Cover image for


Published: 1962
Language: English
Wordcount: 19,342 / 63 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 83.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 4,175
Added to site: 2007.11.30 19197

There are two basic kinds of fools--the ones who know they are fools, and the kind that, because they do not know that, are utterly deadly menaces!

Show Excerpt

up gas and liquid from a hole in the rock. On the surface of a good-sized planet, the drill would have built up a little volcanic cone around the lip of the hole, but building a cone like that requires enough gravity to pull the hot matter back to the edge of the hole.

The fireworks didn't last long. The drill wasn't built to go in too deep. A drill of that type could be built which would burrow its way right through a small planetoid, but that was hardly necessary for planting an anchor. Ten meters was quite enough.

Now came the hard work.

On the outside of the Nancy Bell, locked into place, was a specially-treated nickel-steel eye-bolt--thirty feet long and eight inches in diameter. There had been ten of them, just as there had been ten drills in the storage locker. Now the last drill had been used, and there was but one eye-bolt left. The Nancy Bell would have to go back for more supplies after this job.

The anchor bolts had a mass of four metric tons each. Ma


Average Rating of 5 from 2 reviews: *****
Sardo Weems

There is quite a lot of good physics in this: weight, mass, momentum, laws of motion, etc. in zero or low gravity. The plot concerns a two-person expedition to the asteroid belt by the one-world Earth government to investigate the steep fatality rate among asteroid prospectors. The Earth has turned into a welfare state, so naturally they are highly concerned about their asteroid colonies' citizens.

If you like, you can pretend it was written by Ayn Rand, though the science, character development, plotting, descriptions are much better than she ever managed.


I loved this story, both for its philosophical content and for the way it mixes action with just the right ammount of scientific (plausible) details.

If you are looking for a clever read that will let you ponder on how different moral values may lead to evolutionary differentiation between "fellow men", this is the story for you.

It is definitively worth reading even if it is to discover the real complexity of the Nancy Bell crew.

Those looking for deeper, darker cyberpunk stuff might feel a little dsappointed though. Still, I would invite everyone to give it a try.

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