After too many years, T. L. Sherred returns with a story that gets our SPACE SPECIAL rating. It's the story of a man with a headache—who found a cure for it! And the cure gave him more power than any man could dream of.
ext door, in front of the Werner's, Harper Radio Parts. In the Smith's driveway, Rapid Radio Repair.
"What are you grinning at?"
"Me? I'm not grinning. Not at this time of the morning."
"Pete Miller, you were, too. Just like the cat that ate the fish."
"Canary, you mean."
"That's what I said. What's so funny?"
"Nothing," I said. "We just got a good night's sleep for a change. I like my sleep."
She harrumphed a bit, as suspicious as she usually is, and I went to the stove for more coffee. Over my shoulder I said, "Want to play a little cards tonight?"
She was skeptical about that. "At Art's, I suppose."
"Sure. Saturday night euchre tournaments."
"That noisy place? Nothing doing."
I told her the jukebox and the television set were out of commission and there'd be no noise she didn't make herself. She loved to play cards, I knew, and she liked Art. It was just the incessant roar that wore her down. I managed to talk her into it.
A rather long pulp story that gets a second wind when the government gets involved. What starts out as a fairly standard story about a factory worker who discovers he can shut off (ruin) noisy machines, turns into a bit of a nightmare when the Feds discover his secret. Some nice comments about the cold war balance of terror, about slimeball legislators and pompous generals and scientists.
The main character is nicely drawn, and develops through the story. Some of the minor characters are sympathetic. I have to admit the memo at the end of the story completely baffled me.
Peter Miller, a cantankerous factory worker with a headache and desire for peace and quiet, becomes the sole owner of the ability to stop anything electronic. At first he uses his ability to rid his surroundings of various annoyances: televisions, loud radios, offending vehicles, etc. It's when he tries to market his ability to the U.S. government that he gets in trouble.
With a cameo by the FBI's Hoover, this is an interesting read set at the beginning of the Cold War. I was a bit confused by the ending but it was still an enjoyable story.
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