Friday, August 8, 2008

Murray F Yaco's "Unspecialist" (short story, science fiction, free): Overspecialization kills flexibility

Quote from short story titled Unspecialist by Murray F YacoI won't place it among the top rung of sf stories, but it's not far below them. Great concept. Space centric execution didn't work as well with me, but not a moment of boredom.

Story summary.

Arnold, an unspecialist, is forced by authorities as a passenger on an unarmed military spaceship with 2 crew - on a mission to deliver some "potato fertilizer and tractor fuel" to a far off farm world.

After picking up their load, but before delivery to destination, they'll discover an asteroid full of a military fleet of aliens called Ankorbadians - obviously intended to raid human worlds soon, & before this ship can seek help.

While the pilot Banner & co-pilot Harcraft are insisting there is no way out, Arnold will save the day by rigging together a bomb from onboard load of fertilizer & diesel plus whatever tools are at hand in this unarmed ship.

They'll successfully blow up the alien fleet.

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding Science Fiction, October 1959.
Rating: A
Download full text.