Accidental Death

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Author: Peter Baily
Published: 1959
Language: English
Wordcount: 4,262 / 19 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 23,095
Added to site: 2008.02.05 19958

The most dangerous of weapons is the one you don't know is loaded.

Show Excerpt

you've got bad luck when future chance events won't go your way. Scientific investigations into this have been inconclusive, but everyone knows that some people are lucky and others aren't. All we've got are hints and glimmers, the fumbling touch of a rudimentary talent. There's the evil eye legend and the Jonah, bad luck bringers. Superstition? Maybe; but ask the insurance companies about accident prones. What's in a name? Call a man unlucky and you're superstitious. Call him accident prone and that's sound business sense. I've said enough.

"All the same, search the space-flight records, talk to the actuaries. When a ship is working perfectly and is operated by a hand-picked crew of highly trained men in perfect condition, how often is it wrecked by a series of silly errors happening one after another in defiance of probability?

"I'll sign off with two thoughts, one depressing and one cheering. A single Chingsi wrecked our ship and our launch. What could a whole planetful of them do?


Average Rating of 3.3 from 6 reviews: ****
Paulo Respighi

Some nice description in a story of the lone survivor of the first warp-drive ship, whose mission was uneventful until they reached this one planet. Then everything that could go wrong, did.

An interesting idea that other races may have talents we never dreamed of, and can't recognize until it's too late.


I consider my self kind of a deep thinker, and as much as I tried to, I couldn't dwell on this book very long after I finished. It was very simple, but entertaining (kind of) while it lasted.


Well, everyone likes to blame something or someone for what seems like bad luck leading to a nasty pickle of a situation. Why not blame the catlike alien race that plays chess (badly), table tennis, and laughs at human jokes. After the humans leave their planet they find grave misfortune as their ship winds up in a really, really wrong spot. Are the aliens culpable? Could be.....or not.


Although relatively simple in its premises, the story allowed me to ponder over what we call "Luck" and on whether the Chingsi were able to control it - which would mean they were far darker than what they seem - or if they just got a few laughs out of soomething they attracted unintentionally. I appreciate a story that leaves me wanting to think on aspects usually taken for granted, and I also appreciate a story that is able to make me feel uneasy. This piece achieved both despite it is not very technological nor action-packed.




Reccomend everyone to take a look on this book! very intersting.......

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