A Matter of Magnitude

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Author: Al Sevcik
Published: 1960
Language: English
Wordcount: 3,036 / 16 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 58.6
LoC Category: PZ
Audiobook: www.archive.org
Downloads: 1,551
Added to site: 2008.03.28
mnybks.net#: 20428
Origin: gutenberg.org

When you're commanding a spaceship over a mile long, and armed to the teeth, you don't exactly expect to be told to get the hell out...

Show Excerpt

"She's a mighty big ship, Rogers," he said proudly to the navigator, ignoring the latter's rather vacant stare and fixed smile. "More than a mile long, and wider than hell." He waved his hands expansively. "She's never touched down on Earth, you know. Never will. Too big for that. They built her on the moon. The cost? Well ..."

Swiveling his chair around, Heselton slowly surveyed the ship's control room with a small, satisfied smile. The two pilots sitting far forward, almost hidden by their banks of instruments, the radar operators idly watching their scopes, the three flight engineers sitting intently at their enormous control consoles, and, just behind, the radio shack--its closed door undoubtedly hiding a game of cards. For weeks now, as Big Joe moved across the galaxy's uncharted fringe, the radio bands had been completely dead, except, of course, for the usual star static hissing and burbling in the background.

Turning back again to his navigator, Heselton smiled modestly and noted that Big Joe was undisputedly the largest, most powerful, most feared, and most effective spaceship in the known universe.

As always, Rogers nodded agreement. The fact that he'd heard it a hundred


Average Rating of 4 from 4 reviews: ****
Paulo Respighi

A first contact story. A mile-long space battlecruiser is patrolling the edge of the galaxy when it is hailed by an alien starship. Although the aliens can see the Earth ship, the alien ship is invisible to the Earth ship.

An okay story. Everyone's male. The aliens are actually stronger characters than the Earthmen, because they taunt their helpless prey.


Great short story.


Not as good as Sevcik's other two stories on this site. A sort of second-rate Star Trek plot and a little too cheesily written for my liking. The outcome was a bit predictable too. Still, worth reading as part of the set.

david sevcik

my dad wrote this and a few other short sci-fi short stories back in the 50's.

i read them now to my 8 yr old son, magnus sevcik, and he thinks they are cute.

he espcially enjoyed the idea of a little tiny spaceship in Matter of Magintude.

these are fun stories and a real treat for me.

thanks, dad.


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