The Mercenaries

The Mercenaries

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3
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The Mercenaries by H. Beam Piper

Published:

1950

Pages:

32

Downloads:

4,602

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The Mercenaries

By

3
(1 Review)
Once, wars were won by maneuvering hired fighting men; now wars are different--and the hired experts are different. But the human problems remain!

Book Excerpt

effect observed in luminous paint. Or, the photon may penetrate, undergo a change to a neutrino, and either remain in the nucleus of the atom or pass through it, depending upon a number of factors. All this, of course, is old stuff; even the photon-neutrino interchange has been known since the mid-'50s, when the Gamow neutrino-counter was developed. But now we come to what you have been so good as to christen the Sugihara Effect--the neutrino picking up a negative charge and, in effect, turning into an electron, and then losing its charge, turning back into a neutrino, and then, as in the case of metal heated to incandescence, being emitted again as a photon.

"At first, we thought this had no connection with the spaceship insulation problem we are under contract to work out, and we agreed to keep this effect a Team secret until we could find out if it had commercial possibilities. But now, I find that it has a direct connection with the collapsed-matter problem. When the electron loses its negative ch

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Piper is one of the most reliable older SF writers, yet even the best have a few weak stories. This, in my opinion, is one of his. Clunky, gimmicky, lacking in genuine excitement—it's a sort of detective/spy tale that I could barely finish, short though it is.