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The Impossible Voyage Home

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Published: 1954
Language: English
Wordcount: 9,214 / 34 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 91
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 8,393
Added to site: 2010.06.14 28135

The right question kept getting the wrong answer—but old Ethan and Amantha got the right answer by asking the wrong question!

Show Excerpt

dn't see how they could stand it. Thin clothing and obsolete oxygen equipment. Oddly, they could take more than you'd think, though. Used to it, he supposed. "Come on in," he commanded gruffly. He wasn't going to freeze. They followed him into the post. "Didn't you see the signs to keep out?"

"But the ships aren't using the field. What harm are we doing?"

"Orders," he said. There were still a few pilots checking over their ships, making sure everything was in working condition before they were locked up. In a week, all flight personnel would be gone to the settlements, there to await the next round of voyages when Earth came near. They had it soft, while he, the guard, had to stay in cold discomfort.

"We're going to visit a friend of my son," said Amantha. "They were pilots together. Do you object?"

He didn't, but there were some who would. The order made sense with respect to little boys who would otherwise swarm over the field, falling off ships or getting stuck in rocket tubes.<

Reader Reviews

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

An average story about an old couple that finds their place in life for the second time. Nothing exciting here - and the science is bad - but different enough from other fare to be worth a read.

Paulo Respighi

An old couple wants to get from Mars to Earth to see their new grandson, but because of radiation exposure, no one will let them make the trip. So she bakes a cake with magic Martian berries . . . .
The (still unsolved) problem of radiation exposure on interplanetary flights gets pretty good consideration in the story, but the story itself kind of creaks.


The only impossible thing about this short story is getting through it. Jumps around like a bug on a hot skillet, making it incomprehensible.



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Author of the Day

Nicole Harkin
Nicole Harkin grew up in Montana and Georgia with parents who were steeped in the airline industry. To Harkin, family life was an interesting mix of secrets, drama and humor. She ended up writing a memoir which won an award and keeps readers at the edge of their seats. Illness, cancer, teen pregnancy: it’s all in there! As our Author of the Day, Harkin talks more about her childhood, her hobbies and what drove her to write this memoir.
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