Shock Absorber

Shock Absorber

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Shock Absorber by E. G. von Wald

Published:

1955

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Shock Absorber

By

4
(1 Review)
A man acts on what he believes the facts are, not on the facts. He lives or dies by what the facts are. Now sometimes you don't have time to correct a man's beliefs, yet he must act correctly....

Book Excerpt

y that it has been known. At least ten years younger than any of the rest of us, he was of medium height, extremely skinny and nervous, his eyes glancing about with a restless uncertainty. It seemed almost too obvious on him, I thought, and wondered who had been responsible for assigning him to anything at all in the armed forces.

He grinned slightly at us when he came in, dearly unsure of himself, and made a valiant but artificial-sounding effort. "Hello men," he said. "My name is Frendon. I'm the new CO."

"Yeah," muttered Harding, "we see that you are."

"What's that lieutenant?" Frendon's voice was suddenly sharp, and the wavering grin had vanished.

"I said, yes sir," Harding replied sullenly. "Welcome aboard."

Frendon nodded curtly, and glanced around at the rest of us, at no time looking anyone directly in the eyes. I stood up and held out my hand. "Maise, here," I said. "Your Exec." And naturally I added the traditional welcome.

Spender introduced himself, and as

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The aliens are trouncing the humans in almost every interstellar battle. The aliens seem to understand human thinking, but the humans can't predict what the aliens will do. Studies show officers with psi powers have a slightly better success rate against the aliens, but the veterans distrust the psi officers. The story concerns the reaction of a ship's crew to a new commander they suspect is a psi officer.

It's a pretty clever story, with some good characters in it, and an amusing ending. My experience with the military is: they wouldn't be that clever. Once again, women do not exist in this universe.
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