Cover image for


Author: George Oliver Smith (Wesley Long)
Published: 1959
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,540 / 23 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 71.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,403
Added to site: 2007.12.21 19452

You can keep a good man down, if you've got enough headstart, are alert and persistent... so long as he limits himself to acting like a good man....

Show Excerpt

meone listening for the last words, the last message from the dying. Communication, Huvane, is the primary drive of all Life, from plant to animal to man--and if such exists, superman.

"Through communication Life goes on. Communication is the prime requisite to procreation. The firefly signals his mate by night, the human male entices his woman with honeyed words and is not the gift of a jewel a crystalline, enduring statement of his undying affection?"

Chelan dropped his flowery manner and went on in a more casual vein: "Huvane, boil it down to the least attractive form of simplification, no life stands alone. And no viable life goes on without communication, I shall shut off the Terran's communication."

"Then he will go rank staring, raving mad."

"No, for I shall offer him the alternative. Co-operate, or molder in utter blankness."

Huvane shrugged. "Seems to me that any Terran locked in a duralim cell so far from home the distance means nothing is already cut from communic


Average Rating of 2.3 from 3 reviews: ***
JoJo Biggins

Pretty good read up until the end. Could have been a 4-star story, but ruined by the contrite and convenient ending.

An Earth man is isolated, and suddenly develops unique powers. Yeah, right.

Sardo Weems

The people who watch over the fate of the universe are unhappy that for the seventh time (after being slapped back to the stone age six times) humans have once again achieved atomic weapons and space flight without solving their internal problems. So they kidnap a man to find out something that didn't make much sense to me, and instead of torturing the space jockey--

The ending is too convenient. The story is meant to be philosophical? I can't figure out any other reason for it. The okay writing bumped it up from poor

Leah A. Zeldes

Action-free short story about an alien encounter.

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