The Memory of Mars

The Memory of Mars

Raymond F. Jones

Science Fiction & Fantasy

"As soon as I\'m well we\'ll go to Mars for a vacation again," Alice would say. But now she was dead, and the surgeons said she was not even human. In his misery, Hastings knew two things: he loved his wife; but they had never been off Earth! A reporter should be objective even about a hospital. It\'s his business to stir others\' emotions and not let his own be stirred. But that was no good, Mel Hastings told himself. No good at all when it was Alice who was here somewhere, balanced uncertainly between life and death. Alice had been in Surgery far too long. Something had gone wrong. He was sure of it. He glanced at his watch. It would soon be dawn outside. To Mel Hastings this marked a significant and irrevocable passage of time. If Alice were to emerge safe and whole from the white cavern of Surgery she would have done so now. Mel sank deeper in the heavy chair, feeling a quietness within himself as if the slow creep of death were touching him also. There was a sudden far distant roar and through the window he saw a streak of brightness in the sky. That would be the tourist ship, the Martian Princess, he remembered. That was the last thing Alice had said before they took her away from him. "As soon as I\'m well again we\'ll go to Mars for a vacation again, and then you\'ll remember. It\'s so beautiful there. We had so much fun—"
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The Great Gray Plague

The Great Gray Plague

Raymond F. Jones

Science Fiction & Fantasy

On the surface, James Ellerbee was a crackpot with an impossible invention: a crystal cube you could hold in your hand that allowed instant communication with anyone on Earth. But the inventor came with affidavits, signed and notarized, from three unbiased witnesses: the Fire Chief, the Chief of Police, and the Community Church Pastor of Redrock...
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The Colonists

The Colonists

Raymond F. Jones

Science Fiction & Fantasy

If historical precedent be wrong—what qualities, then, must man possess to successfully colonize new worlds? Doctor Ashby said: "There is no piece of data you cannot find, provided you can devise the proper experimental procedure for turning it up." Now—about the man and the procedure....
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Human Error

Human Error

Raymond F. Jones

Science Fiction & Fantasy

In the near future from a 1950’s perspective, the first space station, in orbit around the Earth, gets knocked out of orbit due to pilot miscalculation. The subsequent disaster, with shuttle and space station crash landing near San Francisco, creates a public furor calling for the end of the space program. General Oglethorpe, the earth side base commander in charge of the space program, recruits Dr. Paul Medick, an expert in psychology and psychometrics, to head a new project: to eliminate human error. Oglethorpe is certain that men can be made to be more mechanical, operating with the same reliability of the machines which they operate. The government had spent one billion dollars to convince the human race that men ought to be ashamed to be men—instead of being cybernetic machines incapable of miscalculation.. But they did not consider that an error less man is a dead man. A fast-paced pulp classic which originally appeared in the April 1956 issue of If Worlds of Science Fiction.
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