Sunday, March 2, 2008

Henry Kuttner & C L Moore's "Or Else" (short story, humor): Clueless unsolicited advise is not welcome

Quote from short story titled Or Else by Henry Kuttner and C L MooreThis is a timeless story about common human trait of giving unsolicited advise to others, without understanding their circumstances. It hasn't aged a bit in 50 years, & won't in another 50.

Story summary.

Somewhere in South America is a parched community. There is a tiny water hole - dirty & enough for only one family. Miguel & Fernandez both are claiming it as their own. They are presently having a gun fight over the issue. Much of the story is told from the perspective of Miguel, but it's similar at both ends.

Enter "Quetzalcoatl", an alien in his flying saucer - talking telepathically to them: "I am here to give orders... You must stop fighting forever, both of you... My race polices the universe and our responsibility is to bring peace to every planet we visit."

Alien will learn the reason for fight, but doesn't have a solution. And keeps insisting they must desist from fighting, or he will kill them both. Really funny parts of the story are dialogs between alien & Miguel - & their complete lack of communications.

Collected in.

  1. "The Best of Henry Kuttner"

Fact sheet.

"Or Else", short story, review
First published: "Amazing Stories", August/September 1953.
Rating: A
Related: All stories by Henry Kuttner, C L Moore.