I waited. Through my own window, the moon burned like a textured spotlight. You there? What do you think of it?

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First appearance: short story collection All the Myriad Ways. Stan, the narrator, notices that the Moon is glowing much brighter than ever before. However the narrator surmises that the Sun has gone nova , the day side of the Earth is already destroyed, and this is the last night of his life. He then calls and visits his girlfriend Leslie, presuming her ignorant of the situation, but she realizes it independently when Jupiter brightens with appropriate delay; they then enjoy their last night on the town, before rain and winds start.

Later, he realizes one other possibility. The second possibility turns out to be correct: the Earth has "merely" been struck by an enormous solar flare —by far the worst disaster in human history, with most if not all people in the Eastern Hemisphere presumed dead, but humans in the Americas have a chance of surviving the cataclysm.

The vaporized seawater leads to torrential rains, hurricanes and floods. A prototype faster-than-light spacecraft crewed by two men is sent to the Sirius system, known from robotic exploration to include an earthlike world. In orbit around the world, they notice that one of the continents has a thin, strange border all the way round its coastline, which radiates a low heat and appears black in visible light.

After exploring the edges of the smaller continents, and discovering that the ocean hosts only one lifeform—a single species of algae that they think might have been genetically engineered —they decide to explore the large continent with the border. When they discover just what the black border is—a seething mass of trapped humans with very dark skin, feeding off the algae and each other—the result is the death, by suicide, of one of the crew, and the self-destruction of the ship by the traumatized survivor upon his return to Earth—and a chilling reminder that there may be great danger waiting for further human explorers.

The story ends on a hopeful note, with the project leader believing that Earth can help the humans at Sirius, and a fearful one, with the crewman then speculating that the humans were seeded by carnivorous aliens as food animals. I was playing with some preliminary ideas, and one of these — the "Blind Spot" effect of this form of faster-than-light travel — was later incorporated into Known Space. Similar statements hold for " One Face " Hair styles and human colony worlds from this story later entered Known Space; but the story does not belong to that universe.

The man team setting up the first base on Mars experience tragedy when a murder is committed. The lethal chase, with the two combatants in constant radio communication, slowly reveals the community stresses which resulted in the murder. Alf wants to kill Carter in revenge for his brother, while Carter wishes the same and to try once more to destroy the base A sequel to "How the Heroes Die".

His plan fails, and he crashlands, close to the now-abandoned base. Over the next few days, he explores the ruins and finds out the terrible story of what happened. Unfortunately, he himself suffers the same fate as the original colonists—all of which he commits to his log, which is later recovered.

Also, the failure of Mars colonization as depicted here contributes to the generally held opinion in that future history that planets at least in the Solar System are virtually worthless and it is asteroids which are the truly desirable real property.

First appearance: Galaxy Science Fiction , June However, this is not a haphazard decision by the new captain, who is an astrophysicist. This will, he hopes, convert this frozen gas back to a breathable atmosphere. A ship with a two-man crew—Howie, a normal human, and Eric, the disembodied brain of a seriously injured man who has been installed in the ship to serve as a living computer and control system—is exploring the upper atmosphere of Venus , using the empty fuel-tank as a dirigible device.

About to return to Earth, Eric reveals that something is wrong with the ramjet that propels the craft, necessitating a landing in order to fix the problem.

When Howie can find nothing physically wrong with the system, he can only conclude that, disturbingly, the problem is with Eric. He believes Eric has a psychosomatic disorder preventing him from operating the ramjets, using the analogy of a traumatized soldier that can no longer feel his hand and pull the trigger of a gun.

After revealing his theory to Eric, Eric admits it is a possibility but insists that Howie keep inspecting the ship, reasoning that Howie is the only one that can check for mechanical problems. Howie agrees, but secretly has convinced himself that the problem is truly with Eric. Eric regains the use of the ramjets and the pair manage to escape from Venus and back to Earth. On the trip back, Howie reveals his ruse to Eric. Howie accepts the bet.

A Known Space story, first of "Gil the Arm" line. Asteroid miner Owen Jennison is found dead in an apartment on Earth, apparently of suicide: He was a wirehead , directly stimulating the pleasure center of the brain, and starved.

His investigations lead him to people associated with organlegging — the illicit handling and sale of spare body-parts.

Eventually, Gil is captured by the organlegging gang, until, under threat of being harvested alive for his organs, his "third arm" - a psychologically limited form of psychokinesis — allows him to kill his captor in spite of being completely bound. It is one of a group of Known Space stories in which Niven speculates on the effect on human culture of simple universal organ transplants: Every voter had a bit of the organlegger in him.

In voting the death penalty for so many crimes, the lawmakers had only bent to pressure from the voters. There was a spreading lack of respect for life, the evil side of transplant technology.


Inconstant moon

About to return to Earth, Eric reveals that something is wrong with the ramjet that propels the craft, necessitating a landing in order to fix the problem. Inconstant Moon Had his death been momentary Hell, or all the delights of paradise in one singing jolt? Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Email required Address never made public. A mooon of short stories where stand out Inconstant moon where a man lives in full his last hours as he mono by the extraordinary bright of the moon tha some is happanig to the sun probably becoming a nova. Science fiction conventions, role playing games, AAAS meetings and other gatherings of people at the cutting edges of science. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs.





Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven (Paperback, 1975)


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