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The Answer

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Author: H. Beam Piper
Published: 1959
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,596 / 23 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 9,654
Added to site: 2006.05.09 13422

First published in Fantastic Universe Science Fiction, December, 1959. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the copyright on this publication was renewed.

Show Excerpt

mile and a half away. Before they went inside, Richardson glanced up at the sky, fixing the location of a few of the more conspicuous stars in his mind. There were almost a hundred men and women inside, each at his or her instruments--view-screens, radar indicators, detection instruments of a dozen kinds. The reporters and telecast people arrived shortly afterward, and Eugenio Galvez took them in tow. While Richardson and Pitov were making their last-minute rounds, the countdown progressed past minus one hour, and at minus twenty minutes all the overhead lights went off and the small instrument operators' lights came on.

Pitov turned on a couple of view-screens, one from a pickup on the roof of the bunker and another from the launching-pad. They sat down side by side and waited. Richardson got his pipe out and began loading it. The loudspeaker was saying: "Minus two minutes, one fifty nine, fifty eight, fifty seven--"

He let his mind drift away from the test, back to the world that had

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
Sardo Weems

A good tale by Piper. Two former enemies during the Cold War, both haunted by the nuclear exchange that destroyed the Northern Hemisphere, work together on a purely scientific experiment that finally gives them some peace after 15 years.

Good characters, nice plot, good science, a pleasure to read.


A nice tight little story by one of the greats. Only a little dated (nega instead of anti). Interesting that Piper correctly listed the major players (US, Russia, China, India, Japan, and the muslim states) fifty years ago.



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