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â–  The tumult in Convention Hall was a hurricane of sound that lashed at a sea of human beings that surged and eddied around the broad floor. Men and women, delegates and spectators, aged party wheelhorses and youngsters who would vote for the first time that November, all lost their identities to merge with that swirling tide. Over their heads, like agitated bits of flotsam, pennants fluttered and placards rose and dipped. Beneath... more...

Like some great silver-pink fish, the ship sang on through the eternal night. There was no impression of swimming; the fish shape had neither fins nor a tail. It was as though it were hovering in wait for a member of some smaller species to swoop suddenly down from nowhere, so that it, in turn, could pounce and kill. But still it moved. Only a being who was thoroughly familiar with the type could have told that this fish was dying.   In... more...

Ambitious Brill slid smoothly into her berth in the Brooklyn Navy Yard after far too many weeks at sea, as far as her crew were concerned. After all the necessary preliminaries had been waded through, the majority of that happy crew went ashore to enjoy a well-earned and long-anticipated leave in the depths of the brick-and-glass canyons of Gomorrah-on-the-Hudson. The trip had been uneventful, in so far as nothing really dangerous or exciting... more...

There was a dizzy, sickening whirl of mental blackness—not true blackness, but a mind-enveloping darkness that was filled with the multi-colored little sparks of thoughts and memories that scattered through the darkness like tiny glowing mice, fleeing from something unknown, fleeing outwards and away toward a somewhere that was equally unknown; scurrying, moving, changing—each half recognizable as it passed, but leaving only a vague... more...

Alfred Pendray pushed himself along the corridor of the battleship Shane, holding the flashlight in one hand and using the other hand and his good leg to guide and propel himself by. The beam of the torch reflected queerly from the pastel green walls of the corridor, giving him the uneasy sensation that he was swimming underwater instead of moving through the blasted hulk of a battleship, a thousand light-years from home. He came to the turn in... more...


There are times when a broken tool is better than a sound one, or a twisted personality more useful than a whole one. For instance, a whole beer bottle isn't half the weapon that half a beer bottle is ... Illustrated by Martinez     n his office apartment, on the top floor of the Terran Embassy Building in Occeq City, Bertrand Malloy leafed casually through the dossiers of the four new men who had been assigned to him. They were... more...

r. Joachim sat in the small room behind his reception hall and held his fingers poised above the keys of the rather creaky electrotyper on his desk. The hands seemed to hang there, long, slender, and pale, like two gulls frozen suddenly in their long swoop towards some precious tidbit floating on the writhing sea beneath, ready to begin their drop instantly, as soon as time began again. All of Dr. Joachim's body seemed to be held in that same... more...

Logic's a wonderful thing; by logical analysis, one can determine the necessary reason for the existence of a dead city of a very high order on an utterly useless planet. Obviously a shipping transfer point! Necessarily...   "Mendez?" said the young man in the blue-and-green tartan jacket. "Why, yes ... sure I've heard of it. Why?" The clerk behind the desk looked again at the information screen. "That's the destination we have... more...

“And that,” said Colonel Fennister glumly, “appears to be that.” The pile of glowing coals that had been Storage Shed Number One was still sending up tongues of flame, but they were nothing compared with what they’d been half an hour before. “The smoke smells good, anyway,” said Major Grodski, sniffing appreciatively. The colonel turned his head and glowered at his adjutant. “There are times,... more...

The great merchantship Naipor settled her tens of thousands of tons of mass into her landing cradle on Viornis as gently as an egg being settled into an egg crate, and almost as silently. Then, as the antigravs were cut off, there was a vast, metallic sighing as the gigantic structure of the cradle itself took over the load of holding the ship in her hydraulic bath. At that point, the ship was officially groundside, and the Naipor was in the... more...