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Assisted Passage  

new worlds 19
futures past


(7,500 words, approx.) 

He knew himself to have that rare knack of making friends with everybody,* 
and the corporal, who was also a keen amateur gardener, and himself had become very pally.

'Assisted Passage' is a titular allusion to the 1950s Anglo-Australian £10 per convict -- sorry colonist -- emigration.  Doc Mathewson helps a marooned humanoid alien calling himself Allen to escape from Woomera rocket range back into space, using an Ion Drive of other-worldly invention.  Wilson Tucker was then developing this E.T./Starman 'anticipation' at novel-length, in The Time Masters (1953: revised edition, 1971).  There's also a period-piece of Cold War paranoia: "Why aren't you with Allen's friends, safe and sound, back in …" (Major Turner to Doc Mathewson).

*"Self praise is no recommendation" (I can almost hear James saying it).

Synopsis by Graham Andrews

First Publication:
  •  NEW WORLDS No. 19, January 1953
Publication History:
  • Gateway to the Stars,  Ed John Carnell, Museum Press, March 1955
  • Futures Past, James White collection (see under Books).


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