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21 Works of Randall Garrett

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After a Few Words…

Story type: Literature

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This is a science-fiction story. History is a science; the other part is, as all Americans know, the most fictional field we have today. He settled himself comfortably in his seat, and carefully put the helmet on, pulling it down firmly until it was properly seated. For a moment, he could see nothing. Then his […]

Instant Of Decision

Story type: Literature

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How could a man tell the difference if all the reality of Earth turned out to be a cosmic hoax? Suppose it turned out that this was just a stage set for students of history? When the sharp snap of a pistol shot came from the half-finished building, Karnes wasn’t anywhere near the sandpile that […]

There is no lie so totally convincing as something the other fellow already knows-for-sure is the truth. And no cover-story so convincing…. The building itself was unprepossessive enough. It was an old-fashioned, six-floor, brick structure that had, over the years, served first as a private home, then as an apartment building, and finally as the […]

The Unnecessary Man

Story type: Literature

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Sometimes an organizational setupgrows, sets its ways, and becomesso traditional that once-necessaryjobs become unnecessary. But it issometimes quite hard to spot justwhich man is the unnecessary one. Inthis case … not the one you think! “I recall,” said the Businessman, “that William Wrigley, Junior, once said:‘When two men in a business always agree, one of […]

The basic trouble with McGuire was that, though “he” was a robot spaceship, nevertheless “he” had a definite weakness that a man might understand…. No. Nobody ever deliberately named a spaceship that. The staid and stolid minds that run the companies which design and build spaceships rarely let their minds run to fancy. The only […]

The Penal Cluster

Story type: Literature

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Tomorrow’s technocracy willproduce more and more thingsfor better living. It willproduce other things, also;among them, criminals toodespicable to live on thisearth. Too abominable tobreathe our free air. The clipped British voice said, in David Houston’s ear, I’m quite sure he’s one. He’s cashing a check for a thousand pounds. Keep him under surveillance. Houston didn’t […]

The Measure Of A Man

Story type: Literature

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What is desirable is not always necessary, while that which is necessary may be most undesirable. Perhaps the measure of a man is the ability to tell one from the other … and act on it. Alfred Pendray pushed himself along the corridor of the battleship Shane, holding the flashlight in one hand and using […]

To escape from Mars, all Clayton had to do was the impossible. Break out of a crack-proof exile camp–get onto a ship that couldn’t be boarded–smash through an impenetrable wall of steel. Perhaps he could do all these things, but he discovered that Mars did evil things to men; that he wasn’t even Clayton any more.

The Judas Valley

Story type: Literature

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Why did everybody step off the ship in this strange valley and promptly drop dead? How could a well-equipped corps of tough spacemen become a field of rotting skeletons in this quiet world of peace and contentment? It was a mystery Peter and Sherri had to solve. If they could live long enough! Peter Wayne […]

In Case Of Fire

Story type: Literature

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There are times when a broken tool is better than a sound one, or a twisted personality more useful than a whole one. For instance, a whole beer bottle isn’t half the weapon that half a beer bottle is … In his office apartment, on the top floor of the Terran Embassy Building in Occeq […]

Heist Job On Thizar

Story type: Literature

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In the future, we may discover new planets; our ships may rocket to new worlds; robots may be smarter than people. But we’ll still have slick characters willing and able to turn a fast buck–even though they have to be smarter than Einstein to do it. Anson Drake sat quietly in the Flamebird Room of […]

Hail To The Chief

Story type: Literature

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+—————————–+ | | | BY SAM AND | | JANET ARGO | | | | A great politician need not | | be a statesman … but it | | is inherently futile to be | | a great statesman, and no | | politician. Except, of | | course, for a miracle … | […]

The Destroyers

Story type: Literature

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Any war is made up of a horde of personal tragedies–but the greater picture is the tragedy of the death of a way of life. For a way of life–good, bad, or indifferent–exists because it is dearly loved…. Anketam stretched his arms out as though he were trying to embrace the whole world. He pushed […]

A handful of men, and an incredible adventure–a few super-men, led by a fanatic, seeking to conquer a new world! I In the seven centuries that had elapsed since the Second Empire had been founded on the shattered remnants of the First, the nobles of the Imperium had come slowly to realize that the empire […]

Dead Giveaway

Story type: Literature

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Logic’s a wonderful thing; by logical analysis, one can determine the necessary reason for the existence of a dead city of a very high order on an utterly useless planet. Obviously a shipping transfer point! Necessarily… “Mendez?” said the young man in the blue-and-green tartan jacket. “Why, yes … sure I’ve heard of it. Why?” […]

Damned If You Don’t

Story type: Literature

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You can and you can’t; You will and you won’t. You’ll be damn’d if you do; You’ll be damn’d if you don’t. –LORENZO DOW;“Definition of Calvinism” We’ve all heard of the wonderful invention that the Big Corporation or the Utilities suppressed…? Usually, that Wonderful Invention won’t work, actually. But there’s another possibility, too…. The workshop-laboratory […]

Cum Grano Salis

Story type: Literature

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Just because a man can do something others can’t does not, unfortunately, mean he knows how to do it. One man could eat the native fruit and live … but how? “And that,” said Colonel Fennister glumly, “appears to be that.” The pile of glowing coals that had been Storage Shed Number One was still […]

By Proxy

Story type: Literature

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It’s been said that the act ofcreation is a solitary thing–thatteams never create; only individuals.But sometimes a team may be neededto make creation effective…. Mr. Terrence Elshawe did not conform to the mental picture that pops into the average person’s mind when he hears the words “news reporter.” Automatically, one thinks of the general run […]

But, I Don’t Think

Story type: Literature

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As every thinking man knows, every slave always yearns for the freedom his master denies him… “But, gentlemen,” said the Physician, “I really don’t think we can consider any religion which has human sacrifice as an integral part as a humane religion.” “At least,” added the Painter with a chuckle, “not as far as the […]

Belly Laugh

Story type: Literature

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You hear a lot of talk these days about secret weapons. If it’s not a new wrinkle in nuclear fission, it’s a gun to shoot around corners and down winding staircases. Or maybe a nice new strain of bacteria guaranteed to give you radio-active dandruff. Our own suggestion is to pipe a few of our […]

Anchorite

Story type: Literature

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There are two basic kinds of fools–the ones who know they are fools, and the kind that, because they do not know that, are utterly deadly menaces! The mountain was spinning. Not dizzily, not even rapidly, but very perceptibly, the great mass of jagged rock was turning on its axis. Captain St. Simon scowled at […]