. . . these dreamers who want
to build flying machines heavier
than the air that supports them
have not faced the issue. What
would be the status of shipping
today if ships depended upon
their engines, not only to drive
them, but to keep them afloat?
(From somewhere, the fingers of
Langley, Lilienthal, Stephenson,
Fulton touch the man's sealed
eyelids. He rubs them, and rubs
again, and finds that scars have
not covered his eyes. He is
afraid and keeps them closed)
Who writes this crap?
Places with typewriters:
I wrote a story about decentral-
ization, because cities could not
dare exist when each city had
bombs that . . .
I wrote a story about a meteor
detector that worked controls
when it received the reflection of
a radio signal . . .
I wrote a story about a reaction
engine . . .
I wrote a story about a rocket
projectile . . .
I wrote a story about a robot
flying bomb . . .
The heck with that stuff. I
druther read stories about real
life. I druther read something
that has to do with me.
Place with a typewriter:
I am afraid. I tell you that deep
down inside I have a cold lump
about this thing. I know we
must be doing something about it
because although it is old stuff to
us have been asked not to mention
it in our stories for security rea-
sons. It is too big for us. It can
be good -- it can give us power so
cheap it would be free. It can
give us a four-day work week,
five hours a day. It can give us
riches. But we are not old
enough for it yet. I pray God
that it will be discovered and used
before this war is finished, so that
everyone will know how big it
is, how good, how horrible.
(The "atomic" finds its place in the
echo, in the interstices between
"power power power" and gives
a staccato tone to the sheet of
sound. The man's eyes open a
crack and now he sees, but he
sees death, because death came to
stand before him when his eyes
opened. He is afraid and tries
to close them but a whisper, a
transparent whisper, creeps be-
tween his eyelids and holds them