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Eight Keys to Eden   By: (1906-1963)

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NOVELS Eight Keys To Eden They'd Rather Be Right The Forever Machine

NON FICTION BOOK Opportunity Unlimited

NOVELETTES Remembrance and Reflection How Allied What Thin Partitions Sense From Thought Divide Star, Bright Hide! Hide! Witch! A Woman's Place Clerical Error What Now, Little Man? Do Unto Others

SHORT STORIES What Have I Done? The Conqueror Kenzie Report Bow Down To Them Reward For Valour Progress Report Crazy Joey We're Civilized Solution Delayed

ARTICLES It Can't Be Done The Dread Tomato Affliction

In collaboration with Frank Riley In collaboration with Alex Apostolides


by Mark Clifton

Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, New York 1960

All of the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 60 9470 Copyright © 1960 by Mark Clifton All Rights Reserved Printed in the United States of America First Edition

Transcriber's Note:

Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note. Variant and dialect spellings remain as printed. Superscript text is preceded by the ^ symbol, bold text is shown as =bold=, and {d} represents the Greek letter delta .


Charles Steinberg

who made writing possible for me



=1= Accept the statement of Eminent Authority without basis, without question.

=2= Disagree with the statement without basis, out of general contrariness.

=3= Perhaps the statement is true, but what if it isn't? How then to account for the phenomenon?

=4= How much of the statement rationalizes to suit man's purpose that he and his shall be ascendant at the center of things?

=5= What if the minor should become major, the recessive dominant, the obscure prevalent?

=6= What if the statement were reversible, that which is considered effect is really cause?

=7= What if the natural law perceived in one field also operates unperceived in all other phases of science? What if there be only one natural law manifesting itself, as yet, to us in many facets because we cannot apperceive the whole, of which we have gained only the most elementary glimpses, with which we can cope only at the crudest level?

=And are those still other doors, yet undefined, on down the corridor?=


One minute after the regular report call from the planet Eden was overdue, the communications operator summoned his supervisor. His finger hesitated over the key reluctantly, then he gritted his teeth and pressed it down. The supervisor came boiling out of his cubicle, half running down the long aisle between the forty operators hunched over their panels.

"What is it? What is it?" he quarreled, even before he came to a stop.

"Eden's due. Overdue." The operator tried to make it laconic, but it came out sullen.

The supervisor rubbed his forehead with his knuckles and punched irritably at some buttons on an astrocalculator. An up to the second star map lit up the big screen at the end of the room. He didn't expect there to be any occlusions to interfere with the communications channel. The astrophysicists didn't set up reporting schedules to include such blunders. But he had to check.

There weren't.

He heaved a sigh of exasperation. Trouble always had to come on his shift, never anybody else's.

"Lazy colonists probably neglecting to check in on time," he rationalized cynically to the operator... Continue reading book >>

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