Monday, August 25, 2008

Murray Leinster's "Attention Saint Patrick" (novelette, science fiction, free): An unusual pest control problem

Quote from short story titled Attention Saint Patrick by Murray LeinsterThis is a mildly humorous story - but humor mostly escaped me. Familiarity with Christian & Irish legends will likely aid humor comprehension.

Main story is interesting enough, though there is a juvenile tone to it.

Story summary.

Human colonists on a world called Eire have a pest control problem. Local animals called "dinies" have teeth made from organic deposits of "boron carbide, which is harder than any other substance but ... diamond", an extreme craving for iron, & fantastic digestion. They eat steel fences, tractors, nails used in apparently wooden buildings, kitchen knives, steel buttons, ...! Nothing to contain the menace seems to work.

Until Moira, a young female visitor from earth, thinks up a fantastic solution that will turn dinies from pests to assets.

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding Science Fiction, January 1960.
Rating: B
Download full text at Project Gutenberg.