Consider the poor mailman of the future. To "sleet and snow and dead of night"--things that must not keep him from his appointed rounds--will be added, sub-zero void, meteors, and planets that won't stay put. Maybe he'll decide that for six cents an ounce it just ain't worth it.
"I'm washed up," Preston growled bitterly. "They made a postman out of me. Me--a postman!"
He crumpled the assignment memo into a small, hard ball and hurled it at the bristly image of himself in the bar mirror. He hadn't shaved in three days--which was how long it had been since he had been notified of his removal from Space Patrol Service and his transfer to Postal Delivery.
Suddenly, Preston felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and saw a man in the trim gray of a Patrolman's uniform.
"What do you want, Dawes?"
"Chief's been looking for you, Preston. It's time for you to get going on your run."
Preston scowled. "Time to go deliver the mail, eh?" He spat. "Don't they have anything better to do with good spacemen than make letter carriers out of them?"
* * * * *
The other man shook his head. "You won't get anywhere grousing about it, Preston. Your papers don't specify which branch you're assigned to, and if they want to make you carry the mail--that's it." His voice became suddenly gentle. "Come on, Pres. One last drink, and then let's go. You don't want to spoil a good record, do you?"
"No," Preston said reflectively. He gulped his drink and stood up. "Okay. I'm ready. N
It's a straight pulp adventure story about a space-jockey put on a mail run. Don't expect more than that (because of the author's name), and you should enjoy the ride.
It does kind of make me wonder about the postal rates in the future.
Cute, early Silverberg story, dated but fun, about a space pilot making a mail delivery. I do wonder how the reviewer who finds the whole concept ridiculous gets parcels delivered.
This is a typical sci-fi short story form 1957. Its plot and characters a bit simplistic. The main problem is that the story's concept of delivering the mail in space is ridiculous. Since this is basis of the plot, it ruins the story for me. It probably was more interesting in 1957.
This is a fun short read for 50s sci-fi lovers. About half the file is story, the other half Project Gutenberg blurb. I love "the future that was"-- science fiction stories from the 40s-60s. You get the future and the past at the same time. I love how the character in the story gets his landing coordinates and then jots them down in a note pad, then has to calculate his trajectory, presumably with long devision.
If you are not sure if you like this type of story, give it a try. It's short enough that you can get a taste of it without investing too much time or effort.
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