Monday, November 2, 2009

Tom Godwin's "Mother of Invention" (novella, problem solving, free)

Quote from short story titled Mother of Invention by Tom GodwinIt's not unreadable, but I might have come back happier if the author had not complicated an already very complex problem & had solved the problem without using magic wands. In a way, it's like author's "The Survivors" - a group is marooned on a world with no apparant means of returning to civilization - but I found it far less engaging.

Story summary.

Five fortune hunters are marooned on Aurora - a hitherto unknown earth type world full of diamonds - diamond boulders, diamond encrusted rocks, diamond saturated dust, ... They'll soon find how anti-life too much diamond can be.

Their spaceship is rendered useless by explosion triggered by diamond dust, & the world they're on is due for apocalypse some 7 months down the line - to be caught in a nova as an alien sun hits this carbon rich world & then the nova absorbs the local sun.

After some preliminaries, we are presented with two choices: either they find a local source of uranium, or they must invent antigravity! Of course, our heroes are made to choose the later. And they will not only invent the antigravity in given time, but take their fortune home - their antigravity machine is powerful enough to take whole of the world they're on home!

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, December 1953.
Rating: B.
Download full text from Baen CD.
Listed among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: Stories of Tom Godwin.