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The Eyes Have It   By: (1927-1987)

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In Randall Garrett's "The Eyes Have It," readers are introduced to a fascinating world where language barriers serve as the focal point of a tantalizingly clever mystery. As a renowned science fiction writer, Garrett weaves a tale that combines elements of humor, wit, and suspense, leaving readers captivated from start to finish.

The story follows the protagonist, a linguist attending a science fiction convention, who finds himself seated next to a stunningly beautiful woman on his train journey. Engaging in what seems like an insignificant conversation, he soon realizes an amusing fact – the woman is blind but believes she has perfect vision. The protagonist's delightfully analytical mind takes center stage as he explores the principles of language and communication in a most unusual way.

Garrett's mastery shines through his ability to bring this peculiar concept to life with ingenuity and charm. With the protagonist's clever observations and deductive reasoning, readers are led through a labyrinth of linguistic nuances that keep them constantly engaged. The author's use of humor adds an enjoyable layer to the narrative, ensuring a light-hearted tone that perfectly balances the more intense moments.

Central to this captivating storyline is Garrett's exploration of the power of perception and how it shapes our understanding of the world around us. Through the protagonist's encounters with various characters, the author cleverly dissects the ways in which we perceive reality and how it can be distorted or enhanced through verbal and non-verbal communication. These insightful reflections give depth and substance to the story, leaving readers pondering their own perceptions long after they've turned the final page.

"The Eyes Have It" also excels in its character development. The protagonist's sharp intellect and quick wit make him an instantly likable and relatable character, guiding readers through the linguistic maze with ease. The supporting characters, although appearing briefly, bring their own unique quirks to the narrative, adding depth to the world Garrett has created.

If there is one critique to be made, it would be the slightly rushed pacing towards the end. As the story hurtles towards its climax, some readers might find themselves wishing for a bit more time to savor the intricate puzzles and revelations. However, this minor flaw does not significantly detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel.

Overall, "The Eyes Have It" is a masterfully crafted tale that delights with its combination of linguistic exploration, humor, and mystery. Randall Garrett's writing showcases his skill in creating a thought-provoking narrative that lingers with readers long after the final page. For those seeking a unique and intellectually stimulating science fiction experience, this book is an absolute must-read.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Analog Science Fact & Fiction January 1964. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.


In a sense, this is a story of here and now. This Earth, this year ... but on a history line slipped slightly sidewise. A history in which a great man acted differently, and Magic, rather than physical science, was developed....


Illustrated by John Schoenherr


Sir Pierre Morlaix, Chevalier of the Angevin Empire, Knight of the Golden Leopard, and secretary in private to my lord, the Count D'Evreux, pushed back the lace at his cuff for a glance at his wrist watch three minutes of seven. The Angelus had rung at six, as always, and my lord D'Evreux had been awakened by it, as always. At least, Sir Pierre could not remember any time in the past seventeen years when my lord had not awakened at the Angelus. Once, he recalled, the sacristan had failed to ring the bell, and the Count had been furious for a week. Only the intercession of Father Bright, backed by the Bishop himself, had saved the sacristan from doing a turn in the dungeons of Castle D'Evreux... Continue reading book >>

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