Elvin wasn't sure how it had started—maybe it was the Schermerhorn twins—or the mysterious "meteorite"—or else the world had gone crazy....
was nothing on the shelves. Five minutes before closing time, he asked the librarian for help.
"I don't suppose there's anything in," she answered. "We've had a perfect run on books all morning."
"You mean everything in the library is out?"
"Everything worthwhile." She beamed. "And most of the borrowers were your tenth graders, too, Mr. Elvin. You've certainly done a wonderful job of inspiring that class to do serious reading. Why, do you know Mabel Travis has been in here three times today? She took out seven books as soon as the library opened, and she had them back by nine-thirty. Said she'd read them all, too."
"Seven books in less than two hours?" Elvin laughed.
"I suppose she thought she had. Poor little Mabel! She hasn't much to work with, you know. But it was her new attitude I liked--so intense, so serious. And she was doing such heavy reading, too."
Elvin walked back to the Schermerhorn ranch, enjoying the noon-day warmth. San Benedicto was crowded with Sat
Elvin, a high school teacher renting a room in the house of two of his students, flees one of their parties, and while staring at the sky outside, notices a meteor. It hits nearby, so he goes to investigate, and finds a small rocket that he manages to get open and empty out. Then all hell starts to break loose.
Elvin is the only real character. Once the teenagers are all "improved" they have the typical superior-alien-from-outer-space personality that we know so well from movies and TV. The description isn't bad, and as problems pile up, you start to wonder how everything will be resolved. The ending is nothing new.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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