The Towers of Titan and Other Stories

By Ben Bova

5 striking tales through certainly one of technology Fiction’s such a lot respected writers. THE TOWERS OF TITAN — around the frozen cliffs they loomed—the unbelievably historic towers with the unbelievable engines deep within them nonetheless pouring out their never-ending strength. Dr. Sidney Lee, again from dwelling loss of life, vowed to discover the key of the Towers of Titan! the subsequent LOGICAL STEP — generally the army least desires to have the others comprehend the ultimate information in their struggle plans. yet, logically, there will be occasions … resolution, PLEASE resolution — Astronomer Bova attracts upon the proof of his box to weave a narrative that may grip your feelings and tantalize your mind—long once you have accomplished studying it. THE DUELING computing device — the difficulty with nice principles is that somebody is certain to deplete huge, immense attempt and ingenuity realizing easy methods to louse them up. a ways BACK— He held the way forward for the area in his numbed palms. And from 22,500 miles out, he made the gamble.

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When you solution my moment question,” Tom countered. “Why are you terrified of the towns? ” “Afraid? I’m now not afraid. ” “Yes you're. Oh, you may use the desire of exploring the towns to entice me up right here in this suicide-job, yet you knew I’d by no means be again to assert my half the cut price. You’re terrified of the towns, and that i imagine i do know why. You’re terrified of the unknown volume they symbolize, distrustful of your personal management whilst new difficulties come up ... “ “We’ve labored for greater than ten years to make this cost what it is,” Jason fumed. “We fought and died to maintain these marauding lunatics from wrecking us. we're mankind’s final desire! We can’t come up with the money for to allow others in ... they’re now not scientists, they wouldn’t comprehend, they’d destroy every thing. ” “Mankind’s final wish, petrified of males. ” Tom used to be all at once drained, weary of the total fight. yet there has been anything he needed to inform them. “Listen Jason,” he acknowledged. “The partitions you’ve equipped round the payment weren’t intended to maintain you from going open air. You’re no longer a self-sufficient little group ... you’re bring to an end from mankind’s reminiscence, from his goals, from his objectives. You can’t even begin to rebuild a civilization—and in the event you do attempt, don’t you think that the folks outdoors will find out about it? Don’t you think that they’ve bought a correct to percentage in no matter what growth the payment makes? And in the event you don’t allow them to, don’t you recognize that they’ll ruin the payment? ” Silence. * * * * “I’m a historian,” Tom persisted, “and i do know civilization can’t exist in a vacuum. If outsiders don’t overcome it, it’ll rot from inside, It’s occurred to Babylonia, Greece, Rome, China, even. Over and back. The Soviets outfitted an Iron Curtain round themselves, and wiped themselves out as a result of it. “Don’t you spot, Jason? There are just forms of animals on the planet: the gamblers and the extinct. It won’t be effortless to stay with the outsiders, there’ll be difficulties of each variety. however the replacement is decay and destruction. You’ve bought to take the opportunity, if you happen to don’t you’re lifeless. ” A lengthy silence. eventually Jason acknowledged, “You’ve basically received a few half-hour’s worthy of oxygen left. Will you tow the satellite tv for pc into the correct place? ” Tom stared on the planet unseeingly. “Yes,” he mumbled. “I’ll need to money a few calculations with the astronomers,” Jason’s voice buzzed flatly in his earphones. A history murmur, scarcely audible over the crackling static. Then Ruth’s voice broke via, “Tom, Tom, you can’t do that! You won’t be capable of come again! ” “I know,” he acknowledged, as he began pulling his manner alongside the lifeline again to the send. “No! get back, Tom, please. come again. disregard the satellite tv for pc. come again and discover the towns. I’ll choose you. Please. Don’t die, Tom, please don’t die ... “ “Ruth, Ruth, you’re too younger to cry over me. I’ll be alright, don’t fear. ” “No, it isn’t reasonable. ” “It by no means is,” Tom stated. “Listen, Ruth. I’ve been lifeless many years. because the bombs fell, i suppose. My international died then and that i died with it.

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