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Published: 1955
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,753 / 24 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 88.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,033
Added to site: 2007.10.12 18480

You can do a great deal if you have enough data, and enough time to compute on it, by logical methods. But given the situation that neither data nor time is adequate, and an answer must be produced... what do you do?

Show Excerpt

d cautiously.

"And it's my guess that we're never going to get the answer by diving for it--not in time, anyhow. Remember when the Navy lost a barge-load of shells in the harbor, back in '52? They scrabbled for them for a year and never pulled up a one; they finally had to warn the public that if it found anything funny-looking along the shore it shouldn't bang said object, or shake it either. We're better equipped than the Navy was then--but we're working against a deadline."

"If you'd admitted that earlier," Anderton said hoarsely, "we'd have half a million people out of the city by now. Maybe even a million."

"We haven't given up yet, colonel. The point is this, Joan: what we need is an inspired guess. Get anything from the prob series, Clark? I thought not. On a one-shot gamble of this kind, the 'laws' of chance are no good at all. For that matter, the so-called ESP experiments showed us long ago that even the way we construct random tables is full of holes--and that a man with a feel

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3 from 4 reviews: ***
JoJo Biggins

I thought it was a pretty good story, but the ending was a slight let-down. Pacing was good, characterization not too bad. Held my interest until the end.

A government agency tests a highly unorthodox method for sniffing out major threats.

Sardo Weems

A Polish freighter drops something in the Hudson River. The search for the object isn\'t going well. The commander of the search has an hour to decide to evacuate the city or not. He needs someone with a history of successful hunches. . . .

A pulp story, not badly done, but nothing special.

Dick Thornton

I agree that this is not one of Blish's best works, but it isn't a bad story. Probably average for the time and media.


Not one of Blish's better works.



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Effie Kammenou
Effie Kammenou grew up listening to stories about her mother's childhood in Athens and her experiences during WWII, and her father's tales of how his family came to America. After her mother passed away, Kammenou felt inspired to write a family saga that spans fifty years and crosses two continents. As our Author of the Day, Kammenou talks about this debut novel, Evanthia's Gift, tells us more about her family and reveals why her books also contain all kinds of interesting recipes.
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