Story Time Reviews “Operation Haystack”

Story Time Reviews “Operation Haystack” by Frank Herbert. If you enjoy science fiction spy mysteries, you’ll enjoy this short story. It first appeared in Astounding in May 1959.  This review is of the public domain LibriVox recording. It is a little more than. 48 minutes in duration. All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted. — Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune The Story The story is about Field Agent Lewis Orne, injured during an assignment on a planet ruled by women. The doctors have no hope of saving him. A “womblike creche pod” had taken over most of his badly mangled body’s vital functions. Umbo Stetson, Orne’s section chief, writes Orne’s mother about her son’s condition. She is too ill to travel. In her stead, a friend and local, Mrs. Ipscott Bullone of Marak, wife of the High Commissioner, takes over for the family.  Miraculously Orne survives. Mrs. Bullone invites Orne to recuperate at her home after his discharge from the hospital.  This is an opportunity Stetson can’t pass up. He suspects Ipscott […]

Science Fiction Authors About Science

Science fiction intimidates some. Perhaps, these quotes by science fiction authors about science might help dispel some of that.  Magic or Science? “Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” Ray Bradbury-The Martian Chronicles  Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” Jules Vern-A Journey to the Center of the Earth “If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic.” Ursula K. Le Guin Science is magic that works.” Kurt Vonnegut-Cat’s Cradle Why Science “Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.” Frank Herbert-Dune I think science fiction helps us think about possibilities, to speculate – it helps us look at our society from a different perspective. It lets us look at our mores, using science as the backdrop, as the game changer. Mae Jemison I, for one, bet on science as helping us. I have yet to see how it fundamentally endangers us, […]

Sneak Peek at The Repairmen

Today I’m offering a sneak peek at The Repairmen, a novelette I wrote a few year back. The story is in revision no-man’s land, awaiting a time I can put my attention on it. Someday it will see the light of day again. This sneak peek does come with a warning for strong language (curse words). I hope you enjoy the story. The Repairman Mark Nichols squirmed uncomfortably. Almost of its own volition, his hand went to his crotch only to be stymied by the bulky space suit. Man, he wished he could tug at his water-cooled spandex long johns. You’d ‘a thought, after a hundred years in space, some engineer would’ve designed a comfortable cooling system. ‘Course, the pencil-pushers didn’t care—they didn’t have to wear ‘em. He felt his blood pressure climbing higher. Why’d the company buy such old-fashioned stuff? Because, he reminded himself, the Suits back on Earth sit behind expensive mahogany desks, and they don’t have to wear the damned things, either! He peered at his suit’s control panel on his chest. Oxygen flow at six liters and green. Helmet connecting-ring—sealed and locked. Gloves—sealed and locked. Snoopy hat, uh, Communications carrier—Yup. At least that pesky fiber optic […]