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Cue for Quiet   By:

Cue for Quiet by Thomas L. Sherred

In "Cue for Quiet" by Thomas L. Sherred, the author takes us on a captivating journey through a post-apocalyptic world, where silence becomes the ultimate form of survival. Without explicitly presenting the cause of the apocalypse, Sherred skillfully focuses on the aftermath and the challenges faced by the remaining few.

The story revolves around Michael, a tenacious and resourceful protagonist who finds himself in a desolate landscape filled with uncertainty. Running into other survivors, he learns about a strange phenomenon: any sound, no matter how faint, can attract menacing creatures called "Seekers." These blind creatures possess a heightened sense of hearing and can swiftly locate the source of the sound, potentially leading to their victim's demise.

Sherred excels in building tension and capturing the fear that permeates through every scene. With each carefully crafted description, readers can vividly imagine the oppressive silence that blankets the world and the ever-present danger in making the smallest noise. The author's attention to detail and rich prose make it impossible not to empathize with the characters as they navigate this perilous soundscape.

One of the book's strengths lies in Sherred's exploration of human nature in extreme circumstances. Through nuanced character dynamics and thought-provoking moral dilemmas, he exposes the different ways people respond to fear and the lengths they will go to survive. The power struggles, ethical questions, and unexpected alliances add depth and complexity to the narrative, elevating it beyond a simple survival story.

While the pacing of the novel is generally well-balanced, there are moments when the narrative slows down, focusing on interpersonal relationships rather than the high-stakes situations. While these scenes contribute to character development, they occasionally bog down the overall momentum. Nonetheless, they provide moments of respite amidst constant tension and remind readers of the humanity that still thrives within the characters.

"Cue for Quiet" offers a refreshing take on the post-apocalyptic genre, prioritizing the silence that can be as lethal as any physical danger. Sherred's atmospheric prose and imaginative world-building engage readers from the start, transporting them effortlessly into the protagonists' lives. With its compelling story, well-drawn characters, and exploration of human nature, this book is a worthy addition to any dystopian fiction enthusiast's collection.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Space Science Fiction May and July 1953. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.





After too many years, T. L. Sherred returns with a story that gets our SPACE SPECIAL rating. It's the story of a man with a headache who found a cure for it! And the cure gave him more power than any man could dream of.


So I had a headache. The grandfather of all headaches. You try working on the roof line sometime, with the presses grinding and the overhead cranes wailing and the mechanical arms clacking and grabbing at your inner skull while you snap a shiny sheet of steel like an armored pillowcase and shove it into the maw of a hungry greasy ogre. Noise. Hammering, pounding, shrieking, gobbling, yammering, incessant noise. And I had a headache.

This headache had all the signs of permanency. It stayed with me when I slid my timecard into an empty slot that clanged back at me, when I skittered across a jammed street of blowing horns and impatient buses with brakedrums worn to the rivets, when I got off at my corner and stood in the precarious safety of a painted island in a whirring storm of hurtling hornets... Continue reading book >>

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