The piercing wonder of man's climb to higher intelligence -- a breathtakingly ingenious story, by the winner of two major Science Fiction awards.
ng that had kept him from qualifying as an E? What was it the examiner had asked? "Mr. Hayes, why do you feel it is all right for you to view, to read, to know--but that others should be protected from seeing, reading, knowing? What are these sterling qualities you have that make it all right for you to censor what would not be right for others?"
He abruptly brought his mind back to the present. Perhaps he'd first better prepare a news statement before he did anything else, something noncommittal, reassuring. No point in getting the populace stirred up.
As he sat down behind his desk, a big man in a brown suit, natural iron-gray hair, a calm and administrative face, he began to realize that for the next twenty-four hours, at least, he would be in the spotlight. Well, he'd give a good account of himself. Demonstrate that he had an executive capacity beyond the needs of his present job. More than a mere requisition signer, interoffice memo initialer.
For one thing the scientists would give
One of the better stories on this site. Unfortunately it falls into the rut of explaining religion near the end of the story - this is just too overdone in SF, and does not make for a completely satisfying ending. Also, the author likes to throw tons of words into philosophical meadering. Nonetheless, a different enough story to be entertaining.
Thank you thank you. I have been looking for this book for over 30 years! I read it when I was 15 years old and it profoundly affected me. Now I can carry it with me and read it when ever I wish. I remembered it wa seven keys and that is why it was so hard to find :(
The eight keys are something I have lived by since I was 15.
This one is fun: a completely improbable, but likeable, nobility called E's (for Extrapolators) are called in to make contact with a non-human, crystalline intelligence.