Cover image for


Author: J. F. Bone
Published: 1962
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,635 / 30 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 73.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,886
Added to site: 2008.08.13 21691

Generally,human beings don't dototally useless thingsconsistently and widely.So--maybe there issomething to it--

Show Excerpt

ss at the far end of the cubicle. "They're connected to those gadgets up there." He indicated the jointed arms hanging over the autopsy table in the room beyond. "I could perform a major operation from here and never touch the patient. Using these I can do anything I could in person with the difference that there's a quarter inch of glass between me and my work. I have controls that let me use magnifiers, and even do microdissection, if necessary."

"Where's the cadaver?" Mary asked.

"Across the room, behind that door," he said, waving at the low, sliding metal partition behind the table. "It's been prepped, decontaminated and ready to go."

"What happens when you're through?"

"Watch." Dr. Kramer pressed a button on the console in front of him. A section of flooring slid aside and the table tipped. "The cadaver slides off that table and through that hole. Down below is a highly efficient crematorium."

Mary shivered. "Neat and effective," she said shakily.

"After that th


Average Rating of 3.3 from 3 reviews: ****
Sardo Weems

An early '60s short story that's a little different: one character smokes a pipe and the other cigarettes (usually it's one or the other, seldom mixed.) Seriously, there's a viral mutation that attacks the lungs and kills everyone it infects, but doesn't infect everyone. A widowed ex-nurse and a pathologist are sealed in together trying to find something that will kill the virus or protect people from it.

The writing is good, the characters a little two-dimensional (not much grief for the dead husband and kid,) but overall it works and has a nice twist ending.


Good short story, quick to read with a bizarre twist.


Quick, light, decent example of early 60's SF.

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