impossible dreams and troubling truths.
replied Furth in a casual, matter-of-fact manner. “You were on the scene of an orgy in the Hagars Building yesterday during second-shift, were you not?” Elix swallowed with difficulty and nodded yes, then, catching himself, he said, “Yes, Superior Furth.” “How much of that orgy did you record?” “As much as I could before it broke up, sir.” “What you mean is, as much as you could before you found that fondling a young woman named Guzbee was more interesting than your on-duty job. Correct?”
around if we didn’t have a use for you? “Let me tell you a story,” the old man went on. “Hundreds of years ago, before what you blissfully call the Kyben Explosion into space, both Crackpots and Stuffed Shirts lived here, though they weren’t divided that way, back then. The Stuffed Shirts were the administrators, the implements of keeping everything neatly filed, and everyone in line. That type seems to gravitate toward positions of influence and power. “The Crackpots were the nonconformists.
maintained, just slightly limiting the phymech’s abilities. As though to reassure some unnamed person that they needed help. Even if it was mechanical help to help the mechanicals. The three phymechs were performing the operation directly beneath the bubble when Bergman came in. The bubble was dark, but he could see Murray Thomas’s craggy features set against the light of the operating stage. The illumination had been a concession to the human observers, for with their own eternalights, the
death of the thresher victim, the Oath, and the way he had almost shattered it tonight, the death of Charlie, and now this robocop that was the Mechanical God in its vilest form. It all summed up, and Bergman lunged around the robocop, trying to upset it. It rocked back on its settlers, and tried to grab him. He avoided a tentacle, and streaked out into the hall. The punctuated, syncopated, stop-beat of the burley music welled over him, and he cast about in desperation. Leaning against one wall
bastards out soon enough! Teach them to jump peaceful Earthmen.” Gunnderson wished he could shut out the words. He had heard the same story all the way from A Centauri IX and back. Someone had always jumped someone else…someone was always at war with someone else…there were always bastards to be cleaned out…never any peace…never any peace… The invership whipped past the myriad-odd colors of inverspace, hurtling through that not-space toward the alien cluster. Gunnderson sat in the