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[A Tale of Two Clocks]

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Published: 1962
Language: English
Wordcount: 77,452 / 238 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,860
Added to site: 2007.05.18 17021

Trigger Argee has been sent by her boss to the University Planet to oversee a plasmoid project. So why aren't Professor Mantelish or Trigger's boss anywhere to be found -- and why is Trigger being kept in the dark? And why is Pilch of the Psychology Service so keen to dig through Trigger's mind?

Show Excerpt

gave me a message for you," he said suddenly.

Trigger's eyes narrowed slightly. "When?"

"The day after he left." Plemponi lifted a hand. "Now wait! You'll see how it was. He called in and said, and I quote, 'Plemp, you don't stand much of a chance at keeping secrets from Trigger, so I'll give you no unnecessary secrets to keep. If this business we're on won't let us get back to the Project in the next couple of weeks, she'll get mighty restless. When she starts to complain--but no earlier--just tell her there are reasons why I can't contact her at present, or let her know what I'm doing, and that I will contact her as soon as I possibly can.' End of quote."

"That was all?" asked Trigger.


"He didn't say a thing about how long this situation might continue?"

"No. I've given you the message word for word. My memory is excellent, Trigger."

"So it could be more weeks? Or months?"

"Yes. Possibly. I imagine...." Plemponi had begun to perspire.

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 2.9 from 8 reviews: ***
JoJo Biggins

I had read this story as a youngster, and it was interesting to see it show up on this site. It's a decent read, but my opinion of it is not as high now as it was then.

The writing is good, the characterization is solid and believable, and the premise is interesting. The problem with the story is that it doesn't have a real driving force - no urgency. Also, it doesn't have a lot of action. It's not boring by any means - just lacking in pizazz.


The discovery of "Plasmoids", developed and used by an ancient and advanced galactic civilization, has the good guys scrambling for control while the bad guys attempt a series of nefarious plots. I agree with a previous review, in that a lot of info is withheld until late in the book. Still an entertaining read, however.


1962 pulp SF, so some of the 'science' is a little dated, but good characters and plot - if your ADD doesn't let you drift away.


Not spoon fed so you do have to invest in what you're reading (ADHD types take note) and it is not pulp despite the cover. It is a thought provoking journey in Schmitz's ongoing Federation of the Hub's worlds, and one of the best offerings. For those new to Schmitz, I would recommend and of the Telzey Amberdon stories (the collection The Univese Against Her is a good beginning, or the re-released telzey Amberdon by Baen Books) as she is easier to pick up. Have re-read Legacy oodles of times and am never disappointed.

Ben McGee

A long meandering tale where nothing is explained until the final page. It has a couple major plot jumps that left me wondering if I was missing a chapter. The wrap up is pretty good and it isn't a bad story really. It just takes to long to go anywhere.


The cover made me expect a fairly decent sci-fi pulp from the early 80s; it was everything except fairly decent.

Mark G.

Couldn't get past the first chapter - but maybe I'm just fickle?

R Stephan

Reads like a kid's homework. Though desperately looking, I couldn't find a real story within.



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When Micheal Maxwell isn't travelling the world with his wife, you are most likely to find him somewhere between Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. If you do, and you have a chat with this interesting man, take care - you might just end up in a scene of one of his books! Maxwell loves writing character-driven mysteries about everyday people, books with heart that readers can relate to. In this interview, Maxwell reveals how Diamonds and Cole was inspired by a song, how he created Cole Sage and talks about his writing habits.
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