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Answear Came There None

 Galaxy Jan 1974
Monsters abd Medics

Answer Came There None
7500 words

Like a green and seemingly virginal carpet, the planetary surface unrolled five miles below the slowing ship.

The title derives from Alice Through the Looking-Glass: “But answer came there none/And this was scarcely odd, because/They’d eaten every one.”  Jan and pater are a married-couple Terran searchship crew making their second visit in umpteen years to an unfortunately lon-dead extrasolar planet.  They eventually get some half-answers to the question of why long-lived, stable, and technologically advanced civilizations so often come to a hard end.  I can detect a strong, if gender-transposed, link between them and J(ames) and P(eggy) White.  “Suddenly they were hugging each other, a ridiculous and senseless thing to do considering the thickness of their suits.  But it did not matter.”

Synopsis by Graham Andrews
First Publication:
  •  GALAXY January 1974

Publication history:
  •   THE BEST FROM GALAXY 3, ed James Baen, Award Book, 1975  
  • Monsters and Medics (see under Books).


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