There has been a murder in town. Circumstances warranted quick cremation; only 5 men saw the corpse - among them a medico & the police investing officer. Cop saw a big wound on corpse's forehead - as if hit by an axe, medico saw a major wound on shoulder & says the victim died of shock, another cop who originally discovered the dead body says it was a bullet wound on his chest, ... Five witnesses of the dead body, each adamant the victim died a different way!
During investigations, there is another murder. A man dies due to a fall, but there is no injury! What is more, the dead man is the same as the one who recently died 5 different ways!
In the meantime, curious things have been happening around town.
Solving the case, after many twists & turns, will end up uncovering a conspiracy much bigger than 2 murders.
Story is set on Callisto, one of the moon of Jupiter, far in future.
- Story has a major thread on governments banning books, with author justifying the idea in certain cases.
I personally find the idea abhorrent. In virtually every single case of a book ban I've seen in India, it has been a case of abuse of government power. I personally cannot see a case where trusting men in power to tell us what we ought to know & what not is justified - if for no other reason than because it's impossible to ensure that men in authority will also be men of integrity.
This story would have worked very differently if author didn't see justification in banning books.
Fact sheet.First published: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Fall 1943.
Related: Stories of Fredric Brown.