Astounding Tales of Space and Time by John W. Campbell

By John W. Campbell

Edited through John W. Campbell, Jr. Seven remarkable technological know-how fiction tales via such authors as Eric Frank Russell, Murray Leinster, Theodore Sturgeon, and more...

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Her voice, like her face, was shadowed and clean, round, blue and green but mostly gold. When you gave me your heart, you gave me the world, You gave me the night and the day, And thunder, and roses, and sweet green grass, The sea, and soft wet clay. I drank the dawn from a golden cup, From a silver one, the dark, The steed I rode was the wild west wind, My song was the brook and the lark. The music spiraled, caroled, slid into a somber cry of muted hungry sixths and ninths; rose, blared, and cut, leaving her voice full and alone: With thunder I smote the evil of earth, With roses I won the right, With the sea I washed, and with clay I built, And the world was a place of light!

What right had they to another chance? What was in them that was good? Starr was good. Starr was crying. Only a human being could cry like that. Starr was a human being. Had humanity anything of Starr Anthim in it? Starr was a human being. He looked down through the darkness for his hands. No planet, no universe, is greater to a man than his own ego, his own observing self. These hands were the hands of all history, and like the hands of all men, they could by their small acts make human history or end it.

Presently, there were no more hits. Smothered in darkness, the great room remained very silent. The tiny racing tick of the chronometer was the only sound. After an eternal time, feeble emergency lights came on. The Astrarch came stumbling into the room, looking dazed and pale. A group of spacemen followed him. Their stricken, angry faces made an odd contrast with their gay uniforms. Before their vengeful hatred, Brek felt cold and ill. But the Astrarch stopped their ominous advance. "The Earthman has doomed himself as well," the shaken ruler told them.

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