A Better Mantrap by Bob Shaw PDF

By Bob Shaw

ISBN-10: 0586057064

ISBN-13: 9780586057063

An excellent selection of unique stories.

A predatory alien by accident teleported to Earth.

A mad scientist and his imprisoned ghost.

A house vacationer returns to stand an accusation of homicide.

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If Fergusson was the brains and Kennedy the muscles, Joe supplied the sleight of hand. He had already gone with his master on several journeys and had picked up a smidgen of science in his own way; but he was especially remarkable for his cheery outlook, his engaging optimism; he found everything easy, reasonable, and natural, consequently he never saw any need to moan or groan. Among other gifts, he enjoyed eyesight of amazing strength and range; he shared with Maestlin, Kepler’s teacher, the rare ability to see Jupiter’s moons without a spyglass, and he could count fourteen stars in the Pleiades group, whose farthest members are of the ninth magnitude.

The doctor replied heatedly. “Because all such efforts until now have come to grief! Think of Mungo Park who was murdered on the Niger, Vogel who vanished in Wadaï, Oudney who died in Murmur, Clapperton who died in Sokoto, the Frenchman Maizan who was sliced to pieces, Major Laing who was killed by the Tuaregs, Roscher from Hamburg who was slaughtered early in 1860—there are so many victims recorded in Africa’s death register! Because it’s an impossible struggle against the elements, against hunger, thirst, and fever, against wild animals and even wilder tribesmen!

The worthy lad seemed untouched by fear, quickly gave evidence of sharp wits, a questing intelligence, and a remarkable bent for scientific research; what’s more, he revealed uncommon coping skills; nothing was ever awkward for him, not even using a fork for the first time, a test that youngsters generally fail. Soon he was reading about bold undertakings, exploratory voyages, and they fired his imagination; he got all caught up in the discoveries that marked the first part of the nineteenth century; he daydreamed of the glory earned by Mungo Park, Bruce, Caillié, Levaillant—and even, I suspect, by Selkirk, who equaled them in his eyes.

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A Better Mantrap by Bob Shaw

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