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The Lights Outside The Window

new worlds 56


'The Lights Outside the Windows' (11,500 words, approx.)

Seen through the direct vision port the receding planet Mars was a completely uninteresting object -- a pink circle roughly the size of a golf ball held at arm's length with blurred edges, the brighter stars in the background showing as faint smudges of grey on the surrounding blackness.
Unusually for 1957 (and much later), Captain Miller of the spaceship Star Fire is a woman, as on every other Star Line vessel.  "(mere) Men could not take Space -- or, rather, they could not look at it and stay sane."  Something to do with the 'space-birth' trauma.  The female mind is, however, made of sterner and more pragmatic stuff.  Captain Kate Janeway would approve, but I'm not so sure about James T. Kirk or even Jean-Luc Picard.

Synopsis by Graham Andrews

First Publication:
  •  NEW WORLDS No 56, February 1957
Publication History:
  • URANIA No 441, Italian anthology  Sue Altesa Spatiale, July 1956
  • TERRA SF No 350, August 1982, as Die Lichter des Alls
  • PILOT DURCH ZEIT& RAUM, Ed Ronald Hahn, Ennslin hardback, June 1983
  • Deadly Litter (see under Books).


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