Pariah: Lost Sci-Fi Short Stories from the 40s, 50s and 60s (Unabridged‪)‬

    • £1.99

    • £1.99

Publisher Description

Harry spent three years in space, waiting to get home to Earth - and his family. They were waiting for him, too - that is, for his corpse.

Captain Greene shook his shaggy head and studied Allerton with patient eyes. "You're making a mistake," he said. "You'll be back."

The inside of the spaceship was quiet now, not with the silence of the tomb, but with the silence of barely inaudible echoes, as if Allerton might still be able to hear the crew clomping about the companionways on metal-shod feet if only he knew how to listen. He buried the notion under the sweet anticipation of homecoming and said, "I don't think so, Captain. This is what I want, right here." He tapped the comforting bulk of his wallet, bulging the metallic cloth of his tunic.

He was a gaunt, comical figure of a man, so long and lean that he stooped slightly at the waist and again at the shoulders, with a long, down-tipped nose, which almost seemed to meet the thin-lipped mouth as he spoke. "What about you, Captain?" he said. He was still savoring the joy of his own return, letting it build up inside him like a slow fire fanned by barely enough air to keep it kindled. He hardly cared whether Captain Greene disembarked or not, but the captain's unexpected lack of enthusiasm was a splendid counterpoint for his own emotions, and he wanted to wring every last drop of joy from his homecoming. "All the men are gone," he went on. "This is Earth, captain."

"I don't leave the ship much these days, Allerton. I've got to complete the log, you know, then do a little advance astronauting for the trip out. Anyway, none of the others are spacemen, Allerton. An old spacedog like me can smell 'em a mile away - the real ones. You've got the makings, all right."

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Scott Miller
hr min
31 January
Scott Miller