Author: Roger Phillips Graham (Rog Phillps)
Published: 1949
Language: English
Wordcount: 11,515 / 40 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 87.7
LoC Categories: PZ, GV
Downloads: 1,512
Added to site: 2008.12.11
mnybks.net#: 22828
Origin: gutenberg.org

If Nature suddenly began to behave differently, what we consider obvious and elementary today might become--unthinkable.

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Martha checked her list. There had been two left when she went to lunch. They had been checked off, too, while she was gone.

"That's all, Dr. Nale," she said.

"Good," came his voice through the intercom. "Think I'll go out and have something to eat myself."

The click of the intercom was followed at once by the opening of the inner office door. Martha's eyes watched Dr. Nale Hargrave as he walked through the office and out into the corridor.

Her eyes remained on the exit after he had gone, a faint frown creasing the smooth skin above her eyes. She had an IRRATIONAL impression that she had seen Dr. Bemis, the super, instead of Dr. Nale, and with his head bandaged clumsily.

She dismissed this with a pout and took a book out of a drawer to do her afternoon reading.

The buzzer on her desk buzzed a warning. She laid the book flat as the inner office door opened and Dr. Nale escorted Ren Gravenard out into the waiting room.

Martha glanced at her watch. It was ten afte


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Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
Paulo Respighi

A satisfying story of the nature of reality (much more so than CC Beck's Vanishing Point.) A rogue planet is passing the solar system and a space ship is sent to investigate. When the ship and crew return, strange things began happening--but then, they had always been happening.

I'm usually leery when an author has to explain his story with a preface. In this case: 1) I could probably have "got" the story without it, and 2) I would probably have never finished reading the story.


This short story considers the possibility that reality does not follow the same laws everywhere in the universe. What would happen if space travelers, after encountering these different laws, returned to earth? While very good, I don't think this story made the most of an interesting idea.

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