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What The Left Hand Was Doing

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Published: 1960
Language: English
Wordcount: 11,519 / 40 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 76.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,433
Added to site: 2008.04.26 20671

There is no lie so totally convincing as something the other fellow already knows-for-sure is the truth. And no cover-story so convincing…

Show Excerpt

s message had been received.

Then a red gleam came into being on the control board.

"What the hell?" said the co-pilot.

The pilot swore. "I told 'em that door was weak! We've ripped the luggage door off her hinges. Feel her shake?"

The co-pilot looked grim. "Good thing it happened now instead of in mid-flight. At that speed, we'd been torn apart."

"Blown to bits, you mean," said the pilot. "Let's bring her in."

By that time, Spencer Candron was a long way below the ship, falling like a stone, a big suitcase clutched tightly in his arms. He knew that the Chinese radar was watching the jetliner, and that it had undoubtedly picked up two objects dropping from the craft--the door and one other. Candron had caught the pilot's mental signal--anything that powerful could hardly be missed--and had opened the door and leaped.

But those things didn't matter now. Without a parachute, he had flung himself from the plane toward the earth below, and his onl

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***
Lisa Carr

Written in 1960, set in 1990. A Chinese-American physicist on the track of interstellar propulsion is kidnapped and a double substituted and killed while he is attending a conference in Peiping. An agent of a secret US spy agency with psi powers is dispatched to find and rescue the scientist.
An okay story, but almost fantasy because if the guy can do anything, where's the conflict? Even James Bond needs a rocket pack to levitate. When the hero has only one limitation--he gets tired--you might as well read a Superman comic book.

Henry L. Ratliff

(1960) Sci-fi (Gadgets) / Espionage (Kidnapping) / Short story (Magazine story)

R: * * *

Plot bullets

  • There is a secret American government organization having, hopefully, the anomalous name of 'The Society For Mystical and Metaphysical Research, Inc.'.

  • Agent Spencer Candron has a mission. Communist China has kidnapped the famous American physicists James Ch'ien, after faking his death by political radicals. Ch'ien's knowledge of the Interstellar Drive is critical to America.

  • Agent Candron has a quick mind and some rather advanced methods at his disposal. He must get to China, do his job and get himself and the physicists back alive.

  • It is a tangled web of deception. Success relies on the right hand never knowing 'What the Left Hand Was Doing'.

From 'Astounding Science Fiction' February 1960.



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Author of the Day

Chadwick Wall
Chadwick Wall has written for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Sewanee Purple, the Riverside Reader, the Baton Rouge Advocate, and most recently After years living in many cities and regions, he counts himself lucky enough to reside in the laid-back yet vibrant, friendly and creative city of Austin. Here he spends many of his days and nights either holed up like a hermit, reading or writing away-or prowling around, investigating all of the live music, delicious cuisine, and cultural hotspots he can find. As our Author of the Day, Chad tells us all about his latest book, The Second Cortez.
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