Gravity's Angel

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Author: Tom Maddox
Published: 1992
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,830 / 23 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 87.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,962
Added to site: 2007.10.13
mnybks.net#: 18529
License: by-nc-nd

Author's note: This story concerns a future in which Congress continued funding for the SSC, which of course did not happen in our timeline, where instead of gravity's angel we have a large, mostly empty tunnel beneath the Texas plains. I would also remind the reader that all stories take place in alternate realities, perhaps, as David Deutsch maintains, among an infinite number of them.

Show Excerpt

About fifty meters away, Diehl stood talking to a man wearing blue overalls with the yellow flashes of a crew chief. The man looked taut, white-faced. "So pull every goddamned dipole with that batch number and replace the smart bolts," Diehl said. They walked toward me, and the crew chief stopped at a com station and plugged in his headset, no doubt beginning the evil task Diehl had set him.

"What can I do for you, Sax?" he asked.

"I've got a visitor," I said. "From Los Alamos. And she's got some interesting simulations of our full-power shots. I think you ought to see them." He looked startled; he hadn't expected me to ask for his time-money, resources, priority, yes, but not his time. "Or ma be not," I said. "Maybe you should let me have Dickie Boy put her Monte Carlos on The Thing. She's got some strange stuff there, and if it works out, we need to be prepared."

"Sax, what the fuck are you talking about? I'm tired, you know? We're in the home stretch here, on budget, on time ... now t

Reviews

Average Rating of 3.2 from 5 reviews: ****
2014.10.09
JoJo Biggins
**...

High on science. Low on action. The ending is both predictable and boring. Gratuitous sex and foul language add nothing to the story.

2014.03.11
Paulo Respighi
*****

A good story that is ultimately about how specialists get so absorbed in their assumptions about their field of work that they ignore evidence that refutes their thinking. And how sexism aggravates the problem.
Far from being male-bashing, or making the hero a white knight, the story quite realistically portrays how a growing friendship between a man and a woman slowly allows them to treat one another as individuals with ideas worth considering, something impossible in a more formal setting.
A nice character-driven story; the science is almost irrelevant.

2012.09.03
Awful
*....

This book was complete garbage. As if it was not enough to be pictured in the media and by University teachers as one of the members of the gorilla class, now heres another book that puts women on a pedestal and tries to create even more hatred for men.

The worst type of man is the man who betrays his sex and becomes a white knight in order to get money, female attention, and sex(though, most white knights don't get that much sex.

2012.08.26
bhold
***..

Interesting story. The underlying feminist message - "smart woman ignored by the good old boys" - could have been much better. The author could have been more subtle with this. Instead, the blunt and heavy-handed "men are blind animals, woman knows all" attitude seemed unrealistic and rushed in order to move the story along. Still, worth a read.

2008.09.07
Carter
*****

Great short story, and very timely to read this week! It's about the day they turned on the Texas particle accelerator (that in reality we never finished). It's a tense, atmospheric story about what happens when Big Science meets a very human failing. Great read.


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