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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

by  L. Frank Baum Introduction Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies ...

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The Trial

by Franz Kafka Chapter One Arrest - Conversation with Mrs. Grubach - Then Miss Bürstner Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested. Every ...

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The Radio Man

by Ralph Milne Farley: 1 the message in the meteor Never had I been so frightened in all my life! It was a warm evening late in August, and I was sitting on the kitchen steps of my ...

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A Short History of the World

by H. G. Wells THE WORLD IN SPACE THE story of our world is a story that is still very imperfectly known. A couple of hundred years ago men possessed the history of little more than the ...

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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

by William Shakespeare ACT I. Scene I. Elsinore. A platform before the Castle. [Francisco at his post. Enter to him Bernardo.] Ber. Who's there? Fran. Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself. Ber. Long live the king! Fran. Bernardo? Ber. He. Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour. Ber. 'Tis now ...

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A Journey to the Centre of the Earth

by Jules Verne CHAPTER 1 MY UNCLE MAKES A GREAT DISCOVERY Looking back to all that has occurred to me since that eventful day, I am scarcely able to believe in the reality of my adventures. They were ...

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Youth

by Isaac Asimov Red and Slim found the two strange little animals the morning after they heard the thunder sounds. They knew that they could never show their new pets to their parents. There was a spatter ...

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Slave Planet

by Laurence M. Janifer PART ONE 1 "I would not repeat myself if it were not for the urgency of this matter." Dr. Haenlingen's voice hardly echoed in the square small room. She stood staring out at the ...

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SIDDHARTHA

by Hermann Hesse FIRST PART THE SON OF THE BRAHMAN In the shade of the house, in the sunshine of the riverbank near the boats, in the shade of the Sal-wood forest, in the shade of the fig ...

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Madame Bovary

by Gustave Flaubert Part I Chapter One We were in class when the head-master came in, followed by a "new fellow," not wearing the school uniform, and a school servant carrying a large desk. Those who had been ...

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OLIVER TWIST

by Charles Dickens CHAPTER I TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN AND OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING HIS BIRTH Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain ...

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THE TRAGEDY OF ROMEO AND JULIET

by William Shakespeare ACT I. Scene I. Verona. A public place. Enter Sampson and Gregory (with swords and bucklers) of the house of Capulet. Samp. Gregory, on my word, we'll not carry coals. Greg. No, for then we should ...

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THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER

By Mark Twain PREFACE Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from ...

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Father Goriot

by Honoré de Balzac Mme. Vauquer (nee de Conflans) is an elderly person, who for the past forty years has kept a lodging-house in the Rue Nueve-Sainte-Genevieve, in the district that lies between the Latin Quarter ...

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The Three Musketeers

by Alexandre Dumas AUTHOR'S PREFACE I n which it is proved that, notwithstanding their names' ending in OS and IS, the heroes of the story which we are about to have the honor to relate to our readers ...

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Three Years in Tibet

by Ekai Kawaguchi PREFACE I was lately reading the Holy Text of the Saḍḍharma-Puṇdarīka (the Aphorisms of the White Lotus of the Wonderful or True Law) in a Samskṛṭ manuscript under a Boḍhi-tree near Mṛga-Ḍāva (Sāranāṭh), Benares. ...

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Heidi

by Johanna Spyri I GOING UP TO THE ALM-UNCLE he little old town of Mayenfeld is charmingly situated. From it a footpath leads through green, well-wooded stretches to the foot of the heights which look down imposingly upon ...

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Famous Modern Ghost Stories

Compiler:   Scarborough, Dorothy, 1878-1935 Title: Famous Modern Ghost Stories Contents: The willows / Algernon Blackwood -- The shadows on the wall / Mary E. Wilkins Freeman -- The messenger / Robert W. Chambers -- Lazarus / Leonid ...

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The Story of the Three Little Pigs

by L. Leslie Brooke Once upon a time there was an old Sow with three little Pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune. The first that ...

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The Imitation of Earth

by James Stamers: Once they had been human—now they shared a remarkable destiny on an incredible new planet.... He was in some dark, moving medium which pressed him gently and released him and pressed against him again with ...

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The Troublemakers

by George O. Smith:

What did Genetics and Hansen’s Folly have
in common? Why, everything … Genetics
was statistical and Hansen’s Folly impossible!


I

The living room reflected wealth, position, good taste. In size it was a full ten feet by fourteen, with nearly an eight-foot ceiling. Light was furnished by glow panels precisely balanced in color to produce light’s most flattering tint for the woman who sat in a delicate chair of authentic, golden-veined blackwood.

The chair itself must have cost a fortune to ship from Tau Ceti Five. It was an ostentation in the eyes of the visitor, who viewed it as evidence of a self-indulgent attitude that would certainly make his job more difficult.

The air in the room was fresh and very faintly aromatic, pleasing. It came draftlessly refreshed at a temperature of seventy-six degrees and a relative humidity of fifty per cent and permitted the entry of no more than one foreign particle (dust) per cubic foot.

The coffee table was another ostentation, but for a different reason than the imported chair of blackwood. The coffee table was of mahogany—terrestrial mahogany—and therefore either antique, heirloom, or both, and in any combination of cases it was priceless. It gave the visitor some dark pleasure to sit before it with his comparison microscope parked on the polished mahogany surface, with the ease of one who always parked his tools on tables and stands made of treasure woods.

There were four persons. Paul Hanford swirled brandy in a snifter with a series of nervous gestures. Mrs. Hanford sat in the blackwood chair unhappily, despite the flattering glow of the wall-panels. Their daughter, Gloria, sat in such a way as to distract the visitor by presenting a target that his eyes could not avoid. Try as he would, his gaze kept straying to the slender, exposed bare ankle and the delicate, high-arched foot visible beneath the hem of the girl’s dress.


Norman Ross, GSch, was the visitor, and he subvocalized his tenth self-indictment as he tore his gaze away from Gloria Hanford’s ankle to look into Paul Hanford’s face. Ross was the Scholar of Genetics for the local division of the Department of Domestic Tranquility and he should have known all about such things, but he obviously did not.

He said, “You can hardly blame yourselves, you know,” although he did not really believe it.

“But what have we done wrong?” asked Mrs. Hanford in a plaintive voice.

Scholar Ross shook his head and caught his gaze in mid-stray before it returned all the way to that alluring ankle. “Genetics, my dear Mrs. Hanford, is a statistical science, not a precise science.” He waved vaguely at the comparison microscope. “There are your backgrounds for seven generations. No one—and I repeat, no one—could have foreseen the issue of a headstrong, difficult offspring from the mating of characteristics such as these. I checked most carefully, most minutely, just to be certain that some obscure but important conflict had not been overlooked by the signing doctor. Doctors, however, do make mistakes.”

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