I knew I’d picked a doozy when the Aldebaran transport docked thirty minutes late and a batch of slakers went missing from my cargo of Venusian scintle-feeders. I’d been banking on them to shift enough creds through my dinky little bank on Phobos - but no dice.
Okay I could have slipped a few protoblanks on the blind side but I’d done that before and the Bleak Ones were catching up with me. Must have been my age. I had to find Jorasta – and fast. She’d know what to do, or she’d know how to make things a little better before the bad times came rolling in again.
Maybe Jorasta would even sympathize a little after bawling me out like a berserk flame weaver over a few gourds of xlith – eventually...
I just made that guff up of course. To a science fiction reader of the old school it slips through the fingers and onto the keyboard like a Venusian silthstopper making hay before the dwindle bugs get too jittery.
Crikey... I can’t stop... It’s a disease!
Actually I’ve been reading fifties and sixties science fiction on my Kindle, the stuff churned out before everybody and his slughound knew about the searing heat of Venus, the lifeless wastelands of Mars and the world became just that little less imaginative.
The stories are a trip down memory lane for me and some of them haven’t worn too well, but they stir some nostalgic reminders of how optimistic and outward looking we once were even when a little obsessed with the possibility of endless war or nuclear annihilation.
I’m sure we’ve lost something since those days, apart from a pile of made up words, impossible technologies and a style of writing we’ll probably never revisit. Not this side of a Slivonian eon at any rate.