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The Measure of a Man

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Published: 1960
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,241 / 22 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,830
Added to site: 2008.01.04 19600

What is desirable is not always necessary, while that which is necessary may be most undesirable. Perhaps the measure of a man is the ability to tell one from the other... and act on it.

Show Excerpt

had any liquor aboard, he would have gotten mildly drunk. Instead, he sat down and read the spools of microfilm, using the projector in the sick bay.

He was not a scientist in the strict sense of the word. He was a navigator and a fairly good engineer. So it didn't surprise him any that he couldn't understand a lot of the report. The mechanics of making a semi-nova out of a normal star were more than a little bit over his head. He'd read a little and then go out and take a look at the stars, checking their movement so that he could make an estimate of his speed. He'd jury-rigged a kind of control on the hull field, so he could aim the hulk easily enough. He'd only have to get within signaling range, anyway. An Earth ship would pick him up.

If there was any Earth left by the time he got there.

He forced his mind away from thinking about that.

It was not until he reached the last spool of microfilm that his situation was forcibly brought to focus in his mind. Thus far, he ha

Reader Reviews

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

I highly predictable tale of man facing an \"impossible\" situation. Starts out kind of interesting, but peters out from there.

Paulo Respighi

An interesting story of the only survivor of an interstellar attack trying to get information on the enemy's plan to explode the sun back to Earth before the plan can happen. But the crippled ship won't travel fast enough.

A one-man story, well done.


The sole survivor of the battleship "Shane" has a mission -- to get back to Earth in time to warn of an impending alien attack that will wipe out humanity. The only problem is that the "Shane" won't travel fast enough to get to Earth in time, and the only ship that will -- a lifeboat -- is unshielded and would kill a pilot with radiation within days. Garrett's tale of one man's heroism and ingenuity is splendidly told.



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