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Fly By Night

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Published: 1954
Language: English
Wordcount: 6,056 / 25 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 71.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,254
Added to site: 2010.06.08 28083

A young man and a young woman alone on the first over-the-moon ship. The world cheered them as the most romantic adventurers in all history. Do-gooders decried them as immoral stunters. Gaunt, serious militarists pronounced them part of the most crucial experiment ever undertaken....

Show Excerpt

in. And again. Surely there never was, never could be, a greater delight embracing than in the floating, heady, free fall of null-G. Certainly the psychologists knew no other method of retaining sanity in the cruelly endless jet pit engulfing the stars. Which was why they had planned it that way.

* * * * *

Well out of atmosphere he began to brake skillfully, easing the craft into an orbital arc that would later be changed to a descending spiral. Biting into rarified air, he adjusted the hull heat distributor, cut in the refrigeration unit, increased oxygen a trifle. He removed a small envelope from its taped position on a panel and opened it to read his landing instructions. Then he looked questioningly at Carol.

"Southwest Oregon. The Oregon Caves National Monument. We're to go in on a beacon signal."

"You don't suppose they want us to show survival ability?"

"On a deal like this? No, something's haywire here. First, there's not a strip that'll take the Latecomer f

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 2 from 3 reviews: **
JoJo Biggins

In a word, this story is odd. The science is laughable by any standard, and the social presumptions are absurd. Beyond that it is an interesting premise, although it shuts down quickly in what I'm sure the author thought was a "twist" for and ending. Not very satisfying, but worth a read just because of how different it is.

Sardo Weems

Written in 1954, set in 1966, the atomic space ship to the moon encounters interplanetary time slowing and space fear: a couple of things we've found don't happen. If you can ignore that, the story is okay. The characters are cardboard (Ken is a major, Carol a lieutenant, she's there to follow his orders--any orders).

There just seems to be too much wrong with the story.


End-of-the-world short story with an unusual premise and a bit of a surprise ending. Worth a read.



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Author of the Day

Nicole Harkin
Nicole Harkin grew up in Montana and Georgia with parents who were steeped in the airline industry. To Harkin, family life was an interesting mix of secrets, drama and humor. She ended up writing a memoir which won an award and keeps readers at the edge of their seats. Illness, cancer, teen pregnancy: it’s all in there! As our Author of the Day, Harkin talks more about her childhood, her hobbies and what drove her to write this memoir.
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