The Hunted Heroes

Published: 1956
Language: English
Wordcount: 6,016 / 24 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.1
LoC Category: PS
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 3,430
Added to site: 2008.05.28
mnybks.net#: 21038
Origin: gutenberg.org
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The planet itself was tough enough--barren, desolate, forbidding; enough to stop the most adventurous and dedicated. But they had to run head-on against a mad genius who had a motto:Death to all Terrans!

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ghtmare--sitting there, placidly rocking back and forth, a nightmare.

I found myself fervently wishing I was back out there on the infinitely safer desert.

"Do I shock you?" he asked. "I shouldn't--not when you see my motives."

"We don't see them," I snapped.

"Well, let me show you. You're on Mars hunting uranium, right? To mine and ship the radioactives back to Earth to keep the atomic engines going. Right?"

I nodded over at our geiger counters.

"We volunteered to come to Mars," Val said irrelevantly.

"Ah--two young heroes," Ledman said acidly. "How sad. I could almost feel sorry for you. Almost."

"Just what is it you're after?" I said, stalling, stalling.

"Atomics cost me my legs," he said. "You remember the Sadlerville Blast?" he asked.

"Of course." And I did, too. I'd never forget it. No one would. How could I forget that great accident--killing hundreds, injuring thousands more, sterilizing forty miles of Mississippi land--when the Sad

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Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
2013.05.08
Sardo Weems
***..

An unsophisticated, early story by Silverberg--don't expect Thorns, Nightwing, or Dying Inside. A bitter double-amputee captures a husband and wife uranium prospecting team on Mars with the object of killing them like the others he'd captured.

The characterizations are not bad for such a short story: the husband and wife have a little depth, and the villain is just crazy, not a drooler or nonsense spouter. I had a slight problem with the picture of a wheelchair in the sand, but, oh, well.


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